The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Ravi.N on April 01, 2012, 10:53:02 AM

Title: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 01, 2012, 10:53:02 AM
Friends,I thought of initiating this 'Rough Notebook-Open Forum' taking a cue from David's Blog.With so many topics initiated by our friends in this Forum,I feel like a child wanting to know which notebook to write in;I presume that this would be a sort of Rough notebook where one can discuss/post freely with no subject in Focus,in free format.This would help me to avoid posting 'Off Topic' posts in other thematic ones initiated by other friends.If I have anything at all to say with regard to any post or query,I intend posting it in that very thread if that query or my response is in line with that Topic;if not,I intend reverting to this 'Rough Notebook' for posting my response.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 01, 2012, 12:16:28 PM
Latha,
Quote
"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?"

Sri Ramakrishna says:"Man may be likened to grain. He has fallen between the millstones
and is about to be crushed. Only the few grains that stay near the peg escape. Therefore
men should take refuge at the peg, that is to say, in God. Call on Him. Sing His name. Then
you will be free."
The more and more we learn to stay centred the less and less we feel the grind.With patience and perseverance all difficulties can be overcome.I  see that you know this already,having had glimpses of peace,etc.
Wishing you all the very Best.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 01, 2012, 05:33:54 PM
Ramana1359/Friends,
Brother Lawrence was born Nicolas Herman in Hériménil, near Lunéville in the region of Lorraine, located in modern day eastern France. Having felt he had received a revelation of the providence and power of God at the age of 18, within six years he joined the Discalced Carmelite Priory in Paris. In this intervening period he fought in the Thirty Years' War and later served as a valet.

Nicolas entered the priory in Paris as a lay brother, not having the education necessary to become a cleric, and took the religious name, "Lawrence of the Resurrection". He spent almost all of the rest of his life within the walls of the priory, working in the kitchen for most of his life and as a repairer of sandals in his later years.

Despite his lowly position in life and the priory, his character attracted many to him. He had a reputation for experiencing profound peace and visitors came to seek spiritual guidance from him. The wisdom he passed on to them, in conversations and in letters, would later become the basis for the book, The Practice of the Presence of God.
As a young man, Herman's poverty forced him into joining the army, which guaranteed him meals and a small stipend. During this period, Herman claimed an experience that set him on a unique spiritual journey. He considered it a supernatural clarity into a common sight, more so than as a supernatural vision.
During the winter, Herman looked at a barren tree, stripped of leaves and fruit, and realized it awaited the sure hope of a springtime revival and summer abundance. Gazing at the tree, Herman grasped deeply the extravagance of God's grace and the unfailing sovereignty of divine providence. Like the tree, he felt seemingly dead, but held hope that God had life waiting for him, and the turn of seasons would bring fullness. At that moment, he said, that leafless tree "first flashed in upon my soul the fact of God," and a love for God that never ceased. Shortly after, an injury forced his retirement from the army, and after a stint as a footman, he sought a place where he could suffer for his failures. He thus entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Paris as Brother Lawrence.
He was assigned to the monastery kitchen where, amidst the tedious chores of cooking and cleaning at the constant bidding of his superiors, he developed his rule of spirituality and work. In his Maxims, Lawrence writes, "Men invent means and methods of coming at God's love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God's presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?"

For Brother Lawrence, "common business," no matter how mundane or routine, could be a medium of God's love. The sacredness or worldly status of a task mattered less than motivation behind it. "Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do. . . We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God."

Brother Lawrence felt having a proper heart about tasks made every detail of his life possess surpassing value. "I began to live as if there were no one save God and me in the world." Brother Lawrence felt that he cooked meals, ran errands, scrubbed pots, and endured the scorn of the world alongside God. One of his most famous sayings refers to his kitchen:

"The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What a Great soul!You may download the wonderful 'Practice of The Presence of God' here:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/lawrence/practice.html (ftp://www.ccel.org/ccel/lawrence/practice.html).
The Practice of the Presence of God is called 'Smarana' in Sanatana Dharma.No other Practice or Sadhana is needed-as all works,all feelings,all thoughts are done ,dwelling in God.
There is a Tale of Sri Ramakrishna which is similiar to what flashed through Brother Lawrence when he looked at the Barren Tree.Here it is:
A young sadhu, who had been a
Brahmachari from his boyhood, went out to beg. A young girl offered him alms. The sadhu
saw her breasts and thought she had abscesses. He asked about them. The elderly women of
the family explained that she would some day be a mother and that God had given her
breasts to give milk to her children; God had provided for all this beforehand. At these
words the sadhu was struck with wonder. He said: Then I don't need to beg. God must have
provided for me too."


Most aspirants have difficulty in what is called 'Worldly' Livelihood and 'Spiritual Living'.The Great ones do not admit this,as Brother Lawrence so beautifully brings out in his conversations.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: nonduel on April 01, 2012, 06:44:03 PM
Dear Raviji,

"Men invent means and methods of coming at God's love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God's presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?"

"Wholly for the love of Him".....Surrender!

Otherwise, "men invent means and methods..."

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on April 01, 2012, 07:13:35 PM
Thank you for this quotes, Ravi. Very inspirational words!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 02, 2012, 09:02:13 PM
uday,

you have said:

Quote
"that kind of total flexibility is possible only when i have that kind of a control over mind.
which is what , I think, Sri Ramakrishna exhibited by once expressing some emotions and again on the same situation he would remain totally aloof !! its just to show that those emotions are not at all real."

Are these Emotions feigned?No.They are genuine and this is what makes these Great ones intensely human.The Difference between a Sage and an ordinary human is that whereas the Sage does not linger on in the emotional state,the ordinary human is caught up in the emotion and this creates a corresponding imprint in the Chitta or mind substance.The Sage completely lives that emotion for that moment and it does not leave any trace or imprint.The Ordinary man is a victim of emotion sans awareness,whereas the sage's emotion is an overlay on the awareness.The awareness ever remains the same and the emotion is given its free play and complete expression.
In expressing these emotions ,the Great ones become accessible to ordinary mortals.This is the wonderful Humanity that is founded on selflessness.It is this beautiful Humanity based on the inherent Divinity that inspires one and all.

The beauty of sri Ramakrishna is in his making his teachings accessible to even the lowliest of humans-coming down to their level and yet without compromising anything.

Elsewhere you have mentioned about bhava,losing body consciousness,etc and how you gave it up for atma-Nishta. This may be your need of the moment but there is no such definitiveness that it is the only way to flower.

Sri Ramakrishna says:
"
Quote
Infinite are the
opinions and infinite are the ways
. But you must remember one thing. The injunction is that
the path of devotion described by Narada is best suited to the Kaliyuga. According to this
path, first comes bhakti; then bhava, when bhakti is mature. Higher than bhava are
mahabhava and prema. An ordinary mortal does not attain mahabhava and prema. He who
has achieved these has realized the goal, that is to say, has attained God.
"

More later.

Namaskar.


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 03, 2012, 07:33:28 AM
Nonduel,

Quote
"Wholly for the love of Him".....Surrender!

Otherwise, "men invent means and methods..."

Yes indeed.Somehow the word surrender in English is not appropriate to what is implied.When there is Total Love,'I' and 'mine' loses its meaning.Love knows no boundary.

The word surrender is used in the sense of 'giving up ownership'.This is the approach the mind takes-and it approaches gingerly.It finds itself unable to give itself in toto and it invents what is called 'partial surrender' when it encounters any difficulty!
The Heart ,seat of Love gives itself freely.It is as natural for the Heart to 'give' of itself as it is for the mind to 'Take' or accumulate.

The word for surrender in Sanskrit is 'saranAgathi'-which implies simply dwelling at the lotus feet of god,and this has been interpreted by the mind in cunning ways.The mind  plans to go about surrendering and is perpetually caught in its own web.Self- enquiry gets to the root of this mind and leads to self abidance which is saranAgathi.

The path of mind or jnana is a way of Rejection,it rejects everything as unreal to arrive at Truth.
The Path of the heart(seat of Love) or Devotion accepts everything as coming from God to arrive at Truth.

Both are equally valid and it is a matter of temperament and predeliction of the aspirant as to the path through which he is lead.

This is what Sri Ramakrishna points out so wonderfully:
Quote
<b>Brahman and maya</b>
"Of Brahman and maya, the jnani rejects maya.
"Maya is like a veil. You see, I hold this towel between you and the lamp. You no longer
see the light of the lamp."
Sri Ramakrishna put the towel between himself and the devotees.
MASTER: "Now you cannot see my face any more. As Ramprasad said, 'Raise the curtain,
and behold!'
"The bhakta, however, does not ignore maya. He worships Mahamaya. Taking refuge in
Her, he says: 'O Mother, please stand aside from my path. Only if You step out of my way
shall I have the Knowledge of Brahman.' <i>The jnanis explain away all three states-waking,
dream, and deep sleep. But the bhaktas accept them all. As long as there is the ego,
everything else exists. So long as the 'I' exists, the bhakta sees that it is God who has
become maya, the universe, the living beings, and the twenty-four cosmic principles</i>."

Namaskar.


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on April 06, 2012, 10:05:13 PM
Quote
The path of mind or jnana is a way of Rejection,it rejects everything as unreal to arrive at Truth.
The Path of the heart(seat of Love) or Devotion accepts everything as coming from God to arrive at Truth.

I cannot agree more, Sri Ravi. :)

Quote
"Of Brahman and maya, the jnani rejects maya.
"Maya is like a veil. You see, I hold this towel between you and the lamp. You no longer
see the light of the lamp."
Sri Ramakrishna put the towel between himself and the devotees.
MASTER: "Now you cannot see my face any more. As Ramprasad said, 'Raise the curtain,
and behold!'
"The bhakta, however, does not ignore maya. He worships Mahamaya. Taking refuge in
Her, he says: 'O Mother, please stand aside from my path. Only if You step out of my way
shall I have the Knowledge of Brahman.' The jnanis explain away all three states-waking,
dream, and deep sleep. But the bhaktas accept them all. As long as there is the ego,
everything else exists. So long as the 'I' exists, the bhakta sees that it is God who has
become maya, the universe, the living beings, and the twenty-four cosmic principles.

Excellent explanation from Sri Ramakrishna!!!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 08, 2012, 09:23:13 AM
Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Quote
Dogmatism condemned
(To the goswami) "With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions.
The Vaishnavas will realize God, and so will the Saktas, the Vedantists, and the Brahmos.
The Mussalmans and Christians will realize Him too. All will certainly realize God if they
are earnest and sincere.
"Some people indulge in quarrels, saying, 'One cannot attain anything unless one worships
our Krishna', or, 'Nothing can be gained without the worship of Kali, our Divine Mother',
or, 'One cannot be saved without accepting the Christian religion.' This is pure dogmatism.
The dogmatist says, 'My religion alone is true, and the religions of others are false.' This is
a bad attitude. God can be reached by different paths.
"Further, some say that God has form and is not formless. Thus they start quarrelling. A
Vaishnava quarrels with a Vedantist.
"One can rightly speak of God only after one has seen Him. He who has seen God knows
really and truly that God has form and that He is formless as well. He has many other
aspects that cannot be described.
Parable of the elephant and the blind men
"Once some blind men chanced to come near an animal that someone told them was an
elephant. They were asked what the elephant was like. The blind men began to feel its
body. One of them said the elephant was like a pillar; he had touched only its leg. Another
said it was like a winnowing-fan; he had touched only its ear. In this way the others, having
touched its tail or belly, gave their different versions of the elephant. Just so, a man who has
seen only one aspect of God limits God to that alone. It is his conviction that God cannot be
anything else.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on April 10, 2012, 12:09:13 AM
Please, Sri Ravi, tell me everything that you know about what Ramakrisha has said and experienced until practicing Christianity. :)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 10, 2012, 09:15:11 AM
Ramana/Friends,
Please excuse this pre-amble!Yes,I will post here about sri Ramakrishna.I can give a link and leave it for you to read.Will I be benefited by that!No.In recounting these stories and sharing here,I am benefited and may be others as well.I do not know!Interestingly I have this observation with regard to the path of Bhakti and JnAna(In the approach).Bhakti grows to the extent that stories are told and retold-This is why there is the Tradition of Story tellers and listeners of the stories about God ,Avatars,Sages and Saints.
It is said that the Great sage Veda vyasa who is considered the Guru of Gurus,after composing the Brahma Sutras that contain all the Truths in aphoristic form ,still felt a discontent in his heart.He was wondering what he should do for the preservation of Dharma and Spiritual well being in posterity;He could see far into the future ,when mankind would be plunged into materialistic views and would seriously lack spiritual guidance.All the upanishads,Brahma sutras,etc will be of no avail then.This is what he could see.It is then that he was moved by Divine inspiration to reveal the Bhagavatham to the world-this is a wonderful book.I find that Graham has mentioned about it somewhere.Till today,the Bhagavatham is recited and expounded by Great Devotees(Sri Nochur Venkatraman is a Great soul who expounds this like nobody else does.)

Unlike the way of Bhakti,where the more one talks about the stories of Saints and sages,the more the Love for them waxes,The way of JnAna is quite the opposite!The More one talks about how world is unreal,what Brahman is and what it is not,the less and less one tends to understand!The Way of jnAna is through silence,the more and more one becomes quiet,the more and more it helps the path of enquiry.
Bhakti grows through expressing it(in the Right way),while Jnana grows by withdrawal(in the right way) from outer expression!Both are complementary and at the end they are one and the same,two sides of the same coin.

It is in this spirit that I will share a few excerpts from the Life of Sri Ramakrishna.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 10, 2012, 09:44:32 AM
Ramana/Friends,
I will not follow a chronological order on the life of Sri Ramakrishna.I will share snippets from his life that may perhaps enthuse us to read more about him and his teachings.I will share a few excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.I will quickly get over that earlier part of Sri Ramakrishna's sadhana until he realized the Truth of Brahman ,the nondual truth.He practised Christianity and Islam after this realization!What more is there to learn after Nondual Truth is Realized?Sri Ramakrishna was unique in that he admits that although the essence of God is realized,the Extent of God is unknowable and inexhaustible.He expresses this through the 'Ant and the sugar Hill' parable.
Here is the excerpt from The Gospel of sri Ramakrishna:
Quote
The Knowledge of Brahman in nirvikalpa samadhi had convinced Sri Ramakrishna that the
gods of the different religions are but so many readings of the Absolute, and that the
Ultimate Reality could never be expressed by human tongue. He understood that all
religions lead their devotees by differing paths to one and the same goal. Now he became
eager to explore some of the alien religions; for with him understanding meant actual
experience.
Islam
Toward the end of 1866 he began to practise the disciplines of Islam. Under the direction of
his Mussalman guru he abandoned himself to his new sadhana. He dressed as a Mussalman
and repeated the name of Allah.
His prayers took the form of the Islamic devotions. He forgot the Hindu gods and
goddesses - even Kali - and gave up visiting the temples. He took up his residence outside
the temple precincts. After three days he saw the vision of a radiant figure, perhaps
Mohammed. This figure gently approached him and finally lost himself in Sri
Ramakrishna. Thus he realized the Mussalman God. Thence he passed into communion
with Brahman. The mighty river of Islam also led him back to the Ocean of the Absolute.
Christianity
Eight years later, some time in November 1874, Sri Ramakrishna was seized with an
irresistible desire to learn the truth of the Christian religion. He began to listen to readings
from the Bible, by Sambhu Charan Mallick, a gentleman of Calcutta and a devotee of the
Master. Sri Ramakrishna became fascinated by the life and teachings of Jesus. One day he
was seated in the parlour of Jadu Mallick's garden house at Dakshineswar, when his eyes
became fixed on a painting of the Madonna and Child. Intently watching it, he became
gradually overwhelmed with divine emotion. The figures in the picture took on life, and the
rays of light emanating from them entered his soul. The effect of this experience was
stronger than that of the vision of Mohammed. In dismay he cried out, "O Mother! What
are You doing to me?" And, breaking through the barriers of creed and religion, he entered
a new realm of ecstasy. Christ possessed his soul. For three days he did not set foot in the
Kali temple. On the fourth day, in the afternoon, as he was walking in the Panchavati, he
saw coming toward him a person with beautiful large eyes, serene countenance, and fair
skin. As the two faced each other, a voice rang out in the depths of Sri Ramakrishna's soul:
"Behold the Christ who shed His heart's blood for the redemption of the world, who
suffered a sea of anguish for love of men. It is He, the Master Yogi, who is in eternal union
with God. It is Jesus, Love Incarnate." The Son of Man embraced the Son of the Divine
Mother and merged in him. Sri Ramakrishna realized his identity with Christ, as he had
already realized his identity with Kali, Rama, Hanuman, Radha, Krishna, Brahman, and
Mohammed.
The Master went into samadhi and communed with the Brahman with
attributes. Thus he experienced the truth that Christianity, too, was a path leading to God-
Consciousness. Till the last moment of his life he believed that Christ was an Incarnation of
God. But Christ, for him, was not the only Incarnation; there were others - Buddha, for
instance, and Krishna."

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 11, 2012, 07:14:35 AM
Friends,
Sri Ramakrishna and Totapuri:
Quote
Totapuri arrived at the Dakshineswar temple garden toward the end of 1864. Perhaps born
in the Punjab, he was the head of a monastery in that province of India and claimed
leadership of seven hundred sannyasis. Trained from early youth in the disciplines of the
Advaita Vedanta, he looked upon the world as an illusion. The gods and goddesses of the
dualistic worship were to him mere fantasies of the deluded mind. Prayers, ceremonies,
rites, and rituals had nothing to do with true religion, and about these he was utterly
indifferent. Exercising self-exertion and unshakable will-power, he had liberated himself
from attachment to the sense-objects of the relative universe. For forty years he had
practised austere discipline on the bank of the sacred Narmada and had finally realized his
identity with the Absolute. Thenceforward he roamed in the world as an unfettered soul, a
lion free from the cage. Clad in a loin-cloth, he spent his days under the canopy of the sky
alike in storm and sunshine, feeding his body on the slender pittance of alms. He had been
visiting the estuary of the Ganges. On his return journey along the bank of the sacred river,
led by the inscrutable Divine Will, he stopped at Dakshineswar.
Totapuri, discovering at once that Sri Ramakrishna was prepared to be a student of
Vedanta, asked to initiate him into its mysteries. With the permission of the Divine Mother,
Sri Ramakrishna agreed to the proposal. But Totapuri explained that only a sannyasi could
receive the teaching of Vedanta. Sri Ramakrishna agreed to renounce the world, but with
the stipulation that the ceremony of his initiation into the monastic order be performed in
secret, to spare the feelings of his old mother, who had been living with him at
Dakshineswar.
In the burning flame before him Sri Ramakrishna performed the rituals of destroying his
attachment to relatives, friends, body, mind, sense-organs, ego, and the world. The leaping
flame swallowed it all, making the initiate free and pure. The sacred thread and the tuft of
hair were consigned to the fire, completing his severance from caste, sex, and society. Last
of all he burnt in that fire, with all that is holy as his witness, his desire for enjoyment here
and hereafter. He uttered the sacred mantras giving assurance of safety and fearlessness to
all beings, who were only manifestations of his own Self. The rites completed, the disciple
received from the guru the loincloth and ochre robe, the emblems of his new life.
The teacher and the disciple repaired to the meditation room near by. Totapuri began to
impart to Sri Ramakrishna the great truths of Vedanta. "Brahman", he said, "is the only
Reality, ever pure, ever illumined, ever free, beyond the limits of time, space, and
causation. Though apparently divided by names and forms through the inscrutable power of
maya, that enchantress who makes the impossible possible, Brahman is really One and
undivided. When a seeker merges in the beatitude of samadhi, he does not perceive time
and space or name and form, the offspring of maya. Whatever is within the domain of maya
is unreal. Give it up. Destroy the prison-house of name and form and rush out of it with the
strength of a lion. Dive deep in search of the Self and realize It through samadhi. You will
find the world of name and form vanishing into void, and the puny ego dissolving in
Brahman-Consciousness. You will realize your identity with Brahman, Existence-
Knowledge-Bliss Absolute." Quoting the Upanishad, Totapuri said "That knowledge is
shallow by which one sees or hears or knows another. What is shallow is worthless and can
never give real felicity. But the Knowledge by which one does not see another or hear
another or know another, which is beyond duality, is great, and through such Knowledge
one attains the Infinite Bliss. How can the mind and senses grasp That which shines in the
heart of all as the Eternal Subject?"

Continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 12, 2012, 07:35:16 AM
Friends,
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna and Totapuri is continued...It is worth Recalling one singular aspect of Sri Ramakrishna-that whatever sadhana that he used to undertake,he will be one with it and everything else however dear, would be jettisoned!If he practised devotion to Sri Rama,he would become Hanuman himself!If he Practised devotion to Sri Krishna,he would become Sri Radha!No wonder now that when he practices advaitic Sadhana,he jettisons the form of the Divine mother and not the Divine mother!We will see and understand later just what this means.

Quote
Totapuri asked the disciple to withdraw his mind from all objects of relative world,
including the gods and goddesses, and to concentrate on the Absolute. But the task was not
easy even for Sri Ramakrishna. He found it impossible to take his mind beyond Kali, the
Divine Mother of the Universe. "After the initiation", Sri Ramakrishna once said,
describing the event, "Nangta began to teach me the various conclusions of the Advaita
Vedanta and asked me to withdraw the mind completely from all objects and dive deep into
the Atman. But in spite of all my attempts I could not altogether cross the realm of name
and form and bring my mind to the unconditioned state. I had no difficulty in taking the
mind from all the objects of the world. But the radiant and too familiar figure of the Blissful
Mother, the Embodiment of the essence of Pure Consciousness, appeared before me as a
living reality. Her bewitching smile prevented me from passing into the Great Beyond.
Again and again I tried, but She stood in my way every time. In despair I said to Nangta: 'It
is hopeless. I cannot raise my mind to the unconditioned state and come face to face with
Atman.' He grew excited and sharply said: 'What? You can't do it? But you have to.' He
cast his eyes around. Finding a piece of glass he took it up and stuck it between my
eyebrows. 'Concentrate the mind on this point!' he thundered. Then with stern
determination I again sat to meditate. As soon as the gracious form of the Divine Mother
appeared before me, I used my discrimination as a sword and with it clove Her in two. The
last barrier fell. My spirit at once soared beyond the relative plane and I lost myself in
samadhi."
Sri Ramakrishna remained completely absorbed in samadhi for three days. "Is it really
true?" Totapuri cried out in astonishment. "Is it possible that he has attained in a single day
what it took me forty years of strenuous practice to achieve? Great God! It is nothing short
of a miracle!" With the help of Totapuri, Sri Ramakrishna's mind finally came down to the
relative Plane.
Totapuri, a monk of the most orthodox type, never stayed at a place more than three days.
But he remained at Dakshineswar eleven months. He too had something to learn.
Totapuri had no idea of the struggles of ordinary men in the toils of passion and desire.
Having maintained all through life the guilelessness of a child, he laughed at the idea of a
man's being led astray by the senses. He was convinced that the world, was maya and had
only to be denounced to vanish for ever. A born non-dualist, he had no faith in a Personal
God. He did not believe in the terrible aspect of Kali, much less in Her benign aspect.
Music and the chanting of God's holy name were to him only so much nonsense. He
ridiculed the spending of emotion on the worship of a Personal God
.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 12, 2012, 07:43:41 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna and Totapuri continued...
Quote
Kali and Maya
Sri Ramakrishna, on the other hand, though fully aware, like his guru, that the world is an
illusory appearance, instead of slighting maya, like an orthodox monist, acknowledged its
power in the relative life. He was all love and reverence for maya, perceiving in it a
mysterious and majestic expression of Divinity.
To him maya itself was God, for
everything was God. It was one of the faces of Brahman. What he had realized on the
heights of the transcendental plane, he also found here below, everywhere about him, under
the mysterious garb of names and forms. And this garb was a perfectly transparent sheath,
through which he recognized the glory of the Divine Immanence. Maya, the mighty weaver
of the garb, is none other than Kali, the Divine Mother. She is the primordial Divine
Energy, Sakti, and She can no more be distinguished from the Supreme Brahman than can
the power of burning be distinguished from fire.
She projects the world and again
withdraws it. She spins it as the spider spins its web. She is the Mother of the Universe,
identical with the Brahman of Vedanta, and with the Atman of Yoga. As eternal Lawgiver,
She makes and unmakes laws; it is by Her imperious will that karma yields its fruit. She
ensnares men with illusion and again releases them from bondage with a look of Her
benign eyes. She is the supreme Mistress of the cosmic play, and all objects, animate and
inanimate, dance by Her will. Even those who realize the Absolute in nirvikalpa samadhi
are under Her jurisdiction as long as they still live on the relative plane.
Thus, after nirvikalpa samadhi, Sri Ramakrishna realized maya in an altogether new role.
The binding aspect of Kali vanished from before his vision. She no longer obscured his
understanding. The world became the glorious manifestation of the Divine Mother. Maya
became Brahman. The Transcendental Itself broke through the Immanent. Sri Ramakrishna
discovered that maya operates in the relative world in two ways, and he termed these
"avidyamaya" and "vidyamaya". Avidyamaya represents the dark forces of creation:
sensuous desires, evil passions, greed, lust, cruelty, and so on. It sustains the world system
on the lower planes. It is responsible for the round of man's birth and death. It must be
fought and vanquished. But vidyamaya is the higher force of creation: the spiritual virtues,
the enlightening qualities, kindness, purity, love, devotion. Vidyamaya elevates man to the
higher planes of consciousness. With the help of vidyamaya the devotee rids himself of
avidyamaya; he then becomes mayatita, free of maya. The two aspects of maya are the two
forces of creation, the two powers of Kali; and She stands beyond them both. She is like the
effulgent sun, bringing into existence and shining through and standing behind the clouds
of different colours and shapes, conjuring up wonderful forms in the blue autumn heaven.
The Divine Mother asked Sri Ramakrishna not to be lost in the featureless Absolute but to
remain in bhavamukha, on the threshold of relative consciousness, the border line between
the Absolute and the Relative
. He was to keep himself at the "sixth centre" of Tantra, from
which he could see not only the glory of the seventh, but also the divine manifestations of
the Kundalini in the lower centres. He gently oscillated back and forth across the dividing
line. Ecstatic devotion to the Divine Mother alternated with serene absorption in the Ocean
of Absolute Unity. He thus bridged the gulf between the Personal and the Impersonal, the
immanent and the transcendent aspects of Reality. This is a unique experience in the
recorded spiritual history of the world
.

continued...

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 12, 2012, 07:50:36 AM
The Divine Mother asked Sri Ramakrishna not to be lost in the featureless Absolute but to
remain in bhavamukha, on the threshold of relative consciousness, the border line between
the Absolute and the Relative
.

Dear Sri Ravi,

I am not able to grasp this, why is it meant as being lost in the featureless Absolute? Could there be any losing at any time?

Thank you,

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 12, 2012, 08:14:16 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna and Totapuri continued...
Quote
Totapuri's Lesson
From Sri Ramakrishna Totapuri had to learn the significance of Kali, the Great Fact of the
relative world, and of maya, Her indescribable Power.

About this time Totapuri was suddenly laid up with a severe attack of dysentery.He developed severe stomach pain but  jnani as he was,he could witdraw his mind from the body at will,and stay free from the pain.Sri Ramakrishna as a dear disciple,got the help of a few physicians to administer medicines,but all that was of no avail.Childlike as he is,Sri Ramakrishna told Totapuri-'You are not accepting my Divine Mother.That is why you are suffering'!Yet Totapuri used to consider all that as simply childish.(I am condensing the story short-Those who are interested in details may look up the Book-Sri Ramakrishna,The Great Master-by Swami Saradananda,his direct disciple-Ravi)
One night the pain
became excruciating. He could no longer concentrate on Brahman. The body stood in the
way. He became incensed with its demands. A free soul, he did not at all care for the body.
So he determined to drown it in the Ganges. Thereupon he walked into the river. But, lo!
He walks to the other bank. Is there not enough water in the Ganges? Standing
dumbfounded on the other bank he looks back across the water. The trees, the temples, the
houses, are silhouetted against the sky. Suddenly, in one dazzling moment, he sees on all
sides the presence of the Divine Mother. She is in everything; She is everything. She is in
the water; She is on land. She is the body; She is the mind. She is pain; She is comfort. She
is knowledge; She is ignorance. She is life; She is death. She is everything that one sees,
hears, or imagines. She turns "yea" into "nay", and "nay" into "yea". Without Her grace no
embodied being can go beyond Her realm. Man has no free will. He is not even free to die.
Yet, again, beyond the body and mind She resides in Her Transcendental Absolute aspect.
She is the Brahman that Totapuri had been worshipping all his life.
Totapuri returned to Dakshineswar and spent the remaining hours of the night meditating
on the Divine Mother. In the morning he went to the Kali temple with Sri Ramakrishna and
prostrated himself before the image of the Mother. He now realized why he had spent
eleven months at Dakshineswar.
Bidding farewell to the disciple, he continued on his way,
enlightened.
Sri Ramakrishna later described the significance of Totapuri's lessons: "When I think of the
Supreme Being as inactive - neither creating nor preserving nor destroying -, I call Him
Brahman or Purusha, the Impersonal God. When I think of Him as active - creating,
preserving, and destroying -, I call Him Sakti or Maya or Prakriti, the Personal God. But
the distinction between them does not mean a difference. The Personal and the Impersonal
are the same thing, like milk and its whiteness, the diamond and its lustre, the snake and its
wriggling motion. It is impossible to conceive of the one without the other. The Divine
Mother and Brahman are one.
"
After the departure of Totapuri, Sri Ramakrishna remained for six months in a state of
absolute identity with Brahman. "For six months at a stretch", he said, "I remained in that
state from which ordinary men can never return; generally the body falls off, after three
weeks, like a sere leaf. I was not conscious of day and night. Flies would enter my mouth
and nostrils just as they do a dead body's, but I did not feel them. My hair became matted
with dust
."
His body would not have survived but for the kindly attention of a monk who happened to
be at Dakshineswar at that time and who somehow realized that for the good of humanity
Sri Ramakrishna's body must be preserved. He tried various means, even physical violence,
to recall the fleeing soul to the prison-house of the body, and during the resultant fleeting
moments of consciousness he would push a few morsels of food down Sri Ramakrishna's
throat. Presently Sri Ramakrishna received the command of the Divine Mother to remain on
the threshold of relative consciousness. Soon thereafter he was afflicted with a serious
attack of dysentery. Day and night the pain tortured him, and his mind gradually came
down to the physical plane
.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on April 12, 2012, 12:48:47 PM
Thank you, Sri Ravi. Honestly non of the information you gave in your latter posts were known to me. I didn't know that Totapuri has accepted the Personal God as real aspect of Brahman. Reading your writings I remembered about Kashmir Shaivism. Kashmiri shaivam accept Maya as aspect of Shiva. They consider everything as real because consider it as chaitanya. The first verse of the Shiva Sutras says:

caitanyātmā

which I found to be translated as "The independent state of supreme Consciousness is the Reality of everything". Sri Kemaraja (one of the most prominent kashmiri shaviam) translates it as "The supreme Consciousness is the form (of everything)". I feel that Sri Bhagavan Ramakrishna's view is the same. I'm eagerly waiting your future posts about the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 13, 2012, 08:48:08 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna and his Sadhana:
Quote
Sri Ramakrishna as a priest
Born in an orthodox brahmin family, Sri Ramakrishna knew the formalities of worship, its
rites and rituals. The innumerable gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion are the human
aspects of the indescribable and incomprehensible Spirit, as conceived by the finite human
mind. They understand and appreciate human love and emotion, help men to realize their
secular and spiritual ideals, and ultimately enable men to attain liberation from the miseries
of phenomenal life. The Source of light, intelligence, wisdom, and strength is the One alone
from whom comes the fulfilment of desire. Yet, as long as a man is bound by his human
limitations, he cannot but worship God through human forms. He must use human symbols.
Therefore Hinduism asks the devotees to look on God as the ideal father, the ideal mother,
the ideal husband, the ideal son, or the ideal friend. But the name ultimately leads to the
Nameless, the form to the Formless, the word to the Silence, the emotion to the serene
realization of Peace in Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. The gods gradually merge in
the one God. But until that realization is achieved, the devotee cannot dissociate human
factors from his worship.
Therefore the Deity is bathed and clothed and decked with
ornaments. He is fed and put to sleep. He is propitiated with hymns, songs, and prayers.
And there are appropriate rites connected with all these functions. For instance, to secure
for himself external purity, the priest bathes himself in holy water and puts on a holy cloth.
He purifies the mind and the sense organs by appropriate meditations. He fortifies the place
of worship against evil forces by drawing around it circles of fire and water. He awakens
the different spiritual centres of the body and invokes the Supreme Spirit in his heart. Then
he transfers the Supreme Spirit to the image before him and worships the image, regarding
it no longer as clay or stone, but as the embodiment of Spirit, throbbing with Life and
Consciousness. After the worship the Supreme Spirit is recalled from the image to Its true
sanctuary, the heart of the priest. The real devotee knows the absurdity of worshipping the
Transcendental Reality with material articles - clothing That which pervades the whole
universe and the beyond, putting on a pedestal That which cannot be limited by space,
feeding That which is disembodied and incorporeal, singing before That whose glory the
music of the spheres tries vainly to proclaim. But through these rites the devotee aspires to
go ultimately beyond rites and rituals, forms and names, words and praise, and to realize
God as the All-pervading Consciousness
.
Hindu priests are thoroughly acquainted with the rites of worship, but few of them are
aware of their underlying significance. They move their hands and limbs mechanically, in
obedience to the letter of the scriptures, and repeat the holy mantras like parrots. But from
the very beginning the inner meaning of these rites was revealed to Sri Ramakrishna. As he
sat facing the image, a strange transformation came over his mind. While going through the
prescribed ceremonies, he would actually find himself encircled by a wall of fire protecting
him and the place of worship from unspiritual vibrations, or he would feel the rising of the
mystic Kundalini through the different centres of the body. The glow on his face, his deep
absorption, and the intense atmosphere of the temple impressed everyone who saw him
worship the Deity
.
Ramkumar wanted Sri Ramakrishna to learn the intricate rituals of the worship of Kali. To
become a priest of Kali one must undergo a special form of initiation from a qualified guru,
and for Sri Ramakrishna a suitable brahmin was found. But no sooner did the brahmin
speak the holy word in his ear than Sri Ramakrishna, overwhelmed with emotion, uttered a
loud cry and plunged into deep concentration
.
Mathur begged Sri Ramakrishna to take charge of the worship in the Kali temple. The
young priest pleaded his incompetence and his ignorance of the scriptures. Mathur insisted
that devotion and sincerity would more than compensate for any lack of formal knowledge
and make the Divine Mother manifest Herself through the image. In the end, Sri
Ramakrishna had to yield to Mathur's request. He became the priest of Kali.
In 1856 Ramkumar breathed his last. Sri Ramakrishna had already witnessed more than one
death in the family. He had come to realize how impermanent is life on earth. The more he
was convinced of the transitory nature of worldly things, the more eager he became to
realize God, the Fountain of Immortality
.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 13, 2012, 11:37:21 AM
Ramana/Friends,
Ramana has asked -What is Sri Ramakrishna's position -Whether 'Nondual' Reality is the ultimate goal of all or whether Visishtadvaitins's devotees goal is also valid.Just what does Sri Ramakrishna say!Good Question and an interesting one!Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Quote
Nitya and Lila
Regaining partial consciousness, Sri Ramakrishna said: "From the Nitya to the Lila and
from the Lila to the Nitya. (To Nityagopal) What is your ideal?"
NITYAGOPAL: "Both are good."
Sri Ramakrishna closed his eyes and said: "Is it only this? Does God exist only when the
eyes are closed, and cease to exist when the eyes are opened? The Lila belongs to Him to
whom the Nitya belongs, and the Nitya belongs to Him to whom the Lila belongs. (To
Mahima) My dear sir, let me tell you
-"
MAHIMA: "Revered sir, both are according to the will of God."
MASTER: "Some people climb the seven floors of a building and cannot get down; but
some climb up and then, at will, visit the lower floors.

"Uddhava said to the gopis: 'He whom you address as your Krishna dwells in all beings. It
is He alone who has become the universe and its living beings.'
"Therefore I say, does a man meditate on God only when his eyes are closed? Doesn't he
see anything of God when his eyes are open?"
MAHIMA: "I have a question to ask, sir. A lover of God needs Nirvana some time or other,
doesn't he?"
(Ramana has asked this question-Ravi!)
The seed of bhakti cannot he destroyed
MASTER: "It can't be said that bhaktas need Nirvana. According to some schools there is
an eternal Krishna and there are also His eternal devotees. Krishna is Spirit embodied, and
His Abode also is Spirit embodied. Krishna is eternal and the devotees also are eternal
.
Krishna and the devotees are like the moon and the stars-always near each other. You
yourself repeat: 'what need is there of penance if God is seen within and without?' Further, I
have told you that the devotee who is born with an element of Vishnu cannot altogether get
rid of bhakti.
Once I fell into the clutches of a jnani, who made me listen to Vedanta for eleven months.
But he couldn't altogether destroy the seed of bhakti in me. No matter where my mind
wandered, it would come back to the Divine Mother. Whenever I sang of Her, Nangta
would weep and say, 'Ah! What is this?' You see, he was such a great jnani and still he
wept. (To the younger Naren and the others) Remember the popular saying that if a man
drinks the juice of the alekh creeper, a plant grows inside his stomach. Once the seed of
bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable: it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and
fruits.
"You may reason and argue a thousand times, but if you have the seed of bhakti within you,
you will surely come back to Hari."
The devotees listened silently to the Master. Sri Ramakrishna asked Mahima, laughing,
"What is the thing you enjoy most?"
MAHIMA (smiling): "Nothing, sir. I like mangoes."
MASTER (smiling): "All by yourself? Or do you want to share them with others?"
MAHIMA (smiling) : "I am not so anxious to give others a share. I may as well eat them
all by myself."
Reality includes both Absolute and universe
MASTER: "But do you know my attitude? I accept both, the Nitya and the Lila. Doesn't
God exist if one looks around with eyes open? After realizing Him, one knows that He is
both the Absolute and the universe. It is He who is the Indivisible Satchidananda. Again, it
is He who has become the universe and its living beings.

Mahimacharan was a staunch advaitin and the Master is taking him head-on!

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 14, 2012, 08:34:31 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued.

Quote
The First Vision of Kali
And, indeed, he soon discovered what a strange Goddess he had chosen to serve. He
became gradually enmeshed in the web of Her all-pervading presence. To the ignorant She
is to be sure, the image of destruction: but he found in Her the benign, all-loving Mother.
Her neck is encircled with a garland of heads, and Her waist with a girdle of human arms
and two of Her hands hold weapons of death, and Her eyes dart a glance of fire; but,
strangely enough, Ramakrishna felt in Her breath the soothing touch of tender love and
saw in Her the Seed of Immortality. She stands on the bosom of Her Consort, Siva; it is
because She is the Sakti, the Power, inseparable from the Absolute. She is surrounded by
jackals and other unholy creatures, the denizens of the cremation ground. But is not the
Ultimate Reality above holiness and unholiness? She appears to be reeling under the spell
of wine. But who would create this mad world unless under the influence of a divine
drunkenness? She is the highest symbol of all the forces of nature, the synthesis of their
antinomies, the Ultimate Divine in the form of woman. She now became to Sri
Ramakrishna the only Reality, and the world became an unsubstantial shadow. Into Her
worship he poured his soul. Before him She stood as the transparent portal to the shrine of
Ineffable Reality.
The worship in the temple intensified Sri Ramakrishna's yearning for a living vision of the
Mother of the Universe. He began to spend in meditation the time not actually employed in
the temple service; and for this purpose he selected an extremely solitary place. A deep
jungle, thick with underbrush and prickly plants, lay to the north of the temples. Used at
one time as a burial ground, it was shunned by people even during the day-time for fear of
ghosts. There Sri Ramakrishna began to spend the whole night in meditation, returning to
his room only in the morning with eyes swollen as though from much weeping. While
meditating, he would lay aside his cloth and his brahminical thread. Explaining this strange
conduct, he once said to Hriday: "Don't you know that when one thinks of God one should
be freed from all ties? From our very birth we have the eight fetters of hatred, shame,
lineage, pride of good conduct, fear, secretiveness, caste, and grief. The sacred thread
reminds me that I am a brahmin and therefore superior to all. When calling on the Mother
one has to set aside all such ideas." Hriday thought his uncle was becoming insane.
As his love for God deepened, he began either to forget or to drop the formalities of
worship. Sitting before the image, he would spend hours singing the devotional songs of
great devotees of the Mother, such as Kamalakanta and Ramprasad. Those rhapsodical
songs, describing the direct vision of God, only intensified Sri Ramakrishna's longing. He
felt the pangs of a child separated from its mother. Sometimes, in agony, he would rub his
face against the ground and weep so bitterly that people, thinking he had lost his earthly
mother, would sympathize with him in his grief. Sometimes, in moments of scepticism, he
would cry: "Art Thou true, Mother, or is it all fiction - mere poetry without any reality? If
Thou dost exist, why do I not see Thee? Is religion a mere fantasy and art Thou only a
figment of man's imagination?"
Sometimes he would sit on the prayer carpet for two hours
like an inert object. He began to behave in an abnormal manner, most of the time
unconscious of the world. He almost gave up food; and sleep left him altogether.
But he did not have to wait very long. He has thus described his first vision of the Mother:
"I felt as if my heart were being squeezed like a wet towel. I was overpowered with a great
restlessness and a fear that it might not be my lot to realize Her in this life. I could not bear
the separation from Her any longer. Life seemed to be not worth living. Suddenly my
glance fell on the sword that was kept in the Mother's temple. I determined to put an end to
my life. When I jumped up like a madman and seized it, suddenly the blessed Mother
revealed Herself. The buildings with their different parts, the temple, and everything else
vanished from my sight, leaving no trace whatsoever, and in their stead I saw a limitless,
infinite, effulgent Ocean of Consciousness. As far as the eye could see, the shining billows
were madly rushing at me from all sides with a terrific noise, to swallow me up! I was
panting for breath. I was caught in the rush and collapsed, unconscious. What was
happening in the outside world I did not know; but within me there was a steady flow of
undiluted bliss, altogether new, and I felt the presence of the Divine Mother."
On his lips
when he regained consciousness of the world was the word 'mA' (Mother).

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 14, 2012, 08:44:42 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Quote
God-Intoxicated State
Yet this was only a foretaste of the intense experiences to come. The first glimpse of the
Divine Mother made him the more eager for Her uninterrupted vision. He wanted to see
Her both in meditation and with eyes open. But the Mother began to play a teasing game of
hide-and-seek with him, intensifying both his joy and his suffering. Weeping bitterly during
the moments of separation from Her, he would pass into a trance and then find Her standing
before him, smiling, talking, consoling, bidding him be of good cheer, and instructing him.
During this period of spiritual practice he had many uncommon experiences. When he sat
to meditate, he would hear strange clicking sounds in the joints of his legs, as if someone
were locking them up, one after the other, to keep him motionless; and at the conclusion of
his meditation he would again hear the same sounds, this time unlocking them and leaving
him free to move about. He would see flashes like a swarm of fire-flies floating before his
eyes, or a sea of deep mist around him, with luminous waves of molten silver. Again, from
a sea of translucent mist he would behold the Mother rising, first Her feet, then Her waist,
body, face, and head, finally Her whole person; he would feel Her breath and hear Her
voice. Worshipping in the temple, sometimes he would become exalted, sometimes he
would remain motionless as stone, sometimes he would almost collapse from excessive
emotion. Many of his actions, contrary to all tradition, seemed sacrilegious to the people.
He would take a flower and touch it to his own head, body, and feet, and then offer it to the
Goddess. Or, like a drunkard, he would reel to the throne of the Mother, touch Her chin by
way of showing his affection for Her, and sing, talk, joke, laugh, and dance. Or he would
take a morsel of food from the plate and hold it to Her mouth, begging Her to eat it, and
would not be satisfied till he was convinced that She had really eaten. After the Mother had
been put to sleep at night, from his own room he would hear Her ascending to the upper
storey of the temple with the light steps of a happy girl, Her anklets jingling. Then he
would discover Her standing with flowing hair, Her black form silhouetted against the sky
of the night looking at the Ganges or at the distant lights of Calcutta.
Naturally the temple officials took him for an insane person. His worldly well-wishers
brought him to skilled physicians; but no medicine could cure his malady. Many a time he
doubted his sanity himself. For he had been sailing across an uncharted sea, with no earthly
guide to direct him. His only haven of security was the Divine Mother Herself. To Her he
would pray: "I do not know what these things are. I am ignorant of mantras and the
scriptures. Teach me, Mother, how to realize Thee. Who else can help me? Art Thou not
my only refuge and guide?" And the sustaining presence of the Mother never failed him in
his distress or doubt
. Even those who criticized his conduct were greatly impressed with his
purity, guilelessness, truthfulness, integrity, and holiness. They felt an uplifting influence in
his presence
.
It is said that samadhi, or trance, no more than opens the portal of the spiritual realm. Sri
Ramakrishna felt an unquenchable desire to enjoy God in various ways. For his meditation
he built a place in the northern wooded section of the temple garden. With Hriday's help he
planted there five sacred trees. The spot, known as the Panchavati, became the scene of
many of his visions.

As his spiritual mood deepened he more and more felt himself to be a child of the Divine
Mother. He learnt to surrender himself completely to Her will and let Her direct him.
"O Mother," he would constantly pray, "I have taken refuge in Thee. Teach me what to do
and what to say. Thy will is paramount everywhere and is for the good of Thy children.
Merge my will in Thy will and make me Thy instrument."
His visions became deeper and more intimate. He no longer had to meditate to behold the
Divine Mother. Even while retaining consciousness of the outer world, he would see Her as
tangibly as the temples, the trees, the river, and the men around him.
On a certain occasion Mathur Babu stealthily entered the temple to watch the worship. He
was profoundly moved by the young priest's devotion and sincerity. He realized that Sri
Ramakrishna had transformed the stone image into the living Goddess.
Sri Ramakrishna one day fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to Kali. This was too
much for the manager of the temple garden, who considered himself responsible for the
proper conduct of the worship. He reported Sri Ramakrishna's insane behaviour to Mathur
Babu.
Sri Ramakrishna has described the incident: "The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kali
temple that it was She who had become everything. She showed me that everything was
full of Consciousness. The image was Consciousness, the altar was Consciousness, the
water-vessels were Consciousness, the door-sill was Consciousness, the marble floor was
Consciousness - all was Consciousness. I found everything inside the room soaked, as it
were, in Bliss - the Bliss of God. I saw a wicked man in front of the Kali temple; but in
him also I saw the power of the Divine Mother vibrating. That was why I fed a cat with the
food that was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that all this was the
Divine Mother - even the cat.
The manager of the temple garden wrote to Mathur Babu
saying that I was feeding the cat with the offering intended for the Divine Mother. But
Mathur Babu had insight into the state of my mind. He wrote back to the manager: 'Let him
do whatever he likes. You must not say anything to him.' "

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 14, 2012, 09:14:10 AM
Friends,
We have seen how Sri Ramakrishna had the vision of Kali ,without any formal initiation by any guru and without any formal teaching.
I will now Post a couple of wonderful comments by swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo on Sri Ramakrishna.

An Excerpt from the wonderful Talk of Swami Vivekananda-My Master:

Quote
This skepticism comes to the Hindu child. It is the skepticism of our country: Is this that we are doing real? And theories will not satisfy us, although there are ready at hand almost all the theories that have ever been made with regard to God and soul. Neither books nor theories can satisfy us, the one idea that gets hold of thousands of our people is this idea of realization. Is it true that there is a God? If it be true, can I see Him? Can I realize the truth?
We have to sense God to be convinced that there is a God. We must sense the facts of religion to know that they are facts. Nothing else, and no amount of reasoning, but our own perception can make these things real to us, can make my belief firm as a rock
This idea took possession of the boy and his whole life became concentrated upon that. Day after day he would weep and say, "Mother, is it true that Thou existest, or is it all poetry? Is the Blissful Mother an imagination of poets and misguided people, or is there such a Reality?" We have seen that of books, of education in our sense of the word, he had none, and so much the more natural, so much the more healthy, was his mind, so much the purer his thoughts, undiluted by drinking in the thoughts of others. Because he did not go to the university, therefore, he thought for himself. Because we have spent half our lives in the university we are filled with a collection of other people's thoughts. Well has Prof. Max Mueller said in the article I have just referred to that this was a clean, original man; and the secret of that originality was that he was not brought up within the precincts of a university.
This is the tremendous thirst that seizes the human heart. Later on, this very man said to me, "My child, suppose there is a bag of gold in one room, and a robber in the next room; do you think that the robber can sleep? He cannot. His mind will be always thinking how to get into that room and obtain possession of that gold. Do you think then that a man, firmly persuaded that there is a Reality behind all these appearances, that there is a God, that there is One who never dies, One who is infinite bliss, a bliss compared with which these pleasures of the senses are simply playthings, can rest contented without struggling to attain It? Can he cease his efforts for a moment? He will become mad with longing." This divine madness seized the boy. At that time he had no teacher, nobody to tell him anything, and everyone thought that he was out of his mind. This is the ordinary condition of things. If a man throws aside the vanities of the world, we hear him called mad. But such men are the salt of the earth. Out of such madness have come the powers that have moved this world of ours, and out of such madness alone will come the powers of the future that are going to move the world.

    So days, weeks, months passed in continuous struggle of the soul to arrive at truth. The boy began to see visions, to see wonderful things; the secrets of his nature were beginning to open to him. Veil after veil was, as it were, being taken off. Mother Herself became the teacher and initiated the boy into the truths he sought.

An Excerpt from Sri Aurobindo's Synthesis of Yoga:
Quote
Ordinarily, the Word from without, representative of the Divine, is needed as an aid ill the work of self-unfolding; and it may be either a word from the past or the more powerful word of the living Guru. fn some cases this representative word is only taken as a sort of excuse for the inner power to awaken and manifest; it is, as it were, a concession of the omnipotent and omniscient Divine to the generality of a law that governs Nature. Thus it is said in the Upanishads of Krishna, son of Devaki, that he received a word of the Rishi Ghora and had the knowledge. So Ramakrishna, having attained by his own internal effort the central illumination, accepted several teachers in the different paths of Yoga, but always showed in the manner and swiftness of his realisation that this acceptance was a concession to the general rule by which effective knowledge must be received as by a disciple from a Guru

Elsewhere Sri Aurobindo again mentions the Essence of Sri Ramakrishna's advent:
Quote
"In a recent and unique example, in the life of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa we see a colossal spiritual capacity first driving straight to the divine realization, taking, as it were, the Kingdom of Heaven by violence, and then seizing upon one Yoga method after another and extracting the substance out of it with an incredible rapidity, always to return to the heart of the whole matter, the realization and possession of God by the power of love, by the extension of inborn spirituality into various experience and by the spontaneous play of an intuitive knowledge. Such an example cannot be generalized. Its object also was special and temporal, to exemplify in the great and decisive experience of a Master-soul the truth, now most necessary to humanity, towards which a world long divided into jarring sects and schools is with difficulty laboring, that all sects are forms and fragments of a single integral truth and all disciplines labor in their different ways towards one supreme experience... Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is the epitome of the whole. His was the great super-conscious life which alone can witness to the infinitude of the current that bears us all oceanwards. He is the proof of the Power behind us, and the future before us."

It is pertinent to note the observations of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo .All the Teachers came to Dakshineswar,after Sri Ramakrishna had the Vision of KAli.They came  on their own,actually drawn by the Divine Mother, and more than teaching sri Ramakrishna,they learnt lessons in their own way.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 15, 2012, 08:31:44 AM
Dear Sri Ravi, Friends, This article is found in todays newspaper, will be of much interest to us.

Why get rid of sexual passion? Channel it to access that powerful, divine energy, says SRI RAMAKRISHNA

Seeker: Who is really to blame for sexual obsession and its bondage — men or women?
Ramakrishna: You are male, so I will speak to you about women. To women, I give the same teachings about the spiritual danger and spiritual potential of men. A woman who has awakened in her body and mind, the energy of transcendent wisdom, which is the brilliant healing and enlightening presence of the Goddess, can be a tremendous blessing for a male practitioner — as tantric consort, as consecrated wife, or simply as the inspiring friend of his soul. But a woman who has developed exclusively her biological and social drives, is filled with a subtle energy that can be detrimental to the progress of a male aspirant. Eventually — without either person recognising any danger — she can stifle his aspiration by drowning him in forces of the limited ego world. Precisely, the same facts must be explained to women concerning men.

But this whole universe is miraculously projected by the dream power of the Absolute. It is the coherent, magical display of Mahamaya, the Great Goddess in Her role as cosmic manifestation. The energy of limitation is just as much an organic part of this universal magical display as the energy of liberation. Mother plays as knowledge and as ignorance, so I bow respectfully before both with palms joined, though I salute Her tiger manifestation from a safe distance. Both worldly bondage and spiritual freedom are simply aspects of Mother’s Theatre, Mahamaya, which exists for no reason, not even for the education of souls, because this, too, is simply part of the play. Nonetheless, this Divine Drama is completely beyond any human conception or imagination.

The brilliant feminine energy of wisdom, which incarnates through the bodies and minds of both men and women, cultivates the refined taste for sweet spiritual companionship, for knowledge of oneness, for pure love, for ecstatic union with various revealed forms of Divinity, and for refreshing renunciation of all deceptive, habitual expectations. By contrast, the energy of limitation consists of the random, compulsive play of mind and senses with their objects — an instinctual drive for experience that lacks subtlety and harmony and causes the heart to forget the delight of Divine Reality, the communion that is natural to the human soul. But both currents — the energy of wisdom and the energy of limitation — are simply Mother’s Energy. When only God exists, who is there to praise and who is there to blame?

Seeker: How can I get rid of sexual passion?
Ramakrishna: Why get rid of it? Turn its powerful energy in another direction. Lust is blind, but the Great Delight conferred by the Goddess is ever pure and resplendent….

These apparently opposite energies, knowledge and ignorance, positive and negative, are simply God’s unitary play. I clearly see that Mother has become the sword, the wielder of sword, and sacrificial animal. There is no duality. We appreciate glorious light as well as dense darkness. They enhance one another. When spiritually mature, one can appreciate as sheer divine manifestation both happiness and misery, which depend upon one another to be fully experienced. Some suffering is good. It helps one find the path to Truth and make actual progress. If there were no suffering, how many persons would intensely chant divine names? The cosmic conflict between good and evil is an integral part of Mother’s Drama; Her testing of souls.

Could you enjoy the sweet golden mango pulp if the bitter green skin did not also play its role? The skin is not only inedible, but mildly poisonous, causing pain to some sensitive lips. It must be separated from the fruit with a sharp instrument and discarded, but it is integral to the mango, permitting the process of ripening. The green skin called ignorance, the instinctive grasping of the life force, enables the delicious fruit of the awakened mind to grow and ripen. Appreciate the bitter skin of ignorance as maya, Mother’s magical projection. But do not bite into it. The golden pulp of knowledge is also Her magical projection. There is maya of ignorance and maya of knowledge. Each is integral to the functioning of the other in this theatre of Mahamaya. As timeless awareness, nitya, Mother abides far above, while incarnating fully as lila, Her Cosmic Play.

(Meetings with Ramakrishna by Lex Hixon, MLBD)

Dear Sri Ravi, perhaps you can throw more light on these dialogues of the Master. Also, I felt, if you could avoid using the quote option in your posts about the Master, it would be easy to read.

:)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 15, 2012, 08:58:07 AM
Nagaraj,

Quote
Dear Sri Ravi, perhaps you can throw more light on these dialogues of the Master. Also, I felt, if you could avoid using the quote option in your posts about the Master, it would be easy to read

YesFriend.Thanks for your suggestion.I will be too glad to comply.With regard to Lex Hixon's words,they are his words!They are his ideas!I will post from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,which is the only reliable source on the Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna.Why so?I will post what 'M' (Master Mahasaya)had spoken about it.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 15, 2012, 10:11:53 AM
For those who wonder why I love The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-Thought I will share a few of my thoughts here.
Firstly it annuls space and time and puts the reader in the palpable presence of the Great Master,right at his feet.The portrayal and narration is as vivid as that.
Leaving aside my adoration of the Master,which may well be my personal preference,what is it that I find in it that is of value to one and all?

1.Precisely in its huge emphasis on the practical aspects of sadhana-in not giving any scope for any sort of speculation in the minds of the seekers.

2.The Master knows all the kinks and bends of the human mind and pitches the teaching at just the right level;Nothing a notch below or above.

3.He does not give room for any sort of hierarchy in Sadhana-thus cutting off all grounds for 'ego trips'.

4.Truly there is nothing that is held back from the seeker;the master gives a clear assurance that a thing well began,however modest and insignificant be that,would inevitably lead to all that one needs to ever know or attain.

5.Even abstract Truths are made so simple and clear to those who are simply curious or interested, with simple and Homely similes or parables.

6.The wonderful songs that fill the volumes that are rich blend of Bhakti/JnAna.

7.The humor of the Master is infectious as well.This book abounds in this as well.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 15, 2012, 10:35:38 AM
Friends,

A Friend had wondered about the Authenticity of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna thus:

Quote
As regards Sri Ramakrishna, it was M, who recorded and here again, whether any one corrected them, I am not sure.

I am posting the facts on this topic as in my response given  to this friend:

You have asked whether anyone checked what 'M' had written.
The Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,consort of Sri Ramakrishna  was very much pleased to hear parts of the diary read to her in Bengali, wrote to M.: "When I heard the Kathāmrita, (Bengali name of the book) I felt as if it was he, the Master, who was saying all that."

The following are for your consideration:
1.M wrote it in Bengali and with stenographic precision,using the exact words that Sri Ramakrishna used.This has been the unanimous
view of all those who had been part of the scenes and who have seen Sri Ramakrishna and moved with him.

2.You will find Sri Ramakrishna repeating many of his sayings and these were exactly captured without any censoring.We even find Sri Ramakrishna telling 'm"to clean his tongue.'M' did not omit even this trivial detail because he felt that no word of his master should be left out.If not anything ,it will help to recollect that day's events and keep the memory fresh with the master's presence for ever.

3.Even as a boy of about thirteen, while he was a student in the 3rd class of the Hare School, he was in the habit of keeping a diary. "Today on rising," he wrote inhis diary, "I greeted my father and mother, prostrating on the ground before them".At another place he wrote, "Today, while on my way to school, Ivisited, as usual, the temples of Kāli, the Mother at Tharitharia, and of Mother Sitala, and paid my obeisance tothem." About twenty-five years after, when he met the Great Master in the spring of 1882, it was the sameinstinct of a born diary-writer that made him begin his book, 'unique in the literature of hagiography', with thememorable words: "When hearing the name of Hari or Rāma once, you shed tears and your hair stands on end,then you may know for certain that you do not have to perform devotions such as Sandhya any more."

4.Sri Ramakrishna knew that he was maintaining this diary and used to call him over and repeat what all he told the others in his absence,or he sent someone to call 'M' whenever he felt that 'M' needs to be there and not miss anything!When Ramachandra Datta and Tarak(Swami Shivananda)started keeping diary,Sri Ramakrishna had expressly told them not to maintain such records.Ramachandra datta had infact published the 'sayings of Sri Ramakrishna' in the lifetime of the Master but the Master asked him to desist from doing so.

5.Sri Ramakrishna told 'M':" Mother has told me that you have to do a little of Her work you will haveto teach Bhagavata, the word of God to humanity. The Mother keeps a Bhagavata Pandit with a bondage in theworld!"

6.Besides undergoing spiritual disciplines at the feet of the Master, M. used to go to holy places during the Master's life-time itself and afterwards too as a part of his Sādhanā. He was one of the earliest of the disciples to visitKamarpukur, the birthplace of the Master, in the latter's life-time itself; for he wished to practise contemplation onthe Master's early life in its true original setting. His experience there is described as follows by SwamiNityatmananda: "By the grace of the Master, he saw the entire Kamarpukur as a holy place bathed in an effulgentLight. Trees and creepers, beasts and birds and men all were made of effulgence. So he prostrated to all on theroad. He saw a torn cat, which appeared to him luminous with the Light of Consciousness. Immediately he fell tothe ground and saluted it".

7.Swami Vivekananda had also read the Kathamrita(not all the volumes)and was overjoyed.He wrote to 'M':
It is indeed wonderful. The move is quite original,and never was the life of a Great Teacher brought before the public untarnished by the writer's mind, as you aredoing. The language also is beyond all praise, so fresh, so pointed, and withal so plain and easy. I cannot expressin adequate terms how I have enjoyed them. I am really in a transport when I read them. Strange, isn't it? OurTeacher and Lord was so original, and each one of us will have to be original or nothing. I now understand whynone of us attempted His life before. It has been reserved for you, this great work. He is with you evidently.

I will post next on what M said about how The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna came to be written.



Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 15, 2012, 10:59:03 AM
Friends,
'M' as he styled himself was Mahendranath Gupta,a Householder Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna who came to the Master when he was 27 of Age.He was working as a Teacher in the High School started by the Famous Philanthrophist Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar.How M came to the garden at Dakshineswar lead by his nephew sidhu is a wonderful story by itself.Sidhu tells him that a paramahamsa lives there and together they land up in the Garden temple of Dakshinewar one evening .Actually M was quite depressed and had even contemplated suicide!It was here that they meet Sri Ramakrishna and the Kathamrita starts.M is captivated by the suka like appearance of Sri Ramakrishna and his words of nectar that in an instant put him on track and made him wanting to seek the company of the master and listen to his words more and more.M .being a family man could visit the Master only During weekends and holidays.How to spend the time away from the Master?M started noting down the happenings and conversations with the master in a Diary and used to time in contemplating it.Like Annamalai swami for Bhagavan,M Just Lived and breathed and spoke only the words of sri Ramakrishna-"What can I speak of but his words"!Even after the passing away of sri Ramakrishna this diary was with M and he had not intended it to be published.However after he happened to write a few conversations for a local magazine,people realized what a Gold mine was there and M was persuaded to write the complete work covering a period of 5 years by all his brother disciples.M yielded to this and brought out the final of the 5 part work and just after proof reading and sending it to the press ,M passed away in 1932.

Here is an interesting conversation where M tells Jagabandhu (later Swami Nityatmananda) how Kathamrita was written.Swami Nityatmananda was trained by 'M' to keep a similiar diary and this was brought out as a series of 15 volumes or so-recording conversations of M with other devotees.This conversation is from one such volumes:

M. is reading the proofs while Jagabandhu is holding the copy. In between he converses. Some bhaktas are coming, while the others leave. During the conversation, the subject
of three kinds of evidences of Thakur’s words comes up. So many people write about Thakur. Among these writings, how far each is valuable is commented upon.
M. (to Antevasi) – The first class of evidence is that which is recorded by the writer on the same day after seeing with his own eyes, and hearing with his own ears what
Thakur said or did. The second class is that which is recorded much later though it was heard and seen by the author himself. And the third class is that which was
collected by hearing from others. Along with it there is another class of evidence which one comes across at times. It can be termed as fourth class of evidence. The writer
has mixed up what he himselfWhat the writer himself heard and saw, but did not write it immediately, he has mixed it up with what he heard from somebody else.
M. (to Antevasi) – The Kathamrita is the first class evidence. What I saw Thakur doing with my own eyes and what great sayings I heard from my own ears, I recorded
them in my diary on the same day on returning home. Sometimes I wrote for days together, for there were long conversations on some particular days. I have recorded all
these divine sights and divine words in the Kathamrita. In the main part of the book, I was present in all the scenes narrated therein.
Antevasi – The reminiscences of Ashwini Dutt and the story of Baranagar Math etc. have also found a place in the Kathamrita.
M. – Not in the main text. They are written in the appendices. In the main book, there are all such direct evidences that I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own
ears.
"It is very valuable for the lawyers. They are cultured men, you see. Haven’t you seen what Ashwini Dutt has written? He says, ‘Am I so fortunate as M. that I could write
about Thakur giving the day of the week, the date and the position of the stars?’ Before writing about Thakur he has offered his apology by saying so. Please bring the
Kathamrita."
M. reads out what Ashwini Dutt, a devotee of God and a patriot, has written about Thakur. It forms the appendix to part I of the Kathamrita.
M. (to Jagabandhu) – Just hear what he says. He writes, ‘But I have not come with a fortune such as M. that I should be able to write the day, the date and the time of the
darshan of his holy feet and record exactly all that fell from his blessed lips. I am writing as far as I can remember. It is possible that I may assign the talk of one day to
some other day. Besides, I have forgotten so much.’
A Certain Bhakta – Swami Bhumananda said, ‘Master Mahashay has given three kinds of evidences to dishonour Sarat Maharaj’s Lila Prasanga (Sri Ramakrishna the
Great Master).’
M. (wonder-struck and sad) – What is this? How does he know why it was written? I don’t accept what he says. Let him say what he wants. Who can stop him?

continued....

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 15, 2012, 11:04:43 AM
M on his writing the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

M' on Kathamrita continued....

M. (to a devotee) – No other Aavatara had [a record] like this. It is not in the world history .
"Swami Vivekananda knew it. He wrote to me, ‘The move is quite original and never was the life of a great teacher brought before the public untarnished by the writer’s
mind as you are doing.’
"The other books which are coming out are all confusing because they contain second and third class evidences.
"This book is the first record in the world containing such an account of the conversations and life of an avatara.
"The coming out of the Kathamrita has done another big good. In future, whosoever writes a diary or a book shall be greatly benefited by knowing about these three classes
of evidences. While writing on any subject, they will be very careful while offering their opinion on it.
"Since ‘the Kathamrita’ has been written on the basis of first class evidence, the lawyers, the scientists and then the wWesterners will be able to appreciate the real value
of this book."
M. (to Antevasi) – Just read the page where these three classes of evidences are talked about.
Antevasi (reads) – (The main portions are).
"First — Direct and recorded on the same day... this kind of version is obtained by direct seeing and hearing — along with the year, the date, the day of the week and the
lunar date.
"Second — Direct but unrecorded at the time of the Master... this kind of version is also very good. The record of the other avataras is generally of this kind..... Herein
there is a greater possibility of mistakes than what is recorded immediately.
"Third — Hearsay and unrecorded at the time of the Master... what one hears about the life from the devotees, all belongs to the third class.
"At the time of the writing Sri Sri Kathamrita M. relied on the first class evidence…"
M. – All these volumes (of the Kathamrita) were written after so much of seeing and hearing. I had to read the Law of Evidence. They do not know it. If there is a slight
mistake in the evidence the whole value of it goes down.
M. (to Antevasi) – Haven’t you read the Law of Evidence, and the Criminal Procedure Code?
Antevasi – Yes Sir, I have read them the way one studies in colleges. I read in broad outlines.
M. – You have seen it. A slight mistake is detected in the evidence and it almost spoils the whole case. The lawyer says to the judge, ‘My Lord, he is not reliable.’
"The force that direct evidence has is not there in what one has heard from somebody. That is why, the judge asks, ‘Did you see it yourself? By seeing and hearing oneself
there is a greater force. And if one says, ‘I have heard it so,’ it has no force.
"I visited the court so often. By seeing and hearing all this I have arrived on this conclusion. (Laughing) W.C. Bannerji once said, ‘My Lord, he is an English speaking
witness.’ Such persons enjoy more respect. They are very reliable because when it goes into the hands of a translator some difference creeps in. It is not exactly the same
."


I will next post on What Aldous Huxley says in his foreword to the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 15, 2012, 11:07:07 AM
Friends,
This is what Aldous Huxley has to say in his foreword to The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna(English translation from the original Bengali):

IN THE HISTORY of the arts genius is a thing of very rare occurrence. Rarer still,
however, are the competent reporters and recorders of that genius. The world has had many
hundreds of admirable poets and philosophers; but of these hundreds only a very few have
had the fortune to attract a Boswell or an Eckermann.
When we leave the field of art for that of spiritual religion, the scarcity of competent
reporters becomes even more strongly marked. Of the day-to-day life of the great
theocentric saints and contemplatives we know, in the great majority of cases, nothing
whatever. Many, it is true, have recorded their doctrines in writing, and a few, such as St
Augustine, Suso and St. Teresa, have left us autobiographies of the greatest value. But, all
doctrinal writing is in some measure formal and impersonal, while the autobiographer tends
to omit what he regards as trifling matters and suffers from the further disadvantage of
being unable to say how he strikes other people and in what way he affects their lives.
Moreover, most saints have left neither writings nor self-portraits, and for knowledge of
their lives, their characters and their teachings, we are forced to rely upon the records made
by their disciples who, in most cases, have proved themselves singularly incompetent as
reporters and biographers. Hence the special interest attaching to this enormously detailed
account of the daily life and conversations of Sri Ramakrishna.
"M", as the author modestly styles himself, was peculiarly qualified for his task. To a
reverent love for his master, to a deep and experiential knowledge of that master's teaching,
he added a prodigious memory for the small happenings of each day and a happy gift for
recording them in an interesting and realistic way. Making good use of his natural gifts and
of the circumstances in which he found himself, "M" produced a book unique, so far as my
knowledge goes, in the literature of hagiography. No other saint has had so able and
indefatigable a Boswell. Never have the small events of a contemplative's daily life been
described with such a wealth of intimate detail. Never have the casual and unstudied
utterances of a great religious teacher been set down with so minute a fidelity. To Western
readers, it is true, this fidelity and this wealth of detail are sometimes a trifle disconcerting;
for the social, religious and intellectual frames of reference within which Sri Ramakrishna
did his thinking and expressed his feelings were entirely Indian. But after the first few
surprises and bewilderments, we begin to find something peculiarly stimulating and
instructive about the very strangeness and, to our eyes, the eccentricity of the man revealed
to us in "M's" narrative. What a scholastic philosopher would call the "accidents" of
Ramakrishna's life were intensely Hindu and therefore, so far as we in the West are
concerned, unfamiliar and hard to understand; its "essence", however, was intensely
mystical and therefore universal. To read through these conversations in which mystical
doctrine alternates with an unfamiliar kind of humour, and where discussions of the oddest
aspects of Hindu mythology give place to the most profound and subtle utterances about the
nature of Ultimate Reality, is in itself a liberal, education in humility, tolerance and
suspense of judgment. We must be grateful to the translator for his excellent version of a
book so curious and delightful as a biographical document, so precious, at the same time,
for what it teaches us of the life of the spirit.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 15, 2012, 07:10:52 PM
Dear sri Ravi,

I have begun to visualise Thakur and his disciples, in that environments. How nice feeling it is. It is a great boon to be with a Guru. I wonder would we find True Guru these days.

Have you been to Belur math? have you seen Sri Ramakrishna's place, house, where he lived? It must be such wonderful feeling, i can imagine, having been to Bhagavan's ashramam, in old hall, skandashramam, virupaksha cave, etc...

May we all be blessed by the Guru Paramparas.

The very remembrance of these places in my mind makes me feel purified.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 15, 2012, 11:08:15 PM
Nagaraj/Friends,
you stir the deepest chord in me by posing those questions.Yes,I have been to Kamarpukur,Birth place of Sri Ramakrishna and jayarambAti,birth place of our Holy Mother Sri Saradamani Devi.It was in 1979 when I was in calcutta on official work for a duration of 3 Months.On weekends I will be mostly in Dakshineswar and thAkur's small room used to be my favourite haunt after paying obeisance to Divine Mother KAli.An absolutely charming Place,although crowded and the path leading to the temple is as dusty and dirty and crowded as well.Yet who cares about all that -to sit in the place haloed by the feet of the Great Master is a Great boon.It was during that time I decided to visit Kamarpukur and Jayarambati.I boarded a Rickety bus that took me to kamarpukur -what a privilege to see the Master's birthplace and his parental house!After spending 2 hours in that place I proceeded to Jayarambati reaching there around 18:30 hrs when the evening Arati(vespers)was going on.I just sat in front of the Mother's temple after the vespers were over and decided to spend the night there.Jayarambati and kamarpukur are small villages with mud houses.
The Swamiji who was in charge of the Ramakrishna Mutt noticed my sitting there and asked me about my whereabouts.I simply told him that I have come to visist Holy Mother's birthplace and do not mind spending the Night in the temple.I told him that I would return the next day.The Swamiji was all kindness and took me inside the ashram opposite the Shrine and gave me a room and I took it as Holy Mother's blessing .The swamiji gave me some fruits and sweets and that was my dinner.In the Morning ,after a bath I asked to be shown Holy Mother's hut made of clay and Haystack!What a magical place and what a joy to visit the Birthplace of our Simple and Beloved Holy Mother!One of her Great grand nephew was there and how lovingly he touched my chin and kissed.This is how Our Holy Mother would greet her children.What a simple setting and how blessed is that place!I Returned to calcutta after this wonderful trip.
Yes I have visisted Belur Math and Dakshineswar .As you say,the very remembrance is purifying and in itself is sadhana.My earliest recollection of Thakur goes back to 1960 when I was a boy of 5 and my father was posted in Calcutta and had taken me to Dakshineswar and Belur Mutt.We were in calcutta for 2 years then.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 15, 2012, 11:10:59 PM
Friends,
Here is a snap of Kamarpukur,Birthplace of Sri Ramakrishna.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 16, 2012, 08:04:41 AM
Dear Ravi Sir,

So beautiful. wish some day, i would be able to go there. I wonder in amazement, for I have been to Ramanshramam, i felt, i have been there before, it looked so familiar. The same, I felt, when I first went to Sringeri, Narasimhavanam, it felt so familiar, again, i felt, as though, I had already been there before, and, again, when I see the thatched hut of Sri Ramakrishnar, it looks all familiar, i am able to sense the vibes of the environment, the air, the breeze, the touch of the soil.

They are all One.

Gratitude.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 16, 2012, 09:00:08 AM
Nagaraj/Friends,
you stir the deepest chord in me by posing those questions.Yes,I have been to Kamarpukur,Birth place of Sri Ramakrishna and jayarambAti,birth place of our Holy Mother Sri Saradamani Devi.It was in 1979 when I was in calcutta on official work for a duration of 3 Months.On weekends I will be mostly in Dakshineswar and thAkur's small room used to be my favourite haunt after paying obeisance to Divine Mother KAli.An absolutely charming Place,although crowded and the path leading to the temple is as dusty and dirty and crowded as well.Yet who cares about all that -to sit in the place haloed by the feet of the Great Master is a Great boon.It was during that time I decided to visit Kamarpukur and Jayarambati.I boarded a Rickety bus that took me to kamarpukur -what a privilege to see the Master's birthplace and his parental house!After spending 2 hours in that place I proceeded to Jayarambati reaching there around 18:30 hrs when the evening Arati(vespers)was going on.I just sat in front of the Mother's temple after the vespers were over and decided to spend the night there.Jayarambati and kamarpukur are small villages with mud houses.
The Swamiji who was in charge of the Ramakrishna Mutt noticed my sitting there and asked me about my whereabouts.I simply told him that I have come to visist Holy Mother's birthplace and do not mind spending the Night in the temple.I told him that I would return the next day.The Swamiji was all kindness and took me inside the ashram opposite the Shrine and gave me a room and I took it as Holy Mother's blessing .The swamiji gave me some fruits and sweets and that was my dinner.In the Morning ,after a bath I asked to be shown Holy Mother's hut made of clay and Haystack!What a magical place and what a joy to visit the Birthplace of our Simple and Beloved Holy Mother!One of her Great grand nephew was there and how lovingly he touched my chin and kissed.This is how Our Holy Mother would greet her children.What a simple setting and how blessed is that place!I Returned to calcutta after this wonderful trip.
Yes I have visisted Belur Math and Dakshineswar .As you say,the very remembrance is purifying and in itself is sadhana.My earliest recollection of Thakur goes back to 1960 when I was a boy of 5 and my father was posted in Calcutta and had taken me to Dakshineswar and Belur Mutt.We were in calcutta for 2 years then.
Namaskar.

What a benediction! how truly blessed Sir, you are! Just to read, from here, gives such immense peace. How really wonderful.

Gratitude, gratitude, once again..

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 16, 2012, 12:20:19 PM
Nagaraj,
Thanks for your kind words.I recommend to you two excellent books of the Great devotee Sri rA Ganapathi,who passed away recently on sivaratri day .He had compiled the 8 volumes of Deivathin Kural,tals of our kAnchi mahAswami.
These are :
1.arivukkanale arutpunale-on the Life of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda

2.ammA-Biography of our Holy Mother Sri SAradAmani Devi.

These are among the Best books on the life of the Trio.rA Ganapathi has gathered the facts from many sources like a honeybee extracting honey and has presented the lives of these Great ones with honey like Devotion that can melt our very bones.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 16, 2012, 04:53:55 PM
Dear i,

Thanks for the references. i do have a couple of volumes of Deivathin Kural, i guess, every family, which had some connection with Maha Periyava, would definitely have this 'pokkisham'. i am now impelled to get all the other volumes as well :)

When i make my next trip to Ramakrishna math, i shall surely look for these books. though i prefer english books, as i only known basic tamil, in depth, reading, would be very difficult for me. having all my schooling in bangalore, i never got opportunity to learn tamil academically (which i regret so much) but, over the years, i have some how managed to learn tamil to a decent extent where by i am able to read essential articles.

I have got myself the gospel of Sri Ramakrishnar :) as of now.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 16, 2012, 05:38:38 PM
Nagaraj,
Very happy that you have deivathin kural with you.What a treasure trove!Is there anything that is not there?

Coming to the books by rA ganapathi-they are not difficult to read.If you can manage deivathin Kural,you will be in a position to read these books.It is a good idea if someone can read and we listen to it as well.The bhAva that ganapathi brings in his writing has to be savoured.Not even the Original 'Sri Ramakrishna ,the Great Master' by swami saradananda ,a direct disciple of the Master matches rA Ganapathi in this aspect.The Books may not be available with R K Mutt.I will check and get back.

Very Happy to know that you have got the Gospel of sri Ramakrishna-What a treasure.You may also be able to download it as a pdf document from some site;or else you may contact me-my email id:niveditahr@rediffmail.com
I will mail you this copy.It helps to share excerpts with other devotees.

Forgot to mention that sringeri,I have heard is a wonderfully inspiring place.I have never been there.Our salutations to all the great ones.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 16, 2012, 06:27:54 PM
Dear i,

This is most motivating  :) :

Coming to the books by rA ganapathi-they are not difficult to read.If you can manage deivathin Kural,you will be in a position to read these books.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 17, 2012, 01:36:09 PM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

About this time he began to worship God by assuming the attitude of a servant toward his
master. He imitated the mood of Hanuman, the monkey chieftain of the Ramayana, the
ideal servant of Rama and traditional model for this self-effacing form of devotion. When
he meditated on Hanuman his movements and his way of life began to resemble those of a
monkey. His eyes became restless. He lived on fruits and roots. With his cloth tied around
his waist, a portion of it hanging in the form of a tail, he jumped from place to place instead
of walking. And after a short while he was blessed with a vision of Sita, the divine consort
of Rama, who entered his body and disappeared there with the words, "I bequeath to you
my smile."
Mathur had faith in the sincerity of Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual zeal, but began now to
doubt his sanity. He had watched him jumping about like a monkey. One day, when Rani
Rasmani was listening to Sri Ramakrishna's singing in the temple, the young priest abruptly
turned and slapped her. Apparently listening to his song, she had actually been thinking of a
lawsuit. She accepted the punishment as though the Divine Mother Herself had imposed it;
but Mathur was distressed. He begged Sri Ramakrishna to keep his feelings under control
and to heed the conventions of society. God Himself, he argued, follows laws. God never
permitted, for instance, flowers of two colours to grow on the same stalk. The following
day Sri Ramakrishna presented Mathur Babu with two hibiscus flowers growing on the
same stalk, one red and one white.
Mathur and Rani Rasmani began to ascribe the mental ailment of Sri Ramakrishna in part,
at least, to his observance of rigid continence. Thinking that a natural life would relax the
tension of his nerves, they engineered a plan with two women of ill fame. But as soon as
the women entered his room, Sri Ramakrishna beheld in them the manifestation of the
Divine Mother of the Universe and went into samadhi uttering Her name.
Haladhari
In 1858 there came to Dakshineswar a cousin of Sri Ramakrishna, Haladhari by name, who
was to remain there about eight years. On account of Sri Ramakrishna's indifferent health,
Mathur appointed this man to the office of priest in the Kali temple. He was a complex
character, versed in the letter of the scriptures, but hardly aware of their spirit. He loved to
participate in hair-splitting theological discussions and, by the measure of his own
erudition, he proceeded to gauge Sri Ramakrishna. An orthodox brahmin, he thoroughly
disapproved of his cousin's unorthodox actions, but he was not unimpressed by Sri
Ramakrishna's purity of life, ecstatic love of God, and yearning for realization.
One day Haladhari upset Sri Ramakrishna with the statement that God is incomprehensible
to the human mind. Sri Ramakrishna has described the great moment of doubt when he
wondered whether his visions had really misled him: "With sobs I prayed to the Mother,
'Canst Thou have the heart to deceive me like this because I am a fool?' A stream of tears
flowed from my eyes. Shortly afterwards I saw a volume of mist rising from the floor and
filling the space before me. In the midst of it there appeared a face with flowing beard,
calm, highly expressive, and fair. Fixing its gaze steadily upon me, it said solemnly,
'Remain in bhavamukha, on the threshold of relative consciousness.' This it repeated three
times and then it gently disappeared in the mist, which itself dissolved. This vision
reassured me."
A garbled report of Sri Ramakrishna's failing health, indifference to worldly life, and
various abnormal activities reached Kamarpukur and filled the heart of his poor mother
with anguish. At her repeated request he returned to his village for a change of air. But his
boyhood friends did not interest him any more. A divine fever was consuming him. He
spent a great part of the day and night in one of the cremation grounds, in meditation. The
place reminded him of the impermanence of the human body, of human hopes and
achievements. It also reminded him of Kali, the Goddess of destruction.

to be continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 17, 2012, 03:24:57 PM
Dear Ravi,

I have never been to Kolkata. Your photographs of kamArpukur and jayarampati made me remember what ever little I have read
about Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Vivekananda and Holy Mother. Thanks.

Arunachala Siva. 
 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 18, 2012, 07:39:40 AM
Subramanian,
Thanks very much.As I had posted earlier,the two books by rA ganapathi in Tamizh are truly excellent and inspirational.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 18, 2012, 07:44:26 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Marriage and After

But in a few months his health showed improvement, and he recovered to some extent his
natural buoyancy of spirit. His happy mother was encouraged to think it might be a good
time to arrange his marriage. The boy was now twenty-three years old. A wife would bring
him back to earth. And she was delighted when her son welcomed her suggestion. Perhaps
he saw in it the finger of God.
Saradamani, a little girl of five, lived in the neighbouring village of Jayrambati. Even at this
age she had been praying to God to make her character as stainless and fragrant as the
white tuberose. Looking at the full moon, she would say: "O God, there are dark spots even
on the moon. But make my character spotless." It was she who was selected as the bride for
Sri Ramakrishna.
The marriage ceremony was duly performed. Such early marriage in India is in the nature
of a betrothal, the marriage being consummated when the girl attains puberty. But in this
case the marriage remained forever unconsummated. Sri Ramakrishna lived at Kamarpukur
about a year and a half and then returned to Dakshineswar.
Hardly had he crossed the threshold of the Kali temple when he found himself again in the
whirlwind. His madness reappeared tenfold. The same meditation and prayer, the same
ecstatic moods, the same burning sensation, the same weeping, the same sleeplessness, the
same indifference to the body and the outside world, the same divine delirium. He
subjected himself to fresh disciplines in order to eradicate greed and lust, the two great
impediments to spiritual progress. With a rupee in one hand and some earth in the other, he
would reflect on the comparative value of these two for the realization of God, and finding
them equally worthless he would toss them, with equal indifference, into the Ganges.
Women he regarded as the manifestations of the Divine Mother. Never even in a dream did
he feel the impulses of lust. And to root out of his mind the idea of caste superiority, he
cleaned a pariah's house with his long and neglected hair. When he would sit in meditation,
birds would perch on his head and peck in his hair for grains of food. Snakes would crawl
over his body, and neither would he aware of the other. Sleep left him altogether. Day and
night, visions flitted before him.
Rani Rasmani, the foundress of the temple garden, passed away in 1861. After her death
her son-in-law Mathur became the sole executor of the estate. He placed himself and his
resources at the disposal of Sri Ramakrishna and began to look after his physical comfort.
Sri Ramakrishna later spoke of him as one of his five "suppliers of stores" appointed by the
Divine Mother. Whenever a desire arose in his mind, Mathur fulfilled it without hesitation.

To be continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 19, 2012, 07:06:05 AM
Friends,
An Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
M: "When one sees God does one see Him with these eyes?"
MASTER: "God cannot be seen with these physical eyes. In the course of spiritual
discipline one gets a 'love body', endowed with 'love eyes', 'love ears', and so on. One sees
God with those 'love eyes'. One hears the voice of God with those 'love ears'. One even gets
a sexual organ made of love."
At these words M. burst out laughing. The Master continued, unannoyed, "With this 'love
body' the soul communes with God."
M. again became serious.
Seeing God everywhere
MASTER: "But this is not possible without intense love of God. One sees nothing but God
everywhere when one loves Him with great intensity. It is like a person with jaundice, who
sees everything yellow. Then one feels, 'I am verily He'.
"A drunkard, deeply intoxicated, says, 'Verily I am Kali!' The gopis, intoxicated with love,
exclaimed, 'Verily I am Krishna!'
"One who thinks of God, day and night, beholds Him everywhere. It is like a man's seeing
flames on all sides after he has gazed fixedly at one flame for some time."
"But that isn't the real flame", flashed through M.'s mind.
Sri Ramakrishna, who could read a man's inmost thought, said: "One doesn't lose
consciousness by thinking of Him who is all Spirit, all Consciousness. Shivanath once
remarked that too much thinking about God confounds the brain. Thereupon I said to him,
'How can one become unconscious by thinking of Consciousness?' "
M: "Yes, sir, I realize that. It isn't like thinking of an unreal object. How can a man lose his
intelligence if he always fixes his mind on Him whose very nature is eternal Intelligence?"
MASTER (with pleasure): "It is through God's grace that you understand that. The doubts
of the mind will not disappear without His grace. Doubts do not disappear without Selfrealization.
"But one need not fear anything if one has received the grace of God. It is rather easy for a
child to stumble if he holds his father's hand; but there can be no such fear if the father
holds the child's hand. A man does not have to suffer any more if God, in His grace,
removes his doubts and reveals Himself to him. But this grace descends upon him only
after he has prayed to God with intense yearning of heart and practised spiritual discipline
.
The mother feels compassion for her child when she sees him running about breathlessly.
She has been hiding herself; now she appears before the child."
"But why should God make us run about?" thought M
Immediately Sri Ramakrishna said: "It is His will that we should run about a little. Then it
is great fun. God has created the world in play, as it were. This is called Mahamaya, the
Great Illusion. Therefore one must take refuge in the Divine Mother, the Cosmic Power
Itself. It is She who has bound us with the shackles of illusion. The realization of God is
possible only when those shackles are severed."

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 19, 2012, 08:20:25 AM
Dear i,

what was Sri Ramakrsihanar's views on sanyasam. i have read few articles about how even householders too can attain god, but what were his teachings about sanyasam. what were his instructions to the ones who are un married, and have strong intense desire to only attain God. It would be great if you could shed some light on Ramakrishan Order as well. How is the life of a monk, their regulations, etc...

Bhagavan has said, what is really required is internal sanyasam. When Kunju Swami had taken sanyasam from somebody, with some ananada name, Bhagavan made fun of him and said, for him, he is Kunju only! :)

Why I am asking this is because, times havee changed very significantly, since both great Masters. Today, the external world is much more different from what could even have been expected some 60 years back, when even Bhagavan was there. So there arises a need to know the way out, for the ones who do not want to get married.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 19, 2012, 09:08:31 AM
Nagaraj,
I will respond to your query about Ramakrishna Mutt and Monks briefly.The Motto is Atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha,
'For one's own salvation and for the welfare of the world', formulated by Swami Vivekananda.You may read here:
http://www.belurmath.org/Ideology.htm (http://www.belurmath.org/Ideology.htm)
Those who are inclined towards such ideals and are inspired do join such organizations.There are some Great ones who fit in perfectly.However,my take on this is to steer clear of these organizations;why?For this reason that any Organization cannot avoid structure,Hierarchy with posts like President,Vice-president,Secreatary,etc.The 'World' is very much there and perhaps even more so!I will later on post what Kavi Yogi shuddhananda bharati wrote me;I have to dig out the letter,it is stored somewhere very safe!
The inner renunciation is key and this has always been so.Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of sri Ramakrishna where the Master emphasizes the need for continence.This is true for both Sanyasis and Householders.
Practice of continence
"To be able to realize God, one must practise absolute continence. Sages like Sukadeva are
examples of an urdhvareta. Their chastity was absolutely unbroken. There is another class,
who previously have had discharges of semen but who later on have controlled them. A
man controlling the seminal fluid for twelve years develops a special power. He grows a
new inner nerve called the nerve of memory. Through that nerve he remembers all, he
understands all.
"Loss of semen impairs the strength. But it does not injure one if one loses it in a dream.
That semen one gets from food. What remains after nocturnal discharge is enough. But one
must not know a woman.
"The semen that remains after nocturnal discharge is very 'refined'. The Lahas kept jars of
molasses in their house. Every jar had a hole in it. After a year they found that the molasses
had crystallized like sugar candy. The unnecessary watery part had leaked out through the
hole.
Sannyasi's absolute self-control
"A sannyasi must absolutely renounce woman. You are already involved; but that doesn't
matter.
"A sannyasi must not look even at the picture of a woman. But this is too difficult for an
ordinary man. Sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni are the seven notes of the scale. It is not possible to
keep your voice on 'ni' a long time.
"To lose semen is extremely harmful for a sannyasi. Therefore he must live so carefully
that he will not have to see the form of a woman. He must keep himself away from a
woman even if she is a devotee of God. It is injurious for him to look even at the picture of
a woman. He will lose semen in a dream, if not in the waking state.
"A sannyasi may have control over his senses, but to set an example to mankind he should
not talk with women. He must not talk to one very long, even if she is a devotee of God. .
"Living as a sannyasi is like observing the ekadasi without drinking even a drop of water.
There are two other ways of observing the day. You may eat fruit or take luchi. and curry.
With the luchi and curry you may also take slices of bread soaked in milk. (All laugh.)
(Smiling) "Absolute fasting is not possible for you.
"Once I saw Krishnakishore eating luchi and curry on an ekadasi day. I said to Hriday,
'Hridu, I want to observe Krishnakishore's ekadasi!' (All laugh.) And so I did one day. I ate
my fill. The next day I had to fast." (Laughter)

The Master is just highlighting the intense and unadulterated renunciation that a sanyasi should practice.In actual Practice,Sanyasis have to live in this world and interact with people,both men and women.Such a 'isolated' existence is no longer possible nor desirable.The key to all this is -inner Renunciation whether it be a snnyasi or householder.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 19, 2012, 10:39:02 AM
Dear i,

Thank you. Your post is extremely helpful for me.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 19, 2012, 11:22:17 AM
Dear i,

These guidelines are very important for each sadhaka, who is sincerely seeking liberation. Some quick references, that i came about with. Friends kindly suggest any points which may be of importance that can be included in this list.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 19, 2012, 11:43:14 AM
To add to Nagaraj garu's post, JIvanmuktha will exhibit all these qualities, but exhibiting all these does not make you Jivanmuktha :). So it is important when practicing these qualities to clearly know that practicing those is not what is important - else you get stuck in Karma kanda (be it gold chain or iron chain). Gold chain is stronger in fact.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 19, 2012, 12:53:46 PM
Dear i,

JIvanmuktha will exhibit all these qualities, but exhibiting all these does not make you Jivanmuktha :). So it is important when practicing these qualities to clearly know that practicing those is not what is important - else you get stuck in Karma kanda (be it gold chain or iron chain). Gold chain is stronger in fact.

Now that I have started reading the Gospel :) , here is one very pertinent instruction from the Master:

The "servant I"

MASTER: "It is true that one or two can get rid of the 'I' through samādhi; but these cases are very rare. You may indulge in thousands of reasonings, but still the 'I' comes back. You may cut the peepal-tree to the very root today, but you will notice a sprout springing up tomorrow. Therefore if the 'I' must remain, let the rascal remain as the 'servant I'. As long as you live, you should say, 'O God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant.' The 'I' that feels, 'I am the servant of God, I am His devotee' does not injure one. Sweet things cause acidity of the stomach, no doubt, but sugar candy is an exception.

"The path of knowledge is very difficult. One cannot obtain Knowledge unless one gets rid of the feeling that one is the body. In the Kaliyuga the life of man is centred on food. He cannot get rid of the feeling that he is the body and the ego. Therefore the path of devotion is prescribed for this cycle.

This is an easy path. You will attain God if you sing His name and glories and pray to Him with a longing heart. There is not the least doubt about it.

"Suppose you draw a line on the surface of water with a bamboo stick. The water appears to be divided into two parts; but the line doesn't remain for any length of time. The 'servant I'or the 'devotee I' or the 'child I' is only a line drawn with the ego and is not real".



When the arati plate offered to Arunachaleswarar was brought to Bhagavan by Ashram devotees and Sri Bhagavan took a little Vibhuti (holy ashes) and applied it to his forehead, saying in an undertone “Appakku Pillai Adakkam” (The son is beholden to the father). His voice seemed choked with emotion as he spoke. The expression on his face proved the ancient saying “bhakti poornathaya Jnanam” (the culmination of devotion is knowledge).

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 19, 2012, 06:24:02 PM

All spiritual practices are only for chitta suddhi. Self inquiry becomes easy, when chitta suddhi is achieved and mind is in pure
sattva state.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 19, 2012, 09:52:16 PM
Nagaraj,
Yes ,the checklist that you have mentioned are sine quo non.You have also come out with a wonderful excerpt from The gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.The Gospel is full of such practical advice that all can follow.To read it is to be in the company of the Master.An excerpt:

Saturday, December 6, 1884
Adhar

Adhar, a great devotee of Sri Ramakrishna, lived in Sobha bazar in the northern
section of Calcutta. Almost every day, after finishing his hard work at the office and
returning home in the late afternoon, he paid Sri Ramakrishna a visit. From his home in
Calcutta he would go to Dakshineswar in a hired carriage. His sole delight was to visit the
Master. But he would hear very little of what Sri Ramakrishna said; for, after saluting the
Master and visiting the temples, he would lie down, at the Master's request, on a mat
spread on the floor and would soon fall asleep. At nine or ten o'clock he would be
awakened to return home. However, he considered himself blessed to be able to visit the
God-man of Dakshineswar
. At Adhar's request Sri Ramakrishna often visited his home. His
visits were occasions for religious festivals. Devotees in large numbers would assemble,
and Adhar would feed them sumptuously. One day, while Sri Ramakrishna was visiting his
home, Adhar said to him: "Sir, you haven't come to our house for a long time. The rooms
seemed gloomy; they had a musty smell. But today the whole house is cheerful; the
sweetness of your presence fills the atmosphere. Today I called on God earnestly. I even
shed tears while praying. "Is that so?" the Master said tenderly, casting a kindly glance on
his disciple
.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 19, 2012, 10:05:43 PM
Dear i,

these small moments of joy fills ones heart completely, no complications, no nothing, just joy...

Today I called on God earnestly. I even shed tears while praying. "Is that so?" the Master said tenderly, casting a kindly glance on his disciple.

When we sit back, and look calmly, is this not what we are all looking for? from exercising all our efforts in various sadhanas. How wonderful. One can experience the brimming joy from within :)

The Glace of master reminded me of this picture of Bhagavan immediately:

(http://www.messagefrommasters.com/Life_of_Masters/Ramana-Maharshi/Ramana_Maharshi_Quotes.jpg)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 19, 2012, 10:28:43 PM
Grace Poured Forth to Kanakamma from Ramana's Look

This incident took place when Bhagavan had moved into the new hall. During those days, the front row closest to Bhagavan was reserved for important people, although Bhagavan did not know about it. There was a specific unspoken seating arrangement and others who occupied those places would even be asked to go and sit elsewhere. On this day, Rani Mazumdar and myself were sitting by the window at the end of the hall when we noticed that the front row was empty. Rani suggested that the two of us could sit there close to Bhagavan. I agreed. The front row would begin at the pillars closest to Bhagavan's couch. No one could sit right beside the couch in order to give people room to move about. On seeing the two of us, a telugu lady called Kameswaramma also came and sat next to us in the front row. The three of us were directly facing Bhagavan.

As soon as we had settled there, Bhagavan began looking directly at me. Unable to bear the intensity of his direct look, I immediately closed my eyes. How long I remained like that I do not know, but sometime later, I opened my eyes and found Bhagavan seated motionless looking at me just as before. Again I closed my eyes. Sometime later, Mauni Srinivasa Rao came with the day's mail. Hearing Bhagavan talk to him, I opened my eyes. However, I was still in the same state that I was in when my eyes were closed and whatever was happening didn't really register in my mind. After attending to the correspondence, Bhagavan got up to leave for the cow shed. I got up along with everybody else but again without any real awareness of my surroundings.

Kameswaramma, who was sitting next to me, hugged me and said, "Kanakamma, you are extremely fortunate. Ever since you sat there, Bhagavan has been steadily looking directly at you up until the Mauni came with the mail. You have got everything. Bhagavan has given you all that you need." So saying, she hugged me close to her. But I was in no state to give a reply. I just told her, "Tears are streaming down my eyes. I don't know what to say." The waves of peace coming over me kept me from talking.

Glance of Guru shakes one to tremble in joy!

(Srimati Kanakamma)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 20, 2012, 08:02:15 AM
Nagaraj,
wonderful photograph of Sri Bhagavan and story of Kanakamma!This is 'Direct' path for me.No need for any interpretation,no room for the mind.It is the same with The Gospel of sri Ramakrishna-The Master speaks to us directly in everyday language;no technical jargon.Even a child can understand and practice;no need for Swami Vivekananda or anyone else  to come and interpret!Whatever one needs to understand will be revealed directly.We will find the Master saying over and over again:

MASTER: "Is it possible to understand God's action and His motive? He creates, He
preserves, and He destroys. Can we ever understand why He destroys? I say to the Divine
Mother: 'O Mother, I do not need to understand. Please give me love for Thy Lotus Feet.'
The aim of human life is to attain bhakti. As for other things, the Mother knows best. I have
come to the garden to eat mangoes. What is the use of my calculating the number of trees,
branches, and leaves? I only eat the mangoes; I don't need to know the number of trees and
leaves.
"

To read the Gospel is to rid ourselves of all sophistry,all learned ignorance and be a child again,as amritasyaputras.Please find a photograph of the Master in Samadhi ,in Keshab Chandra sen's house in 1879.Holding him from behind is his nephew Hriday.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 20, 2012, 10:32:54 AM
Dear i,

What thrill and joy would the people around the Master have felt :)

Absolutely, i too, now see, the same, as you see, that there is no need for any interpretation, yes, not even Swami Vivekananda. The same too, with Bhagavan, there is a direct connection between each one of us and the Guru, really no need of any thing in between, no need of ulladu naarpadu, etc... no need of anything, provided one recognises that there is no bridge required between each one of us and Eashwara, Guru, Atma.

What is required before the Sun? when we recognise the massiveness of the Sun? In the presence of sun, small lamps are engulfed by the Sun itself. But, we ignore the Sun while watching the small lamps.

By dropping all our luggage and plans to do this and that in order to see Him, he reveals Himself immediately. This itself is Jnana.

Jnana is truly Bhakti, Bhakti is truly Jnana. Yes, truly, it is all about getting rid of our sophistry. We have to become like the suckling babies. like the monkeys, like Cow Lakshmi, like the Karuppan Dog.

We have to reach out by the heart, From Hridayam to Hridayam as Hridayam, From Heart to Heart as Heart.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 20, 2012, 01:47:47 PM
Dear Nagaraj, Ravi,

Smt. Kanakammal's  parents took her to Kanchi Mahaswami one day. Kanakamml herself was a great devotee of Kanchi
Mahaswami. The parents told Mahaswami: She wants to live in Tiruvannamalai...We have been telling her to stay if she
wants, in Kanchipuram......

 Mahaswami said: AngeyAna  enna?
IngeyAna enna?

'What if, it is there or here?'

Then He asked Kanakammal:  ekanta vAsamo?  (you are going to live alone?)

                                               swyam pAgamo?  (You are going to cook your food yourself?)

                                               Atma vicharamo?  (Your are going to do atma vichara?)

Kanakammal smiled and said: AmA...AmA...AmA. 

He then smiled and gave prasadam.  Thus Kanakammal came to live in
Tiruvannamalai.

*

I vividly remember Sri Bhagavan's Jayanti Day which fell on 01.01.2010. The crowds were swelling. Abhishekam and
alankaram were going on. Kanakammal had come in a car from rear gate.  She came and when the crowd made way
for her, she came close to Sri Ramneswara Maha Lingam and prostrated to Him. She never got up again.

What a glorious affirmation of Sri Bhagavan's Grace to take Kanakammal to His golden feet on that chosen day.

My wife and I remained there spell bound.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 20, 2012, 04:13:25 PM
Dear i,

very moving experience. When we look at devotees such as Kanakamaal, it really makes us very humble. It awakens us, in a way, that, we still have a long way to go. Such a great soul was Kanakammal. After this incident, when i got opportunity to visit Arunachala, i recollected your narration and went through the experience at the Samadhi Hall. It felt, so blessed...

reading the memories of devotees such as Kanakammal, Muruganar, TKS, Devaraja Mudaliyar, Suri Nagamma, and so many others, how much gratitude we show to them, would still be lesser, for the kind of treasures that they have left behind - memories of Bhagavan. Similarly, with Sri Ramakrishnar as well,  'M' Mahendranath Gupta - what kind of treasures, we have today in our hands.

This is enough, this is enough... to pass our life.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on April 20, 2012, 06:45:58 PM
Sri Ravi, what is Sri Ramakrishna's view on what happens to the soul after death? Many things are said about it. I want to know and His statement.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 20, 2012, 06:48:10 PM
The Story Of Sri Ramakrishna continued....
The Bhairavi Brahmani
There came to Dakshineswar at this time a brahmin woman who was to play an important
part in Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual unfoldment. Born in East Bengal, she was an adept in the
Tantrik and Vaishnava methods of worship. She was slightly over fifty years of age,
handsome, and garbed in the orange robe of a nun. Her sole possessions were a few books
and two pieces of wearing-cloth.
Sri Ramakrishna welcomed the visitor with great respect, described to her his experiences
and visions, and told her of people's belief that these were symptoms of madness. She
listened to him attentively and said: "My son, everyone in this world is mad. Some are mad
for money, some for creature comforts, some for name and fame; and you are mad for
God." She assured him that he was passing through the almost unknown spiritual
experience described in the scriptures as mahabhava, the most exalted rapture of divine
love. She told him that this extreme exaltation had been described as manifesting itself
through nineteen physical symptoms, including the shedding of tears, a tremor of the body,
horripilation, perspiration, and a burning sensation. The Bhakti scriptures, she declared, had
recorded only two instances of the experience, namely, those of Sri Radha and Sri
Chaitanya.
Very soon a tender relationship sprang up between Sri Ramakrishna and the Brahmani, she
looking upon him as the Baby Krishna, and he upon her as mother. Day after day, she
watched his ecstasy during the kirtan and meditation, his samadhi, his mad yearning; and
she recognized in him a power to transmit spirituality to others. She came to the conclusion
that such things were not possible for an ordinary devotee, not even for a highly developed
soul. Only an Incarnation of God was capable of such spiritual manifestations. She
proclaimed openly that Sri Ramakrishna, like Sri Chaitanya, was an Incarnation of God.
When Sri Ramakrishna told Mathur what the Brahmani had said about him, Mathur shook
his head in doubt. He was reluctant to accept him as an Incarnation of God, an Avatar
comparable to Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Chaitanya, though he admitted Sri
Ramakrishna's extraordinary spirituality. Whereupon the Brahmani asked Mathur to
arrange a conference of scholars who should discuss the matter with her. He agreed to the
proposal and the meeting was arranged. It was to be held in the natmandir in front of the
Kali temple.
Two famous pundits of the time were invited: Vaishnavcharan, the leader of the Vaishnava
society, and Gauri. The first to arrive was Vaishnavcharan, with a distinguished company
of scholars and devotees. The Brahmani, like a proud mother, proclaimed her view before
him and supported it with quotations from the scriptures. As the pundits discussed the deep
theological question, Sri Ramakrishna, perfectly indifferent to everything happening around
him, sat in their midst like a child, immersed in his own thoughts, sometimes smiling,
sometimes chewing a pinch of spices from a pouch, or again saying to Vaishnavcharan with
a nudge: "Look here. Sometimes I feel like this, too." Presently Vaishnavcharan arose to
declare himself in total agreement with the view of the Brahmani. He declared that Sri
Ramakrishna had undoubtedly experienced mahabhava and that this was the certain sign of
the rare manifestation of God in a man. The people assembled there, especially the officers
of the temple garden, were struck dumb. Sri Ramakrishna said to Mathur, like a boy: "Just
fancy, he too says so! Well, I am glad to learn that after all it is not a disease."
When, a few days later, Pundit Gauri arrived, another meeting was held, and he agreed with
the view of the Brahmani and Vaishnavcharan. To Sri Ramakrishna's remark that
Vaishnavcharan had declared him to be an Avatar, Gauri replied: "Is that all he has to say
about you? Then he has said very little. I am fully convinced that you are that Mine of
Spiritual Power, only a small fraction of which descends on earth, from time to time, in the
form of an Incarnation."
"Ah!" said Sri Ramakrishna with a smile, "you seem to have quite outbid Vaishnavcharan
in this matter. What have you found in me that makes you entertain such an idea?"
Gauri said: "I feel it in my heart and I have the scriptures on my side. I am ready to prove it
to anyone who challenges me."
"Well," Sri Ramakrishna said, "it is you who say so; but, believe me, I know nothing about
it."

To be continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 20, 2012, 07:01:39 PM
Ramana,
Sri Ramakrishna never encouraged any such speculations.Here are excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

1.PRANKRISHNA: "Sir, what is the nature of the life after death?"
MASTER: "Keshab Sen also asked that question. As long as a man remains ignorant, that is
to say, as long as he has not realized God, so long will, he be born. But after attaining
Knowledge he will not have to come back to this earth or to any other plane of existence.
"The potter puts his pots in the sun to dry. Haven't you noticed that among them there are
both baked and unbaked ones? When a cow happens to walk over them, some of the pots
get broken to pieces. The broken pots that are already baked, the potter throws away, since
they are of no more use to him. But the soft ones, though broken, he gathers up. He makes
them into a lump and out of this forms new pots. In the same way, so long as a man has not
realized God, he will have to come back to the Potter's hand, that is, he will have to be born
again and again.
"What is the use of sowing a boiled paddy grain? It will never bring forth a shoot.
Likewise, if a man is boiled in the fire of Knowledge, he will not be used for new creation.
He is liberated.

2.What happens after death
DEVOTEE: "Revered sir, what happens after death?"
MASTER: "According to the Gita, one becomes afterwards what one thinks of at the time
of death. King Bharata thought of his deer and became a deer in his next life. Therefore one
must practise sadhana in order to realize God. If a man thinks of God day and night, he will
have the same thought in the hour of death."

3.About rebirth
VAISHNAVA: "Sir, is a man born again?"
MASTER: "It is said in the Gita that a man is reborn with those tendencies that are in his
mind at the time of his death. King Bharata thought of his deer at the time of death and was
reborn as a deer."
VAISHNAVA: "I could believe in rebirth only if an eye-witness told me about it."
MASTER: "I don't know about that, my dear sir. I cannot cure my own illness, and you ask
me to tell you what happens after death!
"What you are talking about only shows your petty mind. Try to cultivate love of God. You
are born as a human being only to attain divine love. You have come to the orchard to eat
mangoes; what need is there of knowing how many thousands of branches and millions of
leaves there are in the orchard? To bother about what happens after death! How silly
!"

4.SHYAM: "Sir, what do you think of Theosophy?"
MASTER: "The long and short of the matter is that those who go about making disciples
belong to a very inferior level. So also do those who want occult powers to walk over the
Ganges and to report what a person says in a far-off country and so on. It is very hard for
such people to have pure love for God."
SHYAM: "But the Theosophists have been trying to re-establish the Hindu religion."
MASTER: "I don't know much about them."
SHYAM: "You can learn from Theosophy where the soul goes after death-whether to the
lunar sphere or the stellar sphere or some other region."
MASTER: "That may be. But let me tell you my own attitude. Once a man asked
Hanuman, 'What day of the lunar fortnight is it?' Hanuman replied: 'I know nothing about
the day of the week, the day of the lunar fortnight, the position of the stars in the sky, or
any such things. On Rama alone I meditate.' That is my attitude too."

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: latha on April 20, 2012, 10:09:21 PM
Subramaniam Sir,

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful experience with Smt. Kanakammal. I was so moved to read about her in  Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, by Suri Nagamma. Indeed it is a glorious affirmation of Sri Bhagavan's Grace to take Kanakammal to His golden feet on that chosen day.

Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 21, 2012, 07:56:42 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

Sri Ramakrishna was a learner all his life. He often used to quote a proverb to his disciples:
"Friend, the more I live the more I learn." When the excitement created by the Brahmani's
declaration was over, he set himself to the task of practising spiritual disciplines according
to the traditional methods laid down in the Tantra and Vaishnava scriptures. Hitherto he
had pursued his spiritual ideal according to the promptings of his own mind and heart. Now
he accepted the Brahmani as his guru and set foot on the traditional highways.
Tantra
According to the Tantra, the Ultimate Reality is Chit, or Consciousness, which is identical
with Sat, or Being, and with Ananda, or Bliss. This Ultimate Reality, Satchidananda,
Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, is identical with the Reality preached in the Vedas.
And man is identical with this Reality; but under the influence of maya, or illusion, he has
forgotten his true nature. He takes to be real a merely apparent world of subject and object,
and this error is the cause of his bondage and suffering. The goal of spiritual discipline is
the rediscovery of his true identity with the divine Reality.
For the achievement of this goal the Vedanta prescribes an austere negative method of
discrimination and renunciation, which can be followed by only a few individuals endowed
with sharp intelligence and unshakeable will-power. But Tantra takes into consideration the
natural weakness of human beings, their lower appetites, and their love for the concrete. It
combines philosophy with rituals, meditation with ceremonies, renunciation with
enjoyment. The underlying purpose is gradually to train the aspirant to meditate on his
identity with the Ultimate.
The average man wishes to enjoy the material objects of the world. Tantra bids him enjoy
these, but at the same time discover in them the presence of God. Mystical rites are
prescribed by which, slowly, the sense objects become spiritualized and sense attraction is
transformed into a love of God. So the very "bonds" of man are turned into "releasers". The
very poison that kills is transmuted into the elixir of life. Outward renunciation is not
necessary. Thus the aim of Tantra is to sublimate bhoga, or enjoyment, into yoga, or union
with Consciousness. For, according to this philosophy, the world with all its manifestations
is nothing but the sport of Siva and Sakti, the Absolute and Its inscrutable Power.
The disciplines of Tantra are graded to suit aspirants of all degrees. Exercises are
prescribed for people with "animal", "heroic", and "divine" outlooks. Certain of the rites
require the presence of members of the opposite sex. Here the aspirant learns to look on
woman as the embodiment of the Goddess Kali, the Mother of the Universe. The very basis
of Tantra is the Motherhood of God and the glorification of woman. Every part of a
woman's body is to be regarded as incarnate Divinity. But the rites are extremely
dangerous. The help of a qualified guru is absolutely necessary. An unwary devotee may
lose his foothold and fall into a pit of depravity.
According to the Tantra, Sakti is the active creative force in the universe. Siva, the
Absolute, is a more or less passive principle. Further, Sakti is as inseparable from Siva as
fire's power to burn is from fire itself. Sakti, the Creative Power, contains in Its womb the
universe, and therefore is the Divine Mother. All women are Her symbols. Kali is one of
Her several forms. The meditation on Kali, the Creative Power, is the central discipline of
the Tantra. While meditating, the aspirant at first regards himself as one with the Absolute
and then thinks that out of that Impersonal Consciousness emerge two entities, namely, his
own self and the living form of the Goddess. He then projects the Goddess into the tangible
image before him and worships it as the Divine Mother.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 21, 2012, 08:00:17 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...
Sri Ramakrishna set himself to the task of practising the disciplines of Tantra; and at the
bidding of the Divine Mother Herself he accepted the Brahmani as his guru. He performed
profound and delicate ceremonies in the Panchavati and under the beltree at the northern
extremity of the temple compound. He practised all the disciplines of the sixty-four
principal Tantra books, and it took him never more than three days to achieve the result
promised in any one of them. After the observance of a few preliminary rites, he would be
overwhelmed with a strange divine fervour and would go into samadhi, where his mind
would dwell in exaltation. Evil ceased to exist for him. The word "carnal" lost its meaning.
The whole world and everything in it appeared as the Lila, the sport, of Siva and Sakti. He
beheld everywhere manifest the power and beauty of the Mother, the whole world, animate
and inanimate, appeared to him as pervaded with Chit, Consciousness, and with Ananda,
Bliss.
He saw in a vision the Ultimate Cause of the universe as a huge luminous triangle giving
birth every moment to an infinite number of worlds. He heard the Anahata Sabda, the great
sound Om, of which the innumerable sounds of the universe are only so many echoes. He
acquired the eight supernatural powers of yoga, which make a man almost omnipotent, and
these he spurned as of no value whatsoever to the Spirit. He had a vision of the divine
Maya, the inscrutable Power of God, by which the universe is created and sustained, and
into which it is finally absorbed. In this vision he saw a woman of exquisite beauty, about
to become a mother, emerging from the Ganges and slowly approaching the Panchavati.
Presently she gave birth to a child and began to nurse it tenderly. A moment later she
assumed a terrible aspect, seized the child with her grim jaws and crushed it. Swallowing it,
she re-entered the waters of the Ganges.
But the most remarkable experience during this period was the awakening of the Kundalini
Sakti, the "Serpent Power". He actually saw the Power, at first lying asleep at the bottom of
the spinal column, then waking up and ascending along the mystic Sushumna canal and
through its six centres, or lotuses, to the Sahasrara, the thousand-petalled lotus in the top of
the head. He further saw that as the Kundalini went upward the different lotuses bloomed.
And this phenomenon was accompanied by visions and trances. Later on he described to
his disciples and devotees the various movements of the Kundalini: the fishlike, birdlike,
monkey like, and so on. The awakening of the Kundalini is the beginning of spiritual
consciousness, and its union with Siva in the Sahasrara, ending in samadhi, is the
consummation of the Tantrik disciplines.
About this time it was revealed to him that in a short while many devotees would seek his
guidance.

To be continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 21, 2012, 08:48:27 AM
An Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
The Master was highly pleased with the ostad's music. He said to the musician, "There is a
special manifestation of God's power in a man who has any outstanding gift, such as
proficiency in music."
MUSICIAN: "Sir, what is the way to realize God?"
MASTER: "Bhakti is the one essential thing. To be sure, God exists in all beings. Who,
then, is a devotee? He whose mind dwells on God. But this is not possible as long as one
has egotism and vanity. The water of God's grace cannot collect on the high mound of
egotism
. It runs down. 'I am a mere machine'.
Master's respect for other faiths
(To Kedar and the other devotees) "God can be realized through all paths. All religions are
true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden
stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole.
Many names of one God
"You may say that there are many errors and superstitions in another religion. I should
reply: Suppose there are. Every religion has errors. Everyone thinks that his watch alone
gives the correct time
. It is enough to have yearning for God. It is enough to love Him and
feel attracted to Him: Don't you know that God is the Inner Guide? He sees the longing of
our heart and the yearning of our soul
. Suppose a man has several sons. The older boys
address him distinctly as 'Baba' or 'Papa', but the babies can at best call him 'Ba' or 'Pa'.
Now, will the father be angry with those who address him in this indistinct way? The father
knows that they too are calling him, only they cannot pronounce his name well. All
children are the same to the father
. Likewise, the devotees call on God alone, though by
different names. They call on one Person only. God is one, but His names are many."

Namaskar
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 21, 2012, 09:06:25 AM
Dear i,

what was the daily routine of Sri Ramakrishnar, did he engage in ritual worship, at least in the earlier years? How did he pass time, the days?

The only thing, that could be said about bhagavan was that he got up as early as 3, cut vegetables, went for a routine walk, looked after his pets and animals, and just remained, and answered for some questions raised by devotees.

The narration about the Master's Tantra practices are really a wonder to read. Considering the fact that in south india, at least for a century, Tantra worship has been considered dangerous, and Kali worship is very less. But, here we see such great warmth and love, in the life of Ramakrishnar. These were very prevalent in the Northern parts of India.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 21, 2012, 09:42:05 AM
Nagaraj,
I will refer you to the book by rA Ganapathy to get some idea of the sadhanas done by Sri Ramakrishna.The Master was an Encyclopaedia of Sriritual Practices-Name any path,he had practised.These were ,as Sri Aurobindo rightly observed in 'Synthesis of Yoga':
"In a recent and unique example, in the life of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa we see a colossal spiritual capacity first driving straight to the divine realization, taking, as it were, the Kingdom of Heaven by violence, and then seizing upon one Yoga method after another and extracting the substance out of it with an incredible rapidity, always to return to the heart of the whole matter, the realization and possession of God by the power of love, by the extension of inborn spirituality into various experience and by the spontaneous play of an intuitive knowledge. Such an example cannot be generalized. Its object also was special and temporal, to exemplify in the great and decisive experience of a Master-soul the truth, now most necessary to humanity, towards which a world long divided into jarring sects and schools is with difficulty laboring, that all sects are forms and fragments of a single integral truth and all disciplines labor in their different ways towards one supreme experience... Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is the epitome of the whole. His was the great super-conscious life which alone can witness to the infinitude of the current that bears us all oceanwards."

The Master was as an adept in anything and everything,all Sadhanas were validated by him.Yet it does not mean that he recommended it to all and sundry.

Here is what Swami Vivekananda said:
""He is the method, that wonderful unconscious method! He did not understand himself. He knew nothing of England or the English, save that they were queer folk from over the sea. But he lived that great life: and I read the meaning. Never a word of condemnation for any! Once I had been attacking one of our sects of diabolists(vamachara margis). I had been raving on for three hours, and he had listened quietly. 'Well, well!' said the old man as I finished, 'perhaps every house may have a backdoor. Who knows?"
Yet Sri Ramakrishna warned Narendra(Swami Vivekananda)to steer clear of vamachara.Here is the excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Disciplines of Tantra
NARENDRA: "Isn't it true that the Tantra prescribes spiritual discipline in the company of
woman?"
MASTER: "That is not desirable. It is a very difficult path and often causes the aspirant's
downfall. There are three such kinds of discipline. One may regard woman as one's
mistress or look on oneself as her handmaid or as her child. I look on woman as my mother.
To look on oneself as her handmaid is also good; but it is extremely difficult to practise
spiritual discipline looking on woman as one's mistress. To regard oneself as her child is a
very pure attitude."


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 21, 2012, 09:56:58 AM
Nagaraj,
you have asked about the Master's routine.He just did not have any routine.Every moment was new,no knowing what will happen next!Here is such a example from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Sri. Ramakrishna was in the happiest mood with his young and pure-souled devotees.. He
was seated on the small couch and was doing funny imitations of a kirtani. The devotees
laughed heartily. The kirtani is dressed lavishly and covered with ornaments. She sings
standing on the floor, a coloured kerchief in her hand. Now and then she coughs to draw
people's attention and blows her nose, raising her nose-ring, When a respectable gentleman
enters the room she welcomes him with appropriate words, still continuing her song. Now
and then she pulls her sari from her arms to show off her jewels.
The devotees were convulsed, with laughter at this mimicry by Sri Ramakrishna. Paltu
rolled on the ground. Pointing to him, the Master said to M.: "Look at that child! He is
rolling with laughter." He said to Paltu with a smile: "Don't report this to your father, or he
will lose the little respect he has for me. You see, he is an 'Englishman."
False piety
MASTER (to the devotees): "There are people who indulge in all kinds of gossip at the
time of their daily devotions. As you know, one is not permitted to talk then; so they make
all kinds of signs, keeping their lips closed. In order to say, 'Bring this', 'Bring that', they
make sounds like 'Huh', 'Uhuh'. All such things they do! (Laughter.)
"Again, there are some who bargain for fish while telling their beads. As they count the
rosary, with a finger they point out the fish, indicating, That one, please.' They reserve all
their business for that time! (Laughter.)
"There are women who come to the Ganges for their bath and, instead of thinking of God,
gossip about no end of things. 'What jewels did you offer at the time of your son's
marriage?'- 'Has so-and-so returned from her father-in law's house?' - 'So-and-so is
seriously ill.' - 'So-and-so went to see the bride; we hope that they will offer a magnificent
dowry and that there will be a great feast.' - 'Harish always nags at me; he can't stay away
from me even an hour.' - 'My child, I couldn't come to see you all these days; I was so busy
with the betrothal of so-and-so's daughter.'
"You see, they have come to bathe in the holy river, and yet they indulge in all sorts of
worldly talk."
The Master began to look intently at the younger Naren and went into samadhi. Did he see
God Himself in the pure-souled devotee?
The devotees silently watched the figure of Sri Ramakrishna motionless in samadhi. A few
minutes before there had been so much laughter in the room; now there was deep silence,
as if no one were there. The Master sat with folded hands as in his photograph
.

It was a mart of Joy unending.The Master will go to the homes of devotees on his own,without being invited.He will accompany them to Circus,Theatre.Absolutely charming and accessible.The Master's mind was always in samadhi.How simply he says in this excerpt of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Mani Mallick told the Master about an exhibition that was being held in Calcutta. He
described a beautiful image of Yasoda with the Baby Krishna on her lap. Sri Ramakrishna's
eyes filled with tears. On hearing about Yasoda, the embodiment of maternal love, his
spiritual consciousness was kindled and he wept. .
MANILAL: "If you were not unwell, you could visit the exhibition in the Maidan."
MASTER (to M. and the others): "I shan't be able to see everything even if I go. Perhaps
my eyes will fall on some certain thing and I shall become unconscious. Then I shall not be
able to see the rest. I was taken to the Zoological Garden. I Went into samadhi at the sight
of the lion, for the carrier of the Mother awakened in my mind the consciousness of the
Mother Herself. In that state who could see the other animals? I had to return home after
seeing only the lion. Hence Jadu Mallick's mother first suggested that I should go to the
exhibition and then said I should not
."

He will participate in religious functions in devotee's home and sing and dance-His singing was absolutely charming;he used to be one with the song.His dance is quite exquisite.I will post later on this.The Master was utterly beyond all formal practices,yet he will go to the kali temple and prostrate before the image.This is his spontaneous way of teaching other devotees to do likewise.Even scoffers would see the genuine quality of it and would be inspired to follow suit.Infinite were the moods of the Master,yet underlying it he was always the Self!

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 21, 2012, 06:37:59 PM
Dear i,

Bhagavan and Sri Ramakrishnar are like two sides of the same coin. One is absolute extrovert, the other is absolute introvert. One is absolutely expressive, the other is reposed in silence, one moved around to various places, the other stay put at one place Yet there is absolutely no difference in the internal samadhi that they were in.

This also reminds me of the two Chandrashekhara swamigal of Sringeri and Kanchi. Those interested can read the article by (again) Sri Ra Ganapati

---->CLICKING HERE (http://www.kamakoti.org/souv/5-59.html)<----


i feel, one acquainted with Sri Ramakrishnar would least bother about any siddhantas, religion, nothing, the Bhavam is the mother of everything. It releases plenty of burden, instantly, one does not begin to worry about maya, illusion, whether this is real or unreal, amusingly blissful :) Everything falls in place. Everything is already in place!  :)

I am beginning to enjoy the leela or play of Prakriti, its joyful, there is no judgements, thinking, analysing, its pure fun.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 21, 2012, 10:33:25 PM
Nagaraj,
Yes indeed,what you say about Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavan is indeed true.
Yes,Sri Ramakrishna exemplified the sweetness and spontaneity of  Bhakti.One who tastes the sweetness of bhakti is indeed blessed.Everything will fall into place as you say.
The other article on the great ones Sri Chandrasekara & Sri Chandrasekara is a wonderful one by rA ganapati.
Wish you the Very Best.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 23, 2012, 08:31:56 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Vaishnava Disciplines
After completing the Tantrik sadhana Sri Ramakrishna followed the Brahmani in the
disciplines of Vaishnavism. The Vaishnavas are worshippers of Vishnu, the "Allpervading",
the Supreme God, who is also known as Hari and Narayana. Of Vishnu's
various Incarnations the two with the largest number of followers are Rama and Krishna.
Vaishnavism is exclusively a religion of bhakti. Bhakti is intense love of God, attachment
to Him alone; it is of the nature of bliss and bestows upon the lover immortality and
liberation. God, according to Vaishnavism, cannot be realized through logic or reason; and,
without bhakti, all penances, austerities, and rites are futile. Man cannot realize God by
self-exertion alone. For the vision of God His grace is absolutely necessary, and this grace
is felt by the pure of heart. The mind is to be purified through bhakti. The pure mind then
remains for ever immersed in the ecstasy of God-vision. It is the cultivation of this divine
love that is the chief concern of the Vaishnava religion.
There are three kinds of formal devotion: tamasic, rajasic, and sattvic. If a person, while
showing devotion to God, is actuated by malevolence, arrogance, jealousy, or anger, then
his devotion is tamasic, since it is influenced by tamas, the quality of inertia. If he worships
God from a desire for fame or wealth, or from any other worldly ambition, then his
devotion is rajasic, since it is influenced by rajas, the quality of activity. But if a person
loves God without any thought of material gain, if he performs his duties to please God
alone and maintains toward all created beings the attitude of friendship, then his devotion is
called sattvic, since it is influenced by sattva, the quality of harmony. But the highest
devotion transcends the three gunas, or qualities, being a spontaneous, uninterrupted
inclination of the mind toward God, the Inner Soul of all beings; and it wells up in the heart
of a true devotee as soon as he hears the name of God or mention of God's attributes. A
devotee possessed of this love would not accept the happiness of heaven if it were offered
him. His one desire is to love God under all conditions - in pleasure and pain, life and
death, honour and dishonour, prosperity and adversity.
There are two stages of bhakti. The first is known as vaidhi-bhakti, or love of God qualified
by scriptural injunctions. For the devotees of this stage are prescribed regular and
methodical worship, hymns, prayers, the repetition of God's name, and the chanting of His
glories. This lower bhakti in course of time matures into para-bhakti, or supreme devotion,
known also as prema, the most intense form of divine love. Divine love is an end in itself. It
exists potentially in all human hearts, but in the case of bound creatures it is misdirected to
earthly objects.
To develop the devotee's love for God, Vaishnavism humanises God. God is to be regarded
as the devotee's Parent, Master, Friend, Child, Husband, or Sweetheart, each succeeding
relationship representing an intensification of love. These bhavas, or attitudes toward God,
are known as santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhur. The rishis of the Vedas,
Hanuman, the cowherd boys of Vrindavan, Rama's mother Kausalya, and Radhika,
Krishna's sweetheart, exhibited, respectively, the most perfect examples of these forms. In
the ascending scale the glories of God are gradually forgotten and the devotee realizes more
and more the intimacy of divine communion. Finally he regards himself as the mistress of
his Beloved, and no artificial barrier remains to separate him from his Ideal. No social or
moral obligation can bind to the earth his soaring spirit. He experiences perfect union with
the Godhead. Unlike the Vedantist, who strives to transcend all varieties of the subjectobject
relationship, a devotee of the Vaishnava path wishes to retain both his own
individuality and the personality of God. To him God is not an intangible Absolute, but the
Purushottama, the Supreme Person.

to be continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on April 23, 2012, 08:52:27 AM
Nagaraj garu

Yes. So true indeed the power of Bhakti. You even forget the "need for self realization" and surrender everything in it. Perhaps, Sri Bhagawan also told us this subtly - as surrender is a not so rare theme in his TALKS. Though not as extrovert as Sri Ramakrishna, I am sure Sri Bhagawan is as great a BHAKTA as Paramahamsa (So mean of me to even try and compare the two - very sorry - ego felt like doing that :(

-Sanjay
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 23, 2012, 10:18:38 AM
Dear i,

no need to feel sorry for that, it is ok, your comparison is like taking water in both your hands from the same ocean and trying to find difference, but when you are aware about the ocean, we know it is the same water, now, is it not a beautiful comparison :) when we are aware that it is the same ocean after all? can Ramanar be different from Ramakrishnar? just the physical body 'appears' difference, that is all :) the Guru Tatva or the essence is one and the same.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on April 23, 2012, 10:44:39 AM
Yes, Sri Ravi. Vaishnava's religion is beautiful. The only thing that truly speaking makes me sad is that it (just as Christianity, ISKCON and others) doesn't accept other's faith and consider only their way to be true and right. I cannot understand how an illuminated bhakta can be so cold-hearted and even hateful sometimes to other's views and how he/she cannot see God in the other religions and philosophies.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 23, 2012, 10:52:04 AM
Dear i,

True Vaishnava spirit is as below, which was one of the favorite song of Sri Mahatma Gandhi. Those narrow minded ones are really no true Vaishnavites.

वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे पीड पराई जाणे रे,
पर दु:खे उपकार करे तोये मन अभिमान न आणे रे,
सकल लोकमां सहुने वंदे निंदा न करे केनी रे,
वाच काछ मन निश्चल राखे धन धन जननी तेनी रे,
समदृष्टि ने तृष्णा त्यागी, परस्त्री जेने मात रे,
जिह्वा थकी असत्य न बोले, परधन नव झाले हाथ रे,
मोह माया व्यापे नहि जेने, दृढ़ वैराग्य जेना मनमां रे,
रामनाम शुं ताली रे लागी, सकल तीरथ तेना तनमां रे,
वणलोभी ने कपटरहित छे , काम क्रोध निवार्या रे,
भणे नरसैयॊ तेनु दरसन करतां, कुल एकोतेर तार्या रे ॥
He who understands the pain of others is one of God's own.
Helping others in sorrow does not reduce his humility.

This person respects all people in the world, and does not condemn or criticize anyone.
He is pure in speech, deed and thought. His mother is blessed indeed!

He is equanimous and has given up all desires. To him, other women are [equivalent to] mothers.
He never speaks the untruth, not even if his tongue is tired. He does not covet others' wealth.

Delusion and attachment do not affect him, his mind is firm in detachment.
He is ever engrossed in God's name and meditation, and he embodies all places of pilgrimage.

Such a person has no greed and deceit. He has overcome lust and anger.
Narsi says: Such a person is worthy of worship, and alone elevates his entire race.

Vaishnav Jan to tene kahiye Jay peerh paraaye janneyray
Par dukkhey upkar karey teeyey, man abhiman na anney ray
Sakal lokma Sahuney bandhey, Ninda Na karye kainee ray
Baach kaachh, Man nischal Raakhey, dhan-dhan jananee tainee ray
Samdrishi nay trishna tyagee, par-stree jaynay mat ray
Vivihva thaki asatya na bolay, par-dhan nav jhaley haath ray
Moh maaya vyaayey nahin Jeynay, dridth vairagya jana manma ray
Ram-nam-shoom taalee laagee, Sakal teerth seyna tanma ray
Vanloohee nay kapat rahit chhay, Kaam, Krodh nivarya ray
Bhane Narsinhyo tainoo darshan karta kul ekotair taarya re.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on April 23, 2012, 11:07:34 AM
Beautiful! Unfortunately most vaishnavas don't accept that apparantly.

As you know I live in a country and a world where christians and muslims are predominantly part of the society. The only thing they do you to try to convince the others that their path is right and it is the only way of salvation. They don't try to show people what good qualities to acquire, how to live in God's way, how to be a good person, how to respect others and so on. They only judge and judge and propagate their dogmas. They suggest a feel of guilt, fear and so on. They integrate people by fear, not by Love as Lord Jesus has taught. They "love" everyone until he or she share their theology. It is the same with so called ISKCON. We have many members here. They teach "Oh, it is ok to follow Jesus but you must accept that you follow inferior God and inevitably you will not be liberated this life. Mhhmmm, may be next time". It seems that religion and spirituality are two differents things.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 23, 2012, 11:30:16 AM
Dear i,

This is very prevalent here as well. it is an unfortunate aspect of the times we live in. According to Hindu shastras, we wre living in Kali Yuga, and intrinsically, we all have kind of accepted this aspect of times. There are separate scriptures which convey how religion, people will be in these times and what all to expect as well in the coming future. Things are only bound to deteriorate. As of now only about 5000 years of Kali Yuga is over, and there is still about 4,25,000 years left, before the pralaya, and the creation begins, once again.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 23, 2012, 03:06:07 PM
Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Dogmatism in religion
MASTER (to Balaram's father and the others): "The Bhaktamala is one of the Vaishnava
books. It is a fine book. It describes the lives of the various Vaishnava devotees. But it is
one-sided. At one place the author found peace of mind only after compelling Bhagavati,
the Divine Mother, to take Her initiation according to the Vaishnava discipline.
"Once I spoke highly of Vaishnavcharan to Mathur and persuaded him to invite
Vaishnavcharan to his house. Mathur welcomed him with great courtesy. He fed his guest
from silver plates. Then do you know what happened? Vaishnav said in front of Mathur,
'You will achieve nothing whatsoever in spiritual life unless you accept Krishna as your
Ideal.' Mathur was a follower of the Sakta cult and a worshipper of the Divine Mother. At
once his face became crimson. I nudged Vaishnavcharan.
"I understand that the Bhagavata also contains some statements like that. I hear that it is
said there that trying to cross the ocean of the world without accepting Krishna as the Ideal
Deity is like trying to cross a great sea by holding the tail of a dog. Each sect magnifies its
own view.
"The Saktas, too, try to belittle the Vaishnavas. The Vaishnavas say that Krishna alone is
the Helmsman to take one across the ocean of the world. The Saktas retort: 'Oh, yes! We
agree to that. Our Divine Mother is the Empress of the Universe. Why should She bother
about a ferry-boat? Therefore She has engaged that fellow Krishna for the purpose.' (All
laugh.)
"Besides, how vain people are about their own sects! There are weavers in the villages near
Kamarpukur. Many of them are Vaishnavas and like to talk big. They say: 'Which Vishnu
does he worship? The Preserver? Oh, we wouldn't touch him!' Or: 'Which Siva are you
talking about? We accept the Atmaramasiva.' Or again, 'Please explain to us which Hari
you worship'. They spin their yarn and indulge in talk like that.
"Rati's mother, Rani Katyayani's favourite confidante, is a follower of Vaishnavcharan. She
is a bigoted Vaishnava. She used to visit me very frequently, and none could outdo her in
devotion. One day she noticed me eating the prasad from the Kali temple. Since then I
haven't seen even her shadow.
Master's harmony of religions
"He is indeed a real man who has harmonized everything. Most people are one-sided. But I
find that all opinions point to the One. All views-the Sakta, the Vaishnava, the Vedantahave
that One for their centre. He who is formless is, again, endowed with form. It is He
who appears in different forms: The attributeless Brahman is my Father. God with
attributes is my Mother. Whom shall I blame? Whom shall I praise? The two pans of the
scales are equally heavy.'
"He who is described in the Vedas is also described in the Tantras and the Puranas. All of
them speak about the one Satchidananda. The Nitya and the Lila are the two aspects of the
one Reality. It is described in the Vedas as 'Om Satchidananda Brahman', in the Tantras as
'Om Satchidananda Siva', the ever-pure Siva, and in the Puranas as 'Om Satchidananda
Krishna'. All the scriptures, the Vedas, the Puranas, and the Tantras, speak only of one
Satchidananda. It is stated in the Vaishnava scripture that it is Krishna Himself who has
become Kali."

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on April 23, 2012, 06:18:54 PM
Sri Ravi, what is Sri Ramakrishna's view about Buddha and Buddhism? Did He accep the man who didn't taught belief in God? If you want you can post your message in Buddhism topic in Bhagavan's teachings forum. This way more people interested in Buddhism will know it. Thank you in advance!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 24, 2012, 06:47:17 AM
An Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Fourth visit
The next day, too, was a holiday for M. He arrived at Dakshineswar at three o'clock in the
afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna was in his room; Narendra, Bhavanath, and a few other
devotees were sitting on a mat spread on the floor. They were all young men of nineteen or
twenty. Seated on the small couch, Sri Ramakrishna was talking with them and smiling.
No sooner had M. entered the room than the Master laughed aloud and said to the boys,
"There! He has come again." They all joined in the laughter. M. bowed low before him and
took a seat. Before this he had saluted the Master with folded hands, like one with an
English education. But that day he learnt to fall down at his feet in orthodox Hindu fashion.
The peacock and the opium
Presently the Master explained the cause of his laughter to the devotees, He said: "A man
once fed a peacock with a pill of opium at four o'clock in the afternoon. The next day,
exactly at that time, the peacock came back. It had felt the intoxication of the drug and
returned just in time to have another dose."(All laugh.)
M. thought this a very apt illustration. Even at home he had been unable to banish the
thought of Sri Ramakrishna for a moment. His mind was constantly at Dakshineswar and
he had counted the minutes until he should go again.
In the mean time the Master was having great fun with the boys, treating them as if they
were his most intimate friends. Peals of side-splitting laughter filled the room, as if it were
a mart of joy. The whole thing was a revelation to M. He thought: "Didn't I see him only
yesterday intoxicated with God? Wasn't he swimming then in the Ocean of Divine Love - a
sight I had never seen before? And today the same person is behaving like an ordinary man!
Wasn't it he who scolded me on the first day of my coming here? Didn't he admonish me,
saying, 'And you are a man of knowledge!'? Wasn't it he who said to me that God with
form is as true as God without form? Didn't he tell me that God alone is real and all else
illusory? Wasn't it he who advised me to live in the world unattached, like a maidservant in
a rich man's house?"
Sri Ramakrishna was having great fun with the young devotees; now and then he glanced at
M. He noticed that M. sat in silence. The Master said to Ramlal: "You see, he is a little
advanced in years, and therefore somewhat serious. He sits quiet while the youngsters are
making merry." M. was then about twenty-eight years old.
Hanuman's devotion to Rama
The conversation drifted to Hanuman, whose picture hung on the wall in the Master's room.
Sri Ramakrishna said: "Just imagine Hanuman's state of mind. He didn't care for money,
honour, creature comforts, or anything else. He longed only for God. When he was running
away with the heavenly weapon that had been secreted in the crystal pillar, Mandodari
began to tempt him with various fruits so that he might come down and drop the weapon.
But he couldn't be tricked so easily. In reply to her persuasions he sang this song:
Am I in need of fruit?
I have the Fruit that makes this life
Fruitful indeed. Within my heart
The Tree of Rama grows,
Bearing salvation for its fruit.
Under the Wish-fulfilling Tree
Of Rama do I sit at ease,
Plucking whatever fruit I will.
But if you speak of fruit -
No beggar, I, for common fruit.
Behold, I go,
Leaving a bitter fruit for you."
As Sri Ramakrishna was singing the song he went into samadhi. Again the half-closed eyes
and motionless body that one sees in his photograph. Just a minute before, the devotees had
been making merry in his company. Now all eyes were riveted on him. Thus for the second
time M. saw the Master in samadhi.
After a long time the Master came back to ordinary consciousness. His face lighted up with
a smile, and his body relaxed; his senses began to function in a normal way. He shed tears
of joy as he repeated the holy name of Rama. M. wondered whether this very saint was the
person who a few minutes earlier had been behaving like a child of five.
The Master said to Narendra and M., "I should like to hear you speak and argue in
English." They both laughed. But they continued to talk in their mother tongue. It was
impossible for M. to argue any more before the Master. Though Ramakrishna insisted, they
did not talk in English.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 25, 2012, 08:24:32 AM
Friends,
Today I will share a wonderful Reminiscence of Manmathanath Ganguli ,a disciple of Swami Vivekananda.Quite often,I find that persons read some stray saying or worse,some 'hearsay' or worst some misquotes from unreliable sources on the Life and Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna or Swami Vivekananda,and these are quite misleading.It is very necessary for the genuine seeker to keep an open mind and not form 'opinions' based on such unreliable sources of information.Let us now get back to the Reminiscence of Ganguli:
Swamiji asked me, "What is that you want to know from me? You may put any question you like."
 I said, "I have seen your lectures on maya. It has appealed to me. But I have not understood it. Please let me know what is maya. For a
while he was silent. Then he said, "If you have anything else to know, you can ask me." I said, "Sir, I have nothing more to ask. If a knower of Brahman like you cannot enlighten me, then it
will remain a closed book to me during this life."

" At this Swamiji began a discourse on maya. He was speaking fast and I followed his words and the logic. By and by, my mind lost the
contact of the sense-organs. I experienced a subtle world around me which was much finer than the gross world. I could see with my open eyes the Math, the trees, and everything before me vibrating. If you look above a large fire you can see a vibration. The objects were oscillating and vibrating before my eyes just like that. I was conscious of my uncommon experience and asked myself, "What is this that I see?" I looked around me and saw there was vibration everywhere. Slowly even Swamiji vanished from my eyes. Even then I could hear his voice, but I did not follow its meaning. Then suddenly I was aware of a vibration within my brain and there was only the void. Again I could see and hear the Swami and then followed the meaning as well. But my mind was conscious of my ego, and it no more exerted as it did before as I thought that I knew the meaning of maya.
I, who never had the courage to speak before the Swami, considered myself a bubble in the ocean of maya in which the Swami was also another. The difference was lost to me for the moment. The giant personality of the Swami and his great spiritual power and everything seemed to be a coincidence in the ocean that Swamiji called maya. But it was nothing but an undivided chit — the Cosmic Consciousness.
Then I said, "Swamiji, you are also in the maya. Your activities of the Math, schools, daridranarayanaseva (service of God in the poor), hospitals, the Mission — everything is maya. What is the need of all this? You yourself are within the meshes of maya."
At this he smiled and kept quiet for some time. It was through his grace that I considered myself as one with the maya. And now again I entered the little shell of my own self. I saw the Math, the Swami, and everything once again in its true perspective, i.e. the one I was used to have before this experience. A little time before I had spoken with a high pitched voice and that in a piquant manner, and now I was ashamed of having done so. Swamiji and myself were
not of the same substance any more and I felt the vast difference. Swamiji must have known that now I was normal once again. Then, he said. "Yes; you have
said aright. I am playing with maya. If you do not like this play of maya, you can go to a deep cave of the Himalayas. There you can get yourself lost in, tapasya (spiritual effort).
"
It was high time for lunch and everyone was kept waiting. Swamiji stood up and I fell prostrate at his feel. He was Shiva in person, and I touched his feet.
It was then that I had the desire to have prasada from Swamiji. But I said nothing. Swamiji was pacing in front of the open verandah before the store-room. He went to the room and took an apple and asked for a knife from a Bramhacharin. Slowly he peeled the apple and then cut a slice. He came near me and offered the slice to me. I was gratified. Then he took a piece himself. Then I wished to have anna-prasada from Swamiji. A little later when we were all seated for the midday lunch. Swamiji asked a Bramhacharin to come to him and he said. "Take this cooked rice to Manmatha." It had been offered to Shri Ramakrishna.

Can we even understand why these Great ones come to this terra firma and what their mission is?it is enough if we look around and see the wonder of it all-How many earnest seekers are drawn to become renunciants and to a life of total selfless service.The Great ones come to revive waning Dharma and through their lives and teachings breathe fresh vitality and spirit into near dead ways of dharma.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 26, 2012, 06:56:15 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...
While practising the discipline of the madhur bhava, the male devotee often regards himself
as a woman, in order to develop the most intense form of love for Sri Krishna, the only
purusha, or man, in the universe. This assumption of the attitude of the opposite sex has a
deep psychological significance. It is a matter of common experience that an idea may be
cultivated to such an intense degree that every idea alien to it is driven from the mind. This
peculiarity of the mind may he utilised for the subjugation of the lower desires and the
development of the spiritual nature. Now, the idea which is the basis of all desires and
passions in a man is the conviction of his indissoluble association with a male body. If he
can inoculate himself thoroughly with the idea that he is a woman, he can get rid of the
desires peculiar to his male body. Again, the idea that he is a woman may in turn be made
to give way to another higher idea, namely, that he is neither man nor woman, but the
Impersonal Spirit. The Impersonal Spirit alone can enjoy real communion with the
Impersonal God. Hence the highest realization of the Vaishnava draws close to the
transcendental experience of the Vedantist.
A beautiful expression of the Vaishnava worship of God through love is to be found in the
Vrindavan episode of the Bhagavata. The gopis, or milk-maids, of Vrindavan regarded the
six-year-old Krishna as their Beloved. They sought no personal gain or happiness from this
love. They surrendered to Krishna their bodies, minds, and souls. Of all the gopis, Radhika,
or Radha, because of her intense love for Him, was the closest to Krishna. She manifested
mahabhava and was united with her Beloved. This union represents, through sensuous
language, a supersensuous experience.
Sri Chaitanya, also known as Gauranga, Gora, or Nimai, born in Bengal in 1485 and
regarded as an Incarnation of God, is a great prophet of the Vaishnava religion. Chaitanya
declared the chanting of God's name to be the most efficacious spiritual discipline for the
Kaliyuga.
Sri Ramakrishna, as the monkey Hanuman, had already worshipped God as his Master.
Through his devotion to Kali he had worshipped God as his Mother. He was now to take up
the other relationships prescribed by the Vaishnava scriptures.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 26, 2012, 06:59:53 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna...

Ramlala
About the year 1864 there came to Dakshineswar a wandering Vaishnava monk, Jatadhari,
whose Ideal Deity was Rama. He always carried with him a small metal image of the Deity,
which he called by the endearing name of Ramlala, the Boy Rama. Toward this little image
he displayed the tender affection of Kausalya for her divine Son, Rama. As a result of
lifelong spiritual practice he had actually found in the metal image the presence of his Ideal.
Ramlala was no longer for him a metal image, but the living God. He devoted himself to
nursing Rama, feeding Rama, playing with Rama, taking Rama for a walk, and bathing
Rama. And he found that the image responded to his love.
Sri Ramakrishna, much impressed with his devotion, requested Jatadhari to spend a few
days at Dakshineswar. Soon Ramlala became the favourite companion of Sri Ramakrishna
too. Later on he described to the devotees how the little image would dance gracefully
before him, jump on his back, insist on being taken in his arms, run to the fields in the sun,
pluck flowers from the bushes, and play pranks like a naughty boy. A very sweet
relationship sprang up between him and Ramlala, for whom he felt the love of a mother.
One day Jatadhari requested Sri Ramakrishna to keep the image and bade him adieu with
tearful eyes. He declared that Ramlala had fulfilled his innermost prayer and that he now
had no more need of formal worship. A few days later Sri Ramakrishna was blessed
through Ramlala with a vision of Ramachandra, whereby he realized that the Rama of the
Ramayana, the son of Dasaratha, pervades the whole universe as Spirit and Consciousness;
that He is its Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer; that, in still another aspect, He is the
transcendental Brahman, without form, attribute, or name.
While worshipping Ramlala as the Divine Child, Sri Ramakrishna's heart became filled
with motherly tenderness, and he began to regard himself as a woman. His speech and
gestures changed. He began to move freely with the ladies of Mathur's family, who now
looked upon him as one of their own sex. During this time he worshipped the Divine
Mother as Her companion or handmaid.

To be continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 27, 2012, 06:35:24 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

In Communion with the Divine Beloved
Sri Ramakrishna now devoted himself to scaling the most inaccessible and dizzy heights of
dualistic worship, namely, the complete union with Sri Krishna as the Beloved of the heart.
He regarded himself as one of the gopis of Vrindavan, mad with longing for her divine
Sweetheart. At his request Mathur provided him with woman's dress and jewellery. In this
love pursuit, food and drink were forgotten. Day and night he wept bitterly. The yearning
turned into a mad frenzy; for the divine Krishna began to play with him the old tricks He
had played with the gopis. He would tease and taunt, now and then revealing Himself, but
always keeping at a distance. Sri Ramakrishna's anguish brought on a return of the old
physical symptoms: the burning sensation, an oozing of blood through the pores, a
loosening of the joints, and the stopping of physiological functions.
The Vaishnava scriptures advise one to propitiate Radha and obtain her grace in order to
realize Sri Krishna. So the tortured devotee now turned his prayer to her. Within a short
time he enjoyed her blessed vision. He saw and felt the figure of Radha disappearing into
his own body.
He said later on: "It is impossible to describe the heavenly beauty and sweetness of Radha.
Her very appearance showed that she had completely forgotten herself in her passionate
attachment to Krishna. Her complexion was a light yellow."
Now one with Radha, he manifested the great ecstatic love, the mahabhava which had
found in her its fullest expression. Later Sri Ramakrishna said: "The manifestation in the
same individual of the nineteen different kinds of emotion for God is called, in the books
on bhakti, mahabhava. An ordinary man takes a whole lifetime to express even a single one
of these. But in this body [meaning himself] there has been a complete manifestation of all
nineteen."
The love of Radha is the precursor of the resplendent vision of Sri Krishna, and Sri
Ramakrishna soon experienced that vision. The enchanting form of Krishna appeared to
him and merged in his person. He became Krishna; he totally forgot his own individuality
and the world; he saw Krishna in himself and in the universe. Thus he attained to the
fulfilment of the worship of the Personal God. He drank from the fountain of Immortal
Bliss. The agony of his heart vanished forever. He realized Amrita, Immortality, beyond the
shadow of death.
One day, listening to a recitation of the Bhagavata on the verandah of the Radhakanta
temple he fell into a divine mood and saw the enchanting form of Krishna. He perceived
the luminous rays issuing from Krishna's Lotus Feet in the form of a stout rope, which
touched first the Bhagavata and then his own chest, connecting all three - God, the
scripture, and the devotee. "After this vision," he used to say, "I came to realize that
Bhagavan, Bhakta, and Bhagavata - God, Devotee, and Scripture - are in reality one and the
same
."

Sri Ramakrishna could say from direct experience thus:
"The Saguna Brahman is meant for the bhaktas. In other words, a bhakta believes that God
has attributes and reveals Himself to men as a Person, assuming forms. It is He who listens
to our prayers. The prayers that you utter are directed to Him alone. You are bhaktas, not
jnanis or Vedantists. It doesn't matter whether you accept God with form or not. It is
enough to feel that God is a Person who listens to our prayers, who creates, preserves, and
destroys the universe, and who is endowed with infinite power.
"It is easier to attain God by following the path of devotion.
"
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 27, 2012, 07:11:55 AM
An Excerpt From The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
MASTER (to Mahimacharan): "How much of the scriptures can you read? What will you
gain by mere reasoning? Try to realize God before anything else. Have faith in the guru's
words, and work. If you have no guru, then pray to God with a longing heart. He will let
you know what He is like.
"What will you learn of God from books? As long as you are at a distance from the marketplace
you hear only an indistinct roar. But it is quite different when you are actually there.
Then you hear and see everything distinctly. You hear people saying: 'Here are your
potatoes. Take them and give me the money.' "From a distance you hear only the rumbling
noise of the ocean. Go near it and you will see many boats sailing about, birds flying, and
waves rolling.
"One cannot get true feeling about God from the study of books. This feeling is something
very different from book-learning. Books, scriptures, and science appear as mere dirt and
straw after the realization of God
.
"The one thing needful is to be introduced to the master of the house. Why are you so
anxious to know beforehand how many houses and gardens, and how many government
securities, the master possesses? The servants of the house would not allow you even to
approach these, and they would certainly not tell you about their master's investments.
Therefore, somehow or other become acquainted with the master, even if you have to jump
over the fence or take a few pushes from the servants. Then the master himself will tell you
all about his houses and gardens and his government securities. And what is more, the
servants and the door-keeper will salute you when you are known to the master.' (All
laugh.)
Yearning for God
DEVOTEE: "Now the question is how to become acquainted with the master." (Laughter.)
MASTER: "That is why I say that work is necessary. It will not do to say that God exists
and then idle away your time. You must reach God somehow or other. Call on Him in
solitude and pray to Him, 'O Lord! reveal Thyself to me.' Weep for Him with a longing
heart. You roam about in search of 'woman and gold' like a madman; now be a little mad
for God. Let people say, 'This man has lost his head for God.' Why not renounce everything
for a few days and call on God in solitude?
Work hard for His realization
"What will you achieve by simply saying that God exists and doing nothing about it? There
are big fish in the Haldarpukur; but can you catch them by merely sitting idly on the bank?
Prepare some spiced bait and throw it into the lake. Then the fish will come from the deep
water and you will see ripples. That will make you happy. Perhaps a fish will jump with a
splash and you will get a glimpse of it. Then you will be so glad!
"Milk must be turned to curd and the curd must be churned. Only then will you get butter.
(To Mahima) What a nuisance! Someone must show God to a man, while he himself sits
idly by all the while! Someone must extract the butter and hold it in front of his mouth! (All
laugh.) What a bother! Someone else must catch the fish and give it to him!
"A man wanted to see the king. The king lived in the inner court of the palace, beyond
seven gates. No sooner did the man pass the first gate than he exclaimed, 'Oh, where is the
king?' But there were seven gates, and he must pass them one after another before he could
see the king."
MAHIMACHARAN: "By what kind of work can one realize God?"
MASTER: "It is not that God can be realized by this work and not by that. The vision of
God depends on His grace. Still a man must work a little with longing for God in his heart.
If he has longing he will receive the grace of God
."

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on April 27, 2012, 05:06:22 PM
Dear i,

nothing is more blissful than the yearning for Eeshwara-Guru-Atma. The pain in the yearning is more divine than perhaps the liberation itself. The bhava of ones longing for Eeshwara-Guru-Atma is supreme blissful pain.

In the entire Srimad Bhagavata, just in some very small section, can we find some thing about Radha and Krishna. But how much waves of devotion we find in the world about Radha's Bhakti, celebrated in the world? Unlike others, Radha was able to see Krishna just once, or just very little perhaps, and we find no mention about Radha at all again! Neither Krishna could meet Radha or Radha could meet Krishna, but they were in communion. They felt for each other, the Bhavam, the yearning for each other, the எக்கம் or யெக்கம் (kindly correct my spelling) for each other is what is Madhura Bhakti.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 28, 2012, 08:01:22 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Attitude toward Different Religions
Sri Ramakrishna accepted the divinity of Buddha and used to point out the similarity of his
teachings to those of the Upanishads. He also showed great respect for the Tirthankaras,
who founded Jainism, and for the ten Gurus of Sikhism. But he did not speak of them as
Divine Incarnations. He was heard to say that the Gurus of Sikhism were the reincarnations
of King Janaka of ancient India. He kept in his room at Dakshineswar a small statue of
Tirthankara Mahavira and a picture of Christ, before which incense was burnt morning and
evening.
Without being formally initiated into their doctrines, Sri Ramakrishna thus realized the
ideals of religions other than Hinduism. He did not need to follow any doctrine. All barriers
were removed by his overwhelming love of God. So he became a Master who could speak
with authority regarding the ideas and ideals of the various religions of the world. "I have
practised", said he, "all religions - Hinduism, Islam, Christianity - and I have also followed
the paths of the different Hindu sects. I have found that it is the same God toward whom all
are directing their steps, though along different paths. You must try all beliefs and traverse
all the different ways once. Wherever I look, I see men quarrelling in the name of religion -
Hindus, Mohammedans, Brahmos, Vaishnavas, and the rest. But they never reflect that He
who is called Krishna is also called Siva, and bears the name of the Primal Energy, Jesus,
and Allah as well - the same Rama with a thousand names. A lake has several ghats. At one
the Hindus take water in pitchers and call it 'jal'; at another the Mussalmans take water in
leather bags and call it 'pani'. At a third the Christians call it 'water'. Can we imagine that it
is not 'jal', but only 'pani' or 'water'? How ridiculous! The substance is One under different
names, and everyone is seeking the same substance; only climate, temperament, and name
create differences. Let each man follow his own path. If he sincerely and ardently wishes to
know God, peace be unto him! He will surely realize Him."
In 1867 Sri Ramakrishna returned to Kamarpukur to recuperate from the effect of his
austerities. The peaceful countryside, the simple and artless companions of his boyhood,
and the pure air did him much good. The villagers were happy to get back their playful,
frank, witty, kind-hearted, and truthful Gadadhar, though they did not fail to notice the
great change that had come over him during his years in Calcutta. His wife, Sarada Devi,
now fourteen years old, soon arrived at Kamarpukur. Her spiritual development was much
beyond her age and she was able to understand immediately her husband's state of mind.
She became eager to learn from him about God and to live with him as his attendant. The
Master accepted her cheerfully both as his disciple and as his spiritual companion.
Referring to the experiences of these few days, she once said: "I used to feel always as if a
pitcher full of bliss were placed in my heart. The joy was indescribable."

to be continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on April 29, 2012, 09:25:28 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Pilgrimage
On January 27, 1868, Mathur Babu with a party of some one hundred and twenty-five
persons set out on a pilgrimage to the sacred places of northern India. At Vaidyanath in
Behar, when the Master saw the inhabitants of a village reduced by poverty and starvation
to mere skeletons, he requested his rich patron to feed the people and give each a piece of
cloth. Mathur demurred at the added expense. The Master declared bitterly that he would
not go on to Benares, but would live with the poor and share their miseries. He actually left
Mathur and sat down with the villagers.
Whereupon Mathur had to yield. On another occasion, two years later, Sri Ramakrishna
showed a similar sentiment for the poor and needy. He accompanied Mathur on a tour to
one of the latter's estates at the time of the collection of rents. For two years the harvests
had failed and the tenants were in a state of extreme poverty. The Master asked Mathur to
remit their rents, distribute help to them, and in addition give the hungry people a
sumptuous feast. When Mathur grumbled, the Master said: "You are only the steward of the
Divine Mother. They are the Mother's tenants. You must spend the Mother's money. When
they are suffering, how can you refuse to help them? You must help them." Again Mathur
had to give in. Sri Ramakrishna's sympathy for the poor sprang from his perception of God
in all created beings. His sentiment was not that of the humanist or philanthropist. To him
the service of man was the same as the worship of God.
The party entered holy Benares by boat along the Ganges. When Sri Ramakrishna's eyes
fell on this city of Siva, where had accumulated for ages the devotion and piety of countless
worshippers, he saw it to be made of gold, as the scriptures declare. He was visibly moved.
During his stay in the city he treated every particle of its earth with utmost respect. At the
Manikarnika Ghat, the great cremation ground of the city, he actually saw Siva, with ashcovered
body and tawny matted hair, serenely approaching each funeral pyre and breathing
into the ears of the corpses the mantra of liberation; and then the Divine Mother removing
from the dead their bonds. Thus he realized the significance of the scriptural statement that
anyone dying in Benares attains salvation through the grace of Siva. He paid a visit to
Trailanga Swami, the celebrated monk, whom he later declared to be a real paramahamsa, a
veritable image of Siva.
Sri Ramakrishna visited Allahabad, at the confluence of the Ganges and the Jamuna, and
then proceeded to Vrindavan and Mathura, hallowed by the legends, songs, and dramas
about Krishna and the gopis. Here he had numerous visions and his heart overflowed with
divine emotion. He wept and said: "O Krishna! Everything here is as it was in the olden
days. You alone are absent." He visited the great woman saint Gangamayi, regarded by
Vaishnava devotees as the reincarnation of an intimate attendant of Radha. She was sixty
years old and had frequent trances. She spoke of Sri Ramakrishna as an incarnation of
Radha. With great difficulty he was persuaded to leave her.
On the return journey Mathur wanted to visit Gaya, but Sri Ramakrishna declined to go. He
recalled his father's vision at Gaya before his own birth and felt that in the temple of Vishnu
he would become permanently absorbed in God. Mathur, honouring the Master's wish,
returned with his party to Calcutta.
From Vrindavan the Master had brought a handful of dust. Part of this he scattered in the
Panchavati; the rest he buried in the little hut where he had practised meditation. "Now this
place", he said, "is as sacred as Vrindavan."
In 1870 the Master went on a pilgrimage to Nadia, the birth-place of Sri Chaitanya. As the
boat by which he travelled approached the sand-bank close to Nadia, Sri Ramakrishna had
a vision of the "two brothers", Sri Chaitanya and his companion Nityananda, "bright as
molten gold" and with haloes, rushing to greet him with uplifted hands. "There they come!
There they come!" he cried. They entered his body and he went into a deep trance.

To be continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on May 05, 2012, 09:02:20 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...
Relation with His Wife
In 1872, Sarada Devi paid her first visit to her husband at Dakshineswar. Four years earlier
she had seen him at Kamarpukur and had tasted the bliss of his divine company. Since then
she had become even more gentle, tender, introspective, serious, and unselfish. She had
heard many rumours about her husband's insanity. People had shown her pity in her
misfortune. The more she thought, the more she felt that her duty was to be with him,
giving him, in whatever measure she could, a wife's devoted service. She was now eighteen
years old. Accompanied by her father, she arrived at Dakshineswar, having come on foot
the distance of eighty miles. She had had an attack of fever on the way. When she arrived at
the temple garden the Master said sorrowfully: "Ah! You have come too late. My Mathur is
no longer here to look after you." Mathur had passed away the previous year.
The Master took up the duty of instructing his young wife, and this included everything
from housekeeping to the Knowledge of Brahman. He taught her how to trim a lamp, how
to behave toward people according to their differing temperaments, and how to conduct
herself before visitors. He instructed her in the mysteries of spiritual life - prayer,
meditation, japa, deep contemplation, and samadhi. The first lesson that Sarada Devi
received was: "God is everybody's Beloved, just as the moon is dear to every child.
Everyone has the same right to pray to Him. Out of His grace He reveals Himself to all who
call upon Him. You too will see Him if you but pray to Him."
Totapuri, coming to know of the Master's marriage, had once remarked: "What does it
matter? He alone is firmly established in the Knowledge of Brahman who can adhere to his
spirit of discrimination and renunciation even while living with his wife. He alone has
attained the supreme illumination who can look on man and woman alike as Brahman. A
man with the idea of sex may be a good aspirant, but he is still far from the goal." Sri
Ramakrishna and his wife lived together at Dakshineswar, but their minds always soared
above the worldly plane. A few months after Sarada Devi's arrival Sri Ramakrishna
arranged, on an auspicious day, a special worship of Kali, the Divine Mother. Instead of an
image of the Deity, he placed on the seat the living image, Sarada Devi herself. The
worshipper and the worshipped went into deep samadhi and in the transcendental plane
their souls were united. After several hours Sri Ramakrishna came down again to the
relative plane, sang a hymn to the Great Goddess, and surrendered, at the feet of the living
image, himself, his rosary, and the fruit of his life-long sadhana. This is known in Tantra as
the Shorasi Puja, the "Adoration of Woman". Sri Ramakrishna realized the significance of
the great statement of the Upanishad: "O Lord, Thou art the woman, Thou art the man;
Thou art the boy, Thou art the girl; Thou art the old, tottering on their crutches. Thou
pervadest the universe in its multiple forms.
"
By his marriage Sri Ramakrishna admitted the great value of marriage in man's spiritual
evolution, and by adhering to his monastic vows he demonstrated the imperative necessity
of self-control, purity, and continence, in the realization of God. By his unique spiritual
relationship with his wife he proved that husband and wife can live together as spiritual
companions. Thus his life is a synthesis of the ways of life of the householder and the
monk.

This wonderful life of Sri Ramakrishna and Our Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi is unique in the whole of Hagiography.To contemplate the life of this Divine couple is a powerful means to conquer Lust.Later on when devotees asked our Holy Mother as to how she ,who is the embodiment of womanhood and bashfulness,accepted the worship of Sri Ramakrishna!The Holy Mother simply replied 'at that time ,I was not myself'!
Just to contemplate this scene when both The Master and Our Holy Mother immersed in samadhi -This in itself is good to purify and elevate our mind.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on May 07, 2012, 07:09:55 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...
The "Ego" of the Master
In the nirvikalpa samadhi Sri Ramakrishna had realized that Brahman alone is real and the
world illusory. By keeping his mind six months on the plane of the non-dual Brahman, he
had attained to the state of the vijnani, the Knower of Truth in a special and very rich sense,
who sees Brahman not only in himself and in the transcendental Absolute, but in everything
of the world. In this state of vijnana, sometimes, bereft of body-consciousness, he would
regard himself as one with Brahman; sometimes, conscious of the dual world, he would
regard himself as God's devotee, servant, or child. In order to enable the Master to work for
the welfare of humanity, the Divine Mother had kept in him a trace of ego, which he
described - according to his mood - as the "ego of Knowledge", the "ego of Devotion", the
"ego of a child", or the "ego of a servant". In any case this ego of the Master, consumed by
the fire of the Knowledge of Brahman, was an appearance only, like a burnt string. He
often referred to this ego as the "ripe ego" in contrast with the ego of the bound soul, which
he described as the "unripe" or "green" ego. The ego of the bound soul identifies itself with
the body, relatives, possessions, and the world; but the "ripe ego", illumined by Divine
Knowledge, knows the body, relatives, possessions, and the world to be unreal and
establishes a relationship of love with God alone. Through this "ripe ego" Sri Ramakrishna
dealt with the world and his wife. One day, while stroking his feet, Sarada Devi asked the
Master, "What do you think of me?" Quick came the answer: "The Mother who is
worshipped in the temple is the mother who has given birth to my body and is now living in
the nahabat, and it is She again who is stroking my feet at this moment. Indeed, I always
look on you as the personification of the Blissful Mother Kali."
Sarada Devi, in the company of her husband, had rare spiritual experiences. She said: "I
have no words to describe my wonderful exaltation of spirit as I watched him in his
different moods. Under the influence of divine emotion he would sometimes talk on
abstruse subjects, sometimes laugh, sometimes weep, and sometimes become perfectly
motionless in samadhi. This would continue throughout the night. There was such an
extraordinary divine presence in him that now and then I would shake with fear and wonder
how the night would pass. Months went by in this way. Then one day he discovered that I
had to keep awake the whole night lest, during my sleep, he should go into samadhi - for it
might happen at any moment -, and so he asked me to sleep in the nahabat."

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on May 07, 2012, 08:57:02 AM
Dea i,

the life of Sarada devi, may generally get unnoticed before the Master, but, the life of Mother is very touching indeed, no matter your husband be a realised soul, really a very touching soul. She is the epitome of humbleness. in Tamil (தண்ணடக்கம் ) Thannadakkam.

Has the Master anywhere said anything about, how does one get to know, if he has attained the truth. i am aware it may be a stupid question :) but, i have to ask... i am aware of Swayam Prakasha, Self knows, itself will know, it is its own illumination and so on... but, i feel, the Master has his knack of answering things like these... atleast quieten the mind  :) thank you.

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on May 07, 2012, 09:51:31 AM
Nagaraj.
We may say the other way round-that Sri Ramakrishna was fortunate to be the husband of a Realized soul!Sri Sarada devi's stature can only be understood when we are left wondering how Swami Vivekananda used to dip himself in the Ganges 6 times before approaching her.Swami Brahmananda will be overwhelmed and shiver with Divine emotion and approach her like a child and prostrate before her.These were Brahma Jnanis!Swamiji's chicago speech was a success because he wrote to Holy Mother seeking her blessings and she blessed her' Naren' -'May Saraswati reside in your tongue'!There are instances of persons not accepted by the Master reverting to our Holy Mother who accepted them unconditionally saying-'Ok,if he does not accept,do not go to Him!I am your Mother and you are my children!"
More on our Holy Mother later.
You asked about how Sri Ramakrishna answers that question of knowing Truth for oneself.Here is an excerpt from The Gospel:
"After having the vision of God man is overpowered with bliss. He becomes silent. Who
will speak? Who will explain?
"The king lives beyond seven gates. At each gate sits a man endowed with great power and
glory. At each gate the visitor asks, 'Is this the king?' The gate-keeper answers, 'No. Not
this, not this.' The visitor passes through the seventh gate and. becomes overpowered with
joy. He is speechless. This time he doesn't have to ask, 'Is this the king?' The mere sight of
him removes all doubts
."
PREACHER: "Yes, sir, it is so described in Vedanta."
MASTER: "When the Godhead is thought of as creating, preserving, and destroying, It is
known as the Personal God, Saguna Brahman, or the Primal Energy, Adyasakti. Again,
when It is thought of as beyond the three gunas, then It is called the Attributeless Reality,
Nirguna Brahman, beyond speech and thought; this is the Supreme Brahman, Parabrahman."

This is the same as what Sri Bhagavan says in ulladu nARpadu -kandEn enru karuththezha villai,kandilEn enru karthezhumAren!
There are more such exquisite sayings of sri Ramakrishna in The Gospel-He has this knack of making even a child of five to grasp and understand subtle truths through homely similies and parables.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on May 07, 2012, 10:01:36 AM
Dear i,

what a beautiful way to put it, it cannot be said in a better way
We may say the other way round-that Sri Ramakrishna was fortunate to be the husband of a Realized soul!Sri Sarada devi's stature can only be understood when we are left wondering how Swami Vivekananda used to dip himself in the Ganges 6 times before approaching her.Swami Brahmananda will be overwhelmed and shiver with Divine emotion and approach her like a child and prostrate before her.These were Brahma Jnanis!Swamiji's chicago speech was a success because he wrote to Holy Mother seeking her blessings and she blessed her' Naren' -'May Saraswati reside in your tongue'!There are instances of persons not accepted by the Master reverting to our Holy Mother who accepted them unconditionally saying-'Ok,if he does not accept,do not go to Him!I am your Mother and you are my children!"

Swami Vivekananda, Swami Brahmananda, themselves - if we have to look them we have to bend our neck upwards, and the kind of bhakthi and humbleness they showed towards mother is unfathomable.

it is so beautifully explained, verily its same as Bhagavan says in ulladu nARpadu -kandEn enru karuththezha villai,kandilEn enru karthezhumAren!

just silence... thank you..

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on May 07, 2012, 10:12:39 AM
Dear i,

moreover, if we notice the lives of all great jnanis or realised sould, their autobiography ends here, at the point of entering the 7th gate or such a one utters his last real speech such as kandEn enru karuththezha villai,kandilEn enru karthezhumAren! these are the last ending words of every realised beings.

Everything else that follows after this, is only a biography :)

Salutations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on May 11, 2012, 08:01:00 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Summary of the Master's Spiritual Experiences
We have now come to the end of Sri Ramakrishna's sadhana, the period of his spiritual
discipline. As a result of his supersensuous experiences he reached certain conclusions
regarding himself and spirituality in general. His conclusions about himself may be
summarised as follows:
First, he was an Incarnation of God, a specially commissioned person, whose spiritual
experiences were for the benefit of humanity. Whereas it takes an ordinary man a whole
life's struggle to realize one or two phases of God, he had in a few years realized God in all
His phases.
Second, he knew that he had always been a free soul, that the various disciplines through
which he had passed were really not necessary for his own liberation but were solely for the
benefit of others. Thus the terms liberation and bondage were not applicable to him. As
long as there are beings who consider themselves bound, God must come down to earth as
an Incarnation to free them from bondage, just as a magistrate must visit any part of his
district in which there is trouble.
Third, he came to foresee the time of his death. His words with respect to this matter were
literally fulfilled.
About spirituality in general the following were his conclusions:
First, he was firmly convinced that all religions are true, that every doctrinal system
represents a path to God. He had followed all the main paths and all had led him to the
same goal. He was the first religious prophet recorded in history to preach the harmony of
religions.
Second, the three great systems of thought known as Dualism, Qualified Non-dualism, and
Absolute Non-dualism - Dvaita, Visishtadvaita, and Advaita - he perceived to represent
three stages in man's progress toward the Ultimate Reality. They were not contradictory but
complementary and suited to different temperaments. For the ordinary man with strong
attachment to the senses, a dualistic form of religion, prescribing a certain amount of
material support, such as music and other symbols, is useful. A man of God-realization
transcends the idea of worldly duties, but the ordinary mortal must perform his duties,
striving to be unattached and to surrender the results to God. The mind can comprehend and
describe the range of thought and experience up to the Visishtadvaita, and no further. The
Advaita, the last word in spiritual experience, is something to be felt in samadhi, for it
transcends mind and speech. From the highest standpoint, the Absolute and Its
manifestation are equally real - the Lord's Name, His Abode, and the Lord Himself are of
the same spiritual Essence. Everything is Spirit, the difference being only in form.
Third, Sri Ramakrishna realized the wish of the Divine Mother that through him She should
found a new Order, consisting of those who would uphold the universal doctrines
illustrated in his life.
Fourth, his spiritual insight told him that those who were having their last birth on the
mortal plane of existence and those who had sincerely called on the Lord even once in their
lives must come to him.
In 1871 Mathur died, and some five years later Sambhu Mallick -
who, after Mathur's passing away, had taken care of the Master's comfort. In 1873 died his
elder brother Rameswar, and in 1876, his beloved mother. These bereavements left their
imprint on the tender human heart of Sri Ramakrishna albeit he had realized the
immortality of the soul and the illusoriness of birth and death.
In March 1875, about a year before the death of his mother, the Master met Keshab
Chandra Sen. The meeting was a momentous event for both Sri Ramakrishna and Keshab.
Here the Master for the first time came into actual contact with a worthy representative of
modern India.

to be continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 12, 2012, 12:23:34 PM

kaNdanan enRida karuthezhavillai,
kandilan enRida karuthezhumARen....

occurs in Sri Arunachala Ashtakam, in Verse 2.


Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on May 12, 2012, 02:38:58 PM
Subramanian,
Thanks for the correction.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on May 13, 2012, 06:48:56 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Brahmo Samaj
Keshab was the leader of the Brahmo Samaj, one of the two great movements that, during
the latter part of the nineteenth century, played an important part in shaping the course of
the renascence of India. The founder of the Brahmo movement had been the great Raja
Rammohan Roy (1774-1833). Though born in an orthodox brahmin family, Rammohan
Roy had shown great sympathy for Islam and Christianity. He had gone to Tibet in search
of the Buddhist mysteries. He had extracted from Christianity its ethical system, but had
rejected the divinity of Christ as he had denied the Hindu Incarnations. The religion of
Islam influenced him, to a great extent, in the formulation of his monotheistic doctrines.
But he always went back to the Vedas for his spiritual inspiration. The Brahmo Samaj,
which he founded in 1828, was dedicated to the "worship and adoration of the Eternal, the
Unsearchable, the Immutable Being, who is the Author and Preserver of the Universe". The
Samaj was open to all without distinction of colour, creed, caste, nation, or religion.
In Bengal
and some other parts of India the Brahmo movement took the form of Unitarian
Christianity, scoffed at Hindu rituals, and preached a crusade against image worship.
Influenced by Western culture, it declared the supremacy of reason, advocated the ideals of
the French Revolution, abolished the caste-system among, its own members, stood for the
emancipation of women, agitate for the abolition of early marriage, sanctioned the
remarriage of widows, and encouraged various educational and social-reform movements.
The immediate effect of the Brahmo movement in Bengal was the checking of the
proselytising activities of the Christian missionaries. It also raised Indian culture in the
estimation of its English masters. But it was an intellectual and eclectic religious ferment
born of the necessity of the time. Unlike Hinduism, it was not founded on the deep inner
experiences of sages and prophets. Its influence was confined to a comparatively few
educated men and women of the country, and the vast masses of the Hindus remained
outside it. It sounded monotonously only one of the notes in the rich gamut of the Eternal
Religion of the Hindus.

Arya Samaj
The other movement playing an important part in the nineteenth-century religious revival of
India was the Arya Samaj. The Brahmo Samaj, essentially a movement of compromise with
European culture, tacitly admitted the superiority of the West. But the founder of the Arya
Samaj was a pugnacious Hindu sannyasi who accepted the challenge of Islam and
Christianity and was resolved to combat all foreign influence in India. Swami Dayananda
(1824-1883) launched this movement in Bombay in 1875, and soon its influence was felt
throughout western India. The Swami was a great scholar of the Vedas, which he explained
as being strictly mono-theistic. He preached against the worship of images and reestablished
the ancient Vedic sacrificial rites. According to him the Vedas were the ultimate
authority on religion, and he accepted every word of them as literally true. The Arya Samaj
became a bulwark against the encroachments of Islam and Christianity, and its orthodox
flavour appealed to many Hindu minds. It also assumed leadership in many movements of
social reform. The caste-system became a target of its attack. Women it liberated from
many of their social disabilities. The cause of education received from it a great impetus. It
started agitation against early marriage and advocated the remarriage of Hindu widows. Its
influence was strongest in the Punjab, the battle-ground of the Hindu and Islamic cultures.
A new fighting attitude was introduced into the slumbering Hindu society. Unlike the
Brahmo Samaj, the influence of the Arya Samaj was not confined to the intellectuals. It was
a force that spread to the masses. It was a dogmatic movement intolerant of those disagreed
with its views, and it emphasized only one way, the Arya Samaj way, to the realization of
Truth. Sri Ramakrishna met Swami Dayananda when the latter visited Bengal.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on May 13, 2012, 11:44:41 AM
Today is Mother's Day:

Apart from the Universal Mother, Mahadevi/Mahalakshmi/Mahasaraswati, how many Mothers have descended on this earth,
to teach us the definition of Motherhood!  Three Mothers come to my mind readily. There could be more. First is Mother Sarada
Devi, the second is Mother Azhagamma and the third is Mother Teresa.  Our humble pranams to these Mothers today! 

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on May 20, 2012, 06:35:21 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Keshab chandra sen
Keshab Chandra Sen and Sri Ramakrishna met for the first time in the garden house of
Jaygopal Sen at Belgharia, a few miles from Dakshineswar, where the great Brahmo leader
was staying with some of his disciples. In many respects the two were poles apart, though
an irresistible inner attraction was to make them intimate friends. The Master had realized
God as Pure Spirit and Consciousness, but he believed in the various forms of God as well.
Keshab, on the other hand, regarded image worship as idolatry and gave allegorical
explanations of the Hindu deities.
Sri Ramakrishna, dressed in a red-bordered dhoti, one end of which was carelessly thrown
over his left shoulder, came to Jaygopal's garden house accompanied by Hriday. No one
took notice of the unostentatious visitor. Finally the Master said to Keshab, "People tell me
you have seen God; so I have come to hear from you about God." A magnificent
conversation followed. The Master sang a thrilling song about Kali and forthwith went into
samadhi. When Hriday uttered the sacred "Om" in his ears, he gradually came back to
consciousness of the world, his face still radiating a divine brilliance. Keshab and his
followers were amazed. The contrast between Sri Ramakrishna and the Brahmo devotees
was very interesting. There sat this small man, thin and extremely delicate. His eyes were
illumined with an inner light. Good humour gleamed in his eyes and lurked in the corners
of his mouth. His speech was Bengali of a homely kind with a slight, delightful stammer,
and his words held men enthralled by their wealth of spiritual experience, their
inexhaustible store of simile and metaphor, their power of observation, their bright and
subtle humour, their wonderful catholicity, their ceaseless flow of wisdom. And around him
now were the sophisticated men of Bengal, the best products of Western education, with
Keshab, the idol of young Bengal, as their leader
.
Keshab's sincerity was enough for Sri Ramakrishna. Henceforth the two saw each other
frequently, either at Dakshineswar or at the temple of the Brahmo Samaj. Whenever the
Master was in the temple at the time of divine service, Keshab would request him to speak
to the congregation. And Keshab would visit the saint, in his turn, with offerings of flowers
and fruits.
Gradually other Brahmo leaders began to feel Sri Ramakrishna's influence. But they were
by no means uncritical admirers of the Master. They particularly disapproved of his ascetic
renunciation and condemnation of, "woman and gold". They measured him according to
their own ideals of the householder's life. Some could not understand his samadhi and
described it as a nervous malady. Yet they could not resist his magnetic personality.
The Brahmo leaders received much inspiration from their contact with Sri Ramakrishna. It
broadened their religious views and kindled in their hearts the yearning for God-realization;
it made them understand and appreciate the rituals and symbols of Hindu religion,
convinced them of the manifestation of God in diverse forms, and deepened their thoughts
about the harmony of religions. The Master, too, was impressed by the sincerity of many of
the, Brahmo devotees. He told them about his own realizations and explained to them the
essence of his teachings, such as the necessity of renunciation, sincerity in the pursuit of
one's own course of discipline, faith in God, the performance of one's duties without
thought of results, and discrimination between the Real and the unreal.
This contact with the educated and progressive Bengalis opened Sri Ramakrishna's eyes to
a new realm of thought. Born and brought up in a simple village, without any formal
education, and taught by the orthodox holy men of India in religious life, he had had no
opportunity to study the influence of modernism on the thoughts and lives of the Hindus.
He could not properly estimate the result of the impact of Western education on Indian
culture. He was a Hindu of the Hindus, renunciation being to him the only means to the
realization of God in life. From the Brahmos he learnt that the new generation of India
made a compromise between God and the world.
Educated young men were influenced
more by the Western philosophers than by their own prophets. But Sri Ramakrishna was
not dismayed, for he saw in this, too, the hand of God
. And though he expounded to the
Brahmos all his ideas about God and austere religious disciplines, yet he bade them accept
from his teachings only as much as suited their tastes and temperaments.


To be continued....

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on May 20, 2012, 10:26:55 AM
I am unable to trace back to the thread in which the link for Human Gospel was shared. i just want to express my gratitude for sharing it.

The Human Gospel is verily like Periya Puranam, or much more than that itself, especially for Ramana devotees, where Ramanar Himself being the Supreme Parameshwara.

Prostrations to Bhagavan
Title: What is Discrimination
Post by: Nagaraj on May 24, 2012, 08:23:02 AM
NEIGHBOUR: "What is discrimination?"

MASTER: "Discrimination is the reasoning by which one knows that God alone is real and all else is unreal. Real means eternal, and unreal means impermanent. He who has acquired discrimination knows that God is the only Substance and all else is non-existent. With the awakening of this spirit of discrimination a man wants to know God. On the contrary, if a man loves the unreal-such things as creature comforts, name, fame, and wealth, then he doesn't want to know God, who is of the very nature of Reality. Through discrimination between the Real and the unreal one seeks to know God.

"Listen to a song:

                      Come, let us go for a walk, O mind, to Kāli, the Wish-fulfilling Tree,
                      And there beneath It gather the four fruits of life.
                      Of your two wives, Dispassion and Worldliness,
                      Bring along Dispassion only, on your way to the Tree,
                      And ask her son Discrimination about the Truth. . . .

"By turning the mind within oneself one acquires discrimination, and through discrimination one thinks of Truth. Then the mind feels the desire to go for a walk to Kāli, the Wish-fulfilling Tree. Reaching that Tree, that is to say, going near to God, you can without any effort gather four fruits, namely, dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. Yes, after realizing God, one can also get, if one so desires, dharma, artha, and kama, which are necessary for leading the worldly life."

NEIGHBOUR: "Then why should one call the world maya?"

God and the world


MASTER: "As long as one has not realized God, one should renounce the world, following the process of 'Neti, neti.' But he who has attained God knows that it is God who has become all this. Then he sees that God, maya, living beings, and the universe form one whole. God includes the universe and its living beings. Suppose you have separated the shell, flesh, and seeds of a bel-fruit and someone asks you the weight of the fruit. Will you leave aside the shell and the seeds, and weigh only the flesh? Not at all. To know the real weight of the fruit, you must weigh the whole of it-the shell, the flesh, and the seeds. Only then can you tell its real weight. The shell may be likened to the universe, and the seeds to living beings. While one is engaged in discrimination one says to oneself that the universe and the living beings are non-Self and unsubstantial. At that time one thinks of the flesh alone as the substance, and the shell and seeds as unsubstantial. But after discrimination is over, one feels that all three parts of the fruit together form a unity. Then one further realizes that the stuff that has produced the flesh of the fruit has also produced the shell and seeds. To know the real nature of the bel-fruit one must know all three.

"It is the process of evolution and involution. The world, after its dissolution, remains involved in God; and God, at the time of creation, evolves as the world. Butter goes with buttermilk, and buttermilk goes with butter. If there is a thing called buttermilk, then butter also exists; and if there is a thing called butter, then buttermilk also exists. If the Self exists, then the non-Self must also exist.

Note WRT "If the Self exists, then the non-Self must also exist" :

                  What is called knowledge
                  Is nothing but [the corollary of] ignorance;
                  Each appears at the concealment of the other.

                  ----------

                 If we call this “ignorance,”
                 What shall we call “knowledge”?
                 Is the Self an object of either one?

                 (Jnaneshwar)

"The phenomenal world belongs to that very Reality to which the Absolute belongs; again, the Absolute belongs to that very Reality to which the phenomenal world belongs. He who is realized as God has also become the universe and its living beings. One who knows the Truth knows that it is He alone who has become father and mother, child and neighbour, man and animal, good and bad, holy and unholy, and so forth."

Virtue and vice

NEIGHBOUR: "Then is there no virtue and no sin?"

MASTER: "They both exist and do not exist. If God keeps the ego in a man, then He keeps in him the sense of differentiation and also the sense of virtue and sin. But in a rare few He completely effaces the ego and these go beyond virtue and sin, good and bad. As long as a man has not realized God, he retains the sense of differentiation and the knowledge of good and bad. You may say: 'Virtue and sin are the same to me. I am doing only as God bids me.' But you know in your heart of hearts that those are mere words. No sooner do you commit an evil deed than you feel a palpitation in your heart. Even after God has been realized, He keeps in the mind of the devotee, if He so desires, the feeling of the 'servant ego'. In that state the devotee says, 'O God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant.' Such a devotee enjoys only spiritual talk and spiritual deeds.
He does not enjoy the company of ungodly people. He does not care for any work that is not of a holy nature. So you see that God keeps the sense of differentiation even in such a devotee."

NEIGHBOUR: "You ask us, sir, to live in the world after knowing God. Can God really be known?"

MASTER: "God cannot be known by the sense-organs or by this mind; but He can be known by the pure mind, the mind that is free from worldiy desires."
NEIGHBOUR: "Who can know God?"
MASTER: "Right. Who can really know Him? But as for us, it is enough to know as much of Him as we need. What need have I of a whole well of water? One jar is more than enough for me. An ant went to a sugar hill. Did it need the entire hill? A grain or two of sugar was more than enough."

NEIGHBOUR: "Sir, we are like typhoid patients. How can we be satisfied with one jar of water? We feel like knowing, the whole of God."

MASTER: "That's true. But there is also medicine for typhoid."
NEIGHBOUR: "What is that medicine, sir?"

MASTER: "The company of holy men, repeating the name of God and singing His glories, and unceasing prayer. I prayed to the Divine Mother: 'Mother, I don't seek knowledge. Here, take Thy knowledge, take Thy ignorance. Give me only pure love for Thy Lotus Feet.' I didn't ask for anything else. "As is the disease, so must the remedy be. The Lord says in the Gitā: 'O Arjuna, take refuge in Me. I shall deliver you from all sins.' Take shelter at His feet: He will give you right understanding. He will take entire responsibility for you. Then you will get rid of the typhoid. Can one ever know God with such a mind as this? Can one pour four seers of milk into a one-seer pot? Can we ever know God unless He lets us know Him? Therefore I say, take shelter in God. Let Him do whatever He likes. He is self-willed. What power is there in a man?"

(The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna)

Prostrations to Bhagavan
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on May 26, 2012, 07:42:02 AM
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

In the year 1879 occasional writings about Sri Ramakrishna by the Brahmos, in the Brahmo
magazines, began to attract his future disciples from the educated middle-class Bengalis,
and they continued to come till 1884. But others, too, came, feeling the subtle power of his
attraction. They were an ever shifting crowd of people of all castes and creeds: Hindus and
Brahmos, Vaishnavas and Saktas, the educated with university degrees and the illiterate,
old and young, maharajas and beggars, journalists and artists, pundits and devotees,
philosophers and the worldly-minded, jnanis and yogis, men of action and men of faith,
virtuous women and prostitutes, office-holders and vagabonds, philanthropists and selfseekers,
dramatists and drunkards, builders-up and pullers-down. He gave to them all,
without stint, from his illimitable store of realization. No one went away empty-handed. He
taught them the lofty knowledge of the Vedanta and the soul-melting love of the Purana.
Twenty hours out of twenty-four he would speak without rest or respite. He gave to all his
sympathy and enlightenment, and he touched them with that strange power of the soul
which could not but melt even the most hardened. And people understood him according to
their powers of comprehension.
The Master's Method of Teaching
But he remained as ever the willing instrument in the hand of God, the child of the Divine
Mother, totally untouched by the idea of being a teacher. He used to say that three ideas -
that he was a guru, a father, and a master - pricked his flesh like thorns. Yet he was an
extraordinary teacher
. He stirred his disciples' hearts more by a subtle influence than by
actions or words.
He never claimed to be the founder of a religion or the organizer of a sect.
Yet he was a religious dynamo. He was the verifier of all religions and creeds. He was like
an expert gardener, who prepares the soil and removes the weeds, knowing that the plants
will grow because of the inherent power of the seeds, producing each its appropriate
flowers and fruits. He never thrust his ideas on anybody. He understood people's limitations
and worked on the principle that what is good for one may be bad for another. He had the
unusual power of knowing the devotees' minds, even their inmost souls, at the first sight.
He accepted disciples with the full knowledge of their past tendencies and future
possibilities
. The life of evil did not frighten him, nor did religious squeamishness raise
anybody in his estimation. He saw in everything the unerring finger of the Divine Mother.
Even the light that leads astray was to him the light from God.
To those who became his intimate disciples the Master was a friend, companion, and
playmate. Even the chores of religious discipline would be lightened in his presence. The
devotees would be so inebriated with pure joy in his company that they would have no time
to ask themselves whether he was an Incarnation, a perfect soul, or a yogi. His very
presence was a great teaching; words were superfluous. In later years his disciples
remarked that while they were with him they would regard him as a comrade, but
afterwards would tremble to think of their frivolities in the presence of such a great person.
They had convincing proof that the Master could, by his mere wish, kindle in their hearts
the love of God and give them His vision.
Through all this fun and frolic, this merriment and frivolity, he always kept before them the
shining ideal of God-Consciousness and the path of renunciation. He prescribed ascents
steep or graded according to the powers of the climber. He permitted no compromise with
the basic principles of purity. An aspirant had to keep his body, mind, senses, and soul
unspotted; had to have a sincere love for God and an ever mounting spirit of yearning. The
rest would be done by the Mother
.
His disciples were of two kinds: the householders, and the young men, some of whom were
later to become monks. There was also a small group of women devotees.

To be continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on May 31, 2012, 07:21:09 PM
I asked because I wondered if a Jnani can 'keep' His Personal form by His Will and I remembered that I have read somewhere that Sri Ramakrishna has decided to stay 'somewhere' between the Absolute and the Relative for Guidance for His followers.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on May 31, 2012, 07:26:20 PM
Ramana/Friends,
I am posting something that is Mystical on sri Ramakrishna as Requested by Ramana.Generally ,I avoid posting these things.It may not be understood properly or may not interest others.
Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Different manifestations of the Absolute
"But the Nitya and the Lila are the two aspects of the same Reality. As I have said before, it
is like the roof and the steps leading to it. The Absolute plays in many ways: as Isvara, as
the gods, as man, and as the universe. The Incarnation is the play of the Absolute as man.
Do you know how the Absolute plays as man? It is like the rushing down of water from a
big roof through a pipe; the power of Satchidananda-nay, Satchidananda Itself-descends
through the conduit of a human form as water descends through the pipe
. Only twelve
sages, Bharadvaja and the others, recognized Rama as an Incarnation of God. Not everyone
can recognize an Incarnation.
"It is God alone who incarnates Himself as man to teach people the ways of love and
knowledge. Well, what do you think of me?

"Once my father went to Gaya. There Raghuvir said to him in a dream, 'I shall be born as
your son.' Thereupon my father said to Him: 'O Lord, I am a poor brahmin. How shall I be
able to serve You?' 'Don't worry about it', Raghuvir replied. 'It will be taken care of.'
"My sister, Hriday's mother, used to worship my feet with flowers and sandal-paste. One
day I placed my foot on her head and said to her, 'You will die in Benares.'
"Once Mathur Babu said to me: 'Father, there is nothing inside you but God. Your body is
like an empty shell. It may look from outside like a pumpkin, but inside there is nothing neither
flesh nor seed. Once I saw you as someone moving with a veil on
.'
Master's vision of Gauranga
(To M.) "I am shown everything beforehand. Once I saw Gauranga and his devotees
singing kirtan in the Panchavati. I think I saw Balaram there and you too.
"I wanted to know the experiences of Gauranga and was shown them at Syambazar in our
native district. A crowd gathered; they even climbed the trees and the walls; they stayed
with me day and night. For seven days I had no privacy whatever. Thereupon I said to the
Divine Mother, 'Mother, I have had enough of it.'
"I am at peace now. I shall have to be born once more. Therefore I am not giving all
knowledge to my companions. (With a smile) Suppose I give you all knowledge; will you
then come to me again so willingly?
"I recognized you on hearing you read the Chaitanya Bhagavat. You are my own. The
same substance, like father and son. All of you are coming here again. When you pull one
part of the kalmi creeper, all the branches come toward you. You are all relatives-like
brothers. Suppose Rakhal, Harish, and the others had gone to Puri, and you were there too.
Would you live separately
?

to be continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 11:44:05 AM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
Friends,
One of the most beautiful lives among the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna was that of Sri Gopaler Ma,who fed God in the form of Gopala!How the Master once humorously pitted the pious old lady against  the Modern rationalist Narendra(later Swami Vivekananda)!

 "One day, however, Gopaler-ma and Narendranath chanced to be present at Dakshineshwar at the same time. Gopaler-ma was uneducated, unsophisticated, simple, and a devout worshipper of God with form; Narendranath, on the other hand, was learned, sophisticated, intelligent, and a staunch believer in the formless God. As a member of the Brahmo Samaj, he looked down on worship of God with form. Sri Ramakrishna had a tremendous sense of humour, so he engaged these two devotees, with their opposing points of view, in a discussion by requesting Gopaler-ma to relate her visions to Narendranath.

‘But will there not be harm in telling them?’ she asked. Assured by him that it would be all right, she related all her visions in detail to Narendranath with overwhelming joy and tears.

Devotion is contagious. Narendranath, in spite of his manly exterior and faith in rationalism, could not control his tears. His heart was filled with love and religious fervour. The old lady now and then interrupted her story to say: ‘my son, you are learned and intelligent, and I am a poor, illiterate widow. I don’t understand anything. Please tell me, are these visions true?’

‘Yes, Mother, whatever you have seen is all true,’ Narendranath assured her."

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 12:05:19 PM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
It is hard to believe how the infinite God actually assumes a finite human form and plays with human beings. But this play was actually enacted in the life of a woman devotee of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa.

She was known as Gopaler-ma, or ‘Gopala’s mother. Gopala, or cowherd boy is an epithet of the child Krishna. Gopaler-ma’s given name was Aghoremani Devi, but she came to be called Gopaler-ma because of her fervent devotion to the infant Krishna, which culminated in Lord Krishna appearing before her as a child of seemingly solid physical form. Aghoremani attained this high mystic experience by living a life of austerity and renunciation, and through her steadfast love for her Chosen Deity, Gopala.

One way to approach God, according to traditional Hinduism, is by practising any one of five dualistic attitudes, or modes. These attitudes, or modes, are manifested in the relationship between the devotee and God, and they are:

Shanta Bhava, the peace and stillness felt in the presence of God
Dasya Bhava, the attitude of a servant towards his Master
Sakhya Bhava, the attitude of a friend towards a Friend
Vatsalya Bhava, the attitude of a parent towards a Child
Madhura Bhava, the attitude of a lover towards the Beloved.
The idea behind this classification is to help the spiritual aspirant intensify his relationship with God according to his own inner nature. This is a natural path to God-realization. Gopaler-ma attained her vision of God through the practice of Vatsalya Bhava, the attitude of a mother towards her child.

Aghoremani Devi was born of a Brahmin family about the year 1822 at Kamarhati, a northern suburb of Calcutta. Following the social custom of child marriage, she was married at the age of nine. Her wedding was the first and last time she saw her husband, for he died before the marriage was consummated, leaving her a widow of fourteen years of age. However, she was initiated into spiritual life by her husband’s family guru and, with the child Krishna as her Chosen Deity, she was given the ‘Gopala Mantram’. Since a Hindu Brahmin widow does not remarry, the love and energy that Aghoremani would have given her husband and children were diverted towards her beloved Gopala. It was Divine Providence that her one-pointed devotion was to make her a saint instead of a faithful housewife.

After the death of her parents she went to live at the temple garden of Govinda Datta at Kamarhati, where her brother was the priest of the Radha-Krishna temple. It was a large estate, located on the bank of the Ganga (Ganges river). Govinda’s widow, the owner and manager of the temple, was a very pious woman who lived like a nun. She practised severe austerities, such as sleeping on the floor, bathing three times and eating one meal a day, and observing religious vows, daily worship, japam, and meditation. She was looking for a companion, and through her priest she found Aghoremani, who had a similar nature and spiritual inclination. Aghoremani was also very happy to have the opportunity to live in a solitary, holy place on the bank of the Ganga.

Aghoremani was short but well built, with a tawny complexion and a face that shone with the glow of purity. It is an ancient custom in India for monastics and orthodox widows to shave their heads because they do not care for external beauty, and, following their example, Aghoremani shaved her head. In later years she donned the ochre cloth, the traditional garb of the renunciant.

By selling her jewellery and husband’s property Aghoremani received about five hundred Rupees, which she invested in securities and left in her landlady’s care. With the three or four Rupees a month interest earned on this investment, she had to manage her living. Sometimes the landlady helped her, but from time to time Aghoremani was forced to draw on her capital.

Spiritual life is not a matter of show. The more hidden it is, the stronger and more fruitful it becomes; the more it is expressed, the weaker and more superficial it becomes. For this reason mystics like to remain hidden. Aghoremani, like other mystics, was a person of few words, and she led a quiet, contemplative life in the temple garden of Kamarhati.

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Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 12:15:25 PM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
Many years later Sister Nivedita described her surroundings:

"How beautiful was the Ganga, as the little boat crept on and on! And how beautiful seemed the long flight of steps rising out of the water, and leading up, through its lofty bathing-ghat, past the terraced lawn, to the cloister-like veranda on the right, where, in a little room, built probably in the first place for some servant of the great house at its side, Gopaler-ma had lived and told her beads for many a year …. Her own little room was absolutely without comfort. Her bed was of stone, and her floor of stone, and the piece of matting she offered her guests to sit on, had to be taken down from a shelf and unrolled. The handful of parched rice and sugar candy that formed her only store, and were all that she could give in hospitality, were taken from an earthen pot that hung from the roof by a few cords. But the place was spotlessly clean, washed constantly by Ganga-water of her own sturdy carrying. And in a niche near her hand lay an old copy of the Ramayana, and her great horn spectacles, and the little white bag containing her beads. On those beads, Gopaler-ma had become a saint! Hour after hour, day after day, for how many years, had she sat day and night absorbed in them!"

The tiny room, where Gopaler-ma spent the greater portion of her life, was at the southwest corner of the building. It had three windows on the southern side through which she could see the Ganga. Inside the room were large earthen pots containing rice, lentils, spices, and other things, which she purchased in quantities to last for six months. Fresh vegetables were bought once a week at the local market. She kept her few articles of clothing in a tin trunk, and her cooking pots and pans were neatly stacked in one corner. Both her inner life and her outer life were well organized. This is a sign of a yogi.

The scriptures say that the practices of an illumined soul are meant for spiritual aspirants to emulate. Gopaler-ma’s life, devoid of comfort and luxury, and filled with intense longing for Gopala, demonstrates how essential austerity and concentration are to realization. Thus it is both important and helpful for seekers of God to know such details as the daily routine, behaviour, habits, and mode of life of an illumined soul.

Gopaler-ma arose at two o’clock in the morning, washed her face and hands, and then started her japam (recitation of God’s name or mantra), which continued until eight o’clock. Next, she cleaned the Radha-Krishna temple, washed the worship vessels, picked flowers, and made garlands and sandal paste. She was neat, clean, and meticulous. She would bathe twice a day, mornings in the Ganga and evenings in the pond. After bathing in the Ganga, she meditated for some time under a vilwa tree in the temple garden. Next, she collected dry wood and leaves for her cooking fire. She usually cooked rice, dal, bitter squash, and potato. Her food offering to Baby Gopala was worth seeing. She would place a wooden seat on the floor for Gopala and offer cooked food on a banana leaf-plate, which she set before him. Afterwards she would partake of the prasad and then rest for a while. She practised japam again until evening, when she would attend the vesper service of Radha-Krishna and listen to devotional singing. Her supper was always very simple, usually consisting of a few offered coconut balls and a little milk. Again she would start her japam, which continued until midnight. With rare exception, she followed this routine daily for over thirty years – from 1852 to 1883. Perhaps the only break of any consequence in her routine came when she went on a pilgrimage with her landlady to Gaya, Varanasi, Allahabad, Mathura, and Vrindaban.

Swami Ramakrishnananda mentioned an incident, which happened shortly before Gopaler-ma met Sri Ramakrishna:

"One day she was cooking as usual, but the fire would not burn, the wood was heavy with moisture, and there was an adverse wind which blew the smoke into her eyes. Finally when the bit of rice and curry was done and she was about to pour it out on the leaf, the adverse wind blew away the leaf. Then she began to scold God for making everything so bad for Gopala. As she was talking, a little boy brought back the leaf, held it out flat on the ground until she had put the food on it and then disappeared. She began to feed her Gopala, but suddenly she began to ask herself who that little boy was and she realized that it was Gopala himself. From that moment she became mad. All day and night she kept crying, ‘Where is my Gopala? Where is my Gopala?’ She could not sleep or eat. Only at night would she prepare a little food for Gopala, and everyone thought she had really become mad."

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Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 12:36:06 PM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
By the 1880s Sri Ramakrishna’s name had begun to spread, and it was in the fall of 1884 that Gopaler-ma first went to Dakshineshwar, along with her landlady and another woman, to seek an audience with the holy man. As Kamarhati and Dakshineshwar are both on the Ganga, they went the three miles by boat. Sri Ramakrishna received them cordially, gave them some advice on devotion, and sang a few songs. He asked them to come again, and graciously, in turn, the landlady invited Sri Ramakrishna to visit her temple garden at Kamarhati. He accepted the invitation.

Only a jeweller understands the value of a jewel. Sri Ramakrishna recognized the spiritual magnitude of both Gopaler-ma and the landlady, and praising them in his sweet manner, he said: ‘Ah! What a beautiful expression on their faces! They are floating in the ocean of bliss and devotion. Their eyes are soaked with divine love’.

On another occasion Sri Ramakrishna commented about Gopaler-ma, ‘During Krishna’s incarnation she was a fruit-seller of Vrindaban, and she would feed Gopala the sweet fruits’.

After her first visit Gopaler-ma felt an irresistible attraction for Sri Ramakrishna, and she noticed a change in her life. Off and on she would think about Sri Ramakrishna, ‘He is a nice man and a real devotee’. She decided to see him again.

A few days later, while she was practising japam, her desire to see him (Sri Ramakrishna) was

so intense that she immediately left for Dakshineshwar by herself. It is an ancient custom that one should not visit God or a holy person empty-handed, so on her way she bought two pennies worth of stale sweets, which was all that she could afford. She was confident that he would not eat them, since so many people brought better offerings every day. But no sooner had she arrived at Dakshineshwar than Sri Ramakrishna said: ‘Oh, you have come! Give me what you have brought for me’.

She was embarrassed, but she reluctantly handed over the stale sweets to him. Like a hungry boy he started to eat them with great relish and said to her: ‘Why do you spend money for sweets? Prepare some sweet coconut balls, and when you visit this place bring one or two of them with you. Or you may bring a little of the ordinary dishes that you cook yourself. I want to eat your cooking."

That day Sri Ramakrishna did not talk about God or religion. He only enquired about this food or that food. As Gopaler-ma later related:

"I thought, ‘what a strange monk. He talks only about food. I am a poor widow. Where shall I get so many delicacies for him? Enough! I shall not come back again.’ But as soon I crossed the gate of Dakshineshwar garden, I felt he was, as it were, pulling me back. I could not proceed further. I had a hard time persuading the mind, and at last I returned to Kamarhati."

A few days later she came to Dakshineshwar on foot, carrying some ordinary curry that she had cooked for Sri Ramakrishna. He relished it and said: "What a delicacy! It is like nectar". Tears rolled down Gopaler-ma’s cheeks. She thought the Master appreciated her humble offering only because she was poor.

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Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 12:42:56 PM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
During the next three or four months Gopaler-ma visited Dakshineshwar several times, always carrying some plain food for the Master. Invariably he asked her to bring some new food on her next visit. Sometimes she would think in disgust: ‘O Gopala, is this the outcome of my prayer? You have brought me to a holy man who only asks for food. I shall not come back again’.

But as soon as she returned to Kamarhati, she would again feel that irresistible attraction, and her mind would long to see the Master.

At the invitation of Govinda Datta’s widow, Sri Ramakrishna went to visit the temple garden of Kamarhati. He attended the worship service of Radha-Krishna and sang many devotional songs. The landlady and others there were very much impressed, seeing the Master’s ecstasy during the kirtan (singing the glory of God). After taking some prasad he returned to Dakshineshwar.

It was the spring of 1885. One morning at three o’clock Gopaler-ma, as usual, started to practise her japam. After finishing the japam she began pranayama and was about to offer the result of the japam to her Chosen Deity when she noticed that Sri Ramakrishna was seated at her left with his right fist clenched. Startled, she wondered: ‘What is this? How did he come here at this odd hour?’

As she later described: "I looked at him in amazement and thought, ‘How did he come here? Meanwhile Gopala (as she called Sri Ramakrishna) kept on smiling sweetly. As I took courage and grasped his left hand, Sri Ramakrishna’s form disappeared and in place of it appeared the real Gopala- a big child of ten months old. His beauty and look beggar description! He crawled towards me and, raising one hand, said: ‘Mother give butter’. This overwhelming experience bewildered me. I cried out so loudly that if there had been men around they would have assembled there. With tearful eyes I said, ‘My son, I am a poor, helpless widow. What shall I feed you? Where shall I get butter and cream, my child?’ But Gopala did not listen to me. ‘Give me something to eat’, he kept on saying. What could I do? Sobbing, I got up and brought some dry coconut balls from the hanging basket. Placing them in his hand, I said, ‘Gopala, my darling, I offer you this wretched thing, but don’t give me such a poor thing in return’.

I could not perform japam at all that day. Gopala sat on my lap, snatched away my rosary, jumped on my shoulders, and moved around the room. At daybreak I rushed to Dakshineshwar like a crazy woman. Gopala also accompanied me, resting his head on my shoulder. I distinctly saw Gopala’s two tiny, rosy feet hanging over my bosom."

When Gopaler-ma arrived at Dakshineshwar, a woman devotee was present. Her words vividly describe that meeting with the Master:

"I was then cleaning the Master’s room. It was seven or half past seven in the morning. In the meantime I heard somebody calling, ‘Gopala. Gopala’ from outside. The voice was familiar to me. I looked and it was Gopaler-ma. She entered through the eastern door like an intoxicated person, with dishevelled hair, staring eyes, and the end of her cloth trailing on the ground. She was completely oblivious of her surroundings. Sri Ramakrishna was then seated on his small cot.

I was dumbfounded seeing Gopaler-ma in that condition. The Master, in the meantime, entered into an ecstatic mood. Gopaler-ma sat beside him and he, like a child, sat on her lap. Tears were flowing profusely from her eyes. She fed the Master with cream, butter, and sweets that she had brought with her. I was astounded, for never before had I seen the Master touching a woman in a state of ecstasy…. After sometime the Master regained his normal consciousness and went back to his cot. But Gopaler-ma could not control her exuberant emotion. In a rapturous mood she began to dance around the room, repeating, ‘Brahma is dancing and Vishnu is dancing’. Watching her ecstasy the Master said to me with a smile, ‘Look, she is engulfed in bliss. Her mind is now in the abode of Gopala’."

Gopaler-ma’s ecstasy was boundless. Her vision, conversation, and play with her beloved Gopala continued: ‘Here is Gopala in my arms… Now he enters into you (pointing to Sri Ramakrishna)… There, he comes out again… Come, my child, come to your wretched mother’. Thus she became convinced that Sri Ramakrishna was none other than her Gopala.

Only a mystic understands the language and behaviour of another mystic. Sri Ramakrishna was happy to see her ecstasy, but then, in order to calm her, he began to stroke her chest and feed her with delicacies. Even while eating, Gopaler-ma said in an ecstatic mood: ‘Gopala, my darling, your wretched mother has led a life of dire poverty. She had to make her living by spinning and selling sacred thread. Is that why you are taking special care of her today?’ From this time on Aghoremani Devi was known as Gopaler-ma.

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Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 12:46:32 PM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
Gopaler-ma stayed the whole day at Dakshineshwar, and then, before evening, Sri Ramakrishna sent her back to Kamarhati. The same baby Gopala went with her, nestled in her arms. When she reached her room, she started to tell her beads as before, but it became impossible. Her Chosen Deity, for whom she had practised japam and meditation all her life, was now pestering her, demanding this and that, as he played in front of her. When she went to bed, Gopala was by her side. She had a hard bed without a pillow and he began to grumble. At last she cradled his head on her left arm and said: ‘My child, sleep tonight in this way. Tomorrow I shall go to Calcutta and ask the daughter of the landlady to make a soft pillow for you’.

The next morning she went to the garden to collect dry wood for cooking. Gopala also accompanied her and helped her. Then, as she was cooking, the naughty child began to play tricks on her. She tried to control him, sometimes with sweet words, and sometimes through scolding.

Modern man. Inclined to be sceptical and scientific, has great difficulty in accepting as real such experiences as Gopaler-ma’s. However, from the traditional Hindu point of view, there are much finer states of consciousness than the one in which we experience the sense world, and this has been substantiated again and again by the experiences of saints and seers. When the mind is pure and saturated with Spirit, such high states of consciousness are possible. Gopaler-ma meditated on her beloved Gopala so much that her mind became very pure. As a result, she entered the super-conscious realm, and wherever her eyes fell, she saw Gopala. In this realm of mystical experience, verbal expression, mental cognition, and intellectual reasoning do not function. The only consciousness is the direct consciousness of God.

A few days later Gopaler-ma went to Dakshineshwar to visit the Master. After greeting him she went to the nahabat, or concert room, where Sri Ramakrishna’s spiritual consort, known as Holy Mother, lived. It was Gopaler-ma’s habit to practise japam whenever she had time and opportunity. While she was doing japam in the concert room, Sri Ramakrishna came there and said: ‘Why do you practise so much japam now? You have plenty of visions!’

Gopaler-ma replied: ‘Shall I not practise japam any more? Have I attained everything?’

‘Yes, you have attained everything’.

‘Everything?’

‘Yes, everything’.

‘What do you say? Have I really accomplished everything?’

‘Yes. You have. It is no longer necessary for you to practise japam and austerity for yourself, but if you wish, you may continue those disciplines (pointing to himself) for the welfare of this body.’

Thus assured by Sri Ramakrishna three times, she said: ‘All right. Whatever I do henceforth will be for you.’

Her visions and play with Gopala continued for two months. During this time she was always in an ecstatic mood. She had to force herself to continue her daily routine of bathing, cooking, eating, japam, and meditation. Gradually her divine intoxication subsided; yet she continued to have several visions of Gopala a day. Since she had become convinced that Sri Ramakrishna and Gopala were one and the same, she had fewer visions of the form of Gopala and more of Sri Ramakrishna while meditating, with the voice of Gopala instructing her through him. She went to Sri Ramakrishna one day and said to him, crying: ‘Gopala, what have you done to me? Did I do anything wrong? Why do I not see you in the form of Gopala as before?’

Sri Ramakrishna consoled her, saying: ‘In this Kali yuga if one has visions continuously, one’s body does not last long. It survives only twenty-one days and then drops off like a dry leaf.

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Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 12:58:01 PM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
Since Gopaler-ma had experienced the bliss of constant divine inebriation, it was difficult for her to live without it. She had no interest in mundane things. Just a worldly person is always restless for worldly objects, in the same way her heart was restless for the continuous vision of Gopala. She felt a pain in her chest and thought it was due to the pressure of gas. But Sri Ramakrishna told her: ‘It is not gas. It is caused by your spiritual energy. How will you pass your time if it goes away? Let it be with you. When you feel too much pain, please eat something’.

Sri Ramakrishna used to receive gifts of sweets, and rock candy from various people, but he could not eat all of it. There were some business people who would offer gifts to him believing that such offerings to a holy man would bring them prosperity. This type of food invariably contaminates the mind of the eater. Consequently, the only devotees Sri Ramakrishna would give these things to were Swami Vivekananda and Gopaler-ma. He knew that the minds of these two great souls were in such a high realm that they could never be affected by eating such food.

One day Gopaler-ma came to see the Master with some women devotees. Pointing to her, he said to those present: ‘Ah, there is nothing inside this body but God. He fills it through and through’. Then the Master fed Gopaler-ma with various delicacies and gave her some food that he had received from several Calcutta business people. At this, Gopaler-ma said, ‘Why are you so fond of feeding me?’

Sri Ramakrishna replied: ‘You have also fed me with so many things in the past’.

‘In the past? When?’ she asked.

‘In your previous life,’ he said.
During the car festival of Lord Jagannath in 1885, Sri Ramakrishna went to Balaram Basu’s house in Calcutta. Balaram had invited many devotees for the celebration. While he was there the Master spoke highly of the God-intoxicated state and visions of Gopaler-ma, and at his behest, Balaram sent a man to bring her. Just before her arrival the Master was talking to the devotees when suddenly he went into ecstasy. His body assumed the pose of Gopala, crawling on both knees, one hand resting on the ground, the other raised, and the face turned up as if he were expecting someone. Gopaler-ma arrived then and found Sri Ramakrishna in the posture of her Chosen Deity. The devotees were amazed, seeing that divine sight.

‘Truly speaking, I don’t care for this stiff posture,’ she said. ‘My Gopala should laugh and play, walk and run. But what is this? He has become stiff like a log. I don’t like to see this sort of Gopala!’

It was a striking feature in Sri Ramakrishna’s life that whenever any mood would come over him he would be fully identified with it. Even in his last years, when he would sing, dance, or make gestures like a woman or a child, people were amazed, seeing their precision and spontaneity. His voice was sweet and melodious, and his movements were natural, simple, and beautiful. There was not an iota of insincerity or display in his behaviour and action.

Sri Ramakrishna stayed in Calcutta for a few days and then left for Dakshineshwar by boat. Some of the devotees, including Gopaler-ma, accompanied him. Balaram’s family had lovingly given Gopaler-ma some necessary items of clothing and utensils in a bundle, which she was carrying on the boat. The Master came to know from other devotees what was in the bundle. Immediately he became grave, and without directly referring to the items, he began to speak about renunciation. He said: ‘Only a man of renunciation realizes God. The devotee who is simply satisfied with another man’s hospitality and returns empty-handed, sits very close to God.’ He did not say a single word to her, but he kept looking at her bundle. Gopaler-ma understood.

The Master always watched over his devotees so that they might not deviate from the path of non-attachment. He could be as soft as a flower, and again as strong as a thunderbolt. His superhuman love conquered the hearts of the devotees; so a little indifference from him would give them unbearable pain. Gopaler-ma was stung with remorse and thought of throwing the bundle away. But she kept it, and when she reached Dakshineshwar she related everything to Holy Mother. She was ready to give all the items away, but Holy Mother stopped her and said: ‘Let the Master say what he wants. There is no one to give you gifts, and moreover, you have been given some things which you need.’ Nevertheless Gopaler-ma gave some of the things away. Then she cooked some curries for the Master and carried the tray of food to him. Seeing her repentance, he behaved with her in his usual manner. She returned to Kamarhati feeling much relieved.

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Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 01:00:37 PM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
After God-realization the illumined soul is carried along by the momentum of his past karma, but he ceases to be affected by it. He behaves like a witness, completely unattached to the world. He continues his daily routine, and he helps other people towards realization. Gopaler-ma also followed her old routine. But from time to time she would visit the Master, and whatever visions she had during meditation she would relate to him. Once he said to her, ‘One should not disclose one’s visions to others, because it stops further visions.’

One day, however, Gopaler-ma and Swami Vivekananda (then called Narendranath) chanced to be present at Dakshineshwar at the same time. Gopaler-ma was uneducated, unsophisticated, simple, and a devout worshipper of God with form; Narendranath, on the other hand, was learned, sophisticated, intelligent, and a staunch believer in the formless God. As a member of the Brahmo Samaj, he looked down on worship of God with form. Sri Ramakrishna had a tremendous sense of humour, so he engaged these two devotees, with their opposing points of view, in a discussion by requesting Gopaler-ma to relate her visions to Narendranath.

‘But will there not be harm in telling them?’ she asked. Assured by him that it would be all right, she related all her visions in detail to Narendranath with overwhelming joy and tears.

Devotion is contagious. Narendranath, in spite of his manly exterior and faith in rationalism, could not control his tears. His heart was filled with love and religious fervour. The old lady now and then interrupted her story to say: ‘my son, you are learned and intelligent, and I am a poor, illiterate widow. I don’t understand anything. Please tell me, are these visions true?’

‘Yes, Mother, whatever you have seen is all true,’ Narendranath assured her.

On another day Gopaler-ma invited Sri Ramakrishna for lunch at Kamarhati. This time the Master went by boat with Rakhal, a young disciple who later became Swami Brahmananda. She received them cordially, and after they had enjoyed the delicacies she had cooked for them, they went to a room upstairs, which had been arranged for their rest. Rakhal fell asleep immediately, but the Master was wide-awake. Presently a foul odour permeated the room, and he saw two hideous looking ghosts with skeletal-like forms. They said to him humbly: ‘Why are you here? Please go away from this place. Seeing you, we are in unbearable pain.’

The Divine presence was no doubt the cause of their pain, either because it reminded them of their own pitiable condition, or because evil spirits cannot bear that Presence.

Sri Ramakrishna immediately arose and gathered up his small spice bag and towel. In the mean time Rakhal woke up and asked, ‘Master, where are you going?’

‘I shall tell you later,’ said Sri Ramakrishna. They both went downstairs to Gopaler-ma, saying good-bye to her, and left on the boat. The Master then told the whole story to Rakhal, explaining that he did not say anything to Gopaler-ma because she was staying there alone. At any rate, she knew that ghosts frequented the area, and Sri Ramakrishna knew that her spirituality protected her from their presence.

‘One who has steadfast devotion to truthfulness realizes the God of Truth,’ said Sri Ramakrishna. His own life was based on truth, and whatever he said invariably came true. One day Gopaler-ma cooked for the Master at Dakshineshwar. When he found that the rice was not properly boiled, he indignantly said: ‘Can I eat this rice? I shall not take rice out of her hand anymore.’ People thought that the Master had only warned her to be careful in the future. But shortly afterwards it so happened that cancer developed in his throat, and from then on he could only eat thin porridge and liquids.

As the illness grew worse, Sri Ramakrishna was moved from Dakshineshwar to Calcutta, and then to Cossipore (a northern suburb of Calcutta) for treatment. Gopaler-ma now and then would come to serve him. One day the Master expressed a desire to eat a special kind of thick milk pudding. Yogindra, a young disciple, was sent to Calcutta to buy the pudding from the market. On the way, however, he stopped at the house of Balaram Basu, and when the women devotees heard about his errand, they asked him to wait and let them cook it. They meant well, reasoning that the homemade food would be of a better quality than the market food. Yogindra agreed. But when he returned with the pudding and told the Master the reason for his delay, the Master scolded him: ‘I wanted to eat the market pudding, and you were told to buy it. Why did you go to the devotee’s house and give them trouble over it? Besides, this pudding is very rich and hard to digest. I will not eat it.’

Indeed, he did not touch it, but he asked Holy Mother to give the pudding to Gopaler-ma. As he explained: ‘This is given by the devotees. Gopala dwells in her heart. Her eating it will be the same as my eating it.

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Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 01:04:10 PM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
After the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna, Gopaler-ma was grief-stricken and for a long time lived in seclusion. After a while, however, repeated visions of the Master consoled her bereaved heart. Once she went to attend the Car Festival of Jagannath in Mahesh, on the other side of the Ganga. There she had the cosmic vision of the Lord. She saw her beloved Gopala not only in the image of Jagannath in the chariot, but also in the pilgrims who were pulling the chariot. ‘I was then not myself,’ she said. ‘I danced and laughed and created a commotion there.’

Occasionally she would visit Sri Ramakrishna’s monastic disciples at the Baranagore monastery. At their request she would cook a couple of dishes and offer them to the Master.

The human mind is a mysterious phenomenon. In general, people are not happy because their minds are always craving worldly comforts and luxuries. The mind becomes impure when it is involved with mundane things, and it becomes pure when it becomes desireless. The impure mind suffers, and the pure mind enjoys bliss. It is very difficult to give the mind to God if it is preoccupied with many worldly possessions. Gopaler-ma’s mind, however, was always God-centred. Just as the needle of the compass always points to the north, so also her mind was always directed towards God. Mercilessly she would drive away all distracting thoughts. Swami Ramakrishnananda related the following incident:

"One day, after Sri Ramakrishna had passed away, some of his disciples went to see her and found her room full of mosquitoes and other troublesome creatures. Although she did not appear to mind them and kept on repeating the Name of the Lord, it distressed them to see her in such discomfort, so the next day one of the disciples brought her a mosquito curtain. That night when she sat down to repeat the Name, she found her mind constantly wandering to the curtain, thinking whether a cockroach or a rat might not be eating off a corner of it. Seeing this she said: ‘What! This wretched curtain thus to take my mind away from my Gopala!’ And without ado she made it up into a bundle and sat down again to her devotions with the mosquitoes all about her.

The next morning we were just getting up at the Math when Gopaler-ma appeared. She had walked all the way (at least five miles) and must have started at three o’clock. She laid the bundle down.

‘What is it?’ someone asked.

‘It is the curtain you gave me yesterday. It takes my mind away from God. I don’t want it,’ was her answer; and nothing could persuade her to take it back.

One day in 1887 Gopaler-ma came to Balaram’s house in Calcutta. A number of devotees were also there who were aware of her high spiritual experiences, and they began to ask her some questions. She said to them: ‘Look, I am an old, illiterate woman. What do I know about the scriptures? Why don’t you ask Sharat, Yogin, and Tarak?’

But they persisted, so finally she said: ‘Wait, let me ask Gopala. O Gopala, I don’t understand what they are talking about. Why don’t you answer their questions? Hello, Gopala says this…’

In this way Gopaler-ma answered the abstruse questions of the devotees. They were amazed. That remarkable question and answer session ended abruptly, however, when Gopaler-ma suddenly said: ‘O Gopala, why are you going away? Will you not answer their questions anymore?’ but Gopala had left.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 01:08:58 PM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
In 1897 Swami Vivekananda returned to India from his first visit to the West. Later he sent three of his Western disciples, Sister Nivedita, Mrs. Ole Bull, and Miss Josephine MacLeod, to Kamarhati to meet Gopaler-ma. She received them cordially and kissed them. As she had no other furniture in her room, they sat on her bed. She then served them some puffed rice and sweet coconut balls and shared some of her spiritual experiences with them. When they returned to Calcutta, Swami Vivekananda said: ‘Ah! This is the old India that you have seen, the India of prayers and tears, of vigils and fasts, that is passing away.’

Once two women devotees came to Swami Vivekananda at Balaram’s house requesting initiation, but he sent them to Gopaler-ma. She was reluctant, however, and said to Swamijee: ‘My son, what do I know about initiation? I am a poor widow.’

Swamijee replied with a smile: ‘Are you an ordinary person? You have attained perfection through japam. If you cannot give initiation then who can? Let me tell you, why don’t you give your own Ishtha mantram to them? It will serve their purpose. Moreover, what will you do with your mantram anymore?’

Gopaler-ma initiated the women but was unwilling to accept any gift or offering from them. When she was persuaded, she followed the custom and accepted two Rupees from them so that the disciples might not be hurt. She had no greed or desire for worldly objects. Her simple instruction was:

‘Listen, offer your body and mind to God. Initiation is not an insignificant thing. Do not leave your seat without repeating ten thousand japam in each sitting. While practising spiritual discipline disconnect yourself from the thoughts of the world. Start your japam at 3 o’clock in the morning so that no body is aware of it; and again practise in the evening.’

She had immense love for the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. When the news of Swami Vivekananda’s passing away reached Kamarhati, she was in her room. She cried out in pain, ‘Ah, Naren is gone?’ She felt dizzy, saw darkness all around and fell to the floor, fracturing her right elbow.

Gopaler-ma was then living there by herself, although the place was known for being haunted. During the time that the landlady lived there, a guard looked after the place, but since no one was there now to help her, Swami Saradananda appointed a gardener and sent a woman to take care of her broken arm. Seeing the attendant, Gopaler-ma said: ‘Why have you come here? You will have to face a lot of hardship. My Gopala takes care of me. Where will you sleep? You must find a room. They are all under lock and key, so you will have to ask the priest to open one for you. Let me tell you frankly at the outset that there are some evil spirits around. Whenever you hear any strange noise, repeat your mantram wholeheartedly.’

At night the attendant slept opposite Gopaler-ma’s room, and she heard the sound of heavy, hurried footsteps coming from the roof and a rapping noise through the window. It was quite a test for her.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 01:14:10 PM
The Wonderful Life of Gopaler Ma,Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
Gopaler-ma had to face many such ordeals during her long stay in the garden house by herself. She never felt lonely, however, for her beloved Gopala was with her day and night. Moreover, she did not care for a companion because it might interfere with her visions. As she had very little body-consciousness, she was reluctant to take personal service from others. Independence is happiness and dependence is misery. She practised this Vedantic teaching in her life.

In 1903 Gopaler-ma became seriously ill. Swami Brahmananda then sent one of his young disciples to nurse her. The boy brought fruits and vegetables for her and slept in the corner of her room. He awoke very early in the morning, however, when he heard Gopaler-ma talking with someone: ‘Wait, wait! Even the birds have not yet sung. Let the morning come, my sweet darling, and I shall take you for a bath in the Ganga.’

Later the young disciple said: ‘No one else lives in your room. With whom were you talking this morning?’

‘Don’t you know that Gopala lives with me? I was trying to control his naughtiness,’ she replied.

As her health grew worse, the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna arranged for her to be moved to Balaram’s house in Calcutta. But Sister Nivedita expressed a desire to serve this saintly woman, so Gopaler-ma was taken to her residence. A cook was appointed, and Kusum, one of Gopaler-ma’s disciples, attended to her personal needs. In return Gopaler-ma gave Nivedita maternal affection and support. Her presence in the house created an atmosphere of spiritual serenity.

‘I feel thrilled’, Nivedita wrote in a letter at that time, ‘when I am with Gopaler-ma. The words of Saint Elizabeth sound in my ears, "What is this to me that the Mother of my Lord should visit me?" For I believe that in Gopaler-ma is sainthood as great as that of a paramahansa – a soul fully free. I feel that if I can only worship her enough, blessings will descend on all whom I love, through her. Could more be said?’

To see God in everything is the culmination of Vedantic experience. Gopaler-ma had a pet cat in whom she used to see Gopala. One day it was lying peacefully on Nivedita’s lap when Kusum came and pushed it away. Immediately Gopaler-ma cried out: ‘What have you done? What have you done? Gopala is going away – he is gone.’

Those who carry the Lord in their hearts always enjoy festivity. They never get bored or pass a single dull moment. The body of Gopaler-ma was deteriorating day by day, but her mind was floating in bliss. When Holy Mother went to see her, Gopaler-ma sighed: ‘Gopala, you have come. Look, you have sat on my lap all these days; now you take me on your lap.’ Holy Mother took Gopaler-ma’s head on her lap and caressed her affectionately.
(http://www.theylivedwithgod.info/gopalerma2.jpg)

The end came on July 8, 1906. Gopaler-ma was carried to the Ganga, where she breathed her last at dawn, touching the holy water of the river. A monk bent over her and whispered in her ear the words that the Hindu loves to hear in his last hour: ‘Om Ganga Narayana! Om Ganga Narayana Brahma!’

Thus the curtain fell on the divine drama of Gopaler-ma. The monks went to her room and found her two most precious possessions, the rosary, which had passed through her fingers millions and millions of times, and a picture of Sri Ramakrishna, who had appeared before her as Gopala. Nivedita took the rosary, and the picture was sent to Belur Math, where it still rests on the altar of Holy Mother’s temple.

Once being asked for some advice from a disciple, Gopaler-ma said: ‘Ask advice from Gopala. He is within you. No one can give better advice than he. This is the truth. Cry with a longing heart and you will reach Him.’

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on June 05, 2012, 03:21:43 PM
Very beautiful and profound stories. Thank you, Sri Ravi that you shared them with us. God bless you!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on June 05, 2012, 03:35:42 PM
Dear Ravi,

Nice story about Goplar Ma. Gopala is within, cry for Him, and He will come to you quickly.  One should cry like Gajendra in
Srimad Bhagavatam. The ferocious elephant tried to battle for 1000 years, I am told. This 1000 years is only because the suffering
with the crocodile eating its leg slowly was horrible and a few minutes looked like 1000 years. When in utter desperation
when Gajendra called: Adimoolame! Krishna came swiftly.

When one cries for God in utter desperation, God comes quickly. Draupadi first thought she could hold one end of sari with her
hand and prevent disrobing. When the end was nearing,  even that one hand was insufficient. So she raised both her hands,
then Krishna sent her saris and saris of different colors and designs, until Duschasan became tired and fell down. One should
read Panchali Sabadam of Subrahmanya Bharati to enjoy Kannan's grace.,

One Tamizh poet sang:

Ottahaikkum athianakkum Ayiram kAdham
AnAlum nadukkathaiya selai vyaparam.........

Ottai = in Tamizh means dwaram. Ottahai = Dwaraka

athinam = Hastinapuram.

The distance between is 1000 miles. But there is brisk sale of saris between the two! 
         
Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 05, 2012, 08:55:53 PM
Ramana/Subramanian,
It is indeed a blessing to share the wonderful life of the Great ones.It immediately plunges us into depths of our being without the contrivance of thought and speculation.
Bhakti has this wonderful quality of immediacy and profoundity.
Namaskar.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 08, 2012, 08:56:52 PM
Paul Brunton Meets 'M' (Master Mahasaya)-from 'A Search in Secret India'
Paul Brunton is traveling in a train that just pulls through Howrah Station.The episode starts now.
"The Muhammedan gives me a single glance, closes his eyes, and drifts off into vacuous sleep. The Mahratti busies himself
in conversation with the Marwari. The Brahmin has recently entered the train; he has yet to settle down.
I am in one of my talkative moods, but there is no one to whom I can talk. The invisible barrier between West and East
seems to divide me from all the others. I feel cheered, therefore, when the rubicund Brahmin pulls out a book whose
English title, Life of Ramakrishna, I cannot help seeing, so boldly is it printed upon the cover. I seize the bait and bring
him into conversation. Has not someone once told me that Ramakrishna was the last of the Rishees, those spiritual supermen?
Upon this point I engage my fellow-traveller, and he is eager to respond. We ascend the heights of philosophical
discussion and descend into talk on the homelier aspects of Indian life.
Whenever he mentions the name of the Rishee, his voice fills with love and awe and his eyes light up. The reality of his
devotion to this long-passed man is indubitable. Within two hours I learn that the Brahmin has a master who is one of the two
or three surviving disciples of the great Ramakrishna himself.
This master of his is nearly eighty years old and lives, not in some lonely retreat, but in the heart of Calcutta's Indian
quarter.Of course, I beg for the address and it is freely given."You will need no introduction other than your own desire
to see him," says the lawyer.
And so I am now in Calcutta itself, searching for the house of the Master Mahasaya, the aged disciple of Ramakrishna.
Passing through an open courtyard which adjoins the street,I reach a steep flight of steps leading into a large, rambling old
house. I climb up a dark stairway and pass through a low door on the top storey. I find myself in a small room, which opens
out on to the flat, terraced roof of the house. Two of its walls are lined with low divans. Save for the lamp and a small pile
of books and papers, the room is otherwise bare. A young man enters and bids me wait for the coming of his master, who is
on a lower floor.
(http://forum.yogananda.net/uploads/monthly_07_2011/post-442-13106683893497.jpg)
Ten minutes pass. I hear the sound of someone stirring from a room on the floor below out into the stairway. Immediately
there is a tingling sensation in my head and the idea suddenly grips me that that man downstairs has fixed his
thoughts upon me. I hear the man's footsteps going up the stairs. When at last - for he moves with extreme slowness -
he enters the room, I need no one to announce his name. A venerable patriarch has stepped from the pages of the Bible,
and a figure from Mosaic times has turned to flesh. This man with bald head, long white beard, and white moustache, grave
countenance, and large, reflective eyes; this man whose shoulders are slightly bent with the burden of nearly eighty
years of mundane existence, can be none other than the master Mahasaya."

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 08, 2012, 09:01:01 PM
Paul Brunton Meets 'M' (Master Mahasaya)-from 'A Search in Secret India'
He takes his seat on a divan and then turns his face towards mine. In that grave, sober presence I realize instantly that
there can be no light persiflage, no bandying of wit or humour, no utterance even of the harsh cynicism and dark scepticism
which overshadow my soul from time to time. His character, with its commingling of perfect faith in God and
nobility of conduct, is written in his appearance for all to see.
He addresses me in perfectly accented English. "You are welcome here."
He bids me come closer and take my seat on the same divan.He holds my hand for a few moments. I deem it expedient
to introduce myself and explain the object of my visit. When I have concluded speaking, he presses my hand again in a
kindly manner and says: " I t is a higher power which has stirred you to come to India,
and which is bringing you in contact with the holy men of our land. There is a real purpose behind that, and the future will
surely reveal it. Await it patiently."
"Will you tell me something about your master Ramakrishna?"
"Ah, now you raise a subject about which I love best to talk. It is nearly half a century since he left us, but his blessed
memory can never leave me; always it remains fresh and fragrant in my heart. I was twenty-seven when I met him and
was constantly in his society for the last five years of his life.The result was that I became a changed man; my whole
attitude towards life was reversed. Such was the strange influence of this god-man Ramakrishna. He threw a spiritual
spell upon all who visited him. He literally charmed them,fascinated them. Even materialistic persons who came to
scoff became dumb in his presence."
"But how can such persons feel reverence for spirituality- a quality in which they do not believe?" I interpose, slightly
puzzled.
The corners of Mahasaya's mouth pull up in a half smile.
He answers:"Two persons taste red pepper. One does not know its name; perhaps he has never even seen it before. The other is
well acquainted with it and recognizes it immediately. Will it not taste the same to both? Will not both of them have a burning
sensation on the tongue? In the same way, ignorance of Ramakrishna's spiritual greatness did not debar materialistic
persons from 'tasting' the radiant influence of spirituality which emanated from him."

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 08, 2012, 09:05:27 PM
Paul Brunton Meets 'M' (Master Mahasaya)-from 'A Search in Secret India'
"Then he really was a spiritual superman?"
"Yes, and in my belief even more than that. Ramakrishna was a simple man, illiterate and uneducated - he was so illiterate
that he could not even sign his name, let alone write a letter. He was humble in appearance and humbler still in mode of
living, yet he commanded the allegiance of some of the best educated and most-cultured men of the time in India. They
had to bow before his tremendous spirituality which was so real that it could be felt. He taught us that pride, riches,
wealth, worldly honours, worldly position are trivialities in comparison with that spirituality, are fleeting illusions which
deceive men. Ah, those were wonderful days! Often he would pass into trances of so palpably divine a nature that we
who were gathered around him then would feel that he was a god, rather than a man. Strangely, too, he possessed the power
of inducing a similar state in his disciples by means of a single touch; in this state they could understand the deep
mysteries of God by means of direct perception. But let me tell you how he affected me.
"I had been educated along Western lines. My head was filled with intellectual pride. I had served in Calcutta colleges
as Professor of English Literature, History and Political Economy, at different times. Ramakrishna was living in the
temple of Dakshineswar, which is only a few miles up the river from Calcutta. There I found him one unforgettable spring
day and listened to his simple expression of spiritual ideas born of his own experience. I made a feeble attempt to argue with
him but soon became tongue-tied in that sacred presence, whose effect on me was too deep for words. Again and again
I visited him, unable to stay away from this poor, humble but divine person, until Ramakrishna one day humorously
remarked
:" ' A peacock was given a dose of opium at four o'clock. The next day it appeared again exactly at that hour. It was under
the spell of opium and came for another dose
.'
"That was true, symbolically speaking. I had never enjoyed such blissful experiences as when I was in the presence of
Ramakrishna, so can you wonder why I came again and again? And so I became one of his group of intimate disciples, as
distinguished from merely occasional visitors. One day the master said to me:
' " I can see from the signs of your eyes, brow and face that you are a Yogi. Do all your work then, but keep your mind on
God. Wife, children, father and mother, live with all and serve them as if they are your own. The tortoise swims about
in the waters of the lake, but her mind is fixed to where her eggs are laid on the banks. So, do all the work of the world
but keep the mind in God.
'

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 08, 2012, 09:11:15 PM
Paul Brunton Meets 'M' (Master Mahasaya)-from 'A Search in Secret India'
"And so, after the passing away of our master, when most of the other disciples voluntarily renounced the world, adopted
the yellow robe, and trained themselves to spread Ramakrishna's message through India, I did not give up my profession
but carried on with my work in education. Nevertheless, such was my determination not to be of the world although
I was in it, that on some nights I would retire at dead of night to the open veranda before the Senate House and sleep among
the homeless beggars of the city, who usually collected there to spend the night. This used to make me feel, temporarily at
least, that I was a man with no possessions."Ramakrishna has gone, but as you travel through India
you will see something of the social, philanthropic, medical and educational work being done throughout the country under the
inspiration of those early disciples of his, most of whom, alas!have now passed away too. What you will not see so easily is the
number of changed hearts and changed lives primarily due to this wonderful man. For his message has been handed down
from disciple to disciple, who have spread it as widely as they could. And I have been privileged to take down many of his
sayings in Bengali; the published record has entered almost every household in Bengal, while translations have also gone
into other parts of India. So you see how Ramakrishna's influence has spread far beyond the immediate circle of his
little group of disciples."
Mahasaya finishes his long recital and relapses into silence. As I look at his face anew, I am struck by the non-Hindu colour
and cast of his face. Again I am wafted back to a little kingdom in Asia Minor, where the children of Israel find a temporary
respite from their hard fortunes. I picture Mahasaya among them as a venerable prophet speaking to his people. How
noble and dignified the man looks! His goodness, honesty, virtue, piety and sincerity are transparent. He possesses that
self-respect of a man who has lived a long life in utter obedience to the voice of conscience
.

"I wonder what Ramakrishna would say to a man who cannot live by faith alone, who must satisfy reason and intellect?" I
murmur questioningly.
"He would tell the man to pray. Prayer is a tremendous force. Ramakrishna himself prayed to God to send him
spiritually inclined people, and soon after that those who later became his disciples or devotees began to appear."
"But if one has never prayed - what then?"
"Prayer is the last resort. It is the ultimate resource left to man. Prayer will help a man where the intellect may fail."
"But if someone came to you and said that prayer did not appeal to his temperament. What counsel would you give
him?" I persist gently.
"Then let him associate frequently with truly holy men who have had real spiritual experience. Constant contact with them
will assist him to bring out his latent spirituality. Higher men turn our minds and wills towards divine objects. Above all,
they stimulate an intense longing for the spiritual life. Therefore, the society of such men is very important as the first step,
and often it is also the last, as Ramakrishna himself used to say."

Thus we discourse of things high and holy, and how man can find no peace save in the Eternal Good. Throughout the evening
different visitors make their arrival until the modest room is packed with Indians - disciples of the master Mahasaya. They
come nightly and climb the stairs of this four-storeyed house to listen intently to every word uttered by their teacher.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 08, 2012, 09:16:10 PM
And for a while I, too, join them. Night after night I come, less to hear the pious utterances of Mahasaya than to bask in the
spiritual sunshine of his presence. The atmosphere around him is tender and beautiful, gentle and loving; he has found
some inner bliss and the radiation of it seems palpable. Often I forget his words, but I cannot forget his benignant personality
.
That which drew him again and again to Ramakrishna seems to draw me to Mahasaya also, and I begin to understand how
potent must have been the influence of the teacher when the pupil exercises such a fascination upon me
.
When our last evening comes, I forget the passage of time, as I sit happily at his side upon the divan. Hour after hour has
flown by; our talk has had no interlude of silence, but at length it comes. And then the good master takes my hand and leads
me out to the terraced roof of his house where, in the vivid moonlight, I see a circling array of tall plants growing in pots
and tubs. Down below a thousand lights gleam from the houses of Calcutta.
The moon is at its full. Mahasaya points up towards itsround face and then passes into silent prayer for a brief while.
I wait patiently at his side until he finishes. He turns, raises his hand in benediction and lightly touches my head.
I bow humbly before this angelic man, unreligious though I am. After a few more moments of continued silence, he says
softly:"My task has almost come to an end. This body has nearly finished what God sent it here to do. Accept my blessing
before I go."1
He has strangely stirred me. I banish the thought of sleep and wander through many streets. When, at length, I reach a
great mosque and hear the solemn chant, "God is most great! "
break forth upon the midnight stillness, I reflect that if anyone
could free me from the intellectual scepticism to which I cling and attach me to a life of simple faith, it is undoubtedly the
master Mahasaya."

1 Note:Before long I was apprised of his death.

Concluded.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on June 09, 2012, 11:35:47 AM
Dear Ravi,

Nice posts on Paul Brunton meeting M. Bhakti is a tremendous power to attract God. Bhakti is Jnana Mata.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 19, 2012, 07:34:38 AM
Ramana/Friends,
In the Following excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,the Master clearly explains why 'kAmini'(Woman as an Object of Desire)and 'kAnchana'(Gold) bind the seeker:

VIJAY: "Sir, I wish to very much, but I am not free. I have accepted work in the Brahmo
Samaj."
Attachment to "woman" creates bondage
MASTER: "It is 'woman and gold' that binds man and robs him of his freedom. It is woman
that creates the need for gold. For woman one man becomes the slave of another, and so
loses his freedom. Then he cannot act as he likes.
Story of Govindaji's priests
"The priests in the temple of Govindaji at Jaipur were celibates at first, and at that time they
had fiery natures. Once the King of Jaipur sent for them, but they didn't obey him. They
said to the messenger, 'Ask the king to come to see us.' After consultation, the king and his
ministers arranged marriages for them. From then on the king didn't have to send for them.
They would come to him of themselves and say: 'Your Majesty, we have come with our
blessings. Here are the sacred flowers of the temple. Deign to accept them.' They came to
the palace, for now they always wanted money for one thing or another: the building of a
house, the rice-taking ceremony of their babies, or the rituals connected with the beginning
of their children's education.
Story of twelve hundred nedas
"There is the story of the twelve hundred nedas and thirteen hundred nedis. Virabhadra, the
son of Nityananda Goswami, had thirteen hundred 'shaven-headed' disciples. They attained
great spiritual powers. That alarmed their teacher. 'My disciples have acquired great
spiritual powers', thought Virabhadra. 'Whatever they say to people will come to pass.
Wherever they go they may create alarming situations; for people offending them
unwittingly will come to grief.' Thinking thus, Virabhadra one day called them to him and
said, 'See me after performing your daily devotions on the bank of the Ganges.' These
disciples had such a high spiritual nature that, while meditating, they would go into
samadhi and be unaware of the river water flowing over their heads during the flood-tide.
Then the ebb-tide would come and still they would remain absorbed in meditation.
"Now, one hundred of these disciples had anticipated what their teacher would ask of them.
Lest they should have to disobey his injunctions, they had quickly disappeared from the
place before he summoned them. So they did not go to Virabhadra with the others. The
remaining twelve hundred disciples went to the teacher after finishing their meditation.
Virabhadra said to them: 'These thirteen hundred nuns will serve you. I ask you to marry
them.' 'As you please, revered sir', they said. 'But one hundred of us have gone away.'
Thenceforth each of these twelve hundred disciples had a wife. Consequently they all lost
their spiritual power. Their austerities did not have their original fire. The company of
woman robbed them of their spirituality because it destroyed their freedom.
Degrading effect of serving others
(To Vijay) "You yourself perceive how far you have gone down by being a servant of
others. Again, one finds that people with many university degrees, scholars with their vast
English education, accept service under their English masters and are daily trampled under
their boots. The one cause of all this is woman. They have married and set up a 'gay fair'
with their wives and children. Now they cannot go back, much as they would like to. Hence
all these insults and humiliations, all this suffering from slavery.
"Once a man realizes God through intense dispassion, he is no longer attached to woman.
Even if he must lead the life of a householder, he is free from fear of and attachment to
woman. Suppose there are two magnets, one big and the other small. Which one will attract
the iron? The big one, of course. God is the big magnet. Compared to Him, woman is a
small one. What can 'woman' do?"
Worshipping woman as Divine Mother
A DEVOTEE: "Sir, shall we hate women then?"
MASTER: "He who has realized God does not look upon a woman with the eye of lust; so
he is not afraid of her. He perceives clearly that women are but so many aspects of the
Divine Mother. He worships them all as the Mother Herself
.
(To Vijay) "Come here now and then. I like to see you very much."
VIJAY: "I have to do my various duties in the Brahmo Samaj; that is why I can't always
come here. But I shall visit you whenever I find it possible."

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on June 19, 2012, 05:09:31 PM
Quote from Sri Ravi :
“Attachment to "woman" creates bondage
MASTER: "It is 'woman and gold' that binds man and robs him of his freedom. It is woman
that creates the need for gold.”

Dear Sri Ravi,

This is a very nice post. But I have a genuine problem here. Sexual instincts have been planted by the Divine in humans as well as in other animals for the purpose of recreation. Therefore, if it is true (and there is no doubt about that) that ‘woman and gold’ binds man, so also it must be true that ‘man and gold’ binds woman. I mean to submit only this that the difficulty a man faces vis-à-vis woman, in spiritual practices, must have also been faced by woman vis-à-vis man.
Kindly elaborate.

Thanks very much, sir.

Regards,
  Anil
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on June 20, 2012, 08:25:24 AM
Anil,
"I mean to submit only this that the difficulty a man faces vis-à-vis woman, in spiritual practices, must have also been faced by woman vis-à-vis man."
This is a subject that needs to be taken up in greater depth.It cannot be based on our idea of 'Gender Equality' that our modern mind would like to prefer.We need to get into the realm of Dharma and this is a vast subject and something that has evolved over a period of time.
To tell you the answer in brief:
1.Man is easily turned on,whereas a woman takes time to get to the point of sexual arousal;Man is looking for immediate Gratification whereas woman is looking for depth of relationship and long term commitment.
2.Man's urge is immediate and he is not saddled with any responsibility by Nature;Woman's response is necessarily delayed because she has to bear the consequences of carrying the baby as ordained by nature(It is another matter that 'civilization' has invented means of contraception).
Keeping these basic differences,sages of sanatana Dharma have recommended different modes of development for men and women-Whereas they have recommended Brahmacharya for the boys before marriage,no such thing is enjoined upon the woman;for a Girl getting married to a boy who has graduated from Brahmacharya ashrama itself is considered Brahmacharya!The onus thus rests on the Boy!He needs to be careful and not consider the wife as a 'kAmini'! ,although it is indeed a compromise of a sort to indulge in just a 'pleasure' trip and such a thing is not barred.
I will cover more on this a little later.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on June 20, 2012, 09:32:01 AM
Quote from Sri Ravi
“Keeping these basic differences,sages of sanatana Dharma have recommended different modes of development for men and women-Whereas they have recommended Brahmacharya for the boys before marriage,no such thing is enjoined upon the woman;”


Dear Sri Ravi,

Ji. Yes. I am aware of the psych-biological differences between men and women and also of the fact that there must be different modes of spiritual development for them. However, I just felt that since there is no difference in the Self, but so long as difference persists, woman must also face the same distraction in spiritual practice, may be in a lesser degree, but distraction she may also have to face and overcome.
Thank you so much, sir.

Regards,
 Anil

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 14, 2012, 09:59:49 AM
Ramana/Friends,
I am posting this episode from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna where the Master visits the house of two widowed sisters.This is quite like Jesus visiting Martha and Mary.It also gives us a feel of how people would have been drawn to the son of God(avatara)

Visit to the Brahmani's house
The Master arrived at the house of the brahmin lady who was grief-stricken on account of
her daughter's death. It was an old brick house. Entering the house, the Master passed the
cowshed on his left. He and the devotees went to the roof, where they took seats. People
were standing there in rows. Others were seated. They were all eager to get a glimpse of Sri
Ramakrishna.
The brahmani had a sister; both of them were widows. Their brothers also lived in the
house with their families. The brahmani had been busy all day making arrangements to
receive Sri Ramakrishna. While the Master was at Nanda Bose's house she had been
extremely restless, going out of the house every few minutes to see if he was coming. He
had promised to come to her place from Nanda's. Because of his delay she had thought
perhaps he would not come at all.
Sri Ramakrishna was seated on a carpet. M., Narayan, Jogin, Devendra, and others were
seated on a mat. A few minutes later the Younger Naren and some other devotees arrived.
The brahmani's sister came to the Master and saluted him. She said, "Sister has just gone to
Nanda Bose's house to inquire the reason for your delay in coming here. She will return
presently."
A sound was heard downstairs and she exclaimed, "There she comes!" She went down. But
it was not the brahmani.
Sri Ramakrishna sat there smiling, surrounded by devotees.
M. (to Devendra): "What a grand sight! All these people-young and old, men and women standing
in lines, eager to have a glimpse of him and hear his words."
DEVENDRA (to the Master): "M. says that this place is better than Nanda's. The devotion
of these people is amazing."
Sri Ramakrishna laughed.
The brahmani's sister exclaimed, "Here comes sister!"

Brahmani's indescribable joy

The brahmani came and saluted the Master. She was beside herself with joy. She did not
know what to say. In a half-choked voice she said: "This joy is too much for me. Perhaps I
shall die of it. Tell me, friends, how shall I be able to live? I did not feel such a thrill even
when Chandi, my daughter, used to visit the house accompanied by liveried footmen, with
armed guards lining both sides of the street. Oh! Now I have no trace of my grief at her
death. I was afraid he would not come. Then I thought that, if that happened, I should throw
into the Ganges all the things I had arranged for his reception and entertainment. I should
not speak to him any more. If he visited a place, I should go there, look at him from a
distance, and then come away.
"Let me go and tell everybody how happy I am. Let me go and tell Yogin of my good
luck."
Still overwhelmed with joy she said: "A labourer won a hundred thousand rupees in a
lottery. The moment he heard the news he died of joy. Yes, he really and truly died. I am
afraid the same thing is going to happen to me. Please bless me, friends, or else I shall
certainly die."
M. was amazed to see the brahmani's sincere joy and her ecstatic mood. He was about to
take the dust of her feet.
"What are you doing?" she exclaimed and saluted M.
The brahmani was extremely happy at the sight of the devotees. She said: "I am so happy to
see you all here. I have brought the younger Naren; without him, who would there be to
make us laugh?"
She was talking like this when her sister came up and said: "Come down, sister! How can I
manage things if you stay here? Can I do it all by myself?"

But the brahmani was overwhelmed with joy. She could not take her eyes from the Master
and the devotees.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 14, 2012, 10:04:49 AM
After a while she very respectfully took Sri Ramakrishna to another room and offered him
sweets and other refreshments. The devotees were entertained on the roof.
It was about eight o'clock in the evening. Sri Ramakrishna was ready to leave. When he
came to the door, the brahmani asked her sister-in-law to salute the Master. Next, one of
her brothers took the dust of the Master's feet. Referring to him, she said: "He is one of my
brothers. He is a fool" "No, no!" said the Master. "They are all good." A man showed the
way with a light. At places it was dark. Sri Ramakrishna stood in front of the cow-shed.
The devotees gathered around him. M. saluted the Master, who was about to go to the
house of Ganu's mother.

Master's visit to Ganu's mother

Sri Ramakrishna was seated in the drawing-room of Ganu's mother's house. It was on the
Street floor. The room was used by a concert party. Several young men played on their
instruments now and then for the pleasure of the Master.
It was eight-thirty in the evening. Moonlight flooded the streets, the houses, and the sky. It
was the first day after the full moon.
The brahmani, who had also come, was visiting the drawing-room and the inner apartments
alternately. Every few minutes she would come to the door of the drawing-room and look at
the Master. Some youngsters from the neighbourhood also looked at him through the
windows. The people of the locality, young and old, came thronging to see the saint.
The younger Naren saw the boys in the street climbing the windows. He said to them:
"Why are you here? Get away! Go home!" The Master said tenderly, "Let them stay."
Every now and then he chanted: "Hari Om! Hari Om!"
The floor of the drawing-room was covered with a carpet. The young musicians sat on it
and sang:
O Kesava, bestow Thy grace
Upon Thy luckless servants here!
O Kesava, who dost delight
To roam Vrindavan's glades and groves! . . .
He praises the music.
MASTER: "Ah, how sweet the music is! How melodious the violin is! How good the
accompaniments are! (Pointing to a boy) He and the flutist seem to be a nice pair."
The orchestra went on playing. After it was over, Sri Ramakrishna said joyfully, "It is very
fine indeed." Pointing to a young man, he said, "He seems to know how to play every
instrument." He said to M., "They are all good people."
After the concert the young musician said to the devotees, "We should like to hear some of
you sing." The brahmani stood near the door. She said: "None of them knows how to sing.
Perhaps Mohin Babu can sing. But he will not sing before the Master."
A YOUNG MAN: "Why? I can sing even before my father."
THE YOUNGER NAREN (laughing): "But he has not yet advanced that far."
All laughed. A few minutes later the brahmani said to Sri Ramakrishna, "Please come
inside."
MASTER: "Why?"
BRAHMANI: "The refreshments are served there. Please come."
MASTER: "Why not bring them here?"
BRAHMANI: "Ganu's mother requests you to bless the room with the dust of your feet.
Then the room will be turned into Benares, and anyone dying in it will have no trouble
hereafter."

Sri Ramakrishna went inside accompanied by the brahmani and the young men of the
family. The devotees were strolling outside in the moonlight. M. and Binode were pacing
the street south of the house and recalling the various incidents in the life of their beloved
Master.
Sri Ramakrishna had returned to Balaram's house. He was resting in the small room to the
west of the drawing-room. It was quite late, almost a quarter to eleven.
Sri Ramakrishna said to Jogin, "Please rub my feet gently." M. was sitting near by. While
Jogin was rubbing his feet the Master said suddenly: "I feel hungry. I shall eat some farina
pudding."
The brahmani had accompanied the Master and the devotees to Balaram's house. Her
brother knew how to play the drums. Sri Ramakrishna said, "It will serve our purpose to
send for her brother when Narendra or some other singer wants to sing."
Sri Ramakrishna ate a little pudding. Jogin and the other devotees left the room. M. was
stroking the Master's feet. They talked together.
MASTER (referring to the brahmani and her relatives): "Ah! How happy they were!"

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 14, 2012, 10:12:35 AM
Martha and Mary
M: "How amazing! A similar thing happened with two women at the time of Jesus. They
too were sisters, and devoted to Christ. Martha and Mary."
MASTER (eagerly); "Tell me the story."
M: "Jesus Christ, like you, went to their house with His devotees. At the sight of Him one
of the sisters was filled with ecstatic happiness. It reminds me of a song about Gauranga:
'My two eyes sank in the sea of Gora's heavenly beauty
And did not come back to me again;
Down went my mind, as well, forgetting how to swim'.

"The other sister, all by herself, was arranging the food to entertain Jesus. She complained
to the Master, saying: 'Lord, please judge for Yourself-how wrong my sister is! She is
sitting in Your room and I am doing all these things by myself.' Jesus said: 'Your sister
indeed' is blessed. She has developed the only thing needful in human life: love of God.
"
MASTER: "Well, after seeing all this, What do you feel?"

Master about himself

M: "I feel that Christ, Chaitanyadeva, and yourself-all three are one and the same. It is the
same Person that has become all these three.
"
MASTER: "Yes, yes! One! One! It is indeed one. Don't you see that it is He alone who
dwells here in this way.
"
As he said this, Sri Ramakrishna pointed with his finger to his own body.
M: "You explained clearly, the other day, how God incarnates Himself on earth."
MASTER: "Tell me what I said."
M: "You told us to imagine a field extending to the horizon and beyond. It extends without
any obstruction; but we cannot see it on account of a wall in front of us. In that wall there is
a round hole. Through the hole we see a part of that infinite field."
MASTER: "Tell me what that hole is."
M: "You are that hole. Through you can be seen everything-that Infinite Meadow without
any end."
Sri Ramakrishna was very much pleased. Patting M.'s back, he said: "I see you have
understood that. That's fine!"
M: "It is indeed difficult to understand that. One cannot quite grasp how God, Perfect
Brahman that He is, can dwell in that small body."

The Master quoted from a song:
"Oh, no one at all has found out who He is;
Like a madman from door to door He roams,
Like a poor beggar He roams from door to door."

Master and Jesus

M: "You also told us about Jesus."
MASTER: "What did I say?"
M: "You went into samadhi at the sight of Jesus Christ's picture in Jadu Mallick's garden
house. You saw Jesus come down from the picture and merge in your body."
Sri Ramakrishna was silent a few moments. Then he said to M.: "Perhaps there is a
meaning in what has happened to my throat [referring to the sore in his throat]. This has
happened lest I should make myself light before all
; lest I should go to all sorts of places
and sing and dance."

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 06:11:35 AM
Ramana,
This is in response to your view that Vedas or the Vedic age was 'dualistic',etc,etc.My quick response to this is that 'Dualism','Nondualism' or 'Qualified Nondualism' are just ideas and nothing more!There is TRUTH that has to be realized.This is the central theme,if one may say.

"Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti" (The truth is One, the wise speak of it in different ways)-This is from the most ancient Rig Veda.

"The Vedas, and especially the primordial work known as the Rigveda,represent not merely the dawn of culture, but also its zenith. Indian
thought is seen at its highest in the Rigveda."

This verse is the key to understanding sanatana Dharma and the Vedas.Why is it said that 'vipraha bahuda vadanti'?It is the wise who describe it multiple ways!The Ignorant cannot describe,they can only speculate!
It is quite clear that all the Great ones,spoke about the ONE TRUTH ,'EKAM SAT',only the Description is manifold and adapted to meet the diverse needs of homo-sapiens in varied Roles and Stages of Maturity.
More in my next instalment here.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 04:03:25 PM
Ramana,
"Behavior and actions are important, not just words and recitation of Scriptures"
Why should we think that they are not related?Here is a very important aspect of the Vedas in that although they express ideas,they are primarily seed sounds and have to be chanted with a particular intonation and accent.Only then the chanting becomes effective.This is not like the recitation of some poetry or quotation.
These sounds were not created but heard by the Rishis as Sruti.This is the Science of Mantra and the Vedas are a Rich source of Mantras.The Vedas cannot be studied like the Bible or Koran or the Dhammapada,for in book form it never existed .Nor is it the Creation or revelation of any one person or a few persons.
They are truly impersonal ,and discovered by a great many sages over the millenia.
We will begin here and I will quote what The Sage of Kanchi(you alluded to a 'Sankara' like teacher in modern times and the Sage of Kanchi comes in that lineage and is widely acknowledged by one and all ,as a jnAni par excellence in modern times)has said regarding all the questions and doubts raised by you.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 04:14:08 PM
Ramana/friends,
Here is an excerpt from the Talks of The Sage of Kanchi:

The Vedas - the Root of All

Our religion consists of two major divisions, Saivism and Vaisnavism. The
doubt arises as to whether we are speaking here of two separate faiths or
of a single one.

Christianity too has two major divisions but people belonging to both
conduct worship in the name of the same God. In Buddhism we have the
Hinayana and Mahayana streams but they do not make two separate
faiths since both are based on the teachings of the same founder, the
Buddha.
Do Saivas and Vaisnavas worship the same god? No. However it be with
ordinary Vaisnavas, their acaryas or teachers never go anywhere near a
Siva temple. Their god is Visnu, never Siva. In the opinion of the
worshippers of Visnu, Siva is also one of his (Visnu's) devotees. There are
extremists among Saivas also according to whom Visnu is not a god but a
devotee of Siva. How then can the two groups be said to belong to the
same religion?
Are they to be regarded as belonging to the same faith by virtue of their
having a common scripture? The divisions [sects] of Christianity have one
common scripture, the Bible; so too is the Qur'an the common holy book
for all divisions of Islam. Is such the case with Saivas and Vaisnavas?
Saivas have the Tirumurai as their religious text, while Vaisnavas have the
Nalayira-Divyaprabandham as their sacred work. For Saivas and Vaisnavas
thus the deities as well as the scriptures are different. How it be claimed
that both belong to the same religion?


So are we one religion or are we divided into Two faiths? The belief that
Saivas and Vaisnavas have separate deities and religious works does not
represent the truth. Though the present outlook of the two groups
suggests that they represent different faiths, the truth will be revealed if
we examine their prime scriptures. The saints who composed the
Tirumurai of the Saivas and the Nalayira-Divyaprabandham of the
Vaisnavas never claimed that these works of theirs were the prime
religious texts of respective sects. Nor did they regard themselves as
founders of any religion. Vaisnavism existed before the Azhvars and so
too there was Saivism before the Nayanmars.
The original scripture of both sects is constituted by the Vedas. Saivas
describe Isvara thus:
Vedamodarangamayinanai
Vedanathan, Vedagitan, aranan kan
Similarly, the Vaisnava texts proclaim, "Vedam Tamizh seytaMaran
Sathakopan. "If we pay close attention to their utterances, we will
discover that the Vedas are the prime scripture of both sects. The
Tevaram and the Nalayaira-Divyaprabandham are of the utmost
importance to them (to the Saivas and Vaisnavas respectively); but the
Vedas are the basis of both. The great saint-poets who composed the
Saiva and Vaisnava hymns sing the glories of the Vedas throughout.
Whenever they describe a temple, they go into raptures, saying, "Here
the air is filled with the sound of the Vedas and pervaded with the smoke
of the sacrificial fire. Here the six Angas of the Vedas flourish. " In the
songs of these saints in either tradition, veneration of the Vedas finds as much place as
devotion to the Lord.
The Vedas reveal the One Truth to us in the form of many deities. The
worship of each of these divine beings is like a ghat on the river called the
Vedas.
Sekkizhar says the same thing: "Veda neri tazhaittonga mihu
Saivatturai vilanga. "(Tamil quote)

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 04:20:07 PM
The Sage of Kanchi continued...

Apart from Saivism and Vaisnavism, there are a number of sectarian
systems like Saktam, Ganapatyam, Kaumaram, and Sauram (worship of
Sakti, Ganapati, Kumara or Subrahmanya and the Sun God).
The
adoration of these deities is founded in the Vedas, according to the Texts
relating to them: "Our deity is extolled in the Vedas, " each system
contains such a declaration
.
Thus we find that there is but one scripture as the source common to the
different sects and schools of thought in the Hindu religion.
This source includes the Upanisads. On ten of them (Dasopanisad) the
great teachers of the Saiva, Vaisnava, and Smarta traditions have written
commentaries. The Upanisadic texts proclaim that the Brahman is the
one and only Godhead: In the Kathopanisad it is called Visnu; in the
Mandukyopanisad it is called Sivam. All the deities mentioned in the
Samhitas of the Vedas- Mitra, Varuna, Agni, Indra and so on - are
different names of the same Truth. So it is said in the Vedas: "Ekam sad
vipra bahudha vadanti.
"
It emerges that for all the divisions in our religion there is but one
scripture- a scripture common to all- and one Godhead which is known by
many names. The Vedas are the common scripture and the Godhead
common to all is the Brahman. Thus we can say with finality, and without
any room for doubt, that all of us belong to the same religion
.
The Vedas that constitute the scripture common to all and which reveal
the Godhead that is common to us also teach us how to lead our life, and this
is important- they do us the ultimate good by showing us in the end
the way to become that very Godhead ourselves
.
They are our refuge both here and the hereafter and are the source and root of all our
different traditions, all our systems of thought. All sects, all schools of our
religion, have their origin in them. The root is one but the branches are
many
.

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 04:30:40 PM
Dear Sri Ravi. I have no doubts, nothing confuses me. What the Sage of Kanchi has said is what is my understanding. But never forget the principle of Thomas Aquinas "Whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver". There is not such thing as truth of the scriptures. Truth is understood according to our vision and perception. I don't talk about the true message of the Sages who have composed Vedas. Do you really understand me? Religions is created very much by the people not by the religious figures. Agree? So my point was the during Vedica Age, just as today, the most numerable part of Indian society are polytheistic and dualistic. Yes, I understand and agree that Shiva and Vishnu are One and the Same God but do Vaishnavas and Shaivas understand that? If they did then they would not divide themselves to these sects. If you believe in One and the Same God there would be no divisions and sects. This does not mean that God must have only one Name and Form! Not at all! But to understand what I mean I will give you a little example. Can you realize the difference between Shavism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism, Ganatapatism and the Smartism (believing tha God is One manifesting as Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesha, Surya)? Smartists consider all these Names and Forms are Names and Forms as Names and Forms of the One God. Contrary to this Vaishnavas etc consider their God as Primal and all others as different and much less, considering them as His servants and so on. The First example is pure Monotheism and the second is pure Polytheism.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 04:51:30 PM
Ramana,
" Yes, I understand and agree that Shiva and Vishnu are One and the Same God but do Vaishnavas and Shaivas understand that? "

Friend,Please be a little patient until we get the complete picture.There is no need for the Vaishnavas or Shaivas to do away with their differences!They can very well accept the 'Difference' and still progress !This is exactly what the Life of Sri Ramakrishna's wonderful life revealed and this is the very spirit of sanatana Dharma and the very vitality that it acknowledges and converts these seeming liabilities into assets.
I will continue what the Sage of Kanchi has said in this regard.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 04:58:26 PM
The sage of Kanchi continued...
Why Differences among the Gods?

Each Purana is in the main devoted to a particular devata. In the Siva
Purana it is stated: "Siva is the Supreme Being. He is the highest authority
for creation, sustenance and dissolution. It is at his behest, and under
him, that Visnu funtions as protector. Visnu is a mere bhogin, trapped in
Maya. Siva is a yogin and jnana incarnate. Visnu is subject to Siva and
worships him. Once when he opposed Siva he suffered humiliation at his
hands". Stories are told to illustrate such assertions.

In the Vaisnava Puranas you see the reverse. They contain stories to
support the view that Visnu is superior to Siva. "Is Siva a god, he who
dwells in the burning grounds with spirits and goblins for company?”
these Puranas ask.

In each Purana thus a particular deity is exalted over others. It may be
Subrahmanya, Ganapati or Surya. Each such deity is declared to be the
Supreme God and all others are said to worship him. When, out of pride,
they refuse to worship him they are humbled
.

Doubts arise in our minds about such contradictory accounts. "Which of
these stories is true?” we are inclined to ask. "And which is false? They
cannot all of them be true. If Siva worships Visnu, how does it stand to
reason that Visnu should adore Siva? If Amba is superior to the Trimurti
(Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara), how is it right to say that she remains
submissive to Parameswara as his devoted consort? The Puranas cannot
all of them be true. Or are they all lies? "

Logical thinking seems to point to the conclusion that all Puranic stories
cannot be true. But, as a matter of fact, they are. A deity that suffers
defeat at one time at the hands of another emerges triumphant on
another occasion. And a god who worships another deity is himself the
object of worship at other times. How is this so and why?


continued...

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 05:00:40 PM
The Sage of Kanchi Continued...

The Paramatman is one and only one. He it is that creates, sustains and
destroys. And it is he who exfoliates as the the many different deities.
Why does he do so? He has not cast people in the same mould. He has
created them all differently, with different attitudes, the purpose being to
make the affairs of the world interesting by imparting variety to them
.

The Paramatman himself assumes different forms to suit the
temperament of different people so that each worships him in the form
he likes and obtain happiness. This is the reason why the one and only
Paramatman manifests himself as so many different deities
.

Everybody must have firm faith in, and devotion for, his chosen deity. He
must learn to believe that this deity of his is the Paramatman, that there
is no power higher. That is the reason why each manifestation or form of
the Supreme Godhead reveals itself to be higher than other forms or
manifestations
. It is thus that these other forms are shown to have
worshipped it or suffered defeat at its hands. Altogether it means that
each deity worships other deities and is in turn worshipped by others.
Also each god suffers defeat at the hands of other gods and, at the same
time, inflicts defeat on them.
In the Saiva Puranas all those aspects that proclaim the glory of Siva are
brought together. Similarly, in the case of the Vaisnava Puranas that deal
with Visnu. Amba, Subrahmanya and other deities are each of them dealt
with in such a way as to show him or her to be the highest among the
devatas.
The purpose of exalting a particular deity over the another is not to
depreciate the latter. The underlying idea is that a person who worships
his chosen god has unflinching faith in him and becomes totally devoted
to him. Such exclusive devotion is called "ananyabhakti". The idea here,
however, is not to regard other devatas as inferior to one's own chosen
deity- an example of "nahi ninda nyaya"
.
Those who are capable of looking upon all deities as the manifestations of
the one and only Paramatman have no cause for exclusive devotion to
any one of them. It is only when we think that one deity is separate from or
alien to-another that the question arises of giving up one for another
.

If we realise that all are the different disguises of the One Reality, the
various gods and goddesses potrayed in the Puranas, with all the
differences among them, will be understood to be nothing but the lila or
sport of Supreme Being. It is the One alone that seems divided into
manifold entities. This is to help men of various attitudes and
temperaments. If this truth is recognised we shall be able to see the
stories in the Puranas- stories that seem contradictory- in the true light.



Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 05:01:47 PM
Quote
Friend,Please be a little patient until we get the complete picture.There is no need for the Vaishnavas or Shaivas to do away with their differences!They can very well accept the 'Difference' and still progress !

Dear Ravi, there is no any tension and urgency in me discussing this matter. I have no problem with Theistic philosophies. I have never said that they cannot progress. I don't even comment if their viewpoint is right or wrong. The only thing which I have talked about is that modern India is predominantly polytheistic and dualistic. I have never judged if this is right or wrong. Everyone according to his/her nature. Even Lord Krishna accents on this: "Even those who in faith worship other Gods, because of their love, they worship Me, although not in the right way." What Lord Krishna means? In my opinion He says: "They worship Me because there is no other God except Me." and "They worship Me not in the right way because they divide Me into many Gods which leads to division and duality, not to Oneness and Unity".

Best wishes, ramana 1359
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 05:05:27 PM
Quote
The sage of Kanchi continued...
Why Differences among the Gods?

Each Purana is in the main devoted to a particular devata. In the Siva
Purana it is stated: "Siva is the Supreme Being. He is the highest authority
for creation, sustenance and dissolution. It is at his behest, and under
him, that Visnu funtions as protector. Visnu is a mere bhogin, trapped in
Maya. Siva is a yogin and jnana incarnate. Visnu is subject to Siva and
worships him. Once when he opposed Siva he suffered humiliation at his
hands". Stories are told to illustrate such assertions.

In the Vaisnava Puranas you see the reverse. They contain stories to
support the view that Visnu is superior to Siva. "Is Siva a god, he who
dwells in the burning grounds with spirits and goblins for company?”
these Puranas ask.

In each Purana thus a particular deity is exalted over others. It may be
Subrahmanya, Ganapati or Surya. Each such deity is declared to be the
Supreme God and all others are said to worship him. When, out of pride,
they refuse to worship him they are humbled.

Doubts arise in our minds about such contradictory accounts. "Which of
these stories is true?” we are inclined to ask. "And which is false? They
cannot all of them be true. If Siva worships Visnu, how does it stand to
reason that Visnu should adore Siva? If Amba is superior to the Trimurti
(Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara), how is it right to say that she remains
submissive to Parameswara as his devoted consort? The Puranas cannot
all of them be true. Or are they all lies? "

Logical thinking seems to point to the conclusion that all Puranic stories
cannot be true. But, as a matter of fact, they are. A deity that suffers
defeat at one time at the hands of another emerges triumphant on
another occasion. And a god who worships another deity is himself the
object of worship at other times. How is this so and why?

Quote
The Sage of Kanchi Continued...

The Paramatman is one and only one. He it is that creates, sustains and
destroys. And it is he who exfoliates as the the many different deities.
Why does he do so? He has not cast people in the same mould. He has
created them all differently, with different attitudes, the purpose being to
make the affairs of the world interesting by imparting variety to them.

The Paramatman himself assumes different forms to suit the
temperament of different people so that each worships him in the form
he likes and obtain happiness. This is the reason why the one and only
Paramatman manifests himself as so many different deities.

Everybody must have firm faith in, and devotion for, his chosen deity. He
must learn to believe that this deity of his is the Paramatman, that there
is no power higher. That is the reason why each manifestation or form of
the Supreme Godhead reveals itself to be higher than other forms or
manifestations. It is thus that these other forms are shown to have
worshipped it or suffered defeat at its hands. Altogether it means that
each deity worships other deities and is in turn worshipped by others.
Also each god suffers defeat at the hands of other gods and, at the same
time, inflicts defeat on them.
In the Saiva Puranas all those aspects that proclaim the glory of Siva are
brought together. Similarly, in the case of the Vaisnava Puranas that deal
with Visnu. Amba, Subrahmanya and other deities are each of them dealt
with in such a way as to show him or her to be the highest among the
devatas.
The purpose of exalting a particular deity over the another is not to
depreciate the latter. The underlying idea is that a person who worships
his chosen god has unflinching faith in him and becomes totally devoted
to him. Such exclusive devotion is called "ananyabhakti". The idea here,
however, is not to regard other devatas as inferior to one's own chosen
deity- an example of "nahi ninda nyaya".
Those who are capable of looking upon all deities as the manifestations of
the one and only Paramatman have no cause for exclusive devotion to
any one of them. It is only when we think that one deity is separate from or
alien to-another that the question arises of giving up one for another.

If we realise that all are the different disguises of the One Reality, the
various gods and goddesses potrayed in the Puranas, with all the
differences among them, will be understood to be nothing but the lila or
sport of Supreme Being. It is the One alone that seems divided into
manifold entities. This is to help men of various attitudes and
temperaments. If this truth is recognised we shall be able to see the
stories in the Puranas- stories that seem contradictory- in the true light.

Yes, Sri Ravi but this is view through the eyes of an Advaitin. :) That's what I believe and that what I think most Hindus don't believe. :) But there is nothing wrong in that.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 05:09:15 PM
The Sage of Kanchi continued...

In the story of Banasura we see that Siva is vanquished by Krsna. But in
the story of Tiruvannamalai, Visnu meets with failure in finding the feet of
Siva. Both stories must be treated as truthful. The first is to make
devotees of Krsna worship him as the Paramatman and the second to
make devotees of Siva adore him similarly. Although we think that one is
winner and the other the loser or that the one is superior to the other or
inferior to him, the two know themselves to be one. Does one triumph
over oneself- or does one inflict defeat upon oneself? So all this is play.
The Parmatman indulges in sport assuming multifarious forms.
The purpose of the Puranas is to show people the right path. Pativratya is
a virtue that is of the utmost importance. Amba herself exemplifies it. The
Parasakti, the Supreme Power that she is, remains subject to her
husband. Faith and devotion must grow in the world and for it the Lord
himself must show the way. This is why in some temples Visnu is
represented as a worshipper of Siva and in some other shrines Siva is
seen as a devotee of Visnu. The same with other deities. I have spoken
more about Siva and Visnu since Saivism and Vaisnavism are the two
major divisions.
To sum up, if a deity is glorified in the Puranas, and stories told in support
of it, it is to create exclusive devotion to him as the Paramatman. And, if
any god is potrayed as inferior to another, the true purpose of it is not to
denigrate him but to develop unflinching faith in the latter.


I will continue on what the Sage of Kanchi has to say on Vedic Chanting-The Science of the Mantra.There is another common misconception that this is monoplolized by the Brahmins(an easy target of ridicule for the Buddhists and other proselytizers!)!We will see clearly just who Brahmins are and why they as a seperate,dedicated class is Required,irrespective of what our common ,Social sense and political leaning may like us to believe.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 05:22:38 PM
Sri Ravi, I think you have understood me completely wrong. I have never even meant to talk about Brahmins. Are they right and wrong, corrupt or not etc. My only points was that polytheism was and is predominant thinking among Indians. Advaitins, Smartis and so on are just exception. The problem arised may be because I have used the word Hinduism. By Hinduism I mean the belief and understanding of the ordinary people, not the Sages, Brahmins and so on. And to say that Hinduism (by the definition is yet cleared up) is just to bury my head in the sand. Even if you enter in Hinduistic forums the predominant topics there is Which God is Superior and trying to prove that reciting volumes of texts. Sri Ramakrishna is lile Smartas, not like Vaishnavas and Shaivas. Yes, he unprejudicedly experienced the Truth through many faiths but we cannot compare the ordinary people with so much impure mind with Him. I am sure that Sri Ramakrishna would realize God even if He was born among Australian aborigens in the Middle Age. He was born with so pure mind that realization was a matter of time for Him.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 05:25:01 PM
Ramana,
It is not the view of 'advaitin'.This is the view of all Great ones down the ages.
Essentially,in Sanatana Dharma there are 3 sources of authority-They are
1.Sruti or Revelations-The Vedas belong to this realm.

2.Smritis-Adaptations and commentaries on Living as Cogitated by individual seers.
Manu, Parasara, Yajnavalkya, Gautama, Harita, Yama, Visnu, Sankha,
Likhita, Brhaspati, Daksa, Angiras, Pracetas, Samvarta, Acanas, Atri,
Apastamba and Satatapa are the eighteen sages who mastered the Vedas
with their superhuman power and derived the Smrtis from them. Their
works are known after them like Manusmrti, Yajnavalkya-smrti, Parasara-
Smrti and so on, and they contain all that we need to know about all the
dharmas to be adhered to and all the rituals to be performed during our
entire life.
Apart from these eighteen, there are eighteen subsidiary Smrtis called
Upasmrtis. It is customary to include the Bhagavadgita among the Smrtis.
What we find in one Smrti may not be found in the other. There may also
be differences between one Smrti and another. These give rise to doubts
which are sought to be cleared by works called "Dharmasastra
Nibandhanas".

The variety and differences start to creep in here!

3.The Puranas.

Another guide for the dharma is the example of great
men. The Puranas provide an answer to how great men conducted
themselves.

Then there is sistacara to guide us, the life of virtuous people
of noble character. Not everybody's conduct can be a guide to us. The
individual whose life is an example for the practice of dharma must have
faith in the sastras and must live in accordance with their ordinances.
Besides, he must be free from desire and anger. The conduct of such men
is sistacara. Another authority or guide is what we know through our
conscience in a state of transparenc
y.
In matters of the Self, of dharma and religion, the Vedas are in the
forefront as our guide. Next come the dharmasastras. Third is the
conduct of the great sages of the past. Fourth is the example of the
virtuous people of our own times. Conscience comes last in determining
dharma.

Now everything has become topsy-turvy. People give importance first to
their conscience and last to the Vedas. We must consult our conscience
only as a last resort when we have no other means of knowing what is
dharma with reference to our actions.
Why is conscience called one's
"manahsaksi"? Conscience is fit to be only a witness (saksi), not to be a
judge.
A witness often gives false evidence. The mind, however, doesn't
tell an untruth - indeed it knows the truth of all things. “There is no deceit
that is hidden from the heart (mind), “says Auvvai. Conscience may be
regarded as a witness. But nowadays it is brought in as a judge also in
dharmic matters. As a witness it will give us a true report of what it sees
or has seen. But on the basis of it we cannot give on what is just with any
degree of finality. "What I think is right,” everybody would try to satisfy
himself thus about his actions if he were to be guided only by his
conscience. How can this be justified as the verdict of dharma?"-The Sage Of Kanchi.

We only need to reflect that if men like us can appreciate 'oneness',Great ones who had first hand experience of Truth would surely have understood and appreciated it in a vastly qualitative way!Only they just taught and lived the way that providence had called them to.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 05:29:42 PM
Ramana,
You seem to be thinking that advaitins/Smartas are different than Vaishnavas and Shaivas!This is a false distinction!
There are Realized men in each of these traditions.I understand that this seeming plurality is baffling for a person who does not have first hand acquaintance with these Traditions.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 05:30:30 PM
Quote
Ramana,
It is not the view of 'advaitin'.This is the view of all Great ones down the ages.

Sri Ravi, let be clear enough. I am talking about ordinary people, their understanding because they create the religion. The Great Ones just start it.

Jesus demontrated the Non-dual experience and taught it but His followers created the most dualistic system that could exist. It is the same with Hinduism - the Sages have taught Monotheism, even Monism, but their followers have "developed" it into Polytheism and dualism. Do you now really understand me or do you need to be more clear?
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 06:01:31 PM
Ramana,
You seem to be thinking that advaitins/Smartas are different than Vaishnavas and Shaivas!This is a false distinction!
There are Realized men in each of these traditions.I understand that this seeming plurality is baffling for a person who does not have first hand acquaintance with these Traditions.
Namaskar.

What have they realized? Do they all teach exactly what for example Sri Ramakrishna has taught? Sri Chaitanya for example has said that followers of Sri Shankaracharya are more dangerous than Buddhists and are greatest offenders against the Lord. There are many Christian monks who have experienced all that every follower of the other religions and philosophies have experienced but they condemn to hell all who do not follow Jesus. I don't consider this very enlightening. But we escape from the topic. Vaishnavas, Christians and so on are different. There is no doubt about that for me. They are exclusive, intolerant and so many other things. They go away from the Sanatana Dharma they teach, no matter if they realize that or not. If Vaisnava realize God and say "Oh, I was wrong. Shiva, Jesus, everything is the One God." I would accept your statement. But the person who realizes that cannot really be considered Vaishnava or Christian or whatever anymore because such a person see the One everywhere. So to compare a Vaishnava to Bhagavan Ramakrishna is somehow not right. I am very tolerant, Sri Ravi but above that I love the Truth. But again, let's not forget that our topic was Polytheism views among ordinary Indian people.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 06:04:47 PM
Quote
There are Realized men in each of these traditions.

I consider realized those people who see the Self or God everywhere, no matter from what Tradition and Philosophy they come. There is some Self-realized people among Christians, Muslims, Shaivas and Vaishnavas but this does not change the big picture.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 22, 2012, 06:40:34 PM
Dear ramana 1359,

Kindly see these verses of Guru Vachaka Kovai:

339: Like the one string that runs through without a break through the many beads in a rosary, God runs through and sustains
every religion. He is the Light that shines in all and innumerable jivas, as them and not different from them.

340:  Just as the single element, fire, is seen as many flames by virtue of the numerous earthenware lamps, similarly, the one
Self is seen as multiple beings by virtue of the many apparently existing upadhis.

341: If there were  not (in every religion) a unique phrase that reveals, as clearly as the mountain on a plane, the transcendental
Supreme Reality that abides within the Heart, all the contentious wrangling of the various religious sects that investigate reality
would be nothing more than the hubhub of the bazaar.

342. Various religions that enable (the attainment of Jnana) have come into existence to suit various levels of mental maturity.
The wisest  course, therefore is to have a harmonious outlook towards these religions which deserve to be practiced.

Bhagavan in Ashtakam Verse 5:

Like the string that holds together the gems in a necklace, You it is that penetrate and bind all beings and  the various
religions.

Again  Murugnar in Padamalai:

The many different religions are appropriate to the maturity of each individual and all of them are acceptable to Reality.

Again in Guru Vachaka Kovai:

347. God, the immanent One, appears to those with fleshy eyes in bright and beautiful forms. To an accomplished Yogi,
he appears in their heart lotus. To brahmins he appears in the rising and bright sacrificial fire, but to Jnanis who possess
the infinite eye, he appears everywhere.

Arunachala Siva.                   
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 22, 2012, 07:12:24 PM
Dear ramana 1359,

See these Guru Vachaka Kovai verses also, which speak of harmony of religions:

989. Since Mauna, the culmination of jnana, is their common nature, all religions are acceptable as a means to
advaitic truth, which shines unique and pure. They are therefore not opposed to the Vedanta that is the source
of non dual Brahma Jnana.

990. Even if those ignorant people in whom consciousness has not attained fullness fabricate a new religion, out of envy
and anger (towards existing beliefs ), you should know that it (the new religion) is also acceptable to Sivam (Consciousness),
which shines purely in the form of division-free consciousness.

Murugnar: (explanation to the above verse): As Consciousness shines as Consciousness alone, all the religions that arise,
as an activity of Consciousness belong to Consciousness. If out of narrow mindedness, a new religion comes into being -
\as if the diverse religions that currently exist are not sufficient, that religion too is not opposed to Consciousness.

991: Instead of turning outwards,arguing against other religions on account of attachment to your own, turn inwards and
practice, with genuine love, whichever religion you have faith in.

992. Instead of engaging in diverse disputes about dualism, qualified non dualism and non dualism, practice devotion to God
by mediating on him so that your penance ripens, encounter the divine wealth of grace, and realize the truth. This is the
best course.

993. So long as the mind survives, religion will also exist. No such religion can survive in the abundantly peaceful silence, that
results from the mind merging in the Heart, as a result of turning within and scrutinizing its own nature.

SEE the Padamalai verses:

539. Feeling  anger and hatred in the mind on account of a blind fanaticism towards one's own religion is a cruel and
ignoble deed.

1665: Instead of condemning another's path, destroying your clarity, learn one method. Observe it and cherish it in your heart.

On many occasions, when the subject of religion arises, Sri Bhagavan remarked, "Men cannot understand their own errors.
In many places, the ego comes up in the form of saying, 'My religion should be embraced by all."

Madhava Tirtha writes:

I saw a good example of the Maharshi's disinclination to impose Hindu ideas on people who would not appreciate them
when a group of devout Muslims came to see Him.

One of them asked: What is the best aim of human life? 

Sri Maharshi replied: It is Islam, which means 'to remain at the feet of God'. And as a consequence of that, one gets
salaam, which means peace.

Arunachala Siva.                 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 07:18:54 PM
Thanks, Sri Subramanian. I agree with all that.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 07:26:48 PM
But the only thing that I wanted to point out, just to point out :) , without intention of judge or even to compare or discriminate is that modern Hinduism is predominantly Polytheistic and my supposition is that the so called Brahminism during Buddha's time was not so much different. Dualism (and Polytheism as result) is just the way most people think which is nothing wrong. I am just describing, not taking a stand.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 22, 2012, 08:34:58 PM
Dear ramana 1359,

What does poly theism indicate? Different gods for worship. Now another ancient religion had also had different types of
gods for worship, i.e Greek  's ancient religion. They had Promethus, Apollo, Venus, etc., etc..

I do not know about Greek religion but I can say that in Hinduism. While the ancient Rig Veda etc., starts with praying only
to Agni, in later Vedas spoke of different gods. But if you come to major upanishads (minor upanishads speaks about personal
gods) they speak only about Brahman. My observation is these personal gods came about because -

1. Men and women could not be satisfied with non-form,non-name Brahman for the purpose of worship. All are not doing
atma vichara. Most of them are doing only pujas, japas etc., This needs a god to be placed before.

2. This is known to Sri Sankara. That is why, that great Saint who spoke about Advaita all through His life, a pinnacle of a
philosophy (even to call it a philosophy is wrong. It is an experiential Truth), who wrote commentaries on Brahma Sutram and
ten major upanishads, had to come down to the commoner's level and composed Stotras on Siva, Devi, Narasimha, Muruga,
Ganesa, Panduranga, Narayana, Guruvayurappan  and other gods.  This is only to facilitate the commoner to first worship
the form-ful God and then proceed to formless and nameless Principle. This is where the philosophy gets transformed to religion
and religion paved way for Atma Vicahara.   

3. Next to Him came Appaya Dikshitar. He was an advaitin. But he had to write some verses on other gods too for the same
reason.

4.  In case of Sri Bhagavan, He stuck to the Self, Atma. In the Arunachala Stuti Panchakam too, He called Arunachala as
Atma only. Still there is, I should say, it is a form of worship.  Apart from that He did not even write anything about Devi even.

5, Sri Bhagavan while translating in verse or prose works of Sri Sankara, He chose only those which speak about Atma,
Sri Dakshinamurti, not as a form but as a guru which pushes you inside to find the Atma. Then Viveka Choodamani and
Atma Bodham, Hastamalakam,

6. Even minor granthas of Sri Bhagavan like Appala Pattu, Atma Vidya Kirtanam, Ekanma Panchakam speak only about
Atma within.           

The polytheism in Hinduism is only for commoners who cannot grasp the concept of formless, nameless Brahman.
There is no polytheism at all in the higher levels. 

When Mahaswami of Kanchi was once asked: You are an advaitin. Why do you adorn vibhuti? Is not Vibhuti a sign of
Saivism?  Mahaswami replied: No. The vibhuti really denotes the way the jiva becomes a handful ashes and so one should
attain Atma Jnanam. So an advaitin wearing vibhuti is not to denote that he belongs to Saiva class. In fact, we always say
Naryana, Narayana..... Because, Narayana is also Brahman, Siva is also Brahman. Kamakshi is also Brahma swarupam.

As Muruganar said for Consciousness, all forms of worship are acceptable.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 09:31:53 PM
Ramana,
Since you seem to know what Hinduism is and what it is not,I will leave you with your understanding.

Subramanian,
The Vedic Gods like Mitra,Varuna ,Agni are not figments of imagination of the people of those times,later on to be replaced with Puranic Gods.The Names have changed,the principle or Tatva is the same.
Here is an example from Durga Suktam from Mahanarayana upanishad:

Jatavedase sunavama soma marathee yatho nidhahadhi veda,
Sa na parshadathi durgani viswa naaveva sindhum durithathyagni. 1

Our oblations of Soma to the fire god,
May he, the all knowing one destroy all those who do not like us,
May that divine fire lead us out of all perils,
Like a captain takes his boat across the sea,
And also save us from all wrongs.

Thaam agni varnaam thapasa jwalanthim vairochanim karma phaleshu jushtam,
Durgam devim saranamaham prapadhye, sutharasi tharase nama.
2

I take refuge in the divine mother Durga*,
Who shines like a fire due to her penances,
Who resides in actions and their fruits and makes them effective,
And I salute her who helps us cross our difficulties.

This is how The Upanishad refers to Agni as jAtAvedas(Knower of all Births) and also as Durga devi.

All the Gods referred to in the Vedas have a deep psychological and spiritual significance -referring to the functioning of the powers of One God in varied aspects.
One of the Best and most insightful writings on the Vedas is by Sri Aurobindo;His wonderful 'The Secret of the Veda' reveals the powerful symbolism and significance of the Vedas.
The Functioning of one God in varied aspects is wrongly perceived as Polytheism by westerners.

It is quite like Ravi is the Father of his son,Husband of his wife,Manager to some employee ,Subordinate to his boss in Office,Citizen of a country-all these are different Roles and Functions performed by one 'Ravi'.This does not mean that there are 5 or 6 Ravis,all different from each other.
How much more and diversified the manifestation and functioning of Iswara!Each of these manifestation is associated with a Name and is invoked with that Name and Form.
This is not for the 'Common Man' but the wise ones have invoked the ONE iswara in all these forms.It is Iswara who manifests in all these aspects.This is not polytheism.

Namaskar.



Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 10:16:31 PM
Sri Ravi, I just shared my opinion, nothing more. I already regret for that. You don't need to be harsh.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 10:26:05 PM
Ramana,
No harshness intended :)
It is just that a discussion can continue only if the conclusion is not there.It cannot continue after the conclusion is reached and maintained.Is it not?
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 10:30:06 PM
Quote
It is quite like Ravi is the Father of his son,Husband of his wife,Manager to some employee ,Subordinate to his boss in Office,Citizen of a country-all these are different Roles and Functions performed by one 'Ravi'.This does not mean that there are 5 or 6 Ravis,all different from each other.

Nobody refuses that. This is what I believe, as everyone in this forum. I only say that the most Indians don't think like that. They see all Deities as different entities. That's why I say Hinduism is mostly polytheistic. What you are talking about is called Monotheistic Polytheism - One God in different Names and Forms. Unfortunately I don't see such understanding among Indians. Their mind is completely polytheistic, seeing different aspects of God as different Persons communicating and so one each other. That is everything that I wanted to say and you accused me that my understanding of Hinduism is wrong. I don't choose what the people to believe and think. I always talked about Hinduism as function of the devotees' beliefs and practices (because religion is exactly that - belief system constructed from devotees based on Sacred Text, some teachers and so on) but you as what the Sages and Authors of the Vedas have taught. That from where our misunderstanding come about.

Best wishes, ramana 1359.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 10:51:03 PM
Ramana,
" I only say that the most Indians don't think like that"
It is quite clear that only few practise.Many  only believe ,but that also is quite in order.Everyone has to progress from where he or she is.This is sanctioned(and not curbed or condemned)because what starts as belief in some form and name is Good enough,to start with.If one is sincerely attracted to that name and form,and even if one were to consider that as different than all the Rest;It still will lead one to the Truth.This is what sri Ramakrishna has said and more importantly advocated.
Differences and distinctions exist as long as one has not come face to face with Truth.Even after attaining Truth,One may still continue with a seeming preference for a 'Name' and 'Form' .The External nature or prarabdha will continue as before.

Unity in Diversity is the beauty of sanatana Dharma as admitted by the sages.

If we go to villages,even unlearned,rustic people will say in Tamil:
ariyum sivanum onnu
ariyAdavan vayile mannu

Meaning :
Hari and siva are one!They are quite humble and acknowledge all forms of god.

It is only the 'learned' and 'literate' who are neither here nor there!

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 10:59:13 PM
Quote
Unity in Diversity is the beauty of sanatana Dharma as admitted by the sages.

Yes, but only if you accept that God is One and the other religions preach the Same Lord. If it is not available we cannot talk about Sanatana Dharma. To accept "Unity in diversity" you must first accept that there is Unity. I don't see unity (even in theory and possibility) among Christians, Muslims, Vaishnavam, Shaivam and so on. They accept only they are right and other religions are evil or the other Gods are Satan or servants and so on. I don't consider this as applicable to Vedic, Upanishadic, Puranic or Sanatana Dharmic Truth.

Best wishes, ramana 1359
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 11:17:21 PM
Sri Ravi, I know that Sacred Scriptures - Vedas, Upanishad, Puranas, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavat Purana, Brahma sutras and so on absolutely cover and teach what Advaitins, Sri Ramana, Sri Ramakrishna and all others like them support and preach. But can you compare their followers and people with their way of thinking to all dualistic bhaktas who teach One Supreme Lord governing all pantheon? Dualistic bhaktas are much, much more. That's why I said that Hinduism is more polytheistic. These people do not believe that Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu, Devi, Ganapati and others are just One Lord. Do you see? They believe they are different Deities FOREVER, FOR ETERNITY. This is what makes Modern Hinduism and Brahminism polytheistic. If they believed that God is One and these Gods are His manifestations but they just feel Them like They are separate entities, OK. But that's not the case. Before I start visiting forums like this one I could not find a single Indian person who to share my belief. I was deeply moved by Lord Shiva but all taught me "No. He is just devotee of Lord Krishna. He is the Supreme Lord". It is the same with Shaivam : "Don't read Bhagavad Gita" and so on. So please, understand me right. I have some experience. I have watched interviews, movies and so on, talked with people. All was the same. And most of the said me to follow Krishna, not even Vishnu, and if I don't do that I am just loosing my time. So my experience is the Modern Hindus are mostly polytheistic. I saw in Hinduists "hidden Christian fanatics". I have heard that India is most tolerant and open county which allow people to find themselves and suddenly I got into another fanatics. I tried to be as much as I can complete to try to show you why my opinion is like that. I hope you understood me now.

Best wishes, ramana 1359
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 11:19:28 PM
Ramana,
"To accept "Unity in diversity" you must first accept that there is Unity. I don't see unity (even in theory and possibility) among Christians, Muslims, Vaishnavam, Shaivam and so on. They accept only they are right and other religions are evil or the other Gods are Satan or servants and so on."

Unity is not a matter of acceptance as much as it is a matter of understanding.
Further,Unity is not uniformity!Quite often we tend to use this interchangeably.
Unlike other religions like Christianity or Islam,sanatana Dharma is not an Organized religion.
Religion for the Hindu is his private affair.A Husband may have an 'Ishta' and a wife may have a totally different 'Ishta'(Particular name and form of personal god).Each one ,however acknowledges the efficacy as well the 'individual' need of the other and there is perfect Harmony and understanding.
The Temples here are not a place for congregational worship like the mass in a church or Namaz in a mosque.No one here issues summons if one does not turn up in congregation.
This is how a Hindu is brought up and this very upbringing gives him a tremendous sense of Freedom of thought and catholocity.He may still have his preferences,yet he very well acknowledges similiar preferences in others.This is how the 'Unity in Diversity' is understood and Practised.There is thus no sharp schism as 'we' and 'They' or 'Others'.

The Dogmatic statements of a few teachers and their adherents cannot be taken as representing the Vast masses of Indians.

If you read Swami Vivekananda's talk-'My Master',he speaks about this aspect of Hinduism or sanatana Dharma.


Namaskar.



Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 11:26:35 PM
Ramana,
"To accept "Unity in diversity" you must first accept that there is Unity. I don't see unity (even in theory and possibility) among Christians, Muslims, Vaishnavam, Shaivam and so on. They accept only they are right and other religions are evil or the other Gods are Satan or servants and so on."

Unity is not a matter of acceptance as much as it is a matter of understanding.
Further,Unity is not uniformity!Quite often we tend to use this interchangeably.
Unlike other religions like Christianity or Islam,sanatana Dharma is not an Organized religion.
Religion for the Hindu is his private affair.A Husband may have an 'Ishta' and a wife may have a totally different 'Ishta'(Particular name and form of personal god).Each one ,however acknowledges the efficacy as well the 'individual' need of the other and there is perfect Harmony and understanding.
The Temples here are not a place for congregational worship like the mass in a church or Namaz in a mosque.No one here issues summons if one does not turn up in congregation.
This is how a Hindu is brought up and this very upbringing gives him a tremendous sense of Freedom of thought and catholocity.He may still have his preferences,yet he very well acknowledges similiar preferences in others.This is how the 'Unity in Diversity' is understood and Practised.There is thus no sharp schism as 'we' and 'They' or 'Others'.

The Dogmatic statements of a few teachers and their adherents cannot be taken as representing the Vast masses of Indians.

If you read Swami Vivekananda's talk-'My Master',he speaks about this aspect of Hinduism or sanatana Dharma.


Namaskar.

To understand something you first must want to understand it, to accept that there is something more than what you think. This is impossible for more religious people.

If you equal Hinduism = Sanatana Dharmas as Sri Vivekananda did, then yes, I say Hinduism is Monotheistic and even more -  it is completely Monistic religion and philosophy.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 23, 2012, 06:33:33 AM
Ramana/Friends,
Here is an excerpt from Swami Vivekananda's talk-'My Master':
" To learn this central secret that the truth may be one and yet many at the same time, that we may have different visions of the same truth from different standpoints, is exactly what must be done. Then, instead of antagonism to anyone, we shall have infinite sympathy with all. Knowing that as long as there are different natures born in this world, the same religious truth will require different adaptations, we shall understand that we are bound to have forbearance with each other. Just as nature is unity in variety--an infinite variation in the phenomenal--as in and through all these variations of the phenomenal runs the Infinite, the Unchangeable, the Absolute Unity, so it is with every man; the microcosm is but a miniature repetition of the macrocosm; in spite of all these variations, in and through them all runs this eternal harmony, and we have to recognize this. This idea, above all other ideas, I find to be the crying necessity of the day. Coming from a country which is a hotbed of religious sects--and to which, through its good fortune or ill fortune, everyone who has a religious idea wants to send an advance-guard--I have been acquainted from my childhood with the various sects of the world. Even the Mormons come to preach in India. Welcome them all! That is the soil on which to preach religion. There it takes root more than in any other country. If you come and teach politics to the Hindus, they do not understand; but if you come to preach religion, however curious it may be, you will have hundreds and thousands of followers in no time, and you have every chance of becoming a living God in your lifetime. I am glad it is so, it is the one thing we want in India.
    The sects among the Hindus are various, a great many in number, and some of them apparently hopelessly contradictory. Yet they all tell you they are but different manifestations of religion. "As different rivers, taking their start from different mountains, running crooked or straight, all come and mingle their waters in the ocean, so the different sects, with their different points of view, at last all come unto Thee." This is not a theory, it has to be recognized, but not in that patronizing way which we see with some people: "Oh yes, there are some very good things in it. These are what we call the ethnical religions. These ethnical religions have some good in them." Some even have the most wonderfully liberal idea that other religions are all little bits of a prehistoric evolution, but "ours is the fulfillment of things". One man says, because his is the oldest religion, it is the best; another makes the same claim, because his is the latest.
We have to recognize that each one of them has the same saving power as the other. What you have heard about their difference, whether in the temple or in the church, is a mass of superstition. The same God answers all; and it is not you, or I, or any body of men that is responsible for the safety and salvation of the least little bit of the soul; the Almighty God is responsible for all. I do not understand how people declare themselves to be believers in God, and at the same time think that God has handed over to a little body of men all truth, and that they are the guardians of the rest of humanity. How can you call that religion? Religion is realization; but mere talk--mere trying to believe, mere groping in darkness, mere parroting the words of ancestors and thinking it is religion, mere making a political something out of the truths of religion--is not religion at all. In every sect--even among the Mohammedans whom we always regard as the most exclusive--even among them we find that wherever there was a man trying to realize religion, from his lips have come the fiery words: "Thou art he Lord of all, Thou art in the heart of all, Thou art the guide of all, Thou art the Teacher of all, and Thou carest infinitely more for the land of Thy children than we can ever do." Do not try to disturb the faith of any man. If you can, give him something better; if you can, get hold of a man where he stands and give him a push upwards; do so, but do not destroy what he has. The only true teacher is he who can convert himself, as it were, into a thousand persons at a moment's notice. The only true teacher is he who can immediately come down to the level of the student, and transfer his soul to the student's soul and see through the student's eyes and hear through his ears and understand through his mind. Such a teacher can really teach and none else. All these negative, breaking-down, destructive teachers that are in the world can never do any good."

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 23, 2012, 09:09:47 AM
Ramana,
"To understand something you first must want to understand it, to accept that there is something more than what you think. This is impossible for more religious people."
In fact the vast majority of the orthodox seekers precisely hold onto what you are alluding.They hold onto what their Guru or Teachers say,much more than what they as individuals 'think'.This is also a form of Sraddha or Diligence and even if they shut themselves to the other school of thought,if they hold fast ,sincerely and pursue what a Vaishnava Teacher or a Sakta Teacher has said,that is enough.They will still come by Truth.
On the other hand a mere catholocity or breadth of thought or perspective will leave one a tolerant or a genial person ;nothing more than that!
If one has the Intensity,that  by itself would flower in its own time.
This is how Sri Ramakrishna practised Islam ,where he did Namaz at regular times as stipulated by Islam.Importantly,he did not visit the Kali temple or anything to do with Hinduism during that short period,and practised exactly like a zealous Muslim would.
If the Genuine Zeal is there ,that is all that matters.No need to accept other school of thoughts or appreciate them.
Namaskar.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 24, 2012, 05:55:25 AM
Ramana/Friends,
I am posting again what one of the members here,silentgreen ,had posted;this is how every practising Hindu feels about what may seem as polytheism.
Here it is:
"During my earlier days, I did an experiment. When I felt a little devotion for one God, I used to mentally switch to another God. The same devotion gets carried over to another God. It is like learning to swim. Once you learn swimming in one pond, you can swim in all the ponds. There may be a little preference for one pond, which is natural. Also once you have learnt swimming, whereever you see a pond, you will feel like swimming."
God is peace and Love.How many different 'Love and Peace' are there?!!!

You asked this question:
"Dear Sri Ravi. Please, tell me what is you opinion about the thinking of the people of India today "

My answer is that it is quite like what silentgreen has so wonderfully expressed.This is how the devotees feel.If they Visit the temple of Lord Muruga,they feel that they are worshipping the peerless one.If they visit a temple of Lord Ganapathy,they feel that they are worshipping the Primordial one.If the visit a Durga temple,they feel that they are worshipping the Mother of all creation.Same with Vishnu,Krishna ,Rama or siva temples.
There may be vaishnavas who do not visit siva temples but only vishnu temples.This is quite okay and we recognize that that is equally good and quite in order.It is all a matter of upbringing,conviction and natural leaning.As long as they 'take a bath'(neerAjanam),that is all that matters.

This is exactly what Sri Ramakrishna says:

"The Primordial Power is ever at play. She is creating, preserving, and destroying in play,
as it were. This Power is called Kali. Kali is verily Brahman, and Brahman is verily Kali. It
is one and the same Reality. When we think of It as inactive, that is to say, not engaged in
the acts of creation, preservation, and destruction, then we call It Brahman. But when It
engages in these activities, then we call It Kali or Sakti. The Reality is one and the same;
the difference is in name and form
.(See how the Master is saying Ekam Sat;viprah bahuda vadanti-Ravi)

"It is like water, called in different languages by different names, such as 'jal', 'pani', and so
forth. There are three or four ghats on a lake. The Hindus, who drink water at one place,
call it 'jal'. The Mussalmans at another place call it 'pani'. And the English at a third place
call it 'water'. All three denote one and the same thing, the difference being in the name
only. In the same way, some address the Reality as 'Allah', some as 'God', some as
'Brahman', some as 'Kali', and others by such names as 'Rama', 'Jesus', 'Durga', 'Hari.' "


Let me categorically state that i do not have an iota of a doubt concerning this.It is clear to me like daylight :)

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 24, 2012, 07:51:55 AM
Quote
There may be vaishnavas who do not visit siva temples but only vishnu temples.This is quite okay and we recognize that that is equally good and quite in order.It is all a matter of upbringing,conviction and natural leaning.As long as they 'take a bath'(neerAjanam),that is all that matters.

The only thing that is not good and quite in order for me is the intolerance, the feel of superiority, the distinction 'me' and 'others'. What Sri silentgreen has depicted as his experience is the way which everyone must follow. The problem is that Vaishnavas does not consider Shiva the same God as Vishnu. Their spirit is competitive, self-sufficient. They always quarrel and try to convince other that they are right and to convert them. This has nothing in common to the way you see God and have beautifully depicted in your previous posts. No, this is not ok if this feeling of difference and intolerance continue to the end and you consider youself God-realized or saved just because you believe in the 'proper God'. Sri Ramakrishna also rejected such kind of attitude toward God. And I repeat again - what you are talking about is idealistic and does not match the current situation of the mind of most devotees of God - no matter if they are christians, hinduists, muslims or other. If you believe in what Sri Ramakrishna taught then I don't know how can you accept as ok to disgrace others who don't believe like you, to torture them (at least mentally, sometimes physically), to force them to believe like you, to ignore and reject them just because they don't believe like you, even to kill them (as some fundamentalists from every religion do) and so on. To believe in Sri Ramakrishna's or Sri Ramana's God is to accept all Reality as His manifestation, not to reject this or that. God is unity and love, not duality, separation, intolerance and hatred. I see you try to embrace all humanity in the framework of your belief. I tried too but I couldn't because it cannot be. God's Lila is too big to embrace It. God has created dualists, monists, monotheists, polytheists. We try to prove one thing and to reject the other. But this is not right. This is not the way. If we do that then we don't accept God's innumerable manifestations. All paths lead to God because there is nothing but God. So please let stop the topic about polytheism or monotheism. It really doesn't matter to me. That's why I regret that I started this topic at all. The only thing that matters is what you believe in and what you do. Let others take care of themselves and God be with them and guide them!

best wishes, ramana 1359
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 24, 2012, 09:12:46 AM
Ramana,
"The problem is that Vaishnavas does not consider Shiva the same God as Vishnu. Their spirit is competitive, self-sufficient. They always quarrel and try to convince other that they are right and to convert them."

I do not know what you mean-perhaps you are referring to the ISCON movement;not sure of that.
There are always genuine people and there are also fanatical elements.This is true of the 'advaita' school,perhaps more so!
When we talk of any faith,we need to discuss only the true representatives and I am not at all sure whether you had read the lives of the likes of Sri RAmAnujAcharya and other Alwar saints.The Very tenet of Vaishnavism is to treat all devotees as greater than the Lord himself!
Their devotion to  'Guru' is exemplary,so much so that an advaitin like The Sage of Kanchi sets it up as  prime example.Even till date,when a Vaishnava devotee dies,the obituary reads-'He has attained the Lotus feet of the Acharya'(in tamil it sounds-AchAryan tiruvadi adainthAr') and not 'Lotus feet of God' as others do.
I do not have an outward fascination to embrace the whole of Humanity but if anyone is truly devoted to any religion or god,I suppose this will be an outcome;more so when one professes to be advaitin!The beauty ,devotion to Guru,the embracing of everyone as devotees of god,to view everyone as a devotee and to take responsibility for any fault that one sees in others as if it is one's blemish to have seen it in the first place!These are what are called Vaishnava Lakshnam,the very symbol of Vaishnava Faith that the Great AchAryAs of this wonderful tradition exemplified.
Just to add,that I do not hail from this tradition but yet,I can totally identify  with deep devotion to this wonderful Faith,and not in a patronising way.
The Vaishnava Saints have been exemplars of parabhakti.
Anyway,I will leave it here.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 24, 2012, 09:38:07 AM
I just want to explain me why some considered God-realized people reject and talk about against other views and religions? Is that right? Or is it right to condemn one just because he or she eats meat for example and to say him "Oh, you cannot realize God until you stop eating meat". You talk about Vaishnavas as people who have chosen Lord Vishnu as preferred form of the Godhead who to worship. But reality is that Vaishnavas, just as Shaivas and Christianity are sects who clain their supremacy and reject all others. This is not Sanatana Dharma. I think it is not the way all Sages have taught. That is the difference between the beatiful picture you describe and sectarianism. Sectarianism is a product of self-rightous people who thinks they are right and reject all other views. This is what Sri Ramakrishna was against. If Shaivas, Vaishnava, Shaktas, Ganapatyas, Christians or Muslims accept that they worship the same God, then the world will not be same and will change in good direction.

I don't promote Advaita and I don't say that its followers are somehow different. On the contrary - they are even more deceived because the advaitic path is very slippery and an authentic Guru is necessary to prevent the follower from the many possible illusions and mistakes. I don't make distinction between different faiths. I am just pointing out that some of their followers don't behave the way Sri Ramana or Sri Ramakrishna and others (which I consider as my authorities) regard as proper. I provoke you to make some observation of the Christian world and then tell me if they behave properly and if they follow Sanatana Dharma. And don't think that so called Hinduistic sects are so much superior in this regard. But I think all this is a part of the spiritual path everyone must pass through. I am sure that these people sooner or later by God's Grace will change and will find the true Nature of the Lord taught by the Sages from time immemorial.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 24, 2012, 01:45:12 PM
Ramana,
"If Shaivas, Vaishnava, Shaktas, Ganapatyas, Christians or Muslims accept that they worship the same God, then the world will not be same and will change in good direction."

wonder whether we are moving on parallel tracks. :)

Let me approach it differently;Well how do I put it?Hmmm...may be through analogy of Music.
We have different varieties of Music,but let us say that for our purpose,we make use of Classical music.
We have Western Classical music and within western classical,we have the Baroque,the Classical,The Romantic,the Neoclassical periods where the same so called Classical Music undergoes change in expression while yet holding onto the same Harmonic Structure.
Likewise in India ,we have Carnatic Classical in the south and Hindustani Classical in the North and both have the same Melodic Structure based on Ragas.There are quite a many common raga forms in Carnatic and Hindustani but the Expression is different.
Now all these are Music only and all these forms of Music take the listener to something profound and deep within themselves,something noble and sublime.
On this score,we cannot expect a person who relishes Indian Classical to appreciate Western Classical and vice versa(In general.Exceptions are always there.Incidentally ,I appreciate all these forms of Music. :)
There will be people who will appreciate one style of music only;all the same it does the same thing for them as what another style of Music does for another.It quite often happens that one who appreciates Hindustani Classical may not appreciate Carnatic classical and vice versa.There will always be this difference,this limitation  in outer expression.
To revert back to the subject,what Sanatana Dharma has done is to recognize this limitation and allow one to develop along the lines best suited for the individual as determined by his upbringing and natural leaning.It does not advocate a uniform dogma or approach to be followed by one and all.
People who like to worship God in the form of Vishnu,are encouraged to do so.Those who like to worship Siva are encouraged to do so.Eventually all Recognize and emphasize Atma Sakshatkara(Self Realization).Please do not think that only advaitins emphasize atma Sakshatkara.The Visishtadvaitins as well as the Dvaitins equally emphasize Atma Sakshatkara.
In terms of our analogy,Music is paramount and forms of Classical music are only different variants to suit different temperaments and upbringing.
It is enough for a western Classical Musician to reach after perfection through that.Similiarly with the other schools of Indian Classical school.
You have asked whether Christians Follow Sanatana Dharma.I will only make this observation ,what the Sage of Kanchi used to advise to the various Christians and Muslims seeking his advice .He used to advise them:Learn and follow meticulously what the Bible and Koran has said.No need to convert oneself into 'Sanatana Dharma' since there is no such thing like 'conversion'.If they truly follow what is there in The Bible or Koran and pursue Prayer and be devoted to God,that by itself would lead them to the One God,the goal of all.
I will post more on what he said, some other time.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 24, 2012, 02:10:20 PM
That's what I am saying. But every musician appeciates other musicians, no matter they are not prone to their style. In religions we see something other. We see people who don't accept other views and try do bury them and convert everyone to their faith. I wonder how you don't see that. Apparently you have never been on Christian sermon. They only talk about how evil are muslim and hindus and how they must send missionaries to convert them to be saved; that no matter how good and rightous may they be, the mere fact that they don't recognize Jesus as the Only God is enough to be sent to hell. Or some Vaishnava sects who try to be tolerant and say "Oh, the devotees of Lord Shiva are fine. Everyone who worships the devotees of our Lord are welcome. But, oh, well, they will get mukti some other life when by Lord's mercy they began to worship our Lord Vishnu." Not to mention that sometimes these attacks are very aggressive. Is not the core of Sanatana Dharma peace, tolerance, love, acceptance? Do you recognize them among the groups I have mentioned. I appreciate your effort to unite all religions (in fact all religions are One) but it is very difficult to not see the differences in their followers. Differences which are very contrary to Sanatana Dharma and what our teachers teach us about right conduct leading to Self-realization. Difference which Sri Ramakrishna has observed but didn't accept. He proved the authenticity of all religions and that they all lead to God but He meant if they have been practiced in Sanatana Dharmic way. I doubt that He has accepted eternal hell of the christian and muslism and the Crusades. The very purpose of the religion is to overcome its boundaries, not to limit your experience and growth to the framework of its beliefs, to realize that only God exists.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 24, 2012, 02:18:27 PM
Dear Ravi, ramana,

Sri Bhagavan also spoke on the same lines when some Westerner came to Him asking Him whether he should get converted
to Hinduism.  He said: Atma is the Only One for all. There is no difference between a Christian and a Hindu in this truth. Then
why should you change your religion?  If you are a Christian you can be a true Christian and attain the Self Realization. Once
you attain atma jnana you will understand that there is no difference between any religions or gods.

Sri Bhagavan says in Ashtakam, Verse 5: 'Like the string that holds together gems, in a necklace, You (Arunachala = Atma)
it is that penetrate and bind all beings and the various religions.......

Once a Saivite and a Vaishnavite were debating in a symposium. In the evening, after a hefty dinner in the choultry, both
slept side by side. Soon they were seen holding hands and sleeping. One observer saw this and said: Where have Siva
and Vishnu gone in your sleep?

Different deities and their forms are built-in the religion to enable one to pray to a devata that is found dear to his nature
or mind. This Ishta Devata. But one should remember all devatas are only outer expression of Atma or Brahman. There is
no higher god and lower god. All gods are the same. When the mind, which causes such thinking process is quelled, one
would realize that there is only One and Only Atma Swarupam.

Even among Christians I have seen in Bangalore (where Christian population is more in Cantonment Area), some worshipping
only Infant Jesus, some other worshipping Jesus along with Mary, and a few others only Jesus.

Arunachala Siva.                 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 24, 2012, 02:32:28 PM
Dear ramana,

What is the most important thing is : Do not belittle another's faith or god. Do not wrangle that your god and my god - which
is superior? Stick to your god and continue your spiritual progress.

Saint Tayumanavar says in Aasai enum, verse 36:

aruLvadivu ezhum moortham
  avaigaL sopanam enre
sruti solliya vaRRale
  thozhum daivam ellam onRE
maruL enakku illai mun pin
  varum neRikku; iv vazhakkuth
theruLin munnilai Am unnaich
  chernthu yAn theLihenRenE.

The seven forms of grace (suddha viddhai, Iswaran, Sadasivam, Bindu, Natham, Sakti, Sivam) are only the deities. But
even these are only steps - says Vedas. All gods that one prays are only One in reality. There is no delusion in me.
What way is first and what next, this debate has ended and I am clear and see you and merge in you.

All delusions are only in practice-stages. On realization of Truth there is only total crystal clear clarity and no delusion.

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 24, 2012, 02:41:05 PM
Quote
What is the most important thing is : Do not belittle another's faith or god. Do not wrangle that your god and my god - which
is superior? Stick to your god and continue your spiritual progress.

Yes, this is the problem. Major religions and sects do exactly that. Their main 'work' is to prove they are right and others are wrong and must not be respected. The spirit which reigns in this forum for example is very difficult to be observed anywhere. Visit a christian or muslim forum and the judgemental and cold atmosphere will be feeled immediately if you are hindu for example. God forbids if you share the opinion that the soul and God are one and the same. You will be banned at the second. So, yes, all religions' purpose is the same but their follower's purpose differs greatly. :)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: akash8m on July 24, 2012, 03:59:48 PM
Quote
What is the most important thing is : Do not belittle another's faith or god. Do not wrangle that your god and my god - which
is superior? Stick to your god and continue your spiritual progress.

Yes, this is the problem. Major religions and sects do exactly that. Their main 'work' is to prove they are right and others are wrong and must not be respected. The spirit which reigns in this forum for example is very difficult to be observed anywhere. Visit a christian or muslim forum and the judgemental and cold atmosphere will be feeled immediately if you are hindu for example. God forbids if you share the opinion that the soul and God are one and the same. You will be banned at the second. So, yes, all religions' purpose is the same but their follower's purpose differs greatly. :)

Sri Ramakrishna said in a similar thing about different religions, which is very appropriate here:

"So long as the bee is outside the petals of the lotus, and has not tasted its honey, it hovers round the flower, emitting its buzzing sound; but when it is inside the flower, it drinks its nectar noiselessly. So long as a man quarrels and disputes about doctrines and dogmas, he has not tasted the nectar of true faith; when he has tasted it he becomes still."

- Ramakrishna
RAMAKRISHNA - HIS LIFE AND SAYINGS: F. MAX MULLER:

Very good book to read.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 24, 2012, 04:40:07 PM
Dear akash8m,

Nice comparison. Thank you.

Dear ramana,

In the days prior to entry of Mohammadanism and Christianity, Hindus praying to various gods - like Saktas, Saivites and
Vaishnavites, there were only fights which were debated. There was no fist fight or even any other threats by one to another.
In Tiruvidai maruthur, when Saivites had debate with Sri Sankara who was advocating Advaita, they finally said: We will go
to Mahalinga Swami Temple and seek final judgement from Him. Sri Sankara agreed and they all went and Sri Sankara
went inside and proclaimed Advaitam satyam, Adviatam satyam, Advaitam satyam... three times. A hand appeared from the
Siva Lingam and showed approval three times!  This is in Sankara Vijayam.

In Padmapada's case it was slightly more cruel. He was a Vaishnavite but took Advaitam as the real experience, became the
disciple of Sri Sankara, Once he wanted to go to Rameswaram Temple and Sri Sankara who knew his future, reluctantly
agreed. He went to Srirangam first to meet his maternal uncle, who was a staunch Vaishnavite. He spent a day with him.
His uncle saw the palm leaves containing his beautiful work Panchapadiga. He just for the sake of destroying that book told
Padmapada that he would like to read that book. Padmapada agreed and left the book and then proceeded to Rameswaram.
The uncle thought how to destroy the book in a safe way. He kept the book inside his house and burnt the entire house.
On his return Padmapada asked for the book and the uncle explained: I am sorry, the whole house is burnt due to some
mishap. Your book also got burnt. I am sorry, very very sorry. Padamapada said coolly: do not worry uncle. The whole book
is known to me by heart. I shall write it again after joining my Guru Sri Sankara, in Sringeri after a few days. The uncle became
crestfallen. He thought how his plan got frustrated. Next morning, before Padmapada could proceed his journey, he mixed something
in his food and asked him to eat and go. Padmapada ate and in a few minutes, he became mad. He was crying and laughing.
Very safely, his friends who had accompanied him took him to Sri Sankara in Sringeri. The friends told the whole story. Padmapada
wept. Sri Sankara said: Do not worry. Only your mind is temporarily out of normal state. But what I have taught and what you have
written as a commentary, is in your Heart. And Heart will never be affected. After sometime you will be alright. With guru's
grace, Padmapada became alright in a few weeks. Padmapada remembered all that he had written. Sri Sankara sat with him
and guided him word by word to re-write the book!

These two are simple examples. But what happened with Moslems? They showed the sword and converted the Hindus under
compulsion. Hindus had no other way to save their lives. In Christianity,  when the British came, the missionaries lured Hindus
-particularly the down caste people - by giving money, food, clothing and shelter. The poor could not resist. That is why you
can see a large number of Hindus converted to Christanity, in southern districts of Tamzih Nadu and Kerala.  In north, since
people were somewhat resisting and therefore there is no converted Hindus into Christianity in Uttara Pradesh and other
northern states of India. Again the missionaries lured the north east India people with money and you can find a lot of
Hindus converted to Christianity in Eastern Bihar, Assam and Manipur etc.,

Arunachala Siva.                     
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on July 24, 2012, 04:58:29 PM
Thank you both for these beautiful examples.

Sri Subramanian, this is what I am talking about. They show me two things:

1. The devotees of the different religions do not believe that their God is the same as the God of the other religions.

2. This kind of behavior is not in alignment with spirituality at all. This is just "spiritual egocentrism". This kind of thinking does not lead to spiritual advancement because such people do not even have the intention to destroy their ego, much less to try to do it.

3. There are exceptions. Padmapada's story is such an example.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 25, 2012, 09:08:42 AM
Friends,
Who is a Vaishnava?A song by the Great saint Narsi Mehta:
        Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye je
        [One who is a vaishnav]   
        PeeD paraayi jaaNe re
        [Knows the pain of others]
        Par-dukhkhe upkaar kare toye
        [Does good to others, esp. to those ones who are in misery] 
        Man abhimaan na aaNe re
        [Does not let pride enter his mind]
        Vaishnav...
       
        SakaL lok maan sahune vande
        [A Vaishnav, Tolerates and praises the the entire world]
        Nindaa na kare keni re
        [Does not say bad things about anyone]
        Vaach kaachh man nishchaL raakhe
        [Keeps his/her words, actions and thoughts pure]
        Dhan-dhan janani teni re
        [O Vaishnav, your mother is blessed (dhanya-dhanya)]
       
        Vaishnav...

        Sam-drishti ne trishna tyaagi
        [A Vaishnav sees everything equally, rejects greed and avarice] 
        Par-stree jene maat re
        [Considers some one else's wife/daughter as his mother]
        Jivha thaki asatya na bole
        [The toungue may get tired, but will never speak lies]
        Par-dhan nav jhaalee haath re
        [Does not even touch someone else's property]
        Vaishnav...

        Moh-maaya vyaape nahi jene
        [A Vaishnav does not succumb to worldly attachments]
        DriDh vairaagya jena man maan re
        [Who has devoted himself to stauch detachment to worldly 
        pleasures]
        Ram naam shoon taaLi laagi
        [Who has been edicted to the elixir coming by the name of Ram]
        SakaL tirath tena tan maan re
        [For whom all the religious sites are in the mind]
        Vaishnav...

        VaN-lobhi ne kapaT-rahit chhe
        [Who has no greed and deciet]
        Kaam-krodh nivaarya re
        [Who has renounced lust of all types and anger] 
        BhaNe Narsaiyyo tenun darshan karta
        [The poet Narsi will like to see such a person]
        KuL ekoter taarya re
        [By who's virtue, the entire family gets salvation]
        Vaishnav...

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on July 25, 2012, 09:16:28 AM
Friends,
The Story of Narsi Mehta by Swami Sivananda:
 
Narsi Mehta belonged to a Vadanagar Nagar-Brahmin family of Junagarh in Kathiawar, Gujarat. He was born of a very poor family. From his very boyhood he had great devotion to Lord Krishna. He lived with his brother. All the time he kept singing songs on Krishna and Gopi Lila and dancing in ecstasy. As he did not care a bit for any of the household matters and as he did not earn anything, his brother's wife taunted and ill-treated him. Narsi Mehta never entertained any idea of earning his livelihood. He had the firm conviction that Lord Krishna would provide him with all his wants. This was due to his previous Samskaras. He was of a happy-go-lucky nature. He did Tapasya at Gopinath, situated on the seaside. He had the Darshan of Lord Krishna through the grace of Lord Siva. He came back to his house and got married. He had a son by name Shyamaldass and a daughter by name Kunwarbai.

Narsi Mehta was a contemporary of Mira Bai. He had Sakhya Bhav. He would address Lord Krishna in terms of equality. He was a simple-minded, frank Bhakta. He saw Lord Krishna everywhere and in everything. He had Para Bhakti and cosmic consciousness. He composed a poem 'Hari Mala'. It is said that his daughter's marriage was conducted by Lord Krishna Himself with great pomp and eclat. Though Narsi Mehta was very poor, rich marriage-presents given to Kunwarbai's mother-in-law greatly astonished all.

Many miracles happened in Narsi Mehta's life. He had direct Darshan of Lord Krishna on several occasions. Once he was moving with his brother along a road. He was very hungry. He could not get any food on the way. There Lord Krishna took the form of a shepherd boy and gave him good food in a small cottage. Narsi asked his orthodox brother to partake of the food and said to him that it was Lord Krishna Himself who was serving him. His brother had no faith. Narsi and his brother continued their journey onwards. Narsi's brother forgot to take his vessel from the cottage. He ran back to the place and found out the vessel, but there was neither cottage nor shepherd boy. It was all the grace of Krishna, who served His Bhakta to keep up His word in the Gita:

Ananyaschityanto Mam Ye Janah Paryupasate Tesham Nityabhiyuktanam Yogakshemam Vahamyaham (Ch. IX-22)

Narsi's brother repented very much for not taking food along with Narsi.
On another occasion, Narsi was performing his father's Sraddha (the annual offering of Pindas to the departed souls). There was shortage of ghee. Narsi went to the bazaar to purchase ghee. On the way he met a Sankirtan party and joined them. He began singing Hari Bhajans and dancing in an ecstatic mood. He entirely forgot all about Sraddha and ghee. His poor wife was waiting and waiting anxiously for him. Two miracles happened then. It was all Krishna's grace to help His Bhakta. The first miracle was that the sun did not move a bit in the firmament. It stood still. Nobody knew how much time had actually passed. Secondly, Lord Krishna assumed the form of Narsi, brought ghee and handed it over to Narsi's wife. She gave mild rebuke also to Krishna who was there acting the part of Narsi. All the Brahmins were nicely fed. They departed with joy. The function was over. Narsi's wife started arranging the things and cleaning the room and the verandah. Then came Narsi with ghee in hand and apologised to his wife for coming late.

After the death of his wife and son, Narsi became more free. He began devoting all his time to worship and singing of Bhajans. He became an Ativarnashrami. He broke down all caste rules and observances. He held Kirtan everywhere, even in the houses of sweepers and men of inferior caste. The other Nagar-Brahmins hated Narsi and also outcasted him. They refused to admit him in one of their feasts. Another miracle happened now. A Dom or a man of inferior caste was found by the side of each Brahmin. The haughty Nagar-Brahmins were cowed down. They began to show respect to Narsi. They openly admitted and declared that Narsi Mehta was a great Bhakta.

The world has not produced a Bhakta greater than Narsi in this Yuga. Narsi's devotion was of a unique nature. He has pointed out to the world the true path of devotion. That is the reason why he still lives in our hearts, why his inspiring song, " Vaishnava Janato Thene Kahiye", which gives a fine description of a true Vaishnava, is sung even today by all the Bhaktas.
 
Glory to Narsi! Glory to Hari! Glory to His Name!

Narsi Mehta's song was a Great inspiration for Mahatma Gandiji and it was always sung in all the meetings that Gandhiji addressed.It is wonderfully rendered by smt M S Subbulakshmi,a Great devotee herself.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on August 21, 2012, 12:19:47 AM
Dear Ravi.N, Beautiful story,i love it! I didnt know anything about Narsi Mehta,and i am glad to read this. Thank you!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 21, 2012, 07:44:22 AM
Jewell,
Thanks very much.Jewell,you may perhaps like the story of Nanda,the pariah Saint that I have posted in the Stories thread started by silentgreen.It figures under the 'Translations and Commentaries By Forum Members' Category.
I understand that you are from Serbia.Truly wonderful to see how spiritual yearning cuts across Regions,languages,cultures.You are truly blessed.
Wish you the Very Best.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 21, 2012, 10:45:45 AM
Anil,
As you Rightly observed ,how sri Bhagavan's life itself happens to be his Teaching as well and far surpasses any words that he may have used,although such a form of teaching through words also has a place.
Sri Bhagavan's wonderful Life is his teaching-How he could live like a Lotus leaf on water,in the world and yet untouched by it!How he could be sensitive to all life forms,responded to them in perfect Harmony and understanding and yet be above all limitations!Truly exemplary in any way you look at it,as a Human being,as a Guru,as God or Self.
It is quite the same with Sri Ramakrishna.His wonderful life itself is his Teaching and I do not have the competence or capacity to write about it.Yet I take pleasure in sharing what 'M' (Master Mahasaya)who is a direct disciple and a Great devotee has to say on the Master:

M. (to the bhaktas) — Mahamaya makes one forget all. Only the other day the avatara came and said all this. He himself practised it all. He has made us see it all almost forcibly, yet where does the awakening come?
"O, what a state Thakur had: uttering ‘Ma, Ma,’ all the twenty-four hours of the day! He would not sleep at night practically. Maybe he keeps quiet for five to ten minutes. Again he wakes up with ‘Ma, Ma,’ again - inhaling ‘Ma’ and exhaling ‘Ma’! He was just like a child who can not live without his mother, who wants his mother."

This is the essence of Sri Ramakrishna's Teaching-God is one's own and is accessible to one and all.He says:
"God is your own Mother. Enforce your demand. If you are part of a thing, you feel its
attraction. Because of the element of the Divine Mother in me I feel attracted to Her
".

Again he says:
'Why do I not see God?' I said, 'You do not see God because you
busy yourself with such things as name and fame and scholarship.' The mother does not
come to the child as long as it sucks its toy-a red toy. But when, after a few minutes, it
throws the toy away and cries, then the mother takes down the rice-pot from the hearth and
comes running to the child."

He further says:

MASTER (to Girish): "One can realize God through intense renunciation. But the soul
must be restless for Him, as restless as one feels for a breath of air when one's head is
pressed under water.
"A man can see God if he unites in himself the force of these three attractions: the attraction
of worldly possessions for the worldly man, the husband's attraction for the chaste wife,
and the child's attraction for its mother. If you can unite these three forms of love and give
it all to God, then you can see Him at once.
Cry to your Mother Syama with a real cry, O mind!
And how can She hold Herself from you?
"If a devotee prays to God with real longing, God cannot help revealing Himself to him.
"The other day I told you the meaning of bhakti. It is to adore God with body, mind, and
words. 'With body' means to serve and worship God with one's hands, go to holy places
with one's .feet, hear the chanting of the name and glories of God with one's ears, and
behold the divine image with one's eyes. 'With mind' means to contemplate and meditate on
God constantly and to remember and think of His lila. 'With words' means to sing hymns to
Him and chant His name and glories.
"Devotion as described by Narada is suited to the Kaliyuga. It means to chant constantly
the name and glories of God. Let those who have no leisure worship God at least morning
and evening by whole-heartedly chanting His name and clapping their hands
.
"The 'ego of a devotee' begets no pride; it does not create ignorance. On the contrary it
helps one realize God. This ego is no more like the ordinary ego than hinche is like
ordinary greens. One generally becomes indisposed by eating greens; but hinche removes
excessive bile; it does one good. Sugar candy is not like ordinary sweets. Sweets are
generally harmful, but sugar candy removes acidity.
"Nishtha leads to bhakti; bhakti, when mature, becomes bhava; bhava, when concentrated,
becomes mahabhava; and last of all is prema. Prema is like a cord: by prema God is bound
to the devotee; He can no longer run away
.

Essentialy,he teaches unsophisticated form of Love.What is unsophisticated Love?A Love that is spontaneous and does not need any Polemic Support such as whether the "love' is limted,whether it is 'Object -subject' oriented,whether it is wholesome,whether it is mature,etc,etc.All such calculations by the mind fall short and often act as stumbling blocks.
This simple ,yet powerful unsophisticated Love that even a calf may have for its mother cow,if intensified and held onto will lead to all the Rest.This is the Beauty of Sri Ramakrishna's unsophisticated approach that the simplest and lowliest of us can follow.In fact there is no need to follow,for all of us have it in us and it only needs encouragement and tending to sprout and flower.

The Master says:
"Once I went to a certain place with Mathur Babu. Many pundits came forward to argue
with me. And you all know that I am a fool. (All laugh.) The pundits saw that strange mood
of mine. When the conversation was over, they said to me: 'Sir, after hearing your words,
all that we have studied before, our knowledge and scholarship, has proved to be mere
spittle. Now we realize that a man does not lack wisdom if he has the grace of God. The
fool becomes wise and the mute eloquent.' Therefore I say that a man does not become a
scholar by the mere study of books
.

Divine Knowledge is inexhaustible

"Yes, how true it is! How can a man who has the grace of God lack knowledge? Look at
me. I am a fool. I do not know anything. Then who is it that utters these words? The
reservoir of the Knowledge of God is inexhaustible.
There are grain-dealers at Kamarpukur.
When selling paddy, one man weighs the grain on the scales and another man pushes it to
him from a heap. It is the duty of the second man to keep a constant supply of grain on the
scales by pushing it from the big heap. It is the same with my words. No sooner are they
about to run short than the Divine Mother sends a new supply from Her Inexhaustible
storehouse of Knowledge."

As we read the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,we find how the Master hooks all with his Love,talking to them and joking with them,indulging in small talk as it were and then all of a sudden sweeping them to the Divine realm of Beauty,Love and Knowledge.He is utterly human and accessible,yet ever the Child of The Divine Mother.
Here is an example:
A boat was moving in the Ganges, far away from the bank. The boatman began to sing. The
sound of his voice floating over the river reached the Master's ears, and he went into a
spiritual mood. The hair on his body stood on end. He said to M., "Just feel my body." M.
was greatly amazed. He thought: "The Upanishads describe Brahman as permeating the
universe and the ether. Has that Brahman, as sound, touched the Master's body?"

Reading the Gospel is to be in sat-sangh of the Highest kind as M has so vivdly captured the scenes that no Video camera can!Thanks very much for your earnest query that has provided me an opportunity to babble these few words.
Namaskar.


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 21, 2012, 12:21:04 PM
Hari,
I appreciate your sentiments.Number of followers are not important in as much as what they Realize.Horizontal spread is quite easy and can be accomplished just like how materialism can take hold and sway over people.The Deepest spiritual Truths cannot be 'Spread' but each one has to strive to understand and Realize it.This is why ,it is the Student who goes in search of a Guru and not the other way round.The Guru is simply content to be steeped in Truth,like Sri Bhagavan did.

This is what Swami Vivekananda says in that wonderful talk 'My Master':" In our country a teacher is a most highly venerated person, he is regarded as God Himself. We have not even the same respect for our father and mother. Father and mother give us our body, but the teacher shows us the way to salvation. We are his children, we are born in the spiritual line of the teacher. All Hindus come to pay respect to an extraordinary teacher, they crowd around him. And here was such a teacher, but the teacher had no thought whether he was to be respected or not, he had not the least idea that he was a great teacher, he thought that it was Mother who was doing everything and not he. He always said, "If any good comes from my lips, it is the Mother who speaks; what have I to do with it?" That was his one idea about his work, and to the day of his death he never gave it up. This man sought no one. His principle was, first form character, first earn spirituality and results will come of themselves. His favorite illustration was, "When the lotus opens, the bees come of their own accord to seek the honey; so let the lotus of your character be full-blown, and the results will follow." This is a great lesson to learn.

    My Master taught me this lesson hundreds of times, yet I often forget it. Few understand the power of thought. If a man goes into a cave, shuts himself in, and thinks one really great thought and dies, that thought will penetrate the walls of that cave, vibrate through space, and at last permeate the whole human race. Such is the power of thought; be in no hurry therefore to give your thoughts to others. First have something to give. He alone teaches who has something to give, for teaching is not talking, teaching is not imparting doctrines, it is communicating. Spirituality can be communicated just as really as I can give you a flower. This is true in the most literal sense. This idea is very old in India and finds illustration in the West in the theory, in the belief, of apostolic succession. Therefore first make character--that is the highest duty you can perform. Know Truth for yourself, and there will be many to whom you can teach it afterwards; they will all come. This was the attitude of my Master. He criticized no one. For years I lived with that man, but never did I hear those lips utter one word of condemnation for any sect. He had the same sympathy for all sects; he had found the harmony between them. A man may be intellectual, or devotional, or mystic, or active; the various religions represent one or the other of these types. Yet it is possible to combine all the four in one man, and this is what future humanity is going to do. That was his idea. He condemned no one, but saw the good in all.
 This is the message of Shri Ramakrishna to the modern world: "Do not care for doctrines, do not care for dogmas, or sects, or churches, or temples; they count for little compared with the essence of existence in each man, which is spirituality; and the more this is developed in a man, the more powerful is he for good. Earn that first, acquire that, and criticise no one, for all doctrines and creeds have some good in them. Show by your lives that religion does not mean words, or names, or sects, but that it means spiritual realization. Only those can understand who have felt. Only those who have attained to spirituality can communicate it to others, can be great teachers of mankind. They alone are the powers of light."

    The more such men are produced in a country, the more that country will be raised; and that country where such men absolutely do not exist is simply doomed, nothing can save it. Therefore my Master's message to mankind is: "Be spiritual and realize truth for yourself." He would have you give up for the sake of your fellow-beings. He would have you cease talking about love for your brother, and set to work to prove your words. The time has come for renunciation, for realization; and then you will see the harmony in all the religions of the world. You will know that there is no need of any quarrel. And then only will you be ready to help humanity. To proclaim and make clear the fundamental unity underlying all religions was the mission of my Master. Other teachers have taught special religions which bear their names, but this great teacher of the nineteenth century made no claim for himself. He left every religion undisturbed because he had realized that in reality they are all part and parcel of the one eternal religion."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on August 21, 2012, 12:29:21 PM
Quote
I appreciate your sentiments.Number of followers are not important in as much as what they Realize.Horizontal spread is quite easy and can be accomplished just like how materialism can take hold and sway over people.The Deepest spiritual Truths cannot be 'Spread' but each one has to strive to understand and Realize it.This is why ,it is the Student who goes in search of a Guru and not the other way round.The Guru is simply content to be steeped in Truth,like Sri Bhagavan did.

Number of followers is important. If you don't understand fully the message, sometimes it is enough that the teaching engrave impression in your soul! Nothing spiritual goes in vain. Not all people understand the message right away. So I don't mean that Truth is spread but the message is. I don't know if you are aware but Christian mystics for example have their 'gurus' (teachers). They are not like most Christians who just start reading the Bible and they think they know everything. Christian masters teach methods, what Silence is, Contemplation, Prayer, explain the secret message of the Bible. The living word of these teachers is just as vivid and important and powerful as the teaching of Lord Jesus Christ Himself. So student-Guru relationship is not typical for Indians only. Sufis also have a teacher. These mystical traditions are meaningless without an advanced teacher who to explain it to you.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 21, 2012, 12:53:30 PM
Hari,
Yes,Guru-sishya tradition prevails in other Traditions as well;yet,I am not sure whether it gets the direct sanction of the Scriptures themselves,be it the Bible or The Koran.If I understand right,the Koran prohibits worship of any God other than God,far less worship Guru as God.
The Vedas say,matru Devo Bhava(Worship mother as God),Pitru Devo Bhava(worship Father as God) and Acharya Devo Bhava(Worship guru as God).This sort of a scriptural reinforcement has entered the very psyche of the people at large .In fact so popular is the word 'Guru' that it is used even in management and other mundane circles,i.e that so-and-so is  a 'Guru' of that subject.
Truth has its own power to reach out ,but more than Reaching out,it is the Power of Sustenance and Longevity.The Spiritual Verities for ever remain hidden from the Masses and perhaps they will ever remain so.It is the few who go after it and still fewer who attain it.This has been history and perhaps this is the way it will be.

Hence the Central message in Sanatana Dharma is 'Man,realize Truth for yourself'.In doing so,we will be doing what needs to be done.If that touches others,well and good.If not ,Equally Good!For in Truth We are The world.Where then is the need to spread it!
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on August 21, 2012, 01:01:30 PM
If you want a candle to burn there must be someone or something to ignite it.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 21, 2012, 01:13:00 PM
Hari,
"If you want a candle to burn there must be someone or something to ignite it"
Yes Hari.If the Candle is ready,not just that someone but all things necessary will be provided by Providence,including the Oxygen to burn.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on August 21, 2012, 01:29:52 PM
The candle is always ready but the Providence must bring the one who will ingnite the candle to it. Nothing is in our hands really. Everything is by Grace. Christian mystics say that one the most important things is to realize the Grace everywhere.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 21, 2012, 02:33:22 PM
Hari,
When do we say that the candle is Ready?When it is trimmed and dry and fit to be lit.It is for this sadhana is required.
This is what Thayumanavar says(I know you cannot follow Tamil but this is meant for other Readers as well who understand Tamil):

மூர்த்திதலந் தீர்த்தம் முறையாய்த் தொடங்கினர்க்கோர்
வார்த்தைசொலச் சற்குருவும் வாய்க்கும் பராபரமே.

To them who commenceth in manner decreed -
Worship of image, visit to temple
And bathing in sacred waters -
The Holy Guru will of himself come
To impart the Supreme Word of instruction
,
Oh Para Param!

When the Demand is Genuine,Supply is assured.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on August 21, 2012, 02:39:35 PM
The question is why so many sincere Christians, Muslims and Hindus don't go to this point.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 21, 2012, 02:53:16 PM
Hari,
Did Not Lord Jesus say:"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened ."

This is what papa Ramdas so beautifully says:If You want Krishna,you must love him above all things and not among other things!

Sri Ramakrishna asks a simple question:

"Pray to God in secret and with yearning, that you may have that passionate attachment and
devotion to Him. Shed tears for Him
. A man sheds a jugful of tears because his wife is sick
or because he is losing money or because he is worrying about getting a job. But tell me,
who ever weeps for God
?'

The simple answer is that rare is the one who is desperate for God.

Sri Ramakrishna says:
"Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun.
Longing is followed by the vision of God.

"God reveals Himself to a devotee who feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these
three attractions: the attraction of worldly possessions for the worldly man, the child's
attraction for its mother, and the husband's attraction for the chaste wife. If one feels drawn
to Him by the combined force of these three attractions, then through it one can attain Him.
"The point is, to love God even as the mother loves her child, the chaste wife her husband,
and the worldly man his wealth. Add together these three forces of love, these three powers
of attraction, and give it all to God. Then you will certainly see Him."

All Great ones have said this and we also can verify it.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 21, 2012, 02:59:40 PM
Dear all,

Yes. Guru does not search for the disciples.  The disciple should seek the Guru and if so destined, the disciple would get an \
appropriate Guru. The Guru need not even speak to the disciple. His silence will itself be the upadesa. Sri Dakshinamurti
did upadesa in silence. After reading Talks and other books, we tend to think that Sri Bhagavan was keeping on talking.
No. No. He remained silent most of the time. Very rarely if someone asked a question and if that question deserved a reply,
He would say a few words. Many times, He would not even answer.

For His 54 years in Tiruvannamalai, what He spoke are all in three books. Mainly Talks. Then Day by Day and Letters.
The latter two are having repetitions of the same in many cases.  Totally what He spoke as 'teachings' would just be
500 to 700 pages.

If we keep track of a record of what we speak every day, every month, every year, throughout our life time and the books
so written from such records would fill this world!

Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on August 21, 2012, 04:52:11 PM
(http://25.media.tumblr.com/25eLTcc4Xn5ca85tAmKIveKJo1_400.jpg)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on August 21, 2012, 05:49:29 PM
"O, what a state Thakur had: uttering ‘Ma, Ma,’ all the twenty-four hours of the day! He would not sleep at night practically. Maybe he keeps quiet for five to ten minutes. Again he wakes up with ‘Ma, Ma,’ again - inhaling ‘Ma’ and exhaling ‘Ma’! He was just like a child who can not live without his mother, who wants his mother."

"God is your own Mother. Enforce your demand. If you are part of a thing, you feel its
attraction. Because of the element of the Divine Mother in me I feel attracted to Her".
“ The mother does not
come to the child as long as it sucks its toy-a red toy. But when, after a few minutes, it
throws the toy away and cries, then the mother takes down the rice-pot from the hearth and
comes running to the child."

"A man can see God if he unites in himself the force of these three attractions: the attraction
of worldly possessions for the worldly man, the husband's attraction for the chaste wife,
and the child's attraction for its mother. If you can unite these three forms of love and give
it all to God, then you can see Him at once.
Cry to your Mother Syama with a real cry, O mind!
And how can She hold Herself from you?
"If a devotee prays to God with real longing, God cannot help revealing Himself to him.
" Let those who have no leisure worship God at least morning
and evening by whole-heartedly chanting His name and clapping their hands.”
 
"Nishtha leads to bhakti; bhakti, when mature, becomes bhava; bhava, when concentrated,
becomes mahabhava; and last of all is prema. Prema is like a cord: by prema God is bound
to the devotee; He can no longer run away.”

“ The
fool becomes wise and the mute eloquent.' Therefore I say that a man does not become a
scholar by the mere study of books.”

“Divine Knowledge is inexhaustible”

“Reading the Gospel is to be in sat-sangh of the Highest kind as M has so vivdly captured the scenes that no Video camera can!Thanks very much for your earnest query that has provided me an opportunity to babble these few words.”


Dear Sri Ravi,

After I finished reading your post, I remained wonder-struck for some time— speechless and thoughtless, not knowing what and how to think. He is the very embodiment of Supreme Devotion and therefore it is certain that one will be overwhelmed by the fragrance of its Nectar-like Love and Beauty as soon as one partakes even a little of that Love-bliss.

Dear Sri Ravi, I bought ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna’ in 2006, but I never read it, because I never felt the urge from within to do so. I even wondered why did I buy it in the first place. Now I know. Perhaps I was not ready then. (As you once quoted Sri silentgreen’s insight that one adept in bathing in one pond can bathe in any pond)  And now I feel that Sri Bhagwan Himself is inspiring me through you to learn from Bhagwan Sri Param Hamsa what it is to savour the PURE PREMA RASA, THE UNSOPHISTICATED LOVE, which in truth is the culmination of Bhakti, Bhava and Mahabhava.

Thanks very much, sir.

Pranam,
  Anil 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on August 21, 2012, 08:20:40 PM
Dear Ravi.N, I saw that beautiful story about Nanda,and wrote you there,under 'Translations and commentaries by forum members',in the Stories. Thank you very much for sharing it!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 08:02:37 PM
Hari,
You have expressed an earnest question or dilemma:

Quote
Quote
"Is Brahman Sagura or Nirguna? What's the nature of the phenomenal world? Is it real or just appearance? Are the heaven or astral worlds existent? Is every bardo in The Book of the Dead a fact? Is eternal communion with God possible if only non-dual consciousness is real and eternal? If I can have eternal communion with Lord Jesus, Lord Shiva or Lord Rama why should I try to merge in Brahman? When I have been asked such kind of questions I really don't feel competent enough to answer to them. Because I don't know. Questions continue: Why should ego die when it can be purified and directed to serving God? Is serving God (dual) inferior to realizing the Self? Is the desire to be an eternal soul wrong? And I really don't know what to answer. If I say "Oh, serve the Lord but someday this ego will disappear, no matter if you want it or not", this makes me much unsporting and self-sufficient. If I say "Oh, you can be eternal individual soul" I am like lying according to Lord Ramana's teaching. So I don't really know what to answer to such kind of questions."


Interestingly there is exactly the same conversation in The Gospel Of Sri Ramakrishna!Here it is:

No finality about God's nature

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, has God forms or has He none?"

MASTER: "No one can say with finality that God is only 'this' and nothing else. He is
formless, and again He has forms
. For the bhakta He assumes forms. But He is formless for
the jnani, that is, for him who looks on the world as a mere dream. The bhakta feels that he
is one entity and the world another. Therefore God reveals Himself to him as a Person. But
the jnani-the Vedantist, for instance-always reasons, applying the process of 'Not this, not
this'. Through this discrimination he realizes, by his inner perception, that the ego and the
universe are both illusory, like a dream. Then the jnani realizes Brahman in his own
consciousness. He cannot describe what Brahman is
.

"Do you know what I mean? Think of Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, as a
shoreless ocean. Through the cooling influence, as it were, of the bhakta's love, the water
has frozen at places into blocks of ice. In other words, God now and then assumes various
forms for His lovers and reveals Himself to them as a Person. But with the rising of the sun
of Knowledge, the blocks of ice melt. Then one doesn't feel any more that God is a Person,
nor does one see God's forms. What He is cannot be described. Who will describe Him? He
who would do so disappears. He cannot find his 'I' any more.
Illusoriness of "I"

"If one analyses oneself, one doesn't find any such thing as 'I'. Take an onion, for instance.
First of all you peel off the red outer skin; then you find thick white skins. Peel these off
one after the other, and you won't find anything inside.
"In that state a man no longer finds the existence of his ego. And who is there left to seek
it? Who can describe how he feels in that state-in his own Pure Consciousness-about the
real nature of Brahman? Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. No sooner
was it in the water than it melted. Now who was to tell the depth
?

Sign of Perfect Knowledge

"There is a sign of Perfect Knowledge. Man becomes silent when It is attained. Then the 'I',
which may be likened to the salt doll, melts in the Ocean of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss
Absolute and becomes one with It. Not the slightest trace of distinction is left.

"As long as his self-analysis is not complete, man argues with much ado. But he becomes
silent when he completes it. When the empty pitcher has been filled with water, when the
water inside the pitcher becomes one with the water of the lake outside, no more sound is
heard. Sound comes from the pitcher as long as the pitcher is not filled with water.
"People used to say in olden days that no boat returns after having once entered the 'black
waters' of the ocean.

"All trouble and botheration come to an end when the 'I' dies. You may indulge in
thousands of reasoning, but still the 'I' doesn't disappear. For people like you and me, it is
good to have the feeling, 'I am a lover of God.
'

The Master is talking to the Brahmo Devotees and it is interesting how he talks-'For Jnanis,it is like this' ,and for 'Devotees ,it is like this'!Who then is the Master?What is his position,what is his view?We will find that he is everything,identifying with one and all,and agreeing with one and all.So much so that each one will think-'Oh!He belongs to our system'!!!

Continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 08:23:03 PM
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Personal God for devotees

"The Saguna Brahman is meant for the bhaktas. In other words, a bhakta believes that God
has attributes and reveals Himself to men as a Person, assuming forms. It is He who listens
to our prayers. The prayers that you utter are directed to Him alone. You are bhaktas, not
jnanis or Vedantists. It doesn't matter whether you accept God with form or not. It is
enough to feel that God is a Person who listens to our prayers, who creates, preserves, and
destroys the universe, and who is endowed with infinite power.
"It is easier to attain God by following the path of devotion."


BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, is it possible for one to see God? If so, why can't we see
Him?"

MASTER: "Yes, He can surely be seen. One can see His forms, and His formless aspect as
well. How can I explain that to you?"

Intense longing enables one to see God

BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "What are the means by which one can see God?"

MASTER: "Can you weep for Him with intense longing of heart? Men shed a jugful of
tears for the sake of their children, for their wives, or for money. But who weeps for God?
So long as the child remains engrossed with its toys, the mother looks after her cooking and
other household duties. But when the child no longer relishes the toys, it throws them aside
and yells for its mother. Then the mother takes the rice-pot down from the hearth, runs in
haste, and takes the child in her arms."

Why so much controversy about God?

BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, why are there so many different opinions about the nature of
God? Some say that God has form, while others say that He is formless. Again, those who
speak of God with form tell us about His different forms. Why all this controversy?"


MASTER: "A devotee thinks of God as he sees Him. In reality there is no confusion about
God. God explains all this to the devotee if the devotee only realizes Him somehow. You
haven't set your foot in that direction. How can you expect to know all about God?


continued...

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 08:28:24 PM
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Parable of the chameleon

"Listen to a story. Once a man entered a wood and saw a small animal on a tree. He came
back and told another man that he had seen a creature of a beautiful red colour on a certain
tree. The second man replied: 'When I went into the wood, I also saw that animal. But why
do you call it red? It is green.' Another man who was present contradicted them both and
insisted that it was yellow. Presently others arrived and contended that it was grey, violet,
blue, and so forth and so on. At last they started quarrelling among themselves. To settle
the dispute they all went to the tree. They saw a man sitting under it. On being asked, he
replied: 'Yes, I live under this tree and I know the animal very well. All your descriptions
are true. Sometimes it appears red, sometimes yellow, and at other times blue, violet, grey,
and so forth. It is a chameleon. And sometimes it has no colour at all. Now it has a colour,
and now it has none.'

"In like manner, one who constantly thinks of God can know His real nature; he alone
knows that God reveals Himself to seekers in various forms and aspects. God has attributes;
then again He has none. Only the man who lives under the tree knows that the chameleon
can appear in various colours, and he knows, further, that the animal at times has no colour
at all. It is the others who suffer from the agony of futile argument
.

"Kabir used to say, 'The formless Absolute is my Father, and God with form is my Mother.'

"God reveals Himself in the form which His devotee loves most. His love for the devotee
knows no bounds. It is written in the Purana that God assumed the form of Rama for His
heroic devotee, Hanuman.

Vedantic Non-dualism

"The forms and aspects of God disappear when one discriminates in accordance with the
Vedanta philosophy. The ultimate conclusion of such discrimination is that Brahman alone
is real and this world of names and forms illusory. It is possible for a man to see the forms
of God, or to think of Him as a Person, only so long as he is conscious that he is a devotee.
From the standpoint of discrimination this 'ego of a devotee' keeps him a little away from
God
.

"Do you know why images of Krishna or Kali are three and a half cubits high? Because of
distance. Again, on account of distance the sun appears to be small. But if you go near it
you will find the sun so big that you won't be able to comprehend it. Why have images of
Krishna and Kali a dark-blue colour? That too is on account of distance, like the water of a
lake, which appears green, blue, or black from a distance. Go near, take the water in the
palm of your hand, and you will find that it has no colour. The sky also appears blue from a
distance. Go near and you will see that it has no colour at all.

"Therefore I say that in the light of Vedantic reasoning Brahman has no attributes. The real
nature of Brahman cannot be described. But so long as your individuality is real, the world
also is real, and equally real are the different forms of God and the feeling that God is a
Person
.

"Yours is the path of bhakti. That is very good; it is an easy path. Who can fully know the
infinite God? and what need is there of knowing the Infinite? Having attained this rare
human birth, my supreme need is to develop love for the Lotus Feet of God.
"If a jug of water is enough to remove my thirst, why should I measure the quantity of
water in a lake? I become drunk on even half a bottle of wine-what is the use of my
calculating the quantity of liquor in the tavern? What need is there of knowing the Infinite
?
"The various states of mind of the Brahmajnani are described in the Vedas. The path of
knowledge is extremely difficult. One cannot obtain jnana if one has the least trace of
worldliness and the slightest attachment to 'woman and gold'. This is not the path for the
Kaliyuga.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 08:39:12 PM
Hari,
You have asked:

Quote
If I can have eternal communion with Lord Jesus, Lord Shiva or Lord Rama why should I try to merge in Brahman? When I have been asked such kind of questions I really don't feel competent enough to answer to them. Because I don't know. Questions continue: Why should ego die when it can be purified and directed to serving God? Is serving God (dual) inferior to realizing the Self? Is the desire to be an eternal soul wrong?

Here is the excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Dogmatism condemned

(To the goswami) "With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions.
The Vaishnavas will realize God, and so will the Saktas, the Vedantists, and the Brahmos.
The Mussalmans and Christians will realize Him too. All will certainly realize God if they
are earnest and sincere.

"Some people indulge in quarrels, saying, 'One cannot attain anything unless one worships
our Krishna', or, 'Nothing can be gained without the worship of Kali, our Divine Mother',
or, 'One cannot be saved without accepting the Christian religion.' This is pure dogmatism.
The dogmatist says, 'My religion alone is true, and the religions of others are false.' This is
a bad attitude. God can be reached by different paths
.

"Further, some say that God has form and is not formless. Thus they start quarrelling. A
Vaishnava quarrels with a Vedantist.

"One can rightly speak of God only after one has seen Him. He who has seen God knows
really and truly that God has form and that He is formless as well. He has many other
aspects that cannot be described
.

Parable of the elephant and the blind men

"Once some blind men chanced to come near an animal that someone told them was an
elephant. They were asked what the elephant was like. The blind men began to feel its
body. One of them said the elephant was like a pillar; he had touched only its leg. Another
said it was like a winnowing-fan; he had touched only its ear. In this way the others, having
touched its tail or belly, gave their different versions of the elephant. Just so, a man who has
seen only one aspect of God limits God to that alone. It is his conviction that God cannot be
anything else.

Illustration of the ocean and the ice

(To the goswami) "How can you say that the only truth about God is that He has form? It is
undoubtedly true that God comes down to earth in a human form, as in the case of Krishna.
And it is true as well that God reveals Himself to His devotees in various forms. But it is
also true that God is formless; He is the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.
He has been described in the Vedas both as formless and as endowed with form. He is also
described there both as attributeless and as endowed with attributes
.
"Do you know what I mean? Satchidananda is like an infinite ocean. Intense cold freezes
the water into ice, which floats on the ocean in blocks of various forms. Likewise, through
the cooling influence of bhakti, one sees forms of God in the Ocean of the Absolute. These
forms are meant for the bhaktas, the lovers of God. But when the Sun of Knowledge rises,
the ice melts; it becomes the same water it was before. Water above and water below,
everywhere nothing but water. Therefore a prayer in the Bhagavata says: 'O Lord, Thou
hast form, and Thou art also formless. Thou walkest before us, O Lord, in the shape of a
man; again, Thou hast been described in the Vedas as beyond words and thought.
'
"But you may say that for certain devotees God assumes eternal forms. There are places in
the ocean where the ice doesn't melt at all. It assumes the form of quartz."


KEDAR: "It is said in the Bhagavata that Vyasa asked God's forgiveness for his three
transgressions. He said: 'O Lord, Thou art formless, but I have thought of Thee in my
meditation as endowed with form; Thou art beyond speech, but I have sung Thee hymns;
Thou art the All-pervading Spirit, but I have made pilgrimages to sacred places. Be
gracious, O Lord, and forgive these three transgressions of mine.'"

MASTER: "Yes, God has form and He is formless too. Further, He is beyond both form
and formlessness. No one can limit Him."

M. (aside to Girindra): "How well he has explained God with and without form! Do the
Vaishnavas believe only in God with form?"

GIRINDRA: "Perhaps so. They are one-sided."

M: "Did you understand what he meant by the 'eternal form' of God? That 'quartz'? I
couldn't grasp it well."


MASTER (to M.): "Well, what are you talking about?"

M. and Girindra smiled and remained silent.

I will post one more excerpt from The Gospel where the Master takes up the question that you have posted from another angle.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 09:07:36 PM
Hari,
An Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

The "wicked I"

"The 'I' that makes one a worldly person and attaches one to 'woman and gold' is the
'wicked I'. The intervention of this ego creates the difference between jiva and Atman
.
Water appears to be divided into two parts if one puts a stick across it. But in reality there is
only one water. It appears as two on account of the stick. This 'I' is the stick. Remove the
stick and there remains only one water as before.

"Now, what is this 'wicked I'? It is the ego that says: 'What? Don't they know me? I have so
much money! Who is wealthier than I?' If a thief robs such a man of only ten rupees, first
of all he wrings the money out of the thief, then he gives him a good beating. But the matter
doesn't end there: the thief is handed over to the police and is eventually sent to jail. The
'wicked I' says: 'What? Doesn't the rogue know whom he has robbed? To steal my ten
rupees! How dare he?
' "

VIJAY: "If without destroying the 'I' a man cannot get rid of attachment to the world and
consequently cannot experience samadhi, then it would be wise for him to follow the path
of Brahmajnana to attain samadhi. If the 'I' persists in the path of devotion, then one should
rather choose the path of knowledge
."

The "servant I"

MASTER: "It is true that one or two can get rid of the 'I' through samadhi; but these cases
are very rare. You may indulge in thousands of reasonings, but still the 'I' comes back. You
may cut the peepal-tree to the very root today, but you will notice a sprout springing up
tomorrow. Therefore if the 'I' must remain, let the rascal remain as the 'servant I'. As long as
you live, you should say, 'O God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant.' The 'I' that
feels, 'I am the servant of God, I am His devotee' does not injure one. Sweet things cause
acidity of the stomach, no doubt, but sugar candy is an exception
.

"The path of knowledge is very difficult. One cannot obtain Knowledge unless one gets rid
of the feeling that one is the body
. In the Kaliyuga the life of man is centred on food. He
cannot get rid of the feeling that he is the body and the ego. Therefore the path of devotion
is prescribed for this cycle.

This is an easy path. You will attain God if you sing His name and glories and pray to Him
with a longing heart. There is not the least doubt about it
.

"Suppose you draw a line on the surface of water with a bamboo stick. The water appears
to be divided into two parts; but the line doesn't remain for any length of time. The 'servant
I'or the 'devotee I' or the 'child I' is only a line drawn with the ego and is not real
".

continued.....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 09:11:47 PM
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

The "ego of a devotee"

VIJAY (to the Master): "Sir, you ask us to renounce the 'wicked I'. Is there any harm in the
'servant I'?"


MASTER: "The 'servant I'-that is, the feeling, 'I am the servant of God, I am the devotee of
God'-does not injure one. On the contrary, it helps one to realize God."


VIJAY: "Well, sir, what becomes of the lust, anger, and other passions of one who keeps
the 'servant I'?"

MASTER: "If a man truly feels like that, then he has only the semblance of lust, anger, and
the like. If, after attaining God, he looks on himself as the servant or the devotee of God,
then he cannot injure anyone. By touching the philosopher's stone a sword is turned into
gold. It keeps the appearance of a sword but cannot injure.

"When the dry branch of a coconut palm drops to the ground, it leaves only a mark on the
trunk indicating that once there was a branch at that place. In like manner, he who has
attained God keeps only an appearance of ego; there remains in him only a semblance of
anger and lust. He becomes like a child. A child has no attachment to the three gunas sattva,
rajas, and tamas. He becomes as quickly detached from a thing as he becomes
attached to it. You can cajole him out of a cloth worth five rupees with a doll worth an
anna, though at first he may say with great determination: 'No, I won't give it to you. My
daddy bought it for me.' Again, all persons are the same to a child. He has no feeling of
high and low in regard to persons. So he doesn't discriminate about caste. If his mother tells
him that a particular man should be regarded as an elder brother, the child will eat from the
same plate with him, though the man may belong to the low caste of a blacksmith. The
child doesn't know hate, or what is holy or unholy.

"Even after attaining samadhi, some retain the 'servant ego' or the 'devotee ego'. The bhakta
keeps this 'I-consciousness'. He says, 'O God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant;
Thou art the Lord and I am Thy devotee.' He feels that way even after the realization of
God. His 'I' is not completely effaced. Again, by constantly practising this kind of 'I' consciousness',
one ultimately attains God. This is called bhaktiyoga
.

"One can attain the Knowledge of Brahman, too, by following the path of bhakti. God is
all-powerful
. He may give His devotee Brahmajnana also, if He so wills. But the devotee
generally doesn't seek the Knowledge of the Absolute. He would rather have the
consciousness that God is the Master and he the servant, or that God is the Divine Mother
and he the child."


continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 09:16:21 PM
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

VIJAY: "But those who discriminate according to the Vedanta philosophy also realize Him
in the end, don't they
?"

Path of bhakti is easy

MASTER: "Yes, one may reach Him by following the path of discrimination too: that is
called Jnanayoga. But it is an extremely difficult path. I have told you already of the seven
planes of consciousness. On reaching the seventh plane the mind goes into samadhi. If a
man acquires the firm knowledge that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory, then his
mind merges in samadhi. But in the Kaliyuga the life of a man depends entirely on food.
How can he have the consciousness that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory? In
the Kaliyuga it is difficult to have the feeling, 'I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am
not the twenty-four cosmic principles; I am beyond pleasure and pain, I am above disease
and grief, old age and death.' However you may reason and argue, the feeling that the body
is identical with the soul will somehow crop up from an unexpected quarter. You may cut a
peepal-tree to the ground and think it is dead to its very root, but the next morning you will
find a new sprout shooting up from the dead stump. One cannot get rid of this identification
with the body; therefore the path of bhakti is best for the people of the Kaliyuga. It is an
easy path
.

"And, 'I don't want to become sugar; I want to eat it.' I never feel like saying, 'I am
Brahman.' I say, 'Thou art my Lord and I am Thy servant.' It is better to make the mind go
up and down between the fifth and sixth planes, like a boat racing between two points. I
don't want to go beyond the sixth plane and keep my mind a long time in the seventh. My
desire is to sing the name and glories of God. It is very good to look on God as the Master
and oneself as His servant. Further, you see, people speak of the waves as belonging to the
Ganges; but no one says that the Ganges belongs to the waves
. The feeling, 'I am He', is not
wholesome. A man who entertains such an idea, while looking on his body as the Self,
causes himself great harm. He cannot go forward in spiritual life; he drags himself down.
He deceives himself as well as others. He cannot understand his own state of mind.

In the above conversation, the Master is talking to Vijay krishna Goswami,a great devotee and he is saying all the above from this perspective!

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 09:19:22 PM
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Prema-bhakti

"But it isn't any and every kind of bhakti that enables one to realize God. One cannot
realize God without prema-bhakti. Another name for prema-bhakti is raga-bhakti. God
cannot be realized without love and longing. Unless one has learnt to love God, one cannot
realize Him
.

"There is another kind of bhakti, known as vaidhi-bhakti, according to which one must
repeat the name of God a fixed number of times, fast, make pilgrimages, worship God with
prescribed offerings, make so many sacrifices, and so forth and so on. By continuing such
practices a long time one gradually acquires raga-bhakti. God cannot be realized until one
has raga-bhakti. One must love God. In order to realize God one must be completely free
from worldliness and direct all of one's mind to Him
.

"But some acquire raga-bhakti directly. It is innate in them. They have it from their very
childhood. Even at an early age they weep for God. An instance of such bhakti is to be
found in Prahlada. Vaidhi-bhakti is like moving a fan to make a breeze. One needs the fan
to make the breeze. Similarly, one practises japa, austerity, and fasting, in order to acquire
love of God. But the fan is set aside when the southern breeze blows of itself.
Such actions as japa and austerity drop away when one spontaneously feels love and
attachment for God. Who, indeed, will perform the ceremonies enjoined in the scriptures,
when mad with love of God?

"Devotion to God may be said to be 'green' so long as it doesn't grow into love of God; but
it becomes 'ripe' when it has grown into such love
.

"A man with 'green' bhakti cannot assimilate spiritual talk and instruction; but one with
'ripe' bhakti can. The image that falls on a photographic plate covered with black film is
retained. On the other hand, thousands of images may be reflected on a bare piece of glass,
but not one of them is retained. As the object moves away, the glass becomes the same as it
was before. One cannot assimilate spiritual instruction unless one has already developed
love of God."


continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 09:23:54 PM
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

VIJAY: "Is bhakti alone sufficient for the attainment of God, for His vision?"

MASTER: "Yes, one can see God through bhakti alone. But it must be 'ripe' bhakti, premabhakti
and raga-bhakti. When one has that bhakti, one loves God even as the mother loves
the child, the child the mother, or the wife the husband
.

"When one has such love and attachment for God, one doesn't feel the attraction of maya to
wife, children, relatives, and friends. One retains only compassion for them. To such a man
the world appears a strange land, a place where he has merely to perform his duties. It is
like a man's having his real home in the country, but coming to Calcutta for work; he has to
rent a house in Calcutta for the sake of his duties. When one develops love of God, one
completely gets rid of one's attachment to the world and worldly wisdom.

"One cannot see God if one has even the slightest trace of worldliness. Match-sticks, if
damp, won't strike fire though you rub a thousand of them against the match-box. You only
waste a heap of sticks. The mind soaked in worldliness is such a damp match-stick
. Once
Sri Radha said to her friends that she saw Krishna everywhere-both within and without.
The friends answered: 'Why, we don't see Him at all. Are you delirious?' Radha said,
'Friends, paint your eyes with the collyrium of divine love, and then you will see Him.'

(To Vijay) "It is said in a song of your Brahmo Samaj:
O Lord, is it ever possible to know Thee without love,
However much one may perform worship and sacrifice?
"If the devotee but once feels this attachment and ecstatic love for God, this mature
devotion and longing, then he sees God in both His aspects, with form and without form."

Purity of heart

VIJAY: "How can one see God?"

MASTER: "One cannot see God without purity of heart. Through attachment to 'woman
and gold' the mind has become stained-covered with dirt, as it were. A magnet cannot
attract a needle if the needle is covered with mud. Wash away the mud and the magnet will
draw it. Likewise, the dirt of the mind can be washed away with the tears of our eyes. This
stain is removed if one sheds tears of repentance and says, 'O God, I shall never again do
such a thing.' Thereupon God, who is like the magnet, draws to Himself the mind, which is
like the needle. Then the devotee goes into samadhi and obtains the vision of God
.

Hari,on and on this goes and this whole chapter is so full of Practical and inspiring words dispelling whatever doubts one may have.Truly a wonderful treasure Trove of wisdom.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on August 27, 2012, 10:05:36 PM
Thank you, Sri Ravi. Exceptional excerpts! That's exactly the answers I needed! Thank you very much!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on August 28, 2012, 09:25:51 PM
Hari,
You have asked about the Formless aspect of God.Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Sri Ramakrishna went to the Panchavati on his way back to his room. M. accompanied him.
It was then about ten o'clock.

Path of the Impersonal God

M: "Sir, is there no spiritual discipline leading to realization of the Impersonal God?"

MASTER: "Yes, there is. But the path is extremely difficult. After intense austerities the
rishis of olden times realized God as their inner most consciousness and experienced the
real nature of Brahman. But how hard they had to work! They went out of their dwellings
in the early morning and all day practised austerities and meditation. Returning home at
nightfall, they took a light supper of fruit and roots.

"But an aspirant cannot succeed in this form of spiritual discipline if his mind is stained
with worldliness even in the slightest degree. The mind must withdraw totally from all
objects of form, taste, smell, touch, and sound. Only thus does it become pure. The Pure
Mind is the same as the Pure Atman. But such a mind must be altogether free from 'woman
and gold'. When it becomes pure, one has another experience. One realizes: 'God alone is
the Doer, and I am His instrument.' One does not feel oneself to be absolutely necessary to
others either in their misery or in their happiness."

M: "Sir, nowadays I like to think of God without form. But I am also beginning to
understand that it is God alone who manifests Himself through different forms."

MASTER: "Will you take me in a carriage some day to Mati Seal's garden house at
Belgharia? When you throw puffed rice into the lake there, the fish come to the surface and
eat it. Ah! I feel so happy to see them sport in the water. That will awaken your spiritual
consciousness too. You will feel as if the fish of the human soul were playing in the Ocean
of Satchidananda. In the same manner, I go into an ecstatic mood when I stand in a big
meadow. I feel like a fish released from a bowl into a lake".

Sri Ramakrishna, accompanied by the devotees, took a carriage to return to Dakshineswar.
They were going to pass the temple garden of Mati Seal on the way. For a long time the
Master had been asking M. to take him to the reservoir in the garden in order that he might
teach him how to meditate on the formless God. There were tame fish in the reservoir.
Nobody harmed them. Visitors threw puffed rice and other bits of food into the water, and
the big fish came in swarms to eat the food. Fearlessly the fish swam in the water and
sported there joyously.

Coming to the reservoir, the Master said to M.: "Look at the fish. Meditating on the
formless God is like swimming joyfully like these fish, in the Ocean of Bliss and
Consciousness."


Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on August 29, 2012, 07:47:06 PM
Thank you, Sri Ravi. Very beautiful answers.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 01, 2012, 08:30:05 AM
Friends,
In this wonderful verse,Sage ThAyumanavar calls out to the world at large to join the Feast:

காகம் உறவு கலந்துண்ணக் கண்டீர் அகண்டா காரசிவ
போக மெனும்பே ரின்பவெள்ளம் பொங்கித்ததும்பிப் பூரணமாய்
ஏக வுருவாய்க் கிடக்குதையோ இன்புற் றிடநாம் இனிஎடுத்த
தேகம் விழுமுன் புசிப்பதற்குச் சேர வாருஞ் சகத்தீரே.

Crows crowding together to feed,thou hast seen.
Verily, verily , Billowing  Bliss of Siva Bhoga ,
The Inundation that is undivided ,whole,Here Lies!
Come ,Gather Ye all ,People of the world
ere this body falleth to ground,
To drink of it in joyous Rapture.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 25, 2012, 04:29:04 PM
Tushnim,
Thanks very much.May I call you silence speaks:)
You have asked "why does the mind wander from the real and goes towards the unreal and transitory"
It is on account of  habit and immediate gratification.It is on account of this that the 'Goad' needs to be applied repeatedly.

This is what Sri Ramakrishna says:
'Woman and gold' is impermanent.

God is the only Eternal Substance. What does a man get with money? Food, clothes, and a
dwelling-place - nothing more. You cannot realize God with its help. Therefore money can
never be the goal of life. That is the process of discrimination. Do you understand?"

M: "Yes, sir. I recently read a Sanskrit play called Prabodha Chandrodaya. It deals with
discrimination."

MASTER: "Yes, discrimination about objects. Consider - what is there in money or in a
beautiful body? Discriminate and you will find that even the body of a beautiful woman
consists of bones, flesh, fat, and other disagreeable things. Why should a man give up God
and direct his attention to such things? Why should a man forget God for their sake?"

How to see God

M: "Is it possible to see God?"

MASTER: "Yes, certainly. Living in solitude now and then, repeating God's name and
singing His glories, and discriminating between the Real and the unreal - these are the
means to employ to see Him."

Longing and yearning

M: "Under what conditions does one see God?"

MASTER: "Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see
Him. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. They swim in tears for money.
But who weeps for God? Cry to Him with a real cry."
The Master sang:
Cry to your Mother Syama , with a real cry, O mind!
And how can She hold Herself from you?
How can Syama stay away?
How can your Mother Kali hold Herself away?
O mind, if you are in earnest, bring Her an offering
Of bel-leaves and hibiscus flowers;
Lay at Her feet your offering
And with it mingle the fragrant sandal-paste of Love.

Continuing, he said: "Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun.
Longing is followed by the vision of God".

"God reveals Himself to a devotee who feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these
three attractions: the attraction of worldly possessions for the worldly man, the child's
attraction for its mother, and the husband's attraction for the chaste wife. If one feels drawn
to Him by the combined force of these three attractions, then through it one can attain Him.
"The point is, to love God even as the mother loves her child, the chaste wife her husband,
and the worldly man his wealth. Add together these three forces of love, these three powers
of attraction, and give it all to God. Then you will certainly see Him.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 25, 2012, 05:48:22 PM
Tushnim,
There are 3  aspects to what you have asked:
1.Pleasure does not last and wanes over a period of time.
2.It does not come free.We expend our prAna(life energy)to get this pleasure and this exhausts us.
3.If we look out for pleasure we may also have to accept the pain that may accompany it.

If we are okay with this,we may stay satisfied with Objects.

You ask- How can one move away from this and become attached  to God?
When we are tossed between pleasure and pain,we wonder whether there is anything that is lasting and gives us unalloyed happiness and joy.If we are earnest,we may be lead to someone who may show us the way-that true happiness is within us and if we can divert the mind within and gently lead it back to the Source or God,we directly experience the peace,Love and Joy.Even If we taste it once,then the mind can be arrested from its wanderings and learn to stay one pointed and poised.Spiritual practise is only the recollection of a scattered mind,making it one pointed and turned within.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 25, 2012, 05:51:39 PM
Dear Tushnim.

Again getting attracted by a buxom woman is due to vasanas. Though we all know a man or a woman is made up of
bones, blood, nerves, veins, etc., we are not able to see 'through' it but we see the skin and curves. This again will go in
due course, once we pray to Guru or God  to give us the dispassion. All Siddhars in Tamizh poetry speak ill of woman
mainly because of this dispassion developed.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 25, 2012, 06:06:48 PM
Tushnim,
It is not a case of sour grapes.If I have given an impression that it is on account of pain that one seeks God,I did not intend it.
Please go through my post again.One gets tired of pleasure as well.Both Pleasure and pain are on the same level.Both are not satisfying and hence may be branded as 'Pain'.
Take time to go through what is posted in the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna thread.There is nothing that is not covered there.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 25, 2012, 06:17:47 PM
Tushnim,
We all have played with toys when we were young.Do we continue to play with them now?No,we outgrow them.

Here is an excerpt from 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna':

BRAHMO: "How does one cultivate the spirit of dispassion? Why don't all attain it?"

MASTER: "Dispassion is not possible unless there is satiety through enjoyment. You can
easily cajole a small child with candies or toys. But after eating the candies and finishing its
play, it cries, 'I want to go to my mother.' Unless you take the child to its mother, it will
throw away the toy and scream at the top of its voice."


Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 25, 2012, 06:32:01 PM
Tushnim,
It Depends on who is asking this question.For a great majority of people,the Desires have to be satisfied before one can learn to overcome them.One has to evaluate whether this is going to harm anyone including oneself.This ofcourse does not mean that one can give them a free run.There has to be a disciplined approach-Discipline means that one understands what one is getting into and takes full responsibility for it.This very discipline will wean one from the clutches of desire.
Namaskar.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 25, 2012, 07:21:03 PM
Tushnim,
Discipline means we look before we leap.It means learning as we are doing it.Desire is repeated over and over again because we do not go through it with awareness; not paying attention to whatever we may be doing.
You refer to Bhajan and the 'joy' and the boredom that follows.Bhajan is not just the 'tune' and the 'Rhythm' or the 'words',nor the Frenzy that sometimes goes with it.It is where the mind is turned within and merged in the source.It  is only when the mind is in touch with its source that it gains its freshness.

This is how Sri Ramakrishna explains this:

"In the kirtan the devotee first sings, 'Nitai amar mata hati.' As the devotional mood
deepens, he simply sings, 'Hati! Hati!' Next, all he can sing is 'Hati'. And last of all he
simply sings, 'Ha!' and goes into samadhi. The man who has been singing all the while then
becomes speechless
.

"Again, at a feast given to the brahmins one at first hears much noise of talking. When the
guests sit on the floor with leaf-plates in front of them, much of the noise ceases. Then one
hears only the cry, 'Bring some luchi!'
As they partake of the luchi and other dishes, three quarters of the noise subsides. When the
curd, the last course, appears, one hears only the sound 'soop, soop' as the guests eat the
curd with their fingers. Then there is practically no noise. Afterwards all retire to sleep, and
absolute silence reigns
."

Why do you not get bored with Sleep?
You get bored with anything when you are not in touch with the source.All forms of sadhana are to put you in touch with the source or God.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 25, 2012, 07:36:58 PM
Dear Tushnim,

Do you think only pleasure is not boring and pain is boring? No. Not at all.  Both pleasure and pain are the two sides of the
same coin. Both can be boring too. Familiarity breeds contempt. Suppose your wife cooks bhadam halwa every day as a
delicacy, say, for about 1 month. Will you like it. One day - you will run away on hearing about bhadam halwa!

But why God's name and bhajans are not boring, though one sings everyday?  It is due to LOVE for God. Love for god makes
you feel 'afresh' everyday when you begin to sing.     Love for Gayatri, makes you do Gayatri Japa everyday without getting
'bored.,

Bhgavan Sri Ramakrishna used to say a story, though in a different connection. Why does not one get bored with bhajans
and songs? Because it is like falling into the   pot of nectar. A fly falling into the pot of hotwater or  coffee dies. But one
falling into a pot of nectar never dies. Because it is amrita, life giving., How can a life giving liquid cause death?

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 25, 2012, 09:49:18 PM
Tushnim,
Friend,I went through your posts and I summarize your position as follows:
1.Why the mind is naturally inclined towards enjoyment of objects?
2.The mind in not finding its fulfillment  in  pursuit of  enjoyment, looks forward to finding it in 'God'(unknown as yet).
3.As 'God' is not tangible,the mind does not feel attracted to God as naturally as it is to objects.
4.Even the prescribed methods of sadhana like Bhajan ,although initially attractive ,goes stale and becomes boring.
5.This raises a doubt whether spiritual attainment is only for the likes of Sri Ramakrishna or Sri Ramana.
6.It looks for the rest of us it seems to be impossible to give up our worldly ways despite our intellectual idea that such a life is inadequate.

I wish to ascertain from you whether my understanding of your position is correct.I would further like you to raise only one Key question and offer your own response as you deem correct.

Namaskar.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on September 26, 2012, 03:31:20 AM
Dear Tushnim.Asanam,

My thinking is that the mind will always run after things,because that is the nature of it,running,change,constant dinamics... That cannot change,mind is mind. We cannot change something which is by its very nature like that. At least not by force,only with the light of Awareness. And,even that i cannot call change,only it is uncovered. Because,when we start seeing how that same mind functions,why is always running,etc,when we see things exactly how they are,they loses its hold on us.
I think that there cannot be mind without desire,only we can replace many toys with only one,and that is desire for God. It is more noble,coz it is leading us to our own Source,but we still desire,only now we want realisation,lasting happynes,immortality. I call it desire in disquise. :)
We newer stoped wanting happiness,infact,that is the main reason why we want God in the first place. We see that anything other cannot give us lasting happines,coz mind will always search something,be bored,we see many contradictions in it,and this life is too short too,so we begin to search something more,lasting. Then,with the Guru,like Ramana,or Ramakrishna,we see that we are much more than that,that behind the mind is something more,that we are not body,and we are more conscious,more aware,then everything loses its grip. We maybe even cannot see that,but we trust,and then everything begins.

Even if i strongly believe that virtues come only after realisation,not before! Only One without the ego is all virtue,and the one without ego is the one who understand this mind,and who is out of it. Mind will always be mind,and from my own stand point,i can say that i am even more egoistic now,then before.
That is my thinking about that,and i think that You have asked very important and good question!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 10:13:11 AM
Tushnim,
you are asking a question or answering it!I am not clear about this.

1." When I sit down for japa, mind wavers. But when I think of my beloved it does not waver at all. What is the difference between these two situations "

You know the difference ,is it not?

You have also found out that 'when I think of my beloved it does not waver at all'-Why not stay with that?What is the Problem?Why bother about 'God'?your second question seems hypothetical ,is it not?

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 11:51:04 AM
Tushnim,
"so their mind does not waver when with money"
How do you say this?Do they just keep the money with them and do nothing with that?Just put it into bank and  stay at peace?

I have only repeated what you have stated regarding mind not wavering.

I am not clear what you are trying to say.If you have a problem or doubt,we can discuss.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 02:11:32 PM
Tushnim,
"The question is this: Sense objects are tangible, God is not. How can a person turn his mind towards God, away from the sense objects ... unless sense objects become sour grape like ?"

What do you mean by 'sour grape like'?If you are refering to the Fox and the Grape story,the fox could never access the Grapes and without tasting Decided to console itself 'Grapes are sour'.
Is this the case with a seeker?Is he unable to get the objects of Desire and hence decides to turn to 'God' ?What do you mean?

We will discuss 'tangible' and 'intangible' later.First let us clear the premise of 'Sour Grape'.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 05:06:35 PM
Tushnim,
I take it that we can put the 'sour grapes' story behind and not relevant to the discussion.

Now you are asking:

" If an object could lure us away from God it means that object is found more interesting than god, isnt it ? atleast in that moment ?"

Very much so.Is there any doubt about this?I have already said this.

Now let me ask a counter question.

Before I ask this question,I will narrate this story by Sri Ramakrishna:
"Once a fishwife was a guest in the house of a gardener who raised flowers. She came there
with her empty basket, after selling fish in the market, and was asked to sleep in a room
where flowers were kept. But, because of the fragrance of the flowers, she couldn't get to
sleep for a long time. Her hostess saw her condition and said, "Hello! Why are you tossing
from side to side so restlessly?" The fishwife said: "I don't know, friend. Perhaps the smell
of the flowers has been disturbing my sleep. Can you give me my fish-basket? Perhaps that
will put me to sleep."
The basket was brought to her. She sprinkled water on it and set it near her nose. Then she
fell sound asleep and snored all night.'"

Now the key question is 'What is interesting'?Is this interest an inherent characteristic of the Object(Fish Basket or Flower)or is it something to do with the mind,the way it is cultivated.

We will leave 'God' aside,as you have said that God is Intangible.

Namaskar.


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 06:05:55 PM
Tushnim,
Thanks very much.

"my question is simply this. worldly attachment is more lucrative than God. how can one tilt this ? Because one does not know what God is! coz God is not available for mind.
And world is perceivable.
so only possible reason a person can seek God leaving a tangible world is, the world that he or she lives is disgusting to him due to some disappointment. is there any other possible reason sir" ?

As I said,Please set aside God about whom we seem to know nothing.If we are truly Disgusted or Disappointed with Life,why not end it?What prevents us from doing so?Why seek God?

Namaskar


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 26, 2012, 06:21:12 PM
Dear Tushim,

When you think of wife, your mind wavers. Whereas when you think Japa, the mind wavers. Why? There is no sraddha.
It is Saddha that makes the difference.   Sraddha is of paramount importance for atma sadhana, meditation and japa.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 07:01:18 PM
Tushnim,
" God / Religion offers some hope for such people"
Hope for what?

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 07:08:14 PM
Tushnim,
What is 'improved moment' ?What is joy? How long does it last?

What is that one wants?

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on September 26, 2012, 07:19:58 PM
Dear Tushnim,
every person wants one thing only - to be happy. So everything we do is in this direction. We imagine that happiness we experience is from the objects of the world but we must investigate if it is so. Everyone who wants something is looking for the source of this thing, isn't it? So what every spiritual seeker is trying is to find the Source of all happiness and everything. Call it however you want - God, Brahman, Atman, God consciousness, etc. But why? Because objects of the world are impermanent. They come and go and cannot bring permanent happiness and even more - at the end they bring unhappiness and sorrow. So there is no problem to go after the objects of the world but you must be ready for the inevitable - losing them. Billions of people have chosen this way of living. I will quote Lord Ramana:

Quote

Happiness is your nature.
It is not wrong to desire it.
What is wrong is seeking it outside
when it is inside.

- Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi -
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 07:33:32 PM
Tushnim,
Yes,it is happiness that we are after!Thanks very much.

If we examine the Nature of Happiness,it is a state of Fullness.We are happy when the mind is free of thoughts,desires,cares and worries.An extreme example is when we retire to bed every night and look forward to a Good Sleep.In deep sleep where we do not possess even our body,and where we are not aware of 'I' and 'Mine',we are perfectly at peace.In the waking state if we can maintain this peace,this is happiness.

It is clear that this happiness has nothing whatsoever to do with either Pleasure or pain.

As long as the mind is a slave of desire and subject to thoughts,happiness is compromised,God or No god:)

We already had explored that 'attraction' is not inherent in the Objects and has more to do with cultivation of the mind.This clearly tells us that it is not the Objects that are posing the problem for us.
It is the mind that has been cultivated to seek enjoyment from Objects;this very same mind has to be given a change in direction.
It needs to be taught that happiness is not in the pursuit of pleasure.

If we agree on this,then we may explore 'God'.

Namaskar.


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on September 26, 2012, 07:54:52 PM
The problem with objects is primarly that we consider them (we experience, feel them) as different from the Self. If my house is one of the most special things in my life and it burns then I will feel unhappy. But why? Mainly because I have considered this house as separate entity and now I feel that I have lost it. But if I experience my house as the Self, then how is it possible to lose it? So the most important thing is how do we experience the world, not what kind of philosophy we follow. The real 'personal' experience! As it is said in Isha Upanishad:

Quote
6
The wise man beholds all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings; for that reason he does not hate anyone.

7
To the seer, all things have verily become the Self: what delusion, what sorrow, can there be for him who beholds that oneness?

Sri Ravi, please correct me, if you think I am wrong.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 09:38:41 PM
Hari,
The discussion with Tushnim till now is without the assumption of 'God' or 'Self'.We know only this world of objects and appearances and something called the mind that one employs to make the most of what is called Life.

you may refer to the discussion regarding objects-whether attraction for Objects is intrinsic in the Objects per se or is it on account of the conditioning of the mind;a mind that is conditioned through past contact to like or dislike a particular object or appearance in this world.I have given the story of the Flower Gardener vs Fisherman's wives ,told by Sri Ramakrishna.

We are now reaching a point where there is clear understanding that it is the mind that is responsible for the state of Discontent and disquietude and not the Objects per se.

We have also agreeing that Happiness is what everyone is after and this happiness is secure only if the mind is secured from its wanton ramblings and Forays into the world of Objects.

It is also clear that Objects need not be abandoned to achieve this Happiness.

Now you have posed this question:
If my house is one of the most special things in my life and it burns then I will feel unhappy. But why? Mainly because I have considered this house as separate entity and now I feel that I have lost it. But if I experience my house as the Self, then how is it possible to lose it?

The Problem is this sense of 'mine','my house'.If a House burns we may even enjoy it as a bonfire!The sense of loss is there only when we consider it as 'mine' or belonging to 'my' friends ;if it belongs to 'my' enemy(anti 'me')??? Perhaps No :)

This sense of 'I' and 'Mine' is the sense of possession and is part and parcel of the mind.It is this that is the problem,that sort of draws a boundary and circumscribes us and shrinks our consciousness.If this sense of 'I' and 'me' is seen through as non-existent,this imaginary boundary is dropped,and what is infinte,and Ever existing alone remains.Nothing can be added or subtracted to this.

This is how Sri Ramakrishna Explains this:

Master:"Each ego may be likened to a pot. Suppose there are ten pots filled with water, and the sun
is reflected in them. How many suns do you see?"

A DEVOTEE: "Ten reflections. Besides, there certainly exists the real Sun."

MASTER: "Suppose you break one pot. How many suns do you see now?"

DEVOTEE: "Nine reflected suns. But there certainly exists the real sun."

MASTER: "All right. Suppose you break nine pots. How many suns do you see now?"

DEVOTEE: "One reflected sun. But there certainly exists the real sun."

MASTER (to Girish): "What remains when the last pot is broken?"

GIRISH: "That real sun, sir."

MASTER: "No. What remains cannot be described. What is remains. How will you know
there is a real sun unless there is a reflected sun? 'I-consciousness' is destroyed in samadhi".


Please note the Master admits ten pots to start with in the first place to explain it to the devotees.The Devotees see the 'many' jivas and think so many jivas exist and for each one is like the reflection in a 'pot'.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 09:54:21 PM
Friends,

An excerpt from Swami Vivekananda's 'Inspired Talks':

Ingersoll once said to me: "I believe in making the most out of this world, in squeezing the orange dry, because this world is all we are sure of." I replied: "I know a better way to squeeze the orange of this world than you do, and I get more out of it. I know I cannot die, so I am not in a hurry; I know there is no fear, so I enjoy the squeezing. I have no duty, no bondage of wife and children and property; I can love all men and women. Everyone is God to me. Think of the joy of loving man as God! Squeeze your orange this way and get ten thousandfold more out of it. Get every single drop."
 
That which seems to be the will is the Atman behind, it is really free.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: deepa on September 26, 2012, 10:29:17 PM

Sorry for the digression.. the mention of houses burning always remind me of Thomas Alva Edison.

After a lifetime of inventions and after a lot of trouble/money, Edison built a factory. One winter night, the factory caught fire and there was huge flame stretching to the skies. While all were getting panicked, Edison calmly asked his son to call his mother.. "call her soon.. as long as she lives, she can never see anything so spectacular"!! Apparently, after calling the fire authorities, he went to sleep since there was nothing he could do.

This calmness we get when we do not identify ourselves with objects. And seems like it is not restricted to sanyasis.


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 10:49:26 PM
Deepa,
Thanks for the Edison story.Yes indeed ,it is truly amazing that he could be so detached.Talking about 'Fire' brings another story to my mind.

The Story of Suka Brahmam and Raja Janaka:

Janaka and Suka

Once, in the age previous to Krishna and Arjuna's, the young sage Suka, had entered King Janaka's kingdom and was traveling in the neighborhood of the capital city. King Janaka heard that Suka was in the vicinity, but did not know where Suka chose to make his camp. The king sent out messengers in all directions, to get news of Suka's whereabouts. They located Suka living in a shelter in a forest, near the capital city. Janaka, along with his ministers, went to visit Suka. Janaka did not go there as a king or ruler. He went as a servant of the Lord. Janaka had long ago removed all traces of ego and now went as a humble spiritual seeker. Suka was giving a discourse to his disciples on a spiritual topic.

During this discourse, Janaka stood and listened with full concentration. Evening came. Before he left, Janaka went to Suka and asked, "Swami, may I come every day and experience your inspiring discourses?" Suka replied, "Janaka, spirituality and philosophy are not anyone's private property. Whoever has the interest, whoever enjoys listening to these teachings, whoever believes in reaching the goal, has a right to this knowledge. Certainly you may come. You are most welcome." Janaka went back to his palace and returned each day to attend the discourses.

Now, Suka wanted to demonstrate to the world that King Janaka had inward vision, whereas most people have only outward vision. With this in mind, he moved to a spot on the crest of a hill overlooking the capital city, and made his camp there. From this place, he continued his daily discourses on Vedanta. One particular day, King Janaka, because of some urgent responsibilities of administration, was delayed in coming there. Suka purposely held up starting his discourse until Janaka had arrived.

Suka took no cognizance of the large gathering of people that were already assembled there, waiting for the discourse to commence. To demonstrate his interest, Suka started asking questions of this person and that, trying to find out why King Janaka had not come. He also told some people to go and find out what had delayed the king. He himself stood on the roadside and watched for the royal party to arrive.

At this, some murmur began among the people there. The disciples, the elders and youngsters who had assembled there, began whispering among themselves. One said, "Look at Suka. He is considered to be such a great sage who has renounced everything; but it does not seem to be true. Here he is waiting for King Janaka. Just because Janaka is an important ruler, Suka is not paying any attention to us and does not seem to care about starting the discourse."

Another person said, "Look at this peculiar behavior of Suka. Why does he show so much partiality to kings? For a sage, should there be any difference in his feelings for a king and for others?" Now, Suka noted all this talk that was going on. In fact, it was with the intention of teaching them a good lesson that he had conducted himself this way. Half an hour passed. An hour passed. Two hours passed. Suka continued to wait for Janaka to come; he did not make any attempt to start his discourse.

continued....

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 10:55:05 PM
The Story of Suka Brahmam and Raja Janaka continued...

The Venom must come Out before Teachings can go In:

Meanwhile, those people whose hearts were a little polluted, gave expression to their feelings of jealousy and anger. All those impure feelings which were inherent in them, but had been hidden inside, now started coming out. That is just what Suka wanted, for only after the venom that was in their hearts had come out could the teachings of the Vedanta enter there. If there is nothing inside one's head, then it can be filled with sacred teachings. But if one's head is already filled with all sorts of impure stuff, how can it take anything pure and sacred in?

Without emptying the head of all the useless dross, sacred teachings will never take hold there. So, Suka's wish was that all these baser feelings should manifest themselves and be expressed. He wanted his students to pour out all the dirt and filth which was inside their minds. He knew that as long as their hearts harbored attachments and bad feelings, his teachings would not take hold. So he had them undergo this process of purification.

Meanwhile, with a great deal of anxiety, Janaka rushed to attend the discourse. Suka noted the approach of Janaka. He could be seen coming from a long way off because Janaka did not usually come alone. Although Janaka was not interested in bringing ministers and servants, they would invariably accompany him to provide security and protection to the king. Soon all the people became aware that King Janaka was approaching. Entering the area where the discourse was given, Janaka prostrated himself before the guru and humbly asked his pardon for coming late. Then Janaka spread his grass mat and sat down.

Immediately Suka commenced his discourse. Now, in the hearts of the young disciples who had assembled there, hatred fructified. Their faces began changing because of their feelings towards Suka and King Janaka. 'Look at this Suka!', they thought to themselves. 'He only cares about pleasing the king. That is the extent of his Vedanta.'

Suka decided to teach a lesson to all the people assembled there who were harboring such negative feelings. After some time, he interrupted his discourse suddenly and said, "Janaka, look at your kingdom. It is on fire!" King Janaka, who had closed his eyes and was totally absorbed in listening to the sacred teachings, took no notice of these words. He had fixed his mind on the Vedanta, and so he kept his concentration only on the Vedanta.

The other people who had assembled there saw the flames and smoke rising above the city. Some of the disciples, thinking of their relatives and belongings, began running towards the capital city, in the plain below. All the attachments which had lain hidden deep in their hearts now came to the surface and fully exposed themselves.

A few moments later, Suka told King Janaka, "Janaka, this fire has now spread to your palace." Even then, Janaka did not take any notice of Suka's statement; Janaka did not move from his seat. He had the true feeling of complete detachment and indifference to all things worldly. His interest was only in the atma. Except for this absorption in the atma he had no other feelings.

Among those in attendance at the discourse were a number of celebrated spiritual teachers having worldwide reputations. Suka wanted to demonstrate to them that they might be very great scholars but they had not killed their attachments. When these scholars saw the flames, they were apprehensive; they turned to King Janaka and began praying, "O, King! O, King! Please do something about this terrible catastrophe happening below!" But Janaka had entered into a state of samadhi; he was enjoying the bliss of the atma.

Tears of joy were coursing down Janaka's cheek. He did not waver for even a moment from the holy thoughts on which he had fixed his concentration. Suka observed Janaka's state and was very pleased. After some time, those disciples who had run away towards the capital returned, reporting that, in fact, there had been no fire at all. Then Suka began to explain to the disciples the meaning of all that had gone on.

Suka said, "Well, children, I did not delay starting my discourse for two hours because Janaka is the king and, therefore, a very important man. I delayed because he is a deserving person, a true seeker; and I believe in waiting for such a one. Because he has purged himself of ego and pride, because he has true humility, dedication and detachment he has the authority to hold up the discourse. You listen, but you do not hear what is said or put it into practice; therefore, you have no such authority.

"Instead of teaching hundreds of people who have made no effort in applying these teachings to their daily lives, I can teach at least one person who truly has a right to being taught, because he has integrated these sacred precepts into his very life. What is the use of teaching people full of attachment and egoism? It is something like throwing a stone into water. For any number of years the stone may lie in the water, but it will not absorb even a drop of water.

"Even if I can get just one person like Janaka, it is sufficient for me to go on. Why have useless shining stones in great numbers? If there is at least one gem which is truly valuable, that is enough. Why have ten acres of barren land if you can have even a small plot that is fertile and abundant in its yield? If one king like Janaka can become sacred, then he can transform his entire kingdom and turn it into a sacred realm that will be an example to the whole world." Suka's intent was to make Janaka a sacred king and at the same time to teach a valuable lesson to the conceited disciples who had gathered around him".

Excerpted from Sai Baba Gita,The Way to Self-Realization and Liberation in this Age
Compiled and edited by Al Drucker
 Those interested may read it here:

http://askbaba.helloyou.ch/saibabagita/index.html (http://askbaba.helloyou.ch/saibabagita/index.html)

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 27, 2012, 09:55:19 AM
Dear all,

There is story in Sri Bhagavan's life. There were two poor ball bearers, who had just then left the corpse and were returning
via Asramam Road. They were terribly hungry. They could not even take a bath, since there was no water anywhere in that
summer in T'malai. They decided to get into Asramam, report the facts to Sri Bhagavan and then seek food. They told
everything to Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan said: Why do you worry? Are you the only ones carrying dead bodies? We are all
carrying the bodies which are as good as dead. Go and eat. 

The two went to the dining hall. They were served large quantities of food and they had eaten to their heart's content.
They came back, prostrated to Sri Bhagavan and with tearful eyes and left.

Happiness is within.  More  than food, Sri Bhagavan's exemplary compassion made them happy. It brought out the
happiness from within.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on September 27, 2012, 10:05:53 AM
What a story  - Bhagawan is ocean of love and compassion. I can imagine what they would have felt. I see the same thing - when our maid at home on first day sat on floor and ate - and we immediately asked her to eat only like we eat on dining table. Simple - yet they find it so warming. When we ask them to drink in same "steel cup" which we use at home or "same plates" that we use to eat our food. Simple things - but seeing everyone equal has its own charm. Yes - we do it not like bhagawan with zero ego. All said and done - it is my ego which is helping us remembering this incident and typing out here. Bhagawan like Jnanis wont even remember this. But it is sweet even with ego inside. 

Sanjay
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 27, 2012, 11:19:14 AM
Tushnim,
Quote
" in deep sleep we are unaware whether we are happy or not. We do not really know, isnt it sir ?"

Do we experience unrest or peace when we are in deep sleep?Please go through my post again.I have said that when one awakens,this state of peace is felt as Happiness when not disturbed by thought-i.e cares,wants,plans,compulsions.It is the rise of these thoughts that disturb the Peace and prevent us from experiencing the state of Happiness(when awake).This happiness is not something acquired from outside,it is something inherent.

Quote
"now, if the thought of "missing an object of pleasure" haunts me the only way i can escape from it is by securing an object of pleasure sir!"

We are now clearly admitting that we are disturbed by the thought of "missing an object of pleasure"..As long as this 'disturbance' is there ,happiness cannot be,obviously.

Quote
"I feel sexual desire, and the only way to get out of it is release from it by approaching opposite sex, isnt it sir"?
Is there a permanent release or only temporary respite?I am not saying that you should keep away from sex.I have already said that unless one finds the need for something better,the mind would take the easy route of immediate gratification.Until and unless you feel that you are 'Stuck' in a groove-Tension-Release-Tension-Release-.......Tension-Tension-Tension(No Release!...happens over a period of time!),until then one may not look for a better way to handle desire.It is only then one understands that one has become a slave to the Desire and finds one is utterly helpless.The law of diminishing returns takes over and one is left with boredom .One then goes into overdrive to satisfy the desire and yet does not find release.

Quote
" how can it be that happiness is not in the pursuit of pleasure ? its in the escape from pain and securing pleasure isnt it sir ? "

We clearly should know by now that Happiness is not an escape but Freedom from 'Pleasure and Pain'.We are after this freedom -this freedom is happiness.This freedom is not to do what we want but to be above all wants.
Whether it is possible and how to go about this-Let us not bother about it now.It is important to understand what Happiness is,what Freedom is,What desire and slavery to desire  is.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 27, 2012, 11:48:58 AM
Tushnim,

Quote
"how does this understanding take place sir"?

This understanding comes about through observation through attention of what is,as it is.Intelligence is part and parcel of mind-and the faculty that determines and understands is what is called Buddhi.The stuff of the mind is called Chitta and when chitta is set into oscillation through desire,Fear,etc it is called Manas.All these three aspects are hinged on the sense of 'individuality',the sense of 'I' and 'Mine'.This aspect of the mind is called ahamkAra.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 27, 2012, 12:10:45 PM
Tushnim,
"Sir I am with you on all these points, please continue"
What made you say this?
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 27, 2012, 01:25:29 PM
Tushnim,

Quote
"sir, buddhi interprets based on what it already knows. how can it know anything new sir?"

I do not want this diversion to 'New' right now.Let us revisit what we have covered.
Do we doubt that happiness is what we are after?Do we doubt that Happiness is when the mind is free from the compulsion of desires and urges?
How does the Buddhi recognize this state of happiness?Does it 'Interpret' or does it simply Know?


Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 27, 2012, 02:40:12 PM
Tushnim,

Quote
"Happiness is when mind is free from compulsions of desires and urges: yes. I presume when desires are fulfilled, mind is free from the urge of the desire"

This is not correct.We have already seen how when the peace experienced in sleep manifests as happiness in the waking state,without the need to achieve anything.

Do you mean to say that Happiness can be experienced only if desires are fulfilled and something achieved?
There may follow a fear that whatever desire has been fulfilled may have to be consolidated and should not be lost.Fulfillment of desires does not guarantee happiness.

 
Quote
"How does buddhi recognize this state of happiness ? : not sure if buddhi recognizes it! Buddhi is the interpreter. isnt it ?"

Happiness is one's own nature and no 'interpretation' is called for.The Buddhi knows this directly.
 
Buddhi is the Determining Faculty,and decides based on the inputs that the manas operating through the senses presents.

Please do not bring in ' baggage ' from what you have read in books!Just understand directly what we are discussing.

Namaskar.


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 27, 2012, 03:09:35 PM
Tushnim,
I have clearly pointed out what Happiness is.
Please do not bother to 'define';Let us understand directly without definitions.Please go through what we have discussed.
What is your doubt now?
Namaskar
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 27, 2012, 04:38:32 PM
Tushnim,
"sir the question is:how is desire fulfillment giving happiness now ?"

Why discuss about something that does not serve our purpose?I am not saying that we should not discuss it at all.It demands time and does not yield anything.

Are we not now interested in how to secure this Happiness?That is fruitful.

We already know the way.It just means that the mind that was travelling the way of desire for objects needs to be trained to travel in the opposite direction.

Is this clear?

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 27, 2012, 06:25:02 PM
Dear Tushnim,

Any desire (apart from natural desires like hunger, thirst etc.,) will only grow on fulfillment. Sri Bhagvan says it is like
trying to quench the fire with petrol.,

The only way to conquer desires is dispassion. It is Vairagya. And discrimination, vivekam,).   

It is like stopping smoking. Suppose you smoke 10 cigarettes per day. You can not stop it by 9.8.7 etc., If you stop it
in one go. No cigarettes from tomorrow. That is the only way to stop it. One can never quit smoking otherwise.

Arunachala Siva, 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 27, 2012, 09:41:16 PM
Tushnim,
Sorry.I could not continue the discussion for want of time.I will certainly come back at the earliest.
Thanks very much.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on September 28, 2012, 12:26:11 AM
Tushnim,
We have understood now that happiness is when the mind is freed from compulsions by way of Desire,cares and worries.This has to be done through disciplining it and weaning it from its wanton ways.The Very fact that we have understood what we are after,this in itself will give us a certain purpose and Determination to secure it.This will check the mind when it tries to run along the usual way of pleasure seeking.

The mind cannot be all on a sudden made to quit its wanton ways;trying that will only make the mind resist the change all the more and what is worse,go back to its ways with a vengeance.This is true with powerful urges like the sexual urge for instance.For most people(sadhakas)it is advisable to marry and experience this in a disciplined way.What do we mean by 'Disciplined'?To experience this in a deep way,by going through this experience with awareness;just flowing with it as slowly as possible and not get swept away.Instead of operating at an instinct level,one switches over to the feeling level-a very refined one,quite subtle.Instead of viewing the spouse as an object of desire,to treat him or her as a 'being'.

The refined feeling is one where there is a sense of Responsibility and genuine consideration towards the spouse.This may take some time to master,but it can certainly be done.

I have discussed just one aspect of 'Disciplining' the mind.The Key point is that one should learn to live more deeply at a feeling level than at the instinct Level.As this refinement is pursued more and more,it will become easier to check the mind and bring it back to the Stable,so to say.

Checking the mind from its wanton course is what is called vairagya.This is something that grows with repeated Practice.This may be called the 'No' or Negative Practise.
There needs to be a Parallel 'Yes' or  Positive Practise as well.This is the Desire to get back to the State of happiness.If we recall,Happiness itself is a state free from Desire,but to get there one does need to have Aspiration.

This is where Spiritual Practice Begins.We will proceed after I hear from you.

I would say that in general every seeker needs a Guru and Guidance to traverse this path,and at the same time use all the intelligence that he can muster.
Earnestness,Patience and Perseverance,are strong aids.

Namaskar.



Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 01, 2012, 02:19:28 PM
Tushnim,
Thanks very much,Friend for your immediate cooperation.
I have not continued our discussions further.You have asked-" Please continue on how we can find that happiness"
If we have recognized what Happiness is and found its source already ,why are we asking this question? :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on October 01, 2012, 02:39:12 PM
Dear Tushnim,

Just because you are presently unhappy, you want to know  how to find that happiness that is fruitful.
Now analyze, what are the reasons of your unhappiness? Is it health, wealth, lack of direction in life.
Find out and try to solve them.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on October 01, 2012, 02:47:17 PM
Dear Tushnim,

Grin and bear with it not constantly thinking about it. If you ignore it, it will not bother you. I am having knee pain
since 10 years. I have stopped bothering about it. Nor do I want a knee replacement surgery.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on October 01, 2012, 02:53:27 PM
Dear Tushnim,

How does a cashier handle currency notes for giving to and taking from others? Does he ever think that the cash belongs to
him?  Like that you function in the world, ignoring various thoughts (excepting those related to work).

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on October 01, 2012, 03:00:01 PM
Dear Tushnim,

You won't fall back if you continue to live like that. Leave the doership and
enjoyership.


Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 01, 2012, 03:15:48 PM
Tushnim,
It is indeed true that The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna is available online.Posting it here does two things.It makes me read what is there for one more time.It also may be useful to someone stumbling on it in this site when he or she visits this site.There will be greater chance of someone who does not know these wonderful teachings to be introduced to them when they chance to see it here.
As for my Manana,it is simply in this,that I use them to view anything posed as a question,and find that the Master has already answered in his inimitable way in The Gospel;that too so simply and with an emphasis on the Practical aspects.
Till date,I have not come across anything that has not been covered here as far as spiritual sadhana is concerned.

As to how I experience Sri Ramakrishna,I am reminded of Swami Vivekananda's words:
" Truly, I tell you, I have understood him very little. He appears to me to have been so great that, whenever I have to speak anything of him, I am afraid lest I ignore or explain away the truth, lest my little power does not suffice, lest in trying to extol him I present his picture by painting him according to my lights and belittle him thereby"
If swamiji says this, what to speak of a nonentity like me.
I feel like the Way 'M' the recorder of the Gospel said(you may go through this open thread to find it):
"‘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 of but his words."

You may find a nice article about 'M'(Mahendranath Gupta or Master Mahasaya)here:
http://www.kathamrita.org/mbionit.html (http://www.kathamrita.org/mbionit.html)

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna is an accurate record of what Sri Ramakrishna has said.Ofcourse what is not recorded or caught in words may exceed this;yet what is recorded is more than enough for me.If i am satisfied with this pitcher ,why should I bother about what is there in that Ocean.Let me first drink whatever is here and assimilate that.

You may find an interesting article on how the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna came to be written in this Rough note book thread.You may find other articles on Sri Ramakrishna as well.
For your kind information,I did not start the thread on The gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.That was started by another member who no longer visits this site.He calls himself silentgreen.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 01, 2012, 04:00:12 PM
Tushnim,
"Did you visit the Dakshineswar temple and walk at the same place where sri ramakrishan walked? touch the same stones that Sri Ramakrishna touched ?"
This is a question that I always love to answer.I am copying what I wrote here in this thread as well as  in another Blog.
Yes,I have been to Kamarpukur,Birth place of Sri Ramakrishna and jayarambAti,birth place of our Holy Mother Sri Saradamani Devi.It was in 1979 when I was in calcutta on official work for a duration of 3 Months.On weekends I will be mostly in Dakshineswar and thAkur's small room used to be my favourite haunt after paying obeisance to Divine Mother KAli.An absolutely charming Place,although crowded and the path leading to the temple is as dusty and dirty and crowded as well.Yet who cares about all that -to sit in the place haloed by the feet of the Great Master is a Great boon.It was during that time I decided to visit Kamarpukur and Jayarambati.I boarded a Rickety bus that took me to kamarpukur -what a privilege to see the Master's birthplace and his parental house!After spending 2 hours in that place I proceeded to Jayarambati reaching there around 18:30 hrs when the evening Arati(vespers)was going on.(In this place,and it is the only one in which the Arati is performed not for Sri Ramakrishna but to The Holy Mother.)I just sat in front of the Mother's temple after the vespers were over and decided to spend the night there.Jayarambati and kamarpukur are small villages with mud houses.
The Swamiji who was in charge of the Ramakrishna Mutt noticed my sitting there and asked me about my whereabouts.I simply told him that I have come to visist Holy Mother's birthplace and do not mind spending the Night in the temple.I told him that I would return the next day.The Swamiji was all kindness and took me inside the ashram opposite the Shrine and gave me a room and I took it as Holy Mother's blessing .The swamiji gave me some fruits and sweets and that was my dinner.In the Morning ,after a bath I asked to be shown Holy Mother's hut made of clay and Haystack!What a magical place and what a joy to visit the Birthplace of our Simple and Beloved Holy Mother!One of her Great grand nephew was there and how lovingly he touched my chin and kissed.This is how Our Holy Mother would greet her children.What a simple setting and how blessed is that place!I Returned to calcutta after this wonderful trip.
Yes I have visisted Belur Math and Dakshineswar .As you say,the very remembrance is purifying and in itself is sadhana.My earliest recollection of Thakur goes back to 1960 when I was a boy of 5 and my father was posted in Calcutta and had taken me to Dakshineswar and Belur Mutt.We were in calcutta for 2 years then.I remember how I called him as Ramakrishna paramahimsa and this became a joke:-)

I like your poem  and share the sentiments.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 01, 2012, 05:40:21 PM
Tushnim,
Yes,He is ever with us.Nice to read your experience at Dakshineswar.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 01, 2012, 05:45:56 PM
Tushnim,
Yes and No!Like the Gopis who knew that Lord Krishna is the supreme paramatman,yet he was there krishna Kaniah!
The Infinite is inexhaustible.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 01, 2012, 05:49:53 PM
Tushnim,
As you wish. :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on October 01, 2012, 07:04:01 PM
Tushnim - I think you get the reward for becoming fastest Full Member :). Just a joke, my friend :)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 06, 2012, 11:39:21 AM
Venkat,
I am moving my posts here as advised by you!

venkat(Tushnim?Udai?)
Okay.Let me give it a try.This is your first post as 'Tushim':


Quote
"Hello Everyone !

I am a new member to this forum and thought it would be nice to introduce myself through the association with Bhagavan rather than worldly stuff.

Bhagavan Graced me on 2001 through an elderly gentleman. Thanks to this elderly person I got the opportunity to study Bhagavan's Gospel and Life. Since then I have been practising self inquiry and today Bhagavan gave me this wonderful opportunity to have the satsang of this forum members.

Thanking you all
Venkat

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Are you a new member or is this your new avatar here?I am not getting personal here,but Truthfulness is a basic requirement in spiritual Sadhana.Hiding something is a form of falsehood.All the Grand things we may have read or claim rests on 'Integrity'.
This is the Reason behind my asking you whether you are 'Tushnim' or 'Udai'.I may be wrong in my presuming that you are udai,but I am certainly not wrong in seeing that it is a familiar strain that I heard when you flashed a couple of verses from Yoga Vasishta and asked me in what seemed to me a Bombastic fashion-'Does Ramakrishna disagrees with this?',in your opening salvo.

What do you think about this question?Will someone who considers Ramakrishna as his guru and God ask such a silly question?Why did you ask this question?Is it not to test my understanding?

I have a suggestion.I am open for any further discussion on this,but I will answer only one Question of yours in a day.We will go at this pace,if it okay with you.I will prefer that we do not discuss this topic of your identity any longer,if you can clearly tell me that it is a case of Mistaken Identity and That I have been wrong to assume all this.
I will happily stand corrected.My apologies in advance.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 06, 2012, 11:44:01 AM
Venkat/Friends,
I am retaining this post for its entertainment value :)

Quote
Questioner(Tushnim?Udai?),
We may discuss the subject if there is any doubt in the questioner's mind;If the 'Question' that the 'questioner' asks are the 'Questioners' need.
We may also discuss for validating what is in the Questioner's mind,provided the questioner puts those questions in that spirit.
We are not discussing what the Questioner 'Does' in terms of his Life;We are only questioning the Integrity of the 'Mind' of the questioner;as it said that an earnest seeker is known by the question that he asks,not the answers that he may supply.
If you wish to Discuss scriptural Books,say so Upfront and those who wish to discuss will definitely do so and with a proper context.
I have not posted what I did as any 'Reaction' but as a pointer;"When the time is ripe, it aids those that it has to aid"

 
Namaskar.


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 06, 2012, 11:53:22 AM
Venkat/Friends,
I am copying this post here.Please let me know whether it is okay to leave this in that thread as well;if you want me to remove it,I will gladly do so.

Quote
Friends,
I saw a thread on Sri Bhagavan and sri Aurobindo.Here are a few excerpts from sri Aurobindo,relevant to our discussion.I have posted earlier as well when our friend udai was discussing exactly the same thing,and it is no different today as well:

"The first step is a quiet mind—silence is a further step, but quietude must be there; and by a quiet mind I mean a mental consciousness within which sees thoughts arrive to it and move about but does not itself feel that it is thinking or identifying itself with the thoughts or call them its own. Thoughts, mental movements may pass through it as wayfarers appear and pass from elsewhere through a silent country—the quiet mind observes them or does not care to observe them, but, in either case, does not become active or lose its quietude. Silence is more than quietude; it can be gained by banishing thought altogether from the inner mind keeping it voiceless or quite outside; but more easily it is established by a descent from above—one feels it coming down, entering and occupying or surrounding the personal consciousness which then tends to merge itself in the vast impersonal silence"

The words “peace, calm, quiet, silence” have each their own shade of meaning, but it is not easy to define them.

Peace—santi.

Calm—sthirata.

Quiet—acancalata.

Silence—niscala-niravata.

Quiet is a condition in which there is no restlessness or disturbance.

Calm is a still unmoved condition which no disturbance can affect—it is a less negative condition than quiet.

Peace is a still more positive condition; it carries with it a sense of settled and harmonious rest and deliverance.

Silence is a state in which either there is no movement of the mind or vital or else a great stillness which no surface movement can pierce or alter

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bases of Yoga-Sri Aurobindo

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 06, 2012, 12:10:01 PM
Venkat,
I have cleared my posts from the thread that you have initiated;Have left a few quotations from Sri Ramakrishna,Sri Bhagavan and Sri Aurobindo.Hope this is okay with you.If you want those to be removed,please let me know.I will be too happy to oblige.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 06, 2012, 01:22:35 PM
Friends,
For those of you in Chennai,Sri Nochur Venkatraman  is giving talks at Sudharma,near woodland Hotel on Radha Krishnan sAlai ,at 18:30 hrs (06/10/12).The Shankaracharya of Sringeri peetam is camping there and perhaps may grace this occasion.
For your information,Sri Nochur had given a 3 day  talk on Akshara MaNa mAlai(wonderful),continuing from where he left off last year in Astika samAjam,alwarpet .He had also given a seven day talk on the upanishads and the Gita at Hema MAlini kalyAna mandapam recently.All these will be brought out in CD format.
Namaskar
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on October 06, 2012, 01:32:48 PM
Friends,
For those of you in Chennai,Sri Nochur Venkatraman  is giving talks at Sudharma,near woodland Hotel on Radha Krishnan sAlai ,at 18:30 hrs (06/10/12).The Shankaracharya of Sringeri peetam is camping there and perhaps may grace this occasion.
For your information,Sri Nochur had given a 3 day  talk on Akshara MaNa mAlai(wonderful),continuing from where he left off last year in Astika samAjam,alwarpet .He had also given a seven day talk on the upanishads and the Gita at Hema MAlini kalyAna mandapam recently.All these will be brought out in CD format.
Namaskar



Mr.Ravi

Thanks for the info . Do u know where we can get Sri .Nochur's talk on Akshara Mana Malai on CD ?I got his Ulladhu Naarpadu from Ramana Ashram few years back .
BTW is he giving a talk on Srimad Bhagavatham today at Sudharma ?
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 06, 2012, 01:42:03 PM
Krishna,
Correction .The talk is at 18:00 hrs today.I understand that it is a continuation on 'Guru Kripa vilAsam' from where left off yesterday.I am given to understand that he spoke about how Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha swamiji received upadesa in dream from Sri Chandrasekara Bharati swamiji.
The CDs generally will be available whenever he gives his talks at Narada gana sabha.I will find out and revert on this.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on October 06, 2012, 01:47:06 PM
Krishna,
Correction .The talk is at 18:00 hrs today.I understand that it is a continuation on 'Guru Kripa vilAsam' from where left off yesterday.I am given to understand that he spoke about how Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha swamiji received upadesa in dream  from Sri Chandrasekara Bharati swamiji.
The CDs generally will be available whenever he gives his talks at Narada gana sabha.I will find out and revert on this.
Namaskar.

Thanks Ravi .I have read almost all publications of Sringeri with regard to Sri Chandareskara Bharati Swamiji and I highly respect him and my latest quote in Shankaracharya Thread is also from him yesterday from the book Golden Words of H.H.Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati and I consider it a good coincidence that Sri Nochurji also started speaking about him from yesterday .
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 06, 2012, 02:12:14 PM
Sri Nochur has at many instances spoken about Sri Chandrashekhara Bharthi Swamigal in his pravachanams.

I really wish i were at chennai today, i request, Sri Ravi, kindly post a brief report, if you get to attend the pravachanam.

a year, couple of years back, when i used to visit Ramanashramam, i used to get opportunity to see Sri Nochur sitting in the Samadhi hall, alone and silently, also got chance to converse with him, very briefly. But, he is getting busier by the day, and not easy to find him these days. I was being attached to Sri Nochur, may be thats why, i cant find him these days.

Atma is the only Guru, which is always with us.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on October 06, 2012, 04:02:03 PM
Dear Nagaraj,

I have also met Nochur on two or three occasions in Asramam. Twice he came to Bangalore., One occasion, I listened to him
to discourse on Sri Dakshinamurti Stotram for 7 days between 7 am and 8 am.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 07, 2012, 02:35:09 PM
Venkat(Tushnim/udai?),
Please do not hesitate to participate in this Forum.I like this Post of yours the Best.Here it is:

Quote
Yet Sri Ramakrishna is much more than that sir.
Did you visit the Dakshineswar temple and walk at the same place where sri ramakrishan walked? touch the same stones that Sri Ramakrishna touched ?
As it is said
 "Alas, I am not even a stone so that Sri Rama may have touched me with his feet!
  Alas I am not that hunter who could write the holy poetry!
  Were I a squirrel at the ocean banks, would I also not have done my little bit and god Sri Rama's signature on me ?
  Ah! ,while even the mute creation is reveling in Rama's Presence I am born a human to wast my life in sense pleasures"

Only I would like you to review this:"I Love Sri Ramakrishna too sir. But the gospel is too small a book to contain all his sayings sir. He himself reaches out to people in different ways ! ".
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna is like Srimad Bhagavatham;No one can say that he has finished Reading it or that he has completely understood the Teachings there.I have been reading this for only 35 Years now,and my understanding of it is very little.I will consider myself blessed if I can fully understand and assimilate  one saying of the Master,like for example this saying:
"Parable of pearl oyster

"One should have faith in the holy name given by the guru and with it practise spiritual
discipline. It is said that the pearl oyster makes itself ready for the rain that falls when the
star Svati is in the ascendant. Taking a drop of that rain, it dives into the fathomless depths
of the ocean and remains there until the pearl is formed."


Just what is this drop(seems to be an insignificant thing,yet how precious!),What is diving?,What is the Fathomless ocean?What is Remaining there?
what is the Pearl?.
The Imagery is quite telling and attractive but if we ponder over this,it is quite unfathomable.In order that the disciple does not get bogged down,Sri Ramakrishna has given this so practical advice -"One should have faith in the holy name given by the guru and with it practise spiritual discipline",this in itself would lead to all that follows.

Like this,The Gospel is a perfect blend of jNana,Bhakti,karma and Yoga paths,all blended and offered by the Master like a mother to her Child.There is nothing that has not been covered in this wonderful KathAmrita.

Do continue to participate in this Forum;it is as much your prerogative as any of us;perhaps more yours,since you wish to communicate and are enthusiastic about what you wish to share.You may wish to  reconsider how you present yourself here.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 07, 2012, 05:22:23 PM
Udai,
Good to see you again.Wish you the Very Best.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on October 07, 2012, 06:38:59 PM
Dear Sri Tushnim.Asanam,

I am very glad and happy that You are here! You have a great insight,and this forum is getting only more interesting.

Wish You All the Best!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on October 07, 2012, 08:50:48 PM
Udai garu - So glad to see you back again :). Your level of questioning made me doubt you are not a newbie :)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 08, 2012, 07:53:06 AM
Friends,
An excerpt from Sister DevamAtA's reminiscences of SwAmi VivekAnanda:
"Autumn brought our return to New York. Winter set in with its busy routine, but the memory of the conversation with the Swedenborgian minister still remained vivid. One day, as I was walking up Madison Avenue, I saw in the window of the Hall of the Universal Brotherhood a modest sign saying: "Next Sunday at 3 p.m. Swami Vivekananda will speak here on 'What is Vedanta?' and the following Sunday on 'What is yoga?". I reached the hall twenty minutes before the hour. It was already over half full. It was not large, however — a long, narrow room with a single aisle and benches reaching from it to the wall; a low platform holding reading-desk and chair at the far end; and a flight of stairs at the back. The hall was on the second storey and these stairs gave the only way of access to it — audience and speaker both had to make use of them. By the time three o'clock had arrived, hall, stairs, window-sills, and railings, all were crowded to their utmost capacity. Many even were standing below, hoping to catch a faint echo of the words spoken in the hall above.

A sudden hush, a quiet step on the stairs, and Swami Vivekananda passed in stately erectness up the aisle to the platform. He began to speak; and memory, time, place, people, all melted away. Nothing was left but a voice ringing through the void. It was as if a gate had swung open and I had passed out on a road leading to limitless attainment. The end of it was not visible; but the promise of what it would be shone through the thought and flashed through the personality of the one who gave it. He stood there — prophet of infinitude.

The silence of an empty hall recalled me to myself. Everyone was gone except the Swami and two others standing near the platform. I learnt later that they were Mr. and Mrs. Goodyear, ardent disciples of the Swami. Mr. Goodyear made the announcements at the meetings. After that I attended all the classes and lectures during the Swami's two seasons in New York, but I never came in close personal touch with him. There seemed to be an intangible barrier. Was it created by shyness or a sense of strangeness, or by my elder sister's prejudice? She had no sympathy with my Oriental studies and often said she wished I "could get salvation nearer home".

There was still a final Sunday lecture. It look place in the Madison Square Concert Hall — a fairly large hall on the second floor behind the Madison Square Garden, a vast arena used for automobile exhibitions, bicycle races, horse shows, for anything that required space. The building seemed huge at that time, but later New York outgrew it. and it was torn down. The Concert Hall was much used by Glee Clubs, siring quartets, and lectures. I do not know how many it held, but it was full to the uttermost at that closing lecture — every seat, every foot of standing room was occupied.

I believe that was the day on which Swami Vivekananda delivered the lecture on My Master. As he entered the hall from a door at the side of the platform, one sensed a different mood in him. He seemed less confident, as if he approached his task reluctantly. Years after in Madras I understood. He hesitated at all times to speak of his guru. During his early wanderings through South India he refused to reveal his name even, believing he represented him so poorly. Only in Madras, when he came unaware upon his Master's picture, did the words burst from his lips: "That is my guru, Shri Ramakrishna," and tears streamed down his face. So now was he reluctant. He began his lecture with a long preamble; but once in his subject, it swept him. The force of it drove him from one end of the platform to the other. It overflowed in a swift-running stream of eloquence and feeling. The large audience listened in awed stillness and at the close many left the hall without speaking. As for myself, I was transfixed. The transcendent picture drawn overwhelmed me. The call had come, and I answered."


Those interested may read the complete article here:

http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/reminiscences/121_sd.htm (http://://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/reminiscences/121_sd.htm)

'My Master' is one single talk of SwAmiji that I value most.It sounds perennialy fresh and captivating.
Namaskar.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on October 08, 2012, 10:57:50 PM
Dear Sri Ravi, Thank You Very much for this post about Swami Vivekananda! I enjoyed it,and i must say that i love to read everything on Him. I love His letters mostly... Trough them i,somehow,can see how Beautiful and Great Soul He was. Wanted to read more from this,but i cannot open this link. It doasnt work i think.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on October 09, 2012, 08:01:56 AM

Quote:
“A sudden hush, a quiet step on the stairs, and Swami Vivekananda passed in stately erectness up the aisle to the platform. He began to speak; and memory, time, place, people, all melted away. Nothing was left but a voice ringing through the void. It was as if a gate had swung open and I had passed out on a road leading to limitless attainment. The end of it was not visible; but the promise of what it would be shone through the thought and flashed through the personality of the one who gave it. He stood there — prophet of infinitude.”


“Those interested may read the complete article here:

http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/reminiscences/121_sd.htm

'My Master' is one single talk of SwAmiji that I value most.It sounds perennialy fresh and captivating.
Namaskar.”

Dear Sri Ravi,
Ji. Yes. I would certainly like to read the complete “My Master”, which is indeed a great talk delivered by Swami Sri Vivekanada.  But the address given by you is not valid. I failed to download the same due to invalid address. Kindly give the correct address.
Thanks very much, sir.
Pranam,
  Anil
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 09, 2012, 08:19:56 AM
Jewell/Anil,
Here is the link to my master in a pdf format.I am not sure whether it can be used for copy & paste for sharing,but may be used for reading:

http://www.vivekananda.net/PDFBooks/My_Master.pdf (http://www.vivekananda.net/PDFBooks/My_Master.pdf)

Here is a link to the html of My Master,which is useful for copy & Paste sharing:
http://www.hinduism.fsnet.co.uk/namoma/life_thakur/life_thakur_my_master.htm (http://www.hinduism.fsnet.co.uk/namoma/life_thakur/life_thakur_my_master.htm)

The inspiration and sheer intensity  in this talk always keeps this one Fresh and when I read it,it is as if Swamiji is speaking to us Directly,right here and now.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on October 09, 2012, 11:34:59 PM
Thank You Very much,dear Sri Ravi!!

Yes,Swami Vivekananda's talks are truly Very inspirational!! I always enjoy reading and hearing everything from Him.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on October 11, 2012, 12:18:15 PM
Quote:
MASTER: "But I give the illustration of the sound of a gong: 'tom', t-o-m. It is the merging
of the Lila in the Nitya: the gross, the subtle, and the causal merge in the Great Cause;
waking, dream, and deep sleep merge in Turiya. The striking of the gong is like the falling
of a heavy weight into a big ocean. Waves begin to rise: the Relative rises from the
Absolute; the causal, subtle, and gross bodies appear out of the Great Cause; from Turiya
emerge the states of deep sleep, dream, and waking. These waves arising from the Great
Ocean merge again in the Great Ocean. From the Absolute to the Relative, and from the
Relative to the Absolute. Therefore I give the illustration of the gong's sound, 'tom'. I have
clearly perceived all these things. It has been revealed to me that there exists an Ocean of
Consciousness without limit. From It come all things of the relative plane, and in It they
merge again. Millions of Brahmandas rise in that Chidakasa and merge in It again. All this
has been revealed to me; I don't know, much about what your books say."


Dear Sri Ravi,

My Goodness! What a Teaching !
MERGING OF THE LILA IN THE NITYA.
MERGING OF THE GROSS, THE SUBTLE AND THE CAUSAL IN THE GREAT CAUSE.
MERGING OF THE WAKING, DREAM AND DEEP SLEEP IN TURIYA.
THESE WAVES ARISING FROM THE GREAT OCEAN MERGE AGAIN IN THE GREAT OCEAN.
FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE RELATIVE, AND THE RELATIVE TO THE ABSOLUTE.
THEREFORE, I GIVE THE ILLUSTRATION OF THE GONG’S SOUND ‘TOM’ ! 
I am overwhelmed to have a feel of such Sublime Teaching taught so simply, spontaneously and as a matter of fact, by such a great Master.

I am grateful. Thanks very much, sir.

Pranam,
  Anil 


 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 11, 2012, 08:40:39 PM
Nagaraj/Udai/Friends,

udai had asked:

Quote
"Very Apt quote of Sri Ramakrishna.
But what does it mean that "I" is a servant of God, is a big big question".

Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna where the Master explains clearly what he means:
"Two monks had arrived at the temple garden in the morning. They were devoted to the
study of the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedanta, and other scriptures. They entered the Master's
room, saluted him, and sat on the mat on the floor. Sri Ramakrishna was seated on the
small couch. The Master spoke to the sadhus in Hindusthani.

MASTER: "Have you had your meal?"

SADHU: "Yes, sir."

MASTER: "What did you eat?"

SADHU: "Dal and bread. Will you take some?"

MASTER: "No, I take only a few morsels of rice. Well, your japa and meditation must be
without any desire for results. Isn't that so
?"

SADHU: "Yes, Sir."

MASTER: "That is good. One must surrender the result to God. What do you say? That is
the view of the Gita."


One sadhu said to the other, quoting from the Gita: "O Arjuna, whatever action you
perform, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you give in charity,
and whatever austerities you practise, offer everything to Me."


MASTER: "If you give God something, you receive it back a thousand times over. That is
why after doing meritorious deeds one offers a handful of water to God. It is the symbol of
offering the fruit to God. When Yudhisthira was about to offer all his sins to Krishna,
Bhima warned him: 'Never do such a thing. Whatever you offer to Krishna you will receive
back a thousandfold.'

(To one of the sadhus) "Well, sir, one should be de- sireless; one should renounce all
desires. Isn't that so?"


SADHU: "Yes, sir."

MASTER: "But I have the desire for bhakti. That is not bad. Rather, it is good. Sweets are
bad, for they produce acidity. But sugar candy is an exception. Isn't that so?"


SADHU: "Yes, sir."

MASTER: "Well, sir, what do you think of the Vedanta?"

SADHU: "It includes all the six systems of philosophy."

MASTER: "But the essence of Vedanta is: 'Brahman alone is real, and the world illusory; I
have no separate existence; I am that Brahman alone.' Isn't that so?"


SADHU: "That is true, sir."

MASTER: "But for those who lead a householder's life, and those who identify themselves
with the body, this attitude of 'I am He' is not good. It is not good for householders to read
Vedanta or the Yogavasishtha. It is very harmful for them to read these books.
Householders should look on God as their Master and on themselves as His servants. They
should think, 'O God, You are the Master and the Lord, and I am Your servant.' People who
identify themselves with the body should not have the attitude of 'I am He'."


The devotees in the room remained silent. Sri Ramakrishna was smiling a little, a picture of
self-contentment. He appeared happy in his own Self
.

One of the sadhus whispered in the other's ear: "Look! This is the state of the
paramahamsa."


MASTER (to M.): "I feel like laughing."

Sri Ramakrishna smiled like a child. The monks left the room. The devotees were moving
about in the room and on the porch."

Seeking God is Nivritti marga,seeking the world is pravritti.Actions done as an offering to God is Nivritti,actions done to further one's desire is pravritti.
Nivritti is moving to the core of one's being.Pravritti is moving away from the core.

What to say of someone like Sri Ramakrishna who says:""I do see God directly. What shall I reason about? I clearly see that He Himself has
become everything; that He Himself has become the universe and all living beings."

Pravritti and Nivritti loses all meaning for such a one.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 11, 2012, 08:49:41 PM
Seeking God is Nivritti marga,seeking the world is pravritti.Actions done as an offering to God is Nivritti,actions done to further one's desire is pravritti.

Nivritti is moving to the core of one's being.Pravritti is moving away from the core.

What to say of someone like Sri Ramakrishna who says:""I do see God directly. What shall I reason about? I clearly see that He Himself has become everything; that He Himself has become the universe and all living beings."

Pravritti and Nivritti loses all meaning for such a one.

Stamping clarity! Thank you for this post.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 11, 2012, 09:10:40 PM
Just felt like adding a couple of points. Mundakopanishad says thus:

द्वे विद्ये वेदितव्ये इति ह स्म यद्ब्रह्मविदो वदन्ति परा चैवापरा च

dve vidyE veditavyE eti hasma yad brahmavido vadanti, para chaivApara ca

which means, there are two kinds of knowledge worthy to be known, namely, one is para vidyA and the other is aparA vidyA

para vidyA is the knowledge of the Divine and aparA vidyA is the knowledge of the world. One may engage in countless works, even be very honest and God fearing, but if his actions are not intended towards striving to gain the knowledge of the Divine, then it does not lead one towards Divinity, but only those actions performed with the pure intention of striving only for God and divinity alone is of praiseworthy.

Therefore having the idea that one is working only for God's sake is very simple, and easy way to remain steadfast in para vidyA that is striving towards the knowledge of the divine.

there is a thin line between two, mere excellence in worldly life without the knowledge of para vidyA would only bring temporary happiness but with constant thought of God, brings everlasting contentment, where one would realise that the kingdom of heaven is within you.

This is the promise of the Gods and Gurus, as i see.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 11, 2012, 09:21:48 PM
my post is actually redundant, the essence is very neatly, already conveyed in Sri Ravi's post itself!

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 12, 2012, 09:22:57 AM
Udai,

"I do not know the validity of the statement that a householder should not read Yoga Vasishta. I have been immensely benefited by it. It cannot be generalized like that. Perhaps Sri Ramakrishna might have given that suggestion to a specific person who lacked this vision -- I am not sure. In any case, Sri Ramakrishna is not someone who would advise me to not read Yoga Vasishta. Infact Yoga Vasishta is the best book on vedanta that everyone should read , in my opinion. And Ramana never made any such distinctions about Yoga Vasishta".

So much for the much vaunted Intellect! :)

Yes,Bhagavan did not exclude Yoga vasishta as he did not Exclude Japa,DhyAna as well. :)

When one is Truly silent one will not perceive any contradiction here.The unprepared Intellect clutches at stray phrases here and there ,pulls it out of context and comes to silly conclusions.It is all the time serving one's own desire!

Sri Ramakrishna is talking to two Sadhus and he is talking about 'Householders'!This needs to be simply seen.

He is also talking about  the harm of 'I am He' thinking to them who have studied the Gita,Vedanta,etc!

He is only saying that if one simply 'Reads' the Yoga Vasishta and not 'Lives' as per That,it is a form of falsehood and is extremely Harmful,as there is a clear schism betweeen what one 'Imagines'(what is called thinking 'just Be')and what one actually Is!

One needs to see this quite simply ,and more so someone who thinks Sri Ramakrishna is His Guru and God. :)

In other words he would like you to be in Nivritti as the Essence of Yoga vAsishtA and not be in Pravritti about nuturing desire to Translate YOga vAsishta.
This 'Nivritti' is simply maintained by the 'I am The servant' attitude,even should one read the Yoga vAsishta' :)

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 13, 2012, 06:31:29 AM
Udai/Friends,
In today's post in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,This is posted:
The "ego of a devotee"
VIJAY (to the Master): "Sir, you ask us to renounce the 'wicked I'. Is there any harm in the
'servant I'?"


MASTER: "The 'servant I'-that is, the feeling, 'I am the servant of God, I am the devotee of
God'-does not injure one. On the contrary, it helps one to realize God."


VIJAY: "Well, sir, what becomes of the lust, anger, and other passions of one who keeps
the 'servant I'?"

MASTER: "If a man truly feels like that, then he has only the semblance of lust, anger, and
the like. If, after attaining God, he looks on himself as the servant or the devotee of God,
then he cannot injure anyone. By touching the philosopher's stone a sword is turned into
gold. It keeps the appearance of a sword but cannot injure.

"When the dry branch of a coconut palm drops to the ground, it leaves only a mark on the
trunk indicating that once there was a branch at that place. In like manner, he who has
attained God keeps only an appearance of ego; there remains in him only a semblance of
anger and lust. He becomes like a child. A child has no attachment to the three gunassattva,
rajas, and tamas. He becomes as quickly detached from a thing as he becomes
attached to it. You can cajole him out of a cloth worth five rupees with a doll worth an
anna, though at first he may say with great determination: 'No, I won't give it to you. My
daddy bought it for me.' Again, all persons are the same to a child. He has no feeling of
high and low in regard to persons. So he doesn't discriminate about caste. If his mother tells
him that a particular man should be regarded as an elder brother, the child will eat from the
same plate with him, though the man may belong to the low caste of a blacksmith. The
child doesn't know hate, or what is holy or unholy.

"Even after attaining samadhi, some retain the 'servant ego' or the 'devotee ego'. The bhakta
keeps this 'I-consciousness'. He says, 'O God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant;
Thou art the Lord and I am Thy devotee.' He feels that way even after the realization of
God. His 'I' is not completely effaced. Again, by constantly practising this kind of 'Iconsciousness',
one ultimately attains God. This is called bhaktiyoga.


"One can attain the Knowledge of Brahman, too, by following the path of bhakti. God is
all-powerful. He may give His devotee Brahmajnana also, if He so wills. But the devotee
generally doesn't seek the Knowledge of the Absolute. He would rather have the
consciousness that God is the Master and he the servant, or that God is the Divine Mother
and he the child."


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 13, 2012, 06:38:33 AM
Friends,
A couple of Excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

"What is knowledge? And what is the nature of this ego? 'God alone is the Doer, and none
else' - that is knowledge. I am not the doer; I am a mere instrument in His hand. Therefore I
say: 'O Mother, Thou art the Operator and I am the machine. Thou art the Indweller and I
am the house. Thou art the Driver and I am the carriage. I move as Thou movest me. I do as
Thou makest me do. I speak as Thou makest me speak. Not I, not I, but Thou, but Thou.' "


"Just try to find out who this 'I' is. While you are searching for 'I', 'He' comes
out. 'I am the machine and He is the Operator.'
You have heard of a mechanical toy that
goes into a store with a letter in its hand. You are like that toy. God alone is the Doer. Do
your duties in the world as if you were the doer, but knowing all the time that God alone is
the Doer and you are the instrument
.
As long as the upadhi exists there is ignorance. 'I am a scholar', 'I am a jnani', 'I am
wealthy', 'I am honourable', 'I am the master, father, and teacher' -all these ideas are
begotten of ignorance. 'I am the machine and You are the Operator' - that is Knowledge. In
the state of Knowledge all upadhis are destroyed
. When the log is burnt up entirely, there is
no more sound; no heat either. Everything cools down. Peace! Peace! Peace!"

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 13, 2012, 01:47:11 PM
Friends,
An excerpt from the Translation of Atma bOdha by Sri Bhagavan:
After a devotee sent to Sri Bhagavan a Tamil translation of Shankaracharya's Atma Bodha, Bhagavan composed a new
translation in Tamil. He did this translation very rapidly, working even at night, using a flashlight!

`Can Shankara, the enlightener of the Self, be different from one's own Self? Who but he, does this day, abiding as
the inmost Self in me, speak this in the Tamil language?
'

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on October 13, 2012, 02:06:31 PM
Dear Ravi,

Atma Bodham of Sri Bhagavan (Tamizh verse translaztion) is one of the wonderful works of Sri Bhagavan. He maintained 68 Venbas
to strictly conform to the 68 slokas of the original from Sri Sankara. All are Nerisai Venbas, the last one being Pahrodai Venba.
Normally, it is difficult to translate the original work, confining oneself to the same number of verses.

It was written at the request of one Muslim  devotee. Sadly, this was the last work of Sri Bhagavan, where after He did  not
compose anything, perhaps at that time onwards, His health started failing.

Arunachala Siva,.     
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 14, 2012, 07:57:41 AM
Friends,
I wish to share this wonderful poem of Henry wadsworth Longfellow:

The Arrow and The Song

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Nothing is lost or goes amiss.There are things that our conscious mind is only vaguely aware of-yet we take aim and 'Shoot an arrow into the air' as it were;only to rediscover later on that what we aimed for is this 'Oak' ,the Tree of Life,and our 'aim' had not gone amiss.There are also things that are dear to us and we are happy to just 'live' it;only to discover later on that someone has caught the 'inspiration' and echoes the sweet Refrains.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on October 14, 2012, 08:54:50 AM
Beautiful and wonderful poem dear Sri Ravi!!! It is like,i just needed it. Very true,we "shoot" an arrow,not knowing where it will land,but it lands just where it needs,on true aim. Everything have its misterious purpose. Like this post for me,:) and who knows for how many others too. Nothing is lost indeed! Thank You so much sir!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 14, 2012, 10:16:18 PM
Jewell,
Yes,Friend.It is indeed one of my favourite poems since I learnt it in my school days;Intiuitively I always felt the Truth so wonderfully expressed by the poet,but to put my finger on what it conveys took time to state in words!
Wish you The Very Best.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 14, 2012, 10:19:44 PM
Nagaraj/Friends,
Our Friend nagaraj said so simply:
"owning up enlightenment is giving up enlightenment, and start living life, well"
Quite True.Just cannot agree more! I have posted it in the other thread on Enlightenment by udai.I am posting it here ,as I intend following it with what Sri aurobindo had said regarding this in his wonderful 'The Synthesis of Yoga'.

Here is such a passage from 'I Am That':
Q: The Yoga of living, of life itself, we may call the Natural Yoga (nisarga yoga). It reminds me of the Primal Yoga (adhi yoga), mentioned in the Rig-Veda which was described as the marrying of life with mind.
M: A life lived thoughtfully, in full awareness, is by itself Nisarga Yoga.
Q: What does the marriage of life and mind mean?
M: Living in spontaneous awareness, consciousness of effortless living, being fully interested in one's life -- all this is implied.
Q: Sharada Devi, wife of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, used to scold his disciples for too much effort. She compared them to mangoes on the tree which are being plucked before they are ripe. 'Why hurry?' she used to say. 'Wait till you are fully ripe, mellow and sweet.'
M: How right she was! There are so many who take the dawn for the noon, a momentary experience for full realisation and destroy even the little they gain by excess of pride. Humility and silence are essential for a sadhaka, however advanced. Only a fully ripened jnani can allow himself complete spontaneity.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 14, 2012, 10:25:48 PM
An excerpt from The Synthesis of Yoga-Sri Aurobindo:

There are two necessities of Nature's workings which seem always to intervene in the greater forms of human activity, whether these belong to our ordinary fields of movement or see those exceptional spheres and fulfilments which appear to us high and divine. Every such form tends towards a harmonised complexity and totality which again breaks apart into various channels of special effort and tendency, only to unite once more in a larger and more puissant synthesis.

Secondly, development into forms is an imperative rule of effective manifestation; yet all truth and practice too strictly formulated becomes old and loses much, if not all, of its virtue; it must be constantly renovated by fresh streams of the spirit revivifying the dead or dying vehicle and changing it, if it is to acquire a new life. To be perpetually reborn is the condition of a material immortality. We are in an age, full of the throes of travail, when all forms of thought and activity that have in themselves any strong power of utility or any secret virtue of persistence are being subjected to a supreme test and given their opportunity of rebirth. The world today presents the aspect of a huge cauldron of Medea in which all things are being cast, shredded into pieces, experimented on, combined and recombined either to perish and provide the scattered material of new forms or to emerge rejuvenated and changed for a fresh term of existence.

Indian Yoga, in its essence a specific action or formulation of certain great powers of Nature, itself specialized, divided and variously formulated, is potentially one of these dynamic elements of the future life of humanity. The child of immemorial ages, preserved by its vitality and truth into our modern times, it is now emerging from the secret schools and ascetic retreats in which it had taken refuge and is seeking its place in the future sum of living human powers and utilities. But it has first to rediscover itself, bring to the surface the profoundest reason of its being in that general truth and that unceasing aim of Nature which it represents, and find by virtue of this new self-knowledge and self-appreciation its own recovered and larger synthesis.
 
    Reorganising itself, it will enter more easily and powerfully into the reorganised life of the race which its processes claim to lead within into the most secret penetralia and upward to the highest altitudes of existence and personality. In the right view both of life and of Yoga all life is either consciously or subconsciously a Yoga. For we mean by this term a methodized effort towards self-perfection by the expression of the secret potentialities latent in the being and — highest condition of victory in that effort — a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent Existence we see partially expressed in man and in the Cosmos.

But all life, when we look behind its appearances, is a vast Yoga of Nature who attempts in the conscious and the subconscious to realise her perfection in an ever-increasing expression of her yet unrealised potentialities and to unite herself with her own divine reality. In man, her thinker, she for the first time upon this Earth devises self-conscious means and willed arrangements of activity by which this great purpose may be more swiftly and puissantly attained. Yoga, as Swami Vivekananda has said, may be regarded as a means of compressing one's evolution into a single life or a few years or even a few months of bodily existence.

A given system of Yoga, then can be no more than a selection or a compression, into narrower but more energetic forms of intensity, of the general methods which are already being used loosely, largely, in a leisurely movement, with a profuser apparent waste of material and energy but with a more complete combination by the great Mother in her vast upward labour. It is this view of Yoga that can alone form the basis for a sound and rational synthesis of Yogic methods. For then Yoga ceases to appear something mystic and abnormal which has no relation to the ordinary processes of the World-Energy or the purpose she keeps in view in her two great movements of subjective and objective self-fulfillment; it reveals itself rather as an intense and exceptional use of powers that she has already manifested or is progressively organising in her less exalted but more general operations.


continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 14, 2012, 10:33:24 PM
An excerpt from The Synthesis of Yoga-Sri Aurobindo continued:

Yogic methods have something of the same relation to the customary psychological workings of man as has the scientific handling of the force of electricity or of steam to their normal operations in Nature. And they, too, like the operations of Science, are formed upon a knowledge developed and confirmed by regular experiment, practical analysis and constant result. All Rajayoga, for instance, depends on this perception and experience that our inner elements, combinations, functions, forces, can be separated or dissolved, can be new-combined and set to novel and formerly impossible workings or can be transformed and resolved into a new general synthesis by fixed internal processes. Hathayoga similarly depends on this perception and experience that the vital forces and function to which our life is normally subjected and whose ordinary operations seem set and indispensable, can be mastered and the operations changed or suspended with results that would otherwise be impossible and that seem miraculous to those who have not seized the rationale of their process. And if in some other of its forms this character of Yoga is less apparent, because they are more intuitive and less mechanical, nearer, like the Yoga of Devotion, to a supernal ecstasy or, like the Yoga of Knowledge, to a supernal infinity of consciousness and being, yet they too start from the use of some principal faculty in us by ways and for ends not contemplated in its everyday spontaneous workings.
 
 All methods grouped under the common name of Yoga are special psychological processes founded on a fixed truth of Nature and developing, out of normal functions, powers and results which were always latent but which her ordinary movements do not easily or do not often manifest. But as in physical knowledge the multiplication of scientific processes has its disadvantages, as that tends, of instance, to develop a victorious artificiality which overwhelms our natural human life under a load of machinery and to purchase certain forms of freedom and mastery at the price of an increased servitude, so the preoccupation with Yogic processes and their exceptional results may have its disadvantages and losses. The Yogin tends to draw away from the common existence and lose his hold upon it; he tends to purchase wealth of spirit by an impoverishment of his human activities, the inner freedom by an outer death. If he gains God, he loses life, or if he turn his efforts outward to conquer life, he is in danger of losing God. Therefore we see in India that a sharp incompatibility has been created between life in the world and spiritual growth and perfection, and although the tradition and ideal of a victorious harmony between the inner attraction and the outer demand remains, it is little or else very imperfectly exemplified.
 
    In fact, when a man turns his vision and energy inward and enters on the path of Yoga, he is popularly supposed to be lost inevitably to the great stream of our collective existence and the secular effort of humanity. So strongly has the idea prevailed, so much has it been emphasised by prevalent philosophies and religions that to escape from life is now commonly considered as not only the necessary condition, but the general object of Yoga. No synthesis of Yoga can be satisfying which does not, in its aim, reunite God and Nature in a liberated and perfected human life or, in its method, not only permit but favour the harmony of our inner and outer activities and experiences in the divine consummation of both.

For man is precisely that term and symbol of a higher Existence descended into the material world in which it is possible for the lower to transfigure itself and put on the nature of the higher and the higher to reveal itself in the forms of the lower. To avoid the life which is given him for the realisation of that possibility, can never be either the indispensable condition or the whole and ultimate object of this supreme endeavour or of his most powerful means of self-fuffillment. It can only be a temporary necessity under certain conditions or a specialised extreme effort imposed on the individual so as to prepare a greater general possibility for the race. The true and full object and utility of Yoga can only be accomplished when the conscious Yoga in man becomes, like the subconscious Yoga in Nature, outwardly conterminous with life itself and we can once more, looking out both on the path and the achievement, say in a more perfect and luminous sense: “All life is Yoga.”

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 14, 2012, 10:43:20 PM
Endless Time-Rabindranath Tagore

Time is endless in thy hands, my lord.
There is none to count thy minutes.

Days and nights pass and ages bloom and fade like flowers.
Thou knowest how to wait.

Thy centuries follow each other perfecting a small wild flower.

We have no time to lose,
and having no time we must scramble for a chance.
We are too poor to be late
.

And thus it is that time goes by
while I give it to every querulous man who claims it,
and thine altar is empty of all offerings to the last
.

At the end of the day I hasten in fear lest thy gate be shut;
but I find that yet there is time.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 14, 2012, 11:25:11 PM
अनायासेन मरणं विनादैन्येन जीवनं ।
देहि मे कृपया शम्भो त्वयि भक्तिं अचन्चलं ॥


anAyAsEna maraNam vinAdainyEna jIvanam
dEhi mE krupayA shambhO tvayI bhaktim acancalam

a painless cessation, life without misery, please, grant me, shambhO, an unwavering love in Thou

anAyAsena - AyAsa means trouble, stress, fatigue etc. anAyAsa is the opposite of that. anAyAsena means without trouble, or pain;
maraNaM - death;
vinA dainyena - dainya is poverty. vinA means without. vinAdainyena is without poverty;
jIvanaM - life;

dehi me - grant to me;
kRupayA - out of compassion;
shambhO - addressing shambhU (shivA), literally shambhU means one who is always kind;
tvayi - in you;
bhaktim - devotion;
acanchalam - unwavering.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on October 14, 2012, 11:33:24 PM
Quote
"In fact, when a man turns his vision and energy inward and enters on the path of Yoga, he is popularly supposed to be lost inevitably to the great stream of our collective existence and the secular effort of humanity. So strongly has the idea prevailed, so much has it been emphasised by prevalent philosophies and religions that to escape from life is now commonly considered as not only the necessary condition, but the general object of Yoga. No synthesis of Yoga can be satisfying which does not, in its aim, reunite God and Nature in a liberated and perfected human life or, in its method, not only permit but favour the harmony of our inner and outer activities and experiences in the divine consummation of both."


The true and full object and utility of Yoga can only be accomplished when the conscious Yoga in man becomes, like the subconscious Yoga in Nature, outwardly conterminous with life itself and we can once more, looking out both on the path and the achievement, say in a more perfect and luminous sense: “All life is Yoga.”

Dear Sri Ravi,

Wonderful!!! And so,so true. I cannot agree more. My own experience is just in accordance with those words. All life Is yoga,and when i look back on my whole life,all was preparation for everything which is happening now,and everything was spiritually significant. And life is not different from spirituality,any yoga,they are not in war with eachother,but very interrelated,basically one and the same thing. Life is not complete without discrimination,introspection,any metod of yoga which will help us to understand our own nature and mind,to master them, to understand Universe and God,and any kind of yoga,or spiritual and human perfection,without life itself. We cannot run from any of them,only we can unite them,and live one aware,complete,undivided life. That is the whole man then.
I believe that is the purpose of our life anyway,and true meaning of the existence of this creation and life itself.

I adore Sri Aurobindo,His teachings and His exceptional way of expression He use!

Thank You Very much dear Sri Ravi!

With love and prayers..
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on October 14, 2012, 11:57:09 PM

अनायासेन मरणं विनादैन्येन जीवनं ।
देहि मे कृपया शम्भो त्वयि भक्तिं अचन्चलं ॥


anAyAsEna maraNam vinAdainyEna jIvanam
dEhi mE krupayA shambhO tvayI bhaktim acancalam

a painless cessation, life without misery, please, grant me, shambhO, an unwavering love in Thou

anAyAsena - AyAsa means trouble, stress, fatigue etc. anAyAsa is the opposite of that. anAyAsena means without trouble, or pain;
maraNaM - death;
vinA dainyena - dainya is poverty. vinA means without. vinAdainyena is without poverty;
jIvanaM - life;

dehi me - grant to me;
kRupayA - out of compassion;
shambhO - addressing shambhU (shivA), literally shambhU means one who is always kind;
tvayi - in you;
bhaktim - devotion;
acanchalam - unwavering.



Dear Sri Nagaraj,

Thank You Very much for detailed translation! It is a great and easy way to learn.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 15, 2012, 06:59:24 AM
Jewell,
"I adore Sri Aurobindo,His teachings and His exceptional way of expression He use! "

Absolutely,I too adore him.Whenver I read his works,there is this sense of vastness, beyond time.
It is said of the Great Russian Pianist Sviatoslav Richter(one of my favourites,especially his rendering of the Schubert sonata ,the last one(960))that the entire score of the composer is read by him at one Glance!When Richter plays,it is not the piecing together of bar after bar of music but the enunciation and expression of the Heart of the Music ;The entire musical landscape is seen and brought to the Grateful listener.
This is so typical of Sri Aurobindo in the spiritual domain.Truly a colossus.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 15, 2012, 07:47:50 AM
Friends,
An Excerpt from Sri Aurobindo:
"The touch of Earth is always reinvigorating to the son of Earth, even when he seeks a supraphysical Knowledge. It may even be said that the supraphysical can only be really mastered in its fullness ... when we keep our feet firmly on the physical. 'Earth is His footing', says the Upanishad whenever it images the Self that manifests in the universe.(Paadosya vishwa bhuthaani-Purusha suktam-ravi)"

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on October 15, 2012, 05:11:47 PM
Jewell,
"I adore Sri Aurobindo,His teachings and His exceptional way of expression He use! "

Absolutely,I too adore him.Whenver I read his works,there is this sense of vastness, beyond time.
It is said of the Great Russian Pianist Sviatoslav Richter(one of my favourites,especially his rendering of the Schubert sonata ,the last one(960))that the entire score of the composer is read by him at one Glance!When Richter plays,it is not the piecing together of bar after bar of music but the enunciation and expression of the Heart of the Music ;The entire musical landscape is seen and brought to the Grateful listener.
This is so typical of Sri Aurobindo in the spiritual domain.Truly a colossus.
Namaskar.

Dear Sri Ravi,

Yes,Sri Aurobindo is truly a spiritual Giant! Even,reading His works,and have some 'bond' with Him,i believe His presence can be felt. Those words have Truth and autority which cannot be denied. And like You said,somehow,they are taking us beyond this body-mind limits.

I just listened Schubert sonata from Sviatoslav Richer,and it is Wonderful! He is taking us in some other 'dimension',some softness and flowing,like all fragance of composers work is deeply felt. Magical. Music is indeed Divine. And when someone plays it with all his heart and soul,it can lift us beyond this world.

There lies Greatness.

With prayers and love..
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 16, 2012, 11:59:22 AM
udai,
Observe how the mind is seeking 'vote' to justify its pet ideas! :)
Read the entire article;I will be continuing that thread,which will cover 'utsaha' ,'Guru',and 'time'.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 16, 2012, 12:17:58 PM
Udai,
Sri Aurobindo is writing about 'The Four Aids'.He has talked about 'Sastra' in quite an explicit way,and he has also talked about how it is 'Best' to set it aside 'From The Beginning',if that can be done :)
We seem to be ignoring all that,and saying that 'He is suggesting' Shstras! :)
This 'Selective' operation is something which a mind does all the time;next it tries to justify this 'Finding' to others here. :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 16, 2012, 12:45:09 PM
udai,
The Problem is that when one thinks 'his watch' alone shows 'Right time' and all have to adjust their watch as per That! :)
If you find something useful,stick to that;You may also share that;but you cannot be 'Dogmatic' in saying that 'self-enquiry' is not possible without x,y or z.
How about the saying 'Sravana,Manana,Nidhidyasana' is not possible without A,B or C!This will lead to A,B and C is Not possible without D,E and F!

Eventually you will be left with the finding that nothing is possible without an 'I'.This is what sri Bhagavan is saying.Now See 'Who am I'? :)

These statements do not serve any purpose and just serve 'time pass',with someone trying to say 'Yes' and somebody else trying to say 'No' .It will keep keyboards clicking,and consume more Storage space.

All that Sri aurobindo is saying is that you may take up whatever you find useful,('including Yoga Vasishta'-your preference),but do not be bound by it.This is all.

Namaskar
 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 16, 2012, 01:03:59 PM
udai,
"For me its just what works and what does not"
This is your 'watch'!It need not work for others.This is what I am saying. :)
All your reasoning is all from your point of view only.
It need not be useful to 'others' who have already found something else useful ,which you may not see, understand or appreciate.
What 'did not' work for you may work for others! :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on October 16, 2012, 01:08:49 PM
Friends, Let us question, contemplate and argue on ideas and not people please...

Sanjay
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 16, 2012, 01:15:59 PM
friends,

i felt like highlighting, that Hindu philosophy school of thought of vEdAnta is primarily based on the prasthAna trayI, alone, as catagorised by vyAsa maharshi? or srI shankarA? (not sure who established this)

The include:

upanishads*
bhagavadgItA
brahma sUtrAs

Therefore, fortunately, our systems emphasizes in keeping exchange of views in order, other wise, it will only create confusion. What ever needs to be substantiated, basically, finally needs to find a confirmation from the prasthAna trayI. Moreover, there were said to be hundreds of upanishads, and srI shankarA, filtered only ten upanishads among them to be superior to all others. srI shankarA did so because, every other upanishads speak of some God or the other and in general even though they conveyed the same truth. But, srI shankarA felt, if truth needs to be conveyed to people, it needs a definitive system, and it is said so that he devised the prasthAna trayI.

*These ten Upanisads are listed in the following stanza for the names to be easily remembered.

Isa kEna kathA prasna munda mAndukya tittarI
aItarEyan ca chAndOgyAm bRuhadAranyakam dasah

Therefore, especially, when we are in a group discussion, when we are exchanging philosophical discussions, in order than everybody follows in a particular way, so that each can refer to the prashthAna trayI, for ones own confirmation, we may generally quote yOga vAsishtam, advaita bOdha dIpikA, tripura rahasyA, etc... but they do not form part of the prasthAna trayam, hence, to substantiate "vedA" - Truth, or Self, or knowledge, they do not satisfy the norms established by srI shankarA, even though they convey the same truth, they could potentially create confusion as well. Therefore, what ever we quote the best way to substantiate it is through quoting from prasthAna trayam.

The words of a realised guru are flawless, and there is no doubt what they express, would by default confirm to the prasthAna trayam.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 16, 2012, 01:21:04 PM
udai,
For you the 'reasoning' may be required to pull yourself back.
Another may feel the 'pull' of the Self and need not reason at all!
This is what Sri Ramakrishna says:
"One needs the fan to make the breeze. Similarly, one practises japa, austerity, and fasting, in order to acquire
love of God
. But the fan is set aside when the southern breeze blows of itself.
Such actions as japa and austerity drop away when one spontaneously feels love and
attachment for God."

This comes about through Satsangha,and sadhana proceeds spontaneously.
'self-enquiry' by sri Bhagavan is akin to this, has to reach this phase ,in order to gather momentum.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 16, 2012, 03:23:29 PM
udai,
What yoga Vasishta may be saying is applicable to the 'mind' that has not felt the pull of the 'Self'.Where is the question of 'conquering' the mind?
We have to go by our direct experience.Ultimately that overrules everyother thing,be it Yoga vAsishta! :)
The Onus is not on me to prove that saying in 'yOga vAsishta' :)

Does the man who has tasted the 'shade' of a tree ,need to be persuaded by 'Reasoning' not to stay in the Hot sun?The Answer is NO.This is FAULTLESS reasoning.
What you are referring to may be Plain 'Reasoning',and hence you perceive the Difference! :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 16, 2012, 03:33:34 PM
Udai,
Sri Ramakrishna says:
"There are innumerable pathways leading to the Ocean of Immortality. The essential thing
is to reach the Ocean. It doesn't matter which path you follow. Imagine that there is a
reservoir containing the Elixir of Immortality. You will be immortal if a few drops of the
Elixir somehow get into your mouth. You may get into the reservoir either by jumping into
it, or by being pushed into it from behind, or by slowly walking down the steps
. The effect
is one and the same. You will become immortal by tasting a drop of that Elixir."

One of the things about Sri Ramakrishna that I like (besides innumerable other aspects)is that his teachings are so free from the least vestige of 'dogmatism' or Rigidity.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 16, 2012, 03:44:06 PM
udai,
I have read Swami Sivananda's Stories from 'Yoga VAsishta' a long while ago;but I have heard some free wheeling talks on Yoga Vasishta from Master TGN.
I like it and do acknowledge that it is a very good text.
Yet,nothing like Home cooked food(for me ,it is sri Ramakrishna's teachings);we cannot be eating always in Restaurants,be it a Five Star one.
Namaskar.
P.S.:As Regards 'Reasoning' Please see what I have posted;It is a help on the way,but can be a retardant,if allowed past a certain stage.
As Sri Ramakrishna says:
Futility of reasoning
Sri Ramakrishna had said, "Mother, I won't listen to any more argument."
Narendra sang:
O Mother, make me mad with Thy love!
What need have I of knowledge or reason? . . .

Sri Ramakrishna said with a smile: "O Mother, make me mad! God cannot be realized
through knowledge and reasoning, through the arguments in the scriptures."

This is a sweeter way and for me,a Direct way,and much more effective.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 16, 2012, 04:04:18 PM
on my own experiences, i have found that reasoning extends till when we give up! beyond which, any reasoning has been of no use, even if it is great grand truth! i found that you'll get tired of reasoning.


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 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.


One extends all sorts of reasoning only to give-up eventually. Reasoning is carried out only to give up! Thereafter, God is the only resort!

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 16, 2012, 04:25:05 PM
What works for each of you, is fine :)

Each person's past, who knows what all mysteries are there? what all sAdhnA's we have all already done, we do not know, now. One may have already done reasoning, one may already have done the chitta shudDhi through various worships, one may have already done vichArA, we don't know. The greatness of sanAtana dharmA is there is really no rule, yet there is a strong rule, i don't know how to put it :) so, its wise to conclude, we don't know! is my view. But, what i feel is to be known is the circumstance in which we are today, where we are, that svadharmA we have to follow, along with our studies. I believe our birth determines where we left off in our past, to carry on from where!

Socratus once said, all that i know is I don't know!

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 16, 2012, 04:41:25 PM
Nagaraj/Udai/Friends,
Yes,all points are valid;The Best of Food may be served but what we can eat,what we 'like' and what we can.

This is how Sri Ramakrishna puts it:

(To the pundit) "Please don't say anything to Mani Mallick. You must know that there are
different tastes. There are also different powers of digestion. God has made different
religions and creeds to suit different aspirants. By no means all are fit for the Knowledge of
Brahman. Therefore the worship of God with form has been provided.

"The mother brings home a fish for her children. She curries part of the fish, part she fries,
and with another part she makes pilau. By no means all can digest the pilau. So she makes
fish soup for those who have weak stomachs. Further, some want pickled or fried fish.
There are different temperaments. There are differences in the capacity to comprehend."

I Request Udai to continue focussing on The Bhagavat Gita-In my view ,there is no other work that encompasses all these divergent views into a fine Sythesis ,the way Lord Sri Krishna has so wonderfully spoken in this Great work.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on October 17, 2012, 12:23:52 AM
Dear Sri Ravi,

I am so happy to see that You have opened new thread,Sri Aurobindo-The Four Aids. I will certainly enjoy reading it! There is much to learn from it.

Thank You Very much!

With prayers and love...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 17, 2012, 08:32:42 AM
Jewell,
Yes,the Chapter 'Four Aids' from The synthesis of Yoga is a wonderful guide for one and all,whtever be his/her approach to sadhana.Sri Aurobindos has superbly covered everything here.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 17, 2012, 08:34:23 AM
Nagaraj,
Delighted to see your gems from Srimad Bhagavatham.Thanks very much.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 17, 2012, 02:23:55 PM
Sri Ravi,

This following quote of Sri Aurobindo is everything put together. One-stop-shop knowledge! thank you.

"When the human ego realises that its will is a tool, its wisdom ignorance and childishness, its power an infant's groping, its virtue a pretentious impurity, and learns to trust itself to that which transcends it, that is its salvation. The apparent freedom and self-assertion of our personal being to which we are so profoundly attached, conceal a most pitiable subjection to a thousand suggestions, impulsions, forces which we have made extraneous to our little person. Our ego, boasting of freedom, is at every moment the slave, toy and puppet of countless beings, powers, forces, influences in universal Nature. The self-abnegation of the ego in the Divine is its self-fulfillment; its surrender to that which transcends it is its liberation from bonds and limits and its perfect freedom."

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on October 17, 2012, 06:56:30 PM
Dear Sri Ravi, The post from Sri Aurobindo,which You posted this morning is very important and true for me. We must be very careful with ego,and need to recognize it every time. It can hide in so clever,and subtle ways,using any chance to 'survive'. How many times i saw that through my own example! That,when i see it,i get shocked in that moment. And,it is true that we are open for many influencess then,mostly for many half-truths. Thats way i find Sri Aurobindo's "Intermediate zone" very usefull,and very good reminder. Now and then i read it,just to remind my self. Thank You Very much Sir!! With love and prayers..
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 17, 2012, 07:47:08 PM
Nagaraj,
Yes,the passage that you have highlighted clearly warns about the subtle ways of the Ego;the worst that may happen is when someone declares himself as 'Avatar'!
An attitude of Humility, openness ,and receptivity to the Divine through childlike devotion help us to steer clear of the muddle.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 17, 2012, 07:52:18 PM
Jewell,
Indeed!You seem to be pretty familiar with Sri Aurobindo's Letters on Yoga!Yes,'The Intermediate Zone' is one fraught with dangers,and the seeker can steer clear if the devotion (what sri aurobindo calls as the Psychic being,chaitaya purusha)is brought to bear on the Physical,Vital and mental planes of our being.
Thanks very much.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on October 17, 2012, 08:14:34 PM
Dear Sri Ravi, Yes,i have read many writings of Sri Aurobindo. Not everything sure,coz many i couldnt understand at first,and some i didnt need at that moment,i guess. But,on that one particulary,i came across long ago,and i try to keep it fresh,and remember it from time to time. In 'Letters' i found many things very useful for sadhana in general. Coz it covers every aspect of mind. Real Treasure! With love and prayers...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 17, 2012, 08:50:29 PM
Nagaraj/Friends,
I am not familiar with what Sri Gundappa has said regarding the Gita,but from the Introduction by Prof Sharma,I infer that it is more as a Practical guide and inspiration for day to day living within the Socio,Economical Structure,with a humane and philantrophic element,and a harmonious living as the aim.May be there are other aspects and It is not presented in the introduction.

I am presenting an Excerpt from Sri Aurobindo's Essays on Gita here;I will remove this post from this section and move it to the 'Rough Note Book' thread subsequently;at the moment,thought that this would present a perfect backdrop to post this excerpt:

Excerpt from The Essays on The Gita-Sri Aurobindo:

"At the present day, since in fact the modern mind began to recognise and deal at all with the Gita, the tendency is to
subordinate its elements of knowledge and devotion, to take advantage of its continual insistence on action and to find in it
a scripture of the Karmayoga, a Light leading us on the path of action, a Gospel of Works. Undoubtedly, the Gita is a Gospel
of Works, but of works which culminate in knowledge, that is, in spiritual realisation and quietude, and of works motived by
devotion, that is, a conscious surrender of one’s whole self first into the hands and then into the being of the Supreme, and not
at all of works as they are understood by the modern mind, not at all an action dictated by egoistic and altruistic, by personal,
social, humanitarian motives, principles, ideals. Yet this is what present-day interpretations seek to make of the Gita.We are told
continually by many authoritative voices that the Gita, opposing in this the ordinary ascetic and quietistic tendency of Indian
thought and spirituality, proclaims with no uncertain sound the gospel of human action, the ideal of disinterested performance
of social duties, nay, even, it would seem, the quite modern ideal of social service. To all this I can only reply that very
patently and even on the very surface of it the Gita does nothing of the kind and that this is a modern misreading, a reading
of the modern mind into an ancient book, of the present-day European or Europeanised intellect into a thoroughly antique,
a thoroughly Oriental and Indian teaching. That which the Gita teaches is not a human, but a divine action; not the performance
of social duties, but the abandonment of all other standards of duty or conduct for a selfless performance of the divine will
working through our nature; not social service, but the action of the Best, the God-possessed, the Master-men done impersonally
for the sake of the world and as a sacrifice to Him who stands behind man and Nature.

In other words, the Gita is not a book of practical ethics, but of the spiritual life. The modern mind is just now the European
mind, such as it has become after having abandoned not only the philosophic idealism of the highest Graeco-Roman culture from
which it started, but the Christian devotionalism of the Middle Ages; these it has replaced by or transmuted into a practical
idealism and social, patriotic and philanthropic devotion. It has got rid of God or kept Him only for Sunday use and erected in
His place man as its deity and society as its visible idol. At its best it is practical, ethical, social, pragmatic, altruistic, humanitarian.
Now all these things are good, are especially needed at the present day, are part of the divine Will or they would
not have become so dominant in humanity. Nor is there any reason why the divine man, the man who lives in the Brahmic
consciousness, in the God-being should not be all of these things in his action; he will be, if they are the best ideal of the age, the
Yugadharma, and there is no yet higher ideal to be established, no great radical change to be effected. For he is, as the Teacher
points out to his disciple, the best who has to set the standard for others; and in fact Arjuna is called upon to live according to
the highest ideals of his age and the prevailing culture, but with
knowledge, with understanding of that which lay behind, and not as ordinary men, with a following of the merely outward
law and rule.

But the point here is that the modern mind has exiled from its practical motive-power the two essential things, God or the
Eternal and spirituality or the God-state, which are the master conceptions of the Gita. It lives in humanity only, and the Gita
would have us live in God, though for the world in God; in its life, heart and intellect only, and the Gita would have us live in
the spirit; in the mutable Being who is “all creatures”, and the Gita would have us live also in the Immutable and the Supreme;
in the changing march of Time, and the Gita would have us live in the Eternal. Or if these higher things are now beginning
to be vaguely envisaged, it is only to make them subservient to man and society; but God and spirituality exist in their own
right and not as adjuncts. And in practice the lower in us must learn to exist for the higher, in order that the higher also may in
us consciously exist for the lower, to draw it nearer to its own altitudes".

Namaskar
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 17, 2012, 08:51:48 PM
Jewell,
Yes,The Letters on Yoga is a very valuable resource.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 18, 2012, 04:06:40 PM
Quote
One can behold Her incomparable beauty through feeling and love.

Sri Ravi, This is one of the easiest way to get to see the Supreme God or the Self. It is only the wrong notion or idea that experience of Self is superior to this, is the real stepping stone!

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 18, 2012, 07:53:28 PM
Nagaraj,
Yes Friend.I absolutely agree with what you have said.Elsewhere the Master says in The Gospel,in this excerpt:

Surrender to the Divine Mother

MASTER: "Who can ever know God? I don't even try. I only call on Him as Mother. Let
Mother do whatever She likes. I shall know Her if it is Her will; but I shall be happy to
remain ignorant if She wills otherwise
. My nature is that of a kitten. It only cries, 'Mew,
mew!' The rest it leaves to its mother. The mother cat puts the kitten sometimes in the
kitchen and sometimes on the master's bed. The young child wants only his mother. He
doesn't know how wealthy his mother is, and he doesn't even want to know.
He knows
only, 'I have a mother; why should I worry?' Even the child of the maidservant knows that
he has a mother. If he quarrels with the son of the master, he says: 'I shall tell my mother
. I
have a mother.' My attitude, too, is that of a child."


Again he says:"God is your own Mother. Enforce your demand. If you are part of a thing, you feel its
attraction. Because of the element of the Divine Mother in me I feel attracted to Her."

The Master gives us this wonderful way of sadhana that is easy and sweet:

"I used to go into samadhi uttering the word 'Ma'. While repeating
the word I would draw the Mother of the Universe to me, as it were, like the fishermen
casting their net and after a while drawing it in. When they draw in the net they find big
fish inside it
."

Whoever had heard Sri Ramakrishna uttering 'ma' were transfixed by the sweetness and intimacy in the call.
This is a mantra that everyone can chant and requires no initiation!
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 20, 2012, 02:52:13 PM
Sri Ravi,

i just posted a small story in the Stories thread. Kindly let me know if it is better we have it elsewhere, or it is ok as it sis, as it appears in between a continuity of story posted by you. thank you.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 20, 2012, 03:07:41 PM
Nagaraj,
Wonderful parable that you have posted.If you think that it may belong to the thread -Sankaracharya teachings,you may think of moving it there.
It makes me think of the Flute;Because it is light and hollow it has earned the unique place of being held by hand and kissed by the Sacred lips of lord Sri Krishna;The melody that it emits is that of the Divine.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 20, 2012, 09:45:09 PM
udai,
Here is the synopsis of Ashtavakra Gita chapterwise;I have not read this work.I am not expecting any big surprise here though!
Chapter 1: It all starts when King Janaka asks the sage Ashtavakra how he
can attain Knowledge, detachment, liberation. Ashtavakra tells him.
Chapter 2: It works! Upon hearing Ashtavakra’s words Janaka realizes his
True Nature. Enraptured, he describes the joy and wonder of his new state.
Chapter 3: Ashtavakra is delighted for Janaka but sees inconsistencies. He
fires off a series of confrontational verses about attachment to worldly pleasure.
Chapter 4: Janaka asserts that the Lord of the Universe can do as he
pleases.
Chapter 5: Ashtavakra does not disagree, but in a terse four verses points
to the next step—dissolution.
Chapter 6: Janaka says “I know that already,” matching him in style and
number of verses.
Chapter 7: Unable to leave it at that, however, Janaka goes on to further
describe his enlightened state.
Chapter 8: Still hearing too much “I” in Janaka’s language, Ashtavakra
instructs him in the subtleties of attachment and bondage.
Chapter 9: Ashtavakra continues to describe the way of true detachment.
Chapter 10: Ashtavakra hammers away at the folly of desire—no matter
how elevated or subtle.
Chapter 11: Ashtavakra further describes the state of desirelessness to
which he points.
Chapter 12: Janaka replies by describing the state of timeless stillness in
which he now finds himself
.
Chapter 13: Janaka, having been instructed by Ashtavakra in Chapter One
to “be happy,” reports that he indeed is.
Chapter 14: Janaka then summarizes his exalted state with calm
indifference.
Chapter 15: Impressed but not through teaching, Ashtavakra relentlessly
points to the vast emptiness of Self
.
Chapter 16: Ashtavakra attacks the futility of effort and knowing.
Chapter 17: Ashtavakra describes the nature of one who is truly free.
Chapter 18: Finally, Ashtavakra hits him with everything he’s got—100
verses of pure non-duality. If this doesn’t do it, nothing will.
Chapter 19: It works! Janaka no longer describes his enlightened state, but
can speak only in questions revealing absence
.
Chapter 20: In a final flurry of questions pointing only at their own
meaninglessness, Janaka burns off the last vestiges of personhood and enters
dissolution. He ends with: “No more can be said.”Ashtavakra smiles, nods approvingly, and says no more.

We have been discussing exactly this!
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 20, 2012, 11:38:34 PM
Udai,
You may have written about ashtAvakra gita all your life;Yet I find that your translation of this verse is not clearly bringing out the simple Truth. :)

Quote
na shaantam labhyate muudho yathaH shamitum ichathi |
dhiras tattva vinishcitya sarvada shaantamanasaH ||

"the fool desires peace through control of mind and so does not attain it. The wise knows the truth [tattva vinishcitya] ever remains with a satisfied mind"

The word  'Mooda' is not to be translated as Fool.I find this word in Bhaja Govindam as well translated as 'Fool'.No,this is entirely wrong.

'Mooda'  means cover or Lid;in tamizh also the word 'moodi' means lid.One whose Self is 'covered' as it were by the mind is called 'Mooda Madhi'.In English also the word 'Mood' means that which covers your True Being,like we say 'I am not in Good Mood' or 'I am in Good Mood'.

Likewise what this verse is saying is :
one whose mind is Tinged with Desire,is covered with that 'Mood' and as such does not Gain(labyate)or attain to peace.
The Firm one(free of this 'mood') who is sure of Truth is forever serene in mind.

In other words,when all coverings are removed,The Mind is the same as Self;Mind shorn of upadhis is Self.

It is not a case of 'Fool vs Wiseman' :)

Namaskar.


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 21, 2012, 06:32:24 AM
udai/Friends,
Quote
"If Ashtavakra Gita is properly understood ... we do not need so many scriptures. "

Everyone tends to say the same thing about what one appreciates Best. :) This is quite okay.

"Books are useless to us until our own book opens; then all other books are good so far as they confirm our book"-Swami Vivekananda


Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 21, 2012, 07:18:02 AM
udai,
"Ashtavakra Gita can lead us to direct liberation and liberated living... Moksha. Who can take this challenge ? No one is ready to take it. Thats the sad part. "

Who is feeling sad? :)

Please understand that I have nothing against what you cherish.All I am questioning if this is 'Enlightenment'.If one is truly liberated ,one will not be expressing like this.

You may refer to today's post in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna in this Forum if you wish to.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 21, 2012, 09:40:54 AM
Sri Ravi,

'Mooda'  means cover or Lid;in tamizh also the word 'moodi' means lid.One whose Self is 'covered' as it were by the mind is called 'Mooda Madhi'.In English also the word 'Mood' means that which covers your True Being,like we say 'I am not in Good Mood' or 'I am in Good Mood'.

This is a wonderful discernment, i have pondered over a long time, why AcAryA used words such as mooDah, it just does not fit his personality, who is himself an ocean of compassion! thank you, this was nice and new!

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 21, 2012, 11:25:47 AM
Nagaraj,
'moodah Madhi'-Master TGN gave this wonderful pointer and explanation.Sri kAnchi MahaswAmi also has given this insight somewhere in 'Deivathin Kural'.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 21, 2012, 04:30:30 PM
Udai,
I have nothing at all to do with your findings.I have not said anything against AshtAvakra Gita;I have only pointed out that the usage of the word 'Fool' is wrong.
For no jnAna scripture emphasizes the Reality of the 'Ego' be it that of the 'Fool'.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 07:30:52 AM
Friends,
Here is a small compendium on 'Faith' as found in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

1."As is a man's meditation, so is his feeling of love;
As is a man's feeling of love, so is his gain;
And faith is the root of all.
If in the Nectar Lake of Mother Kali's feet
My mind remains immersed,
Of little use are worship, oblations, or sacrifice".

2.Redeeming power of faith

"One should have such burning faith in God that one can say: 'What? I have repeated the
name of God, and can sin still cling to me? How can I be a sinner any more? How can I be
in bondage any more
?'
"If a man repeats the name of God, his body, mind, and everything become pure. Why
should one talk only about sin and hell, and such things? Say but once, 'O Lord, I have
undoubtedly done wicked things, but I won't repeat them.' And have faith in His name."

3."The jnanis follow the path of discrimination. Sometimes it happens that, discriminating
between the Real and the unreal, a man loses his faith in the existence of God. But a
devotee who sincerely yearns for God does not give up his meditation even though he is
invaded by atheistic ideas
. A man whose father and. grandfather have been farmers
continues his farming even though he doesn't get any crop in a year of drought
."

4.The Master continued: "Faith! Faith! Faith! Once a guru said to his pupil, 'Rama alone has
become everything.' When a dog began to eat the pupil's bread, he said to it: 'O Rama, wait
a little. I shall butter Your bread.' Such was his faith in the words of his guru.

5.MASTER (to Ishan): "Please tell us the story of the boy who posted the letter."
ISHAN (with a smile): "A boy once heard that God is our Creator. So he wrote a letter to
God, setting forth his prayers, and posted it. The address he put on the envelope was
'Heaven'."
MASTER (with a smile): "Did you hear that story? One succeeds in spiritual life when one
develops a faith like that boy's.
"

6.MASTER: "It is Satchidananda that comes to us in the form of the guru. If a man is
initiated by a human guru, he will not achieve anything if he regards his guru as a mere
man. The guru should be regarded as the direct manifestation of God. Only then can the
disciple have faith in the mantra given by the guru. Once a man has faith he, achieves all
.
The sudra Ekalavya learnt archery in the forest before a clay image of Drona; He
worshipped the image as the living Drona; that by itself enabled him to attain mastery in
archery."

7.MASTER: "God can be realized by true faith alone. And the realization is hastened if you
believe everything about God
. The cow that picks and chooses its food gives milk only in
dribblets, but if she eats all kinds of plants, then her milk flows in torrents".

8."It is written in the books of the Vaishnavas: 'God can be attained through faith alone;
reasoning pushes Him far away.' Faith alone
!

9.He went on: "Mother, one needs faith. Away with this wretched reasoning! Let it be
blighted! One needs faith-faith in the words of the guru, childlike faith. The mother says to
her child, 'A ghost lives there'; and the child is firmly convinced that the ghost is there.
Again, the mother says to the child, 'A holy man is there', and the child is sure of it
. Further,
the mother says, pointing to a man, 'He is your elder brother', and the child believes that the
man is one hundred and twenty-five per cent his brother. One needs faith. But why should I
blame them, Mother? What can they do? It is necessary to go through reasoning once.
Didn't You see how much I told him about it the other day? But it all proved useless."

10."How can a devotee attain such love? First, the company of holy men. That awakens
śraddhā, faith in God. Then comes nishtha, single-minded devotion to the Ideal. In that
stage the devotee does not like to hear anything but talk about God. He performs only those
acts that please God. After nishtha comes bhakti, devotion to God; then comes bhava. Next
mahabhava, then prema, and last of all the attainment of God Himself.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on October 27, 2012, 09:20:30 AM
Since Yoga Vasishtha and Ashtavakara Gita are being mentioned here ,I am sharing a small info about the same from Swami Krishnananda , Divine Life Society
http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/foundations/foun_5a.html

Even a book like Yoga Vasishtha, which comes under the Agama section, was kept secretively by Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. He would not allow that book to be in the library. There was an abridged edition called the Laghu Yoga Vasishtha, translated into English by Narayanaswamy Iyengar, which Gurudev read many times and underlined sentences in red pencil, but he removed the book from the library saying that it is not to be read by everyone.

The Ashtavakra Gita was a favourite text of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, but if anybody came near, he would thrust it under the bed so that people may not know that it was there. The Ashtavakra Gita, Avadhuta Gita, Yoga Vasishtha and Tripurarahasya are all Agama Sastras because they tell us something which nobody will tell us and nobody is expected to tell us.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on October 27, 2012, 09:30:05 AM
Another link with regard to Ashtavakara Gita and Sri Rama Krishna Paramahamsa


From
Commentaries of Rajasevasakta V. Subrahmanya Iyer Vol-1
From the posthumous collections of Paul Brunton
Edited by Mark Scorelle, 1999

Page 204


RAMAKRISHNA practiced meditation with yogis, and he said that all these were progressive
steps and did not condemn them. Yet with Vivekananda he taught that religion and yoga were
not the end, for they can never directly lead to Brahma-gnana.
Teachings other than Vedanta are for beginners only. There are stages in comprehending truth.
Hence Sri Ramakrishna taught Vedanta--the highest truth--only to Vivekananda. All his other
disciples were taught Yoga, mysticism or theology. He kept a Vedanta treatise (Ashtavakra Gita)
hidden under his pillow when others came to talk, but when he was alone with Vivekananda he
brought the book out and taught him from it.


Note all the above book plus other books of V Subramanya Iyer are available for free download as ebooks from the following site :
http://wisdomsgoldenrod.org/publications/
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on October 27, 2012, 09:46:13 AM
Some info on V Subramanya Iyer and his connections with the Ramakrishna Mission

http://www.srkmys.org/earlydays.html
In 1932 the Maharaja of Mysore made a grant to start a Vedanta college for the mission Swamijis, to be conducted primarily by Sri V Subrahmanya Iyer, retired register of the Mysore University and tutor to the Maharaja. The arrangement was that groups of five or six Swamijis would study Vedantic scriptures one after months. And for this a new building was built with the help of the Maharaja. Sri Subramanya Iyer was a good Scholar, knew Sanskrit well,and was well trained in scientific thought and Western Philosophy.

He was also endowed with a critical mind. Hearings of Sri Iyer's scholarship Swami Nikhilanandaji was the first to come to Mysore. He spent almost a year with Sri Iyer discussing Vedanta as a scientific philosophy Nikhilanandaji later became the head of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center in New--York, where he edited and published the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna in English. Then came Swami Madhavanandaji, who later became the General Secretary and then the president of the order. He was then translating Shankara's commentary on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. He used to discuss it with Sri Subramanya Iyer. These were the earliest people who came informally to study Vedanta. But from 1932 on wards,Belur math started sending to Mysore three or four sadhus every year, to study under Sri Subramanya Iyer. Among those who came in the first batch was Swami Bhuteshanandaji, the previous President of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, who passed away just a year and a half back; and swami Vimuktanandaji, Whose Pre monastic name was Upen Maharaj and who was then in charge of the college at Belur Math. The classes used to be held in the library. In the meantime, a lawyer friend by name Rangachar donated his house situated near the Ashrama in Vontikoppal itself.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 10:02:25 AM
Atmavichar/Friends,
Good References,but none of it is better than what is there in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna and what 'M'(a Householder disciple himself!)has said about this.This will give a clear Rational view as to why sri Ramakrishna dissuaded householders(almost 99.99 percent,including the monks belong to this category now!)from Reading the AshtAvakra Gita.I will post a few such references in a couple of posts:

Chapter 13
THE MASTER AND M.
August 19, 1883
IT WAS SUNDAY, the first day after the full moon. Sri Ramakrishna was resting after his
noon meal. The midday offering had been made in the temples, and the temple doors were
closed.
In the early afternoon the Master sat up on the small couch in his room. M. prostrated
himself before him and sat on the floor. The Master was talking to him on the philosophy
of Vedanta.
Householders and Non-dualism
MASTER (to M.): "Self-Knowledge is discussed in the Ashtavakra Samhita. The nondualists
say, 'Soham', that is, 'I am the Supreme Self.' This is the view of the sannyasis of
the Vedantic school. But this is not the right attitude for householders, who are conscious of
doing everything themselves. That being so, how can they declare, 'I am That, the
actionless Supreme Self'?
According to the non-dualists the Self is unattached. Good and
bad, virtue and vice, and the other pairs of opposites, cannot in any way injure the Self,
though they undoubtedly afflict those who have identified themselves with their bodies.
Smoke soils the wall, certainly, but it cannot in any way affect akasa, space. Following the
Vedantists of this class, Krishnakishore used to say, 'I am Kha', meaning akasa. Being a
great devotee, he could say that with some justification; but it is not becoming for others to
do so.

"But to feel that one is a free soul is very good. By constantly repeating, 'I am free, I am
free', a man verily becomes free. On the other hand, by constantly repeating, 'I am bound, I
am bound', he certainly becomes bound to worldliness. The fool who says only, 'I am a
sinner, I am a sinner', verily drowns himself in worldliness. One should rather say: I have
chanted the name of God. How can I be a sinner? How can I be bound?
'

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 10:39:58 AM
Atmavichar/Friends,
What is the implication of 'Smoke soiling the Walls'?Sri Ramakrishna is inimitable in giving graphic Descriptions.We will say it presently.
Continuing on Householders and Nondualism,from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Sri Ramakrishna took leave of the host. It was evening and the street was jammed as
before with people and vehicles. He said: "Let us get out of the carriage. It can go by a back
street." Proceeding on foot, he found that a betel-leaf seller had opened his stall in front of a
small room that looked like a hole. One could not possibly enter it without bending one's
head
. The Master said: "How painful it is to be shut in such a small space! That is the way
of worldly people. And they are happy in such a life."


We need to clearly understand this 'I' and 'Mine' of the worldly people(all those who are dependant on the world,and are serving some organization or individual for their livelihood or support!-Ravi)is like.How it shrinks and limits!
continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 02:12:10 PM
udai,
I am covering this topic based on the facts available to us,as Sri Ramakrishna himself has said it.I have first hand knowledge of what this means,but I cannot be pitching it as an arguement,nor do I wish to.We will simply stick to what is available ,as Sri Ramakrishna has explained.I will be covering this in my posts.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on October 27, 2012, 02:33:15 PM
Dear Ravi ji,
      :) Whats so secretive about Ashtavakra Gita / Yoga Vasishta ?
They contain the essence of Vedantic teaching. Ramana taught even
Ribhu Gita and suggested that people should listen to it.

I have not come across a single situation where Ramana forbade anyone
from studying Ribhu Gita/YV/AG.

As for Sri Ramakrishna, we may have to carefully see why he did it?
There is no way to know.

Tushnim

I am also surprised by the same . Even among Conventional Advaita Teachers ,I hardly find anyone talking about these texts and they confine only to BG , the 10 Classical Upanishads and some Texts of Adi Shankara like Viveka Choodmani , and other minor texts but AG,YV ,RG etc are never talked about or studied in depth . Is it because these texts focus directly on 'I" instead of discussing all 3 i.e Jiva ,Jagat ,Ishwara etc .I am saying this because in one of the talks of Swami Paramarthananda ( I think on his talk on Bhagwan Ramana's  Sat Darshanam ) he said the difference between Bhagwan Ramana's Texts and other regular Advaitic Texts is that Bhagwan focus only on the "I" aspect and does not talk much about Jagat or Ishwara like Other Vedantic Texts . No wonder Bhagwan recommends people to read AG,YV,UG but does not talk about reading Bhagavad Gita , Upanishads etc . This is just my guess . What is your opinion on the same since you have read well the Classical Adviata Texts .
Note : AG - Ashtavakara Gita , RG- Ribhu Gita , YV- Yoga Vashishta
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 02:35:58 PM
Friends,
Sri Ramakrishna recommended reading of the Ashtavakra Gita to Master MahAsya,a householder disciple!V.Subramanya Iyer just does not get his facts correct,as most of what he had said about Sri Ramakrishna might have been Hearsay!It is only much later that The gospel of Sri Ramakrishna was translated into English by Swami NikhilAnanda and Subramanya Iyer may not have got to read it.
We need to understand that 'M' was a Devotee of the Formless aspect of God right from the Beginning and not just that,he was a very highly evolved soul,about whom Sri Ramakrishna had spoken so highly:

Quote
"He is a deep soul like the Falgu river, he has real spirituality within."

"Your bhava is that of Prahlada — ‘I am That’ and ‘I am God’s servant.

"The Master (M.) is very pure."

"He has no pride."

"You are my own, of the same class substance like father and son."

"You are the inner as well as the outer pillar of Nata Mandir."

Such is the background of Master Mahasaya,the writer of Kathamrita(The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna).We will next see what Master Mahasya says on that passage from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on October 27, 2012, 02:45:01 PM
Quote from Sri Ravi:
“We need to clearly understand this 'I' and 'Mine' of the worldly people(all those who are dependant on the world,and are serving some organization or individual for their livelihood or support!-Ravi)is like.How it shrinks and limits!”

Dear Sri Ravi,

Ji. Yes. This is a very important suggestion even for those who practice Atma-Vichara. Sometimes, I tried to understand the ‘I’ and ‘mine’ of my office colleagues when I had no immediate works or assignment at hand. I wish to say that to my wonder, this little pass-time practice helped me apprehend the ego to some extent. If one is keen, one can sense and even discern how it shrinks and limits.

Therefore, ji, yes, in my view, this is indeed an important suggestion for devotees at large.

Thanks very much, sir.
Pranam,
 Anil     


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 03:01:44 PM
Friends,
Such is Master Mahasaya,a truly Great soul and a jnAni and Bhakta rolled in one,like PrahlAda as Sri Ramakrishna said!We will now refer to the sequel to The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-This is a 16 Volume compendium of M's talks, by his Devotee and Long time companion(M never accepted anyone as a Disciple),Called Sri Ma Darshan
in Bengali,which has been translated into English as M,The Apostle and Evangelist.This is based on The Diary that Jagabandhu(who later became Swami NityAtmAnandA)kept of the day to day talks by M(as Trained by 'M' along the lines of the famous KathAmritA).

In volume 8,Chapter 18 'Smoke cannot Pollute the Sky',M talks about that passage from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

It is about 9 p.m. Outside there is moonlight spreading all over the sky. Next day it is a full moon day. To M.’s left a lighted lantern is lying on the high bench. M. goes inside and brings the Kathamrita. Says he, ‘Let there be some reading from the Kathamrita.’ With these words he hands over to Jagabandhu the first volume of the Kathamrita, having opened it at Khanda VII - 19 August 1883; Present M., Adhar Sen, Balaram, Narendra, the Captain and others. The fourth section has been read. Everything is still. M. begins to talk now.

M. (to the Elder Jiten) — They say that one may go even uninvited to a place where God is being talked about. This is for one’s own benefit, one feels blessed. Thakur used to go to Keshab Sen to talk and hear about God. The Captain did not like it. He used to say that Keshab Sen was a defiled individual, not a sadhu. Hearing this Thakur immediately retorted and silenced the Captain. Said he, ‘You can go to the Laat Sahib (the Governor) for money, there is nothing wrong in that. And I go to Keshab to talk of God because he meditates on God, repeats His name. This is what is needed wherever the name of God is meditated upon, sang or discussed, it is a place to visit without any hesitation - even though the worldly people may not like it.

M. (to the bhaktas) — Thakur asked a bhakta (M.) to read the Ashtavakra-Samhita. But the bhakta was inclined towards pure devotion. He also wanted jnana. Bhakti and jnana in one. That day Thakur himself refers to the Ashtavakra-Sanhita and removed all doubts said he, ‘Both knowledge and devotion can co-exist in one person. Krishna Kishore used to repeat God’s name. He who has the knot of his mind untied can practise jnana though he may be a bhakta.’ For the ordinary devotee he prescribed the yoga of bhakti. Jnana yoga does not suit the householder, for whom it is bhakti yoga. How beautifully he combined both the aspects. Said he, ‘Smoke can soil a wall but it do nothing to the sky.

The Reader — What does it mean ?

M. — Ordinary householder has a small mind - it is bound from all sides. It is concerned with himself, son, daughter, near ones and so on. Jnana yoga will be harmful to him, like smoke soiling the wall. But ideas like ‘I am Brahman,’ or ‘I am That’ cannot harm the spiritually high who has his mind absorbed in the Lord even though he may be living as a householder. For example Krishna Kishore and the Pandavas. He said, ‘Prahlad had both bhakti and jnana. Just as a competent sannyasi can practise both jnana yoga and bhakti yoga together, similarly the competent bhaktas can also practise bhakti yoga and jnana yoga together. If his bhakti can break the knot so can jnana. The yogis are both bhaktas as well as jnanis.

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 06:01:19 PM
Atma vichar/Friends,
Towards the end of Chapter 35 in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,we find the conversation between Sri Ramakrishna and 'M' regarding the jnAna and Bhakti coexistence in PrahalAda.Here 'M' is hiding himself,by referring to himself anonymously as 'A Devotee'!
Here is the Excerpt:

A DEVOTEE: "Sir, can one know God's attributes through the intellect?"[/i]

MASTER: "Certainly not by this ordinary intellect. Can one know God so easily? One must
practise sadhana. One must also adopt a particular attitude toward God, for instance, the
attitude of a servant toward his master. The rishis of old had the attitude of santa. Do you
know the attitude of the jnanis? It is to meditate on one's own Self. (To a devotee, with a
smile) What is your attitude?"


The devotee gave no answer.

MASTER (smiling): "You have two attitudes: you meditate on your own Self and also
cherish toward God the attitude of a servant. Am I not right?"


DEVOTEE (hesïtating and smiling): "Yes, sir."

MASTER (smiling): "You see, as Hazra says, I can read people's thoughts.
"One can maintain those two attitudes only at a very advanced stage. Prahlada maintained
them. But one must work hard in order to practise this ideal
.

"Let me give an illustration. Suppose a man is grasping the thorny branch of a plum-tree.
His hand bleeds profusely; but he says, 'There is nothing the matter with me; I am not hurt.'
If you ask him about his wound, he will say, 'It's all right; I am quite well.' Now is there any
meaning in the mere utterance of these words? One must practise discipline in keeping with
this ideal
."

The devotees were giving their whole attention to what the Master was saying.

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 06:38:14 PM
Anil,
Yes,thanks very much.The sense of 'I' and 'Mine' and its limitations and Shrinking is wonderfully brought out in thAyumAnavar's paripooranAnandam verse 7:

அந்தகா ரத்தையோர் அகமாக்கி மின்போல்என்
      அறிவைச் சுருக்கினவரார்
    அவ்வறிவு தானுமே பற்றினது பற்றாய்
      அழுந்தவுந் தலைமீதிலே
சொந்தமா யெழுதப் படித்தார் மெய்ஞ்ஞான
      சுகநிட்டை சேராமலே
   சோற்றுத் துருத்தியைச் சதமெனவும் உண்டுண்டு
      தூங்கவைத் தவரார்கொலொ
தந்தைதாய் முதலான அகிலப்ர பஞ்சந்
      தனைத்தந்த தெனதாசையோ
   தன்னையே நோவனொ பிறரையே நோவனோ
      தற்கால மதைநோவனோ
பந்தமா னதுதந்த வினையையே நோவனோ
      பரமார்த்தம் ஏதுமறியேன்
    பார்க்குமிடமெங்குமொரு நீக்கமற நிறைகின்ற
       பரிபூர ணானந்தமே.

Who was it that converted my heart
Into a chamber of darkness
And then shrink my consciousness
Into a tiny spark
And attaching( identifying )with that consciousness ,as attachment
Who was it that decreed that
As the writing of fate on my head?
Who was it that
Without caring for attainment of Jnana-Bliss-Trance
Made me believe in the permanency of the body bag
And so to indulge in eating and sleeping?

Was it my desire that gave me my father, mother
And all the rest of worldly ties?
Shall I blame myself, or others?
Shall I blame the present bad actions
Or the past karma for all this worldly bondage?
Forsooth I know nothing of Truth
Oh! Thou who filleth all visible space
In unbroken continuity!
Thou, the Bliss that is Perfect Full!

The Very Mumukshutva ,the Burning desire for Freedom comes out of a sense of this constriction.It is only those who intensely feel the Bondage who truly aspire for freedom;it is only they who appreciate what it is to be free.To prematurely assume that 'one is free' or that all this is 'Mitya' and there is nothing to be attained ,may be very gratifying,yet this will only smother Mumukshutva.Herein lies the Danger of Reading such books like ashtavakra Gita and the likes of it.This is the reason that either self-enquiry or Self-surrender is advocated by the Great ones.It needs to be done until one realizes that one is the Whole,undifferentiated and pure awareness.Then ,as Sri Ramakrishna says:
 "The jnani gives up his identification with worldly things, discriminating, 'Not this, not
this'. Only then can he realize Brahman. It is like reaching the roof of a house by leaving
the steps behind, one by one. But the vijnani, who is more intimately acquainted with
Brahman, realizes something more. He realizes that the steps are made of the same
materials as the roof: bricks, lime, and brick-dust.
That which is realized intuitively as
Brahman, through the eliminating process of 'Not this, not this', is then found to have
become the universe and all its living beings. The vijnani sees that the Reality which is
nirguna, without attributes, is also saguna, with attributes
.

This means that thoughts ,words,actions all are just a play of that one undivided awareness.They will not be viewed as 'Vasanas' with the expectation that they will 'Exhaust' themselves,and until then 'one' just stays apart from the 'Thoughts' ,etc.There is simply not even the 'One'!Just the Integral whole,paripooranAnandam as thAyumAnavr calls it.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on October 27, 2012, 06:43:34 PM
Sri Ravi,

tAyumAnavar expressions seems to me to be the most genuine and honest expressions bereft any poetic exaggeration. They are simply matter of fact, as it is. They seldom take the reader, a ride to some exotic imaginations.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on October 27, 2012, 06:54:10 PM
Dear Ravi,

Here is where in Tejomayanadam Verse 4, the saint poet says about his ever oscillating mind, which can be quelled
only by the Grace of Guru, who is staying within as Knowledge. 


ஆடாமல் ஓய்ந்திட்ட பம்பரம் போல்விசை
      அடங்கி மனம்வீழநேரே
   அறியாமை யாகின்ற இருளகல இருளளியும்
      அல்லா திருந்தவெளிபோல்
கோடா தெனைக்கண் டெனக்குள்நிறை சாந்தவெளி
      கூடிஇன் பாதீதமுங்
   கூடினே னோசரியை கிரியையில் முயன்றுநெறி
      கூடினே னோஅல்லன்யான்
ஈடாக வேயாறு வீட்டினில் நிரம்பியே
      இலகிவளர் பிராணனென்னும்
   இருநிதி யினைக்கட்டி யோகபர னாகாமல்
      ஏழைக் குடும்பனாகித்
தேடா தழிக்கவொரு மதிவந்த தென்கோலோ
      தேடரிய சத்தாகிஎன்
   சித்தமிசை குடிகொண்ட அறிவான தெய்வமே
      தேசோ மயானந்தமே. 4.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 07:41:01 PM
Friends,
We continue our exploration into what Sri Ramakrishna had to say about the Reading of Ashtavakra Gita and Yoga Vasishta.Although Sri Ramakrishna himself had not read these Books,he has heard the contents from Different sources and was quite familiar with the contents.He judiciously mentioned  the books to only those aspirants whom he deemed fit to be introduced to the seed thoughts in those books.Ofcourse,he never advocated that one should 'Meditate' on the teachings in those books.They are more to be referred as 'Road Maps' on the way.
In the Following excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna ,he is referring to Yoga Vasishta to 'M'.We may also see that 'M' is a Ripe sadhaka,who already had experienced SamAdhi;we need to be aware of this state of 'M' when we read this conversation:

Wednesday, December 19, 1883
It was nine o'clock in the morning. Sri Ramakrishna was talking to M. near the bel-tree at
Dakshineswar. This tree, under which the Master had practised the most austere sadhana,
stood in the northern end of the temple garden. Farther north ran a high wall, and just
outside was the government magazine. West of the bel-tree was a row of tall pines that
rustled in the wind. Below the trees flowed the Ganges, and to the south could be seen the
sacred grove of the Panchavati. The dense trees and underbrush hid the temples. No noise
of the outside world reached the bel-tree.

MASTER (to M.): "But one cannot realize God without renouncing 'woman and gold'."

M: "Why? Did not Vasishtha say to Rama, 'O Rama, You may renounce the world if the
world is outside God'?"

MASTER (smiling): "He said that to Rama so that Rama might destroy Ravana. Rama
accepted the life of a householder and married to fulfil that mission."

M. stood there like a log, stunned and speechless.

Sri Ramakrishna went to the Panchavati on his way back to his room. M. accompanied him.
It was then about ten o'clock.

Path of the Impersonal God
M: "Sir, is there no spiritual discipline leading to realization of the Impersonal God?"

MASTER: "Yes, there is. But the path is extremely difficult. After intense austerities the
rishis of olden times realized God as their inner most consciousness and experienced the
real nature of Brahman. But how hard they had to work! They went out of their dwellings
in the early morning and all day practised austerities and meditation. Returning home at
nightfall, they took a light supper of fruit and roots.

"But an aspirant cannot succeed in this form of spiritual discipline if his mind is stained
with worldliness even in the slightest degree. The mind must withdraw totally from all
objects of form, taste, smell, touch, and sound
. Only thus does it become pure. The Pure
Mind is the same as the Pure Atman. But such a mind must be altogether free from 'woman
and gold'. When it becomes pure, one has another experience. One realizes: 'God alone is
the Doer, and I am His instrument.' One does not feel oneself to be absolutely necessary to
others either in their misery or in their happiness
.

"Once a wicked man beat into unconsciousness a monk who lived in a monastery. On
regaining consciousness he was asked by his friends, 'Who is feeding you milk?' The monk
said, 'He who beat me is now feeding me.' "

M: "Yes, sir. I know that story."

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 07:47:37 PM
The Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

Obstacles to samadhi

MASTER: "It is not enough to know it. One must assimilate its meaning. It is the thought
of worldly objects that prevents the mind from going into samadhi. One becomes
established in samadhi when one is completely rid of worldliness. It is possible for me to
give up the body in samadhi
; but I have a slight desire to enjoy the love of God and the
company of His devotees. Therefore I pay a little attention to my body
.
"There is another kind of samadhi, called unmana samadhi. One attains it by suddenly
gathering the dispersed mind
. You understand what that is, don't you?"

M: "Yes, sir."

MASTER: "Yes. It is the sudden withdrawal of the dispersed mind to the Ideal. But that
samadhi does not last long. Worldly thoughts intrude and destroy it. The yogi slips down
from his yoga.

"At Kamarpukur I have seen the mongoose living in its hole up in the wall. It feels snug
there. Sometimes people tie a brick to its tail; then the pull of the brick makes it come out
of its hole. Every time the mongoose tries to be comfortable inside the hole, it has to come
out because of the pull of the brick. Such is the effect of brooding on worldly objects that it
makes the yogi stray from the path of yoga.

"Worldly people may now and then experience samadhi. The lotus blooms, no doubt, when
the sun is up; but its petals close again when the sun is covered by a cloud. Worldly thought
is the cloud."

M: "Isn't it possible to develop both jnana and bhakti by the practice of spiritual
discipline?"


MASTER: "Through the path of bhakti a man may attain them both. If it is necessary, God
gives him the Knowledge of Brahman. But a highly qualified aspirant may develop both
jnana and bhakti at the same time. Such is the case with the Isvarakotis-Chaitanya for
example. But the case of ordinary devotees is different.

"There are five kinds of light: the light of a lamp, the light of various kinds of fire, the light
of the moon, the light of the sun, and lastly the combined light of the sun and the moon.
Bhakti is the light of the moon, and jnana the light of the sun
.

"Sometimes it is seen that the sun has hardly set when the moon rises in the sky. In an
Incarnation of God one sees, at the same time, the sun of Knowledge and the moon of
Love.

"Can everyone, by the mere wish, develop Knowledge and Love at the same time? It
depends on the person. One bamboo is more hollow than another. Is it possible for all to
comprehend the nature of God? Can a one seer pot hold five seers of milk?"

M: "But what about the grace of God? Through His grace a camel can pass through the eye
of a needle."

MASTER: "But is it possible to obtain God's grace just like that? A beggar may get a
penny, if he asks for it. But suppose he asks you right off for his train fare: How about
that?"

M. stood silent. The Master, too, remained silent. Suddenly he said: "Yes, it is true.
Through the grace of God some may get both jnana and bhakti."

M. saluted the Master and went back to the bel-tree.

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on October 28, 2012, 07:45:27 AM
Quote
conventional Advaita teachers generally dont teach YV and AG because they teach to a gathering. These texts are best taught to students on individual basis. E

Ok Tushnim , Got it i.e the difference between Gathering and Individual  .Thanks for ur reply .
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 28, 2012, 07:55:02 AM
Udai/Atmavichar/Friends,
It is atmavichar who raised the question as to why Yoga vasishta and Ashtavakra Gita are not taught by teachers.
Master TGN has given talks on Yoga VAsishta.His view is that most of the Swamijis teaching Advaita vedanta are unconscious Male chauvinists!In works like Yoga Vasishta and Tripura Rahasyam,there are stories of women are teaching jnAna to men,and this is not acceptable to thes teachers!They teach Atma Bodha ,vivekachudAmani,aparoksha Anubhuti and other such advaitic texts but not yoga-vasishta and Tripura Rahasyam.
Whether we accept what master TGN says or not,it does stir our thought and attention to such a possibility.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 28, 2012, 08:18:06 AM
Friends,
I will now go on to present what Sri Ramakrishna has presented as a seed thought:

Quote
"Your bhava is that of Prahlada — ‘I am That’ and ‘I am God’s servant.’

If we are familiar with Sri Aurobindo's terminology,these two represent two aspects-Realization of the Impersonal Self and  the Psychic being with its adoration of the personal God or Saguna Brahman.Advaita Vedantins view that the latter is only a preparation for the Former.Sri Ramakrishna's Guru Totapuri belonged to this school of Thought until he learnt the significance of the Saguna Aspect,kAli .I have already posted this in this thread.I will be posting Sri Ramakrishna's teaching on this Dual aspect of the Divine and what it means to seekers.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 29, 2012, 10:35:17 AM
Friends,
In continuation of the Discussion on jAnAna and Bhakti,here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Characteristics of divine love

"There are two elements in this ecstatic love: 'I-ness' and 'my-ness'. Yasoda used to think:
'Who would look after Gopala if I did not? He will fall ill if I do not serve Him.' She did not
look on Krishna as God. The other element is 'my-ness'. It means to look on God as one's
own-'my Gopala'. Uddhava said to Yasoda: 'Mother, your Krishna is God Himself. He is
the Lord of the Universe and not a common human being.' 'Oh!' exclaimed Yasoda. 'I am
not asking you about your Lord of the Universe. I want to know how my Gopala fares. Not
the Lord of the Universe, but my Gopala.'


"How faithful to Krishna the gopis were! After many entreaties to the door-keeper, the
gopis entered the royal court in Mathura, where Krishna was seated as king. The doorkeeper
took them to Him; but at the sight of King Krishna wearing the royal turban, the
gopis bent down their heads and said among themselves: 'Who is this man with a turban on
his head? Should we violate our chaste love for Krishna by talking to him? Where is our
beloved Krishna with the yellow robe and the bewitching crest with the peacock feather?'
"Did you observe the single-minded love of the gopis for Krishna? The ideal of Vrindavan
is unique. I am told that the people of Dwaraka worship Krishna, the companion of Arjuna,
but reject Radha."

A DEVOTEE: "Which is the better, ecstatic love or love mixed with knowledge?"

Parable of the three friends

MASTER: "It is not possible to develop ecstatic love of God unless you love Him very
deeply and regard Him as your very own
.

"Listen to a story. Once three friends were going through a forest, when a tiger suddenly
appeared before them. 'Brothers,' one of them exclaimed, 'we are lost!' 'Why should you say
that?' said the second friend. 'Why should we be lost? Come, let us pray to God.' The third
friend said: 'No. Why should we trouble God about it? Come, let us climb this tree.'
"The friend who said, 'We are lost!' did not know that there is a God who is our Protector.
The friend who asked the others to pray to God was a jnani. He was aware that God is the
Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of the world. The third friend, who didn't want to trouble
God with prayers and suggested climbing the tree, had ecstatic love of God.
It is the very
nature of such love that it makes a man think himself stronger than his Beloved. He is
always alert lest his Beloved should suffer. The one desire of his life is to keep his Beloved
from even being pricked in the foot by a thorn."


Sri Ramakrishna is making a very deep statement here.Just like absence of 'I' and knowledge of the impersonal being  is jnAna-Bhakti,by the same token the presence of 'I' and 'Mine' after the attainment of jnAna, is parabhakti.This is beyond the bounds of the Intellect.
continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 29, 2012, 11:13:22 AM
Discussion on JnAna and Bhakti as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

"The lovers of God should not hear much of such reasoning.

"That is why God incarnates Himself as man and teaches people the path of devotion. He
exhorts people to cultivate self-surrender to God. Following the path of devotion, one
realizes everything through His grace both Knowledge and Supreme Wisdom.
"God sports in this world. He is under the control of His devotee. 'Syama, the Divine
Mother, is Herself tied by the cord of the love of Her devotee.'

"Sometimes God becomes the magnet and the devotee the needle, and sometimes the
devotee becomes the magnet and God the needle. The devotee attracts God to him. God is
the Beloved of His devotee and is under his control
.

"According to one school, the gopis of Vrindavan, like Yasoda, had believed in the
formless God in their previous births; but they did not derive any satisfaction from this
belief. That is why later on they enjoyed so much bliss in the company of Sri Krishna in the
Vrindavan episode of His life. One day Krishna said to the gopis: 'Come along. I shall show
you the Abode of the Eternal. Let us go to the Jamuna for a bath.' As they dived into the
water of the river, they at once saw Goloka. Next they saw the Indivisible Light. Thereupon
Yasoda exclaimed: 'O Krishna, we don't care for these things any more. We would like to
see You in Your human form. I want to take You in my arms and feed You.'"

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 29, 2012, 11:22:41 AM
Discussion on JnAna and Bhakti as In The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

"The Master went with the devotees to the northeast verandah of his room. Among them was
a householder from the village of Dakshineswar, who studied Vedanta philosophy at home.
He had been discussing Om with Kedar before the Master. He said, "This Eternal Word, the
Anahata Sabda, is ever present both within and without."

MASTER: "But the Word is not enough. There must be something indicated by the Word.
Can your name alone make me happy? Complete happiness is not possible for me unless I
see you."

DEVOTEE: "That Eternal Word itself is Brahman."

MASTER (to Kedar): "Oh, don't you understand? He upholds the doctrine of the rishis of
olden times. They once said to Rama: 'O Rama, we know You only as the son of Dasaratha.
Let sages like Bharadvaja worship You as God Incarnate. We want to realize Brahman, the
Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.' At these words Rama smiled and went
away."


KEDAR: "Those rishis could not recognize Rama as an Incarnation of God. They must
have been fools,"

MASTER (seriously): "Please don't say such a thing. People worship God according to
their tastes and temperaments.
The mother cooks the same fish differently for her children,
that each one may have what suits his stomach. For some she cooks the rich dish of pilau.
But not all the children can digest it. For those with weak stomachs she prepares soup.
Some, again, like fried fish or pickled fish. It depends on one's taste.

Incarnation of God

"The rishis followed the path of jnana. Therefore they sought to realize Brahman, the
Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. But those who follow the path of
devotion seek an Incarnation of God, to enjoy the sweetness of bhakti. The darkness of the
mind disappears when God is realized. In the Purana it is said that it was as if a hundred
suns were shining when Rama entered the court. Why, then, weren't the courtiers burnt up?
It was because the brilliance of Rama was not like that of a material object. As the lotus
blooms when the sun rises, so the lotus of the heart of the people assembled in the court
burst into blossom."

As the Master uttered these words, standing before the devotees, he suddenly fell into an
ecstatic mood. His mind was withdrawn from external objects. No sooner did he say, "the
lotus of the heart burst into blossom", than he went into deep samadhi. He stood
motionless, his countenance beaming and his lips parted in a smile.

After a long time he returned to the normal consciousness of the world. He drew a long
breath and repeatedly chanted the name of Rama, every word showering nectar into the
hearts of the devotees. The Master sat down, the others seating themselves around him.
MASTER (to the devotees): "Ordinary people do not recognize the advent of an Incarnation
of God. He comes in secret. Only a few of His intimate disciples can recognize Him. That
Rama was both Brahman Absolute and a perfect Incarnation of God in human form was
known only to twelve rishis. The other sages said to Him, 'Rama, we know You only as
Dasaratha's son.'

"Can everyone comprehend Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss
Absolute? He alone has attained perfect love of God who, having reached the Absolute,
keeps himself in the realm of the Relative in order to enjoy the divine lila.
A man can
describe the ways and activities of the Queen if he has previously visited her in England.
Only then will his description of the Queen be correct. Sages like Bharadvaja adored Rama
and said: 'O Rama, You are nothing but the Indivisible Satchidananda. You have appeared
before us as a human being, but You look like a man because You have shrouded Yourself
with Your own maya.' These rishis were great devotees of Rama: and had supreme love for
God."

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 30, 2012, 07:10:29 AM
Discussion on jnAna and bhakti as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Story of Uddhava

Sri Ramakrishna asked the kathak to recite the episode of Uddhava, the friend and devotee
of Krishna.

At the request of Krishna, Uddhava had gone to Vrindavan to console the cowherds and the
gopis, who were sore at heart because of their separation from their beloved Krishna
.

The kathak said:

When Uddhava arrived at Vrindavan, the gopis and cowherd boys ran to him eagerly and
asked him: "How is our Krishna? Has He forgotten us altogether? Doesn't He even speak
our names?" So saying, some of them wept. Others accompanied him to various places in
Vrindavan still filled with Krishna's sweet memory. They said: "Here it was that Krishna
lifted up Mount Govardhan, and here He killed the demons sent by the evil-minded Kamśa.
In this meadow He tended His cows; here on the bank of the Jamuna He sported with the
gopis. Here He played with the cowherd boys, and here in these groves He met the gopis secretly."

Uddhava said to them: "Why are you so grief-stricken at Krishna's absence? He resides in
all beings as their indwelling Spirit. He is God Himself, and nothing can exist without
God." "But", said the gopis, "we do not understand all that. We can neither read nor write.
We know only our Krishna of Vrindavan, who played with us here in so many ways."


Uddhava said: "Krishna is God Himself. By meditating on Him, man escapes from birth
and death in the world and attains liberation." The gopis said: "We do not understand big
words like 'liberation'
. We want to see the Krishna of our hearts."


The Master listened to the story from the Bhagavata with great attention and said at last,
"Yes, the gopis were right."

Then he sang:

Though I am never loath to grant salvation,
I hesitate indeed, to grant pure love.
Whoever wins pure love surpasses all;
He is adored by men;
He triumphs over the three worlds.
Listen, Chandravali! I shall tell you of love:
Mukti a man may gain, but rare is bhakti.
Solely for pure love's sake did I become
King Vali's door-keeper
Down in his realm in the nether world.
Alone in Vrindavan can pure love be found;
Its secret none but the gopas and gopis know.
For pure love's sake I dwelt in Nanda's house;
Taking him as My father,
I carried his burdens on My head.

The Master said to the kathak: "The gopis had ecstatic love, unswerving and single-minded
devotion to one ideal
. Do you know the meaning of devotion that is not loyal to one ideal?
It is devotion tinged with intellectual knowledge. It makes one feel: 'Krishna has become all
these. He alone is the Supreme Brahman. He is Rama, Siva, and Sakti.' But this element of
knowledge is not present in ecstatic love of God
.
--------------------------------------------------------
Elsewhere in The Gospel,Sri Ramakrishna says:

"Do you know who the gopis were? Ramachandra was wandering in the forest where sixty
thousand rishis dwelt. They were very eager to see Him. He cast a tender glance at them.
According to a certain Purana, they were born later on as the gopis of Vrindavan."

continued
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on October 30, 2012, 09:19:47 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

Just what does Sri Ramakrishna means by Ecstatic Love of God that the Gopis had;that it is parabhakti will be clear from this conversation of M,(M,The Apostle and the Evangelist).M talks about how the story of the Gopis is expounded by veda vyAsa to Suka Brahmam,and how later on Suka explains it to Raja Parikshit:

Veda Vyasa taughtabout the Gopi-lila to Sukadeva, his son, the image of concentratedjnana. It is so high! That’s why, just at the mention of the Gopis,Thakur would bow down and offer them his pranam. He used to say,‘Just a grain of the prema of the Gopis, if it enters a person, turnseverything topsy-turvy.’"Sukadeva only was eligible to narrate the story of the prema ofGopis and the only eligible listener was Parikshit. When did henarrate it to Parikshit? When Parikshit was about to die at the bankof the Ganga in the presence of rishis and munis. In the beginning,Parikshit did not possess the capability of understanding it. So, hehad some doubts. Even when it was explained to him twice, hecouldn’t be rid of his doubt. It was only when it was narrated to hima third time that he was freed from his doubt."The last doubt that Parikshit had was: Why did Sri Krishna enacthis lila with the Gopis, though he was God himself? Sri Krishna wasa friend and protector of his family. Even so, the scorn for this playhad taken firm roots in the mind of Parikshit so much so that therewas no way to get rid of it."Sukadeva said to Parikshit, ‘tejaseeyam na doshaya vanhehsarvabhujoh yatha.’ The fire consumes both sandalwood and excretawith equanimity when they are dropped in it.’ Similarly, those whohave realised the Self, those whose sense of ‘I’ has become one withthat of God have the power."Parikshit had the social view point. So, he could not accept thiselucidation. His doubt persisted. His idea was that what is bad, isbad for everybody. Apparently, this appears to be correct."Sukadeva tried to explain it to him a second time. This time he triedto awaken Parikshit’s scriptural insight. He said, ‘All the acts of thespiritually great are not to be imitated. There are so many of theirdeeds which they perform themselves, but don’t ask others to imitate.
And there are so many which they perform and ask others to dolikewise. Only these acts are the ones that can be imitated by others.Sri Krishna’s Rasa Lila was performed with another man’s wife, buthe never asked others to do so.’"This argument also could not remove the doubt from Parikshit’smind. He was inclined to take Sri Krishna as the ideal man. All hisacts should be imitated and put into one’s conduct. Nevertheless, it isa contemptible act to meet another man’s wife alone. In what waycould this act of Sri Krishna be considered unimpeachable?"Parikshit’s death was near. So, on seeing him possessed by such aninnocent yearning, Sukadeva opened the door of his spiritual insightby his grace. Said he, ‘Parikshit, Sri Krishna was not merely an idealman, he was Parama-Brahman absolute. It is by His will that theuniverse is created, preserved and dissolved. In the form of Ishwara(Lord), he himself becomes man or woman, and the twenty four elements. He was himself the Gopis and himself Krishna. He was enacting his sport with the Self.’ How? Like a child playing with hisown reflections in the mirror. He who was Gopis was also Krishna Gopi-Krishna."

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 03, 2012, 05:03:08 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti continued....

"The jiva at first remains in a state of ignorance. He is not conscious of God, but of the
multiplicity. He sees many things around him. On attaining Knowledge he becomes
conscious that God dwells in all beings. Suppose a man has a thorn in the sole of his foot.
He gets another thorn and takes out the first one. In other words, he removes the thorn of
ajnana, ignorance, by means of the thorn of jnana, knowledge. But on attaining vijnana, he
discards both thorns, knowledge and ignorance. Then he talks intimately with God day and
night. It is no mere vision of God
.

"He who has merely heard of milk is 'ignorant'. He who has seen milk has 'knowledge'. But
he who has drunk milk and been strengthened by it has attained vijnana."


Thus the Master described his own state of mind to the devotees. He was indeed a vijnani.
MASTER (to the devotees): "There is a difference between, a sadhu endowed with jnana
and one endowed with vijnana. The jnani sadhu has a certain way of sitting. He twirls his
moustache and asks the visitor, 'Well, sir! Have you any question to ask?'
But the man who
always sees God and talks to Him intimately has an altogether different nature. He is
sometimes like an inert thing, sometimes like a ghoul, sometimes like a child, and
sometimes like a madman.

"When he is in samadhi, he becomes unconscious of the outer world and appears inert. He
sees everything to be full of Brahman-Consciousness; therefore he behaves like a ghoul. He
is not conscious of the holy and the unholy. He does not observe any formal purity. To him
everything is Brahman. He is not aware of filth as such. Even rice and other cooked food
after a few days become like filth.

"Again, he is like a madman. People notice his ways and actions and think of him as insane.
Or sometimes he is like a child-no bondage, no shame, no hatred, no hesitation, or the like.
"One reaches this state of mind after having the vision of God. When a boat passes by a
magnetic hill, its screws and nails become loose and drop out. Lust, anger, and the other
passions cannot exist after the vision of God".

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 03, 2012, 05:09:28 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti continued....

The state of a vijnani

Prankrishna always talked about jnana. Was this why the Master described the state of the
jnani? Now he proceeded to describe the state of the vijnani.

MASTER: "Jnana is the realization of Self through the process of 'Neti, neti', 'Not this, not
this'. One goes into samadhi through this process of elimination and realizes the Atman.
"But vijnana means Knowledge with a greater fullness. Some have heard of milk, some
have seen milk, and some have drunk milk. He who has merely heard of it is 'ignorant'. He
who has seen it is a jnani. But he who has drunk it has vijnana, that is to say, a fuller
knowledge of it. After having the vision of God one talks to Him as if He were an intimate
relative. That is vijnana.

"First of all you must discriminate, following the method of 'Neti, neti': 'He is not the five
elements, nor the sense-organs, nor the mind, nor the intelligence, nor the ego. He is
beyond all these cosmic principles.' You want to climb to the roof; then you must eliminate
and leave behind all the steps one by one. The steps are by no means the roof. But after
reaching the roof you find that the steps are made of the same materials―brick, lime, and
brick-dust―as the roof. It is the Supreme Brahman that has become the universe and its
living beings and the twenty-four cosmic principles. That which is Atman has become the
five elements. You may ask why the earth is so hard, if it has come out of Atman? All is
possible through the will of God. Don't you see that bone and flesh are made from blood
and semen? How hard 'sea-foam' becomes!

"After attaining vijnana one can live in the world as well. Then one clearly realizes that
God Himself has become the universe and all living beings, that He is not outside the
world.

(To Prankrishna) "The fact is that one must have the 'spiritual eye'. You will develop that
eye as soon as your mind becomes pure. Take for instance the Kumari Puja. I worshipped a
virgin. The girl, to be sure, had all her human imperfections; still I regarded her as the
Divine Mother Herself.

"On one side is the wife and on the other the son. Love is bestowed on both, but in different
ways. Therefore it comes to this, that everything depends upon the mind. The pure mind
acquires a new attitude. Through that mind one sees God in this world. Therefore one needs
spiritual discipline
.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 03, 2012, 05:31:30 AM
Discussion on jnana and Bhakti continued...

The nature of jnanis and vijnanis

MASTER: "The vijnani always sees God. That is why he is so indifferent about the world.
He sees God even with his eyes open. Sometimes he comes down to the Lila from the
Nitya, and sometimes he goes up to the Nitya from the Lila."

PUNDIT: "I don't understand that."

MASTER: "The jnani reasons about the world through the process of 'Neti, neti', and at last
reaches the Eternal and Indivisible Satchidananda. He reasons in this manner: 'Brahman is
not the living beings; It is neither the universe nor the twenty-four cosmic principles.' As a
result of such reasoning he attains the Absolute. Then he realizes that it is the Absolute that
has become all this-the universe, its living beings, and the twenty-four cosmic principles.
"Milk sets into curd, and the curd is churned into butter. After extracting the butter one
realizes that butter is not essentially different from buttermilk and buttermilk not essentially
different from butter. The bark of a tree goes with the pith and the pith goes with the bark
."

PUNDIT (smiling, to Bhudar): "Did you understand that? It is very difficult."

All-embracing realization of the vijnani

MASTER: "If there is butter, there must be buttermilk also. If you think of butter, you must
also think of buttermilk along with it; for there cannot be any butter without buttermilk.
Just so, if you accept the Nitya, you must also accept the Lila. It is the process of negation
and affirmation. You realize the Nitya by negating the Lila. Then you affirm the Lila,
seeing in it the manifestation of the Nitya. One attains this state after realizing Reality in
both aspects: Personal and Impersonal
. The Personal is the embodiment of Chit,
Consciousness; and the Impersonal is the Indivisible Satchidananda
.

"Brahman alone has become everything. Therefore to the vijnani this world is a 'mansion of
mirth'. But to the jnani it is a 'framework of illusion'
. Ramprasad described the world as a
'framework of illusion'. Another man said to him by way of retort:

This very world is a mansion of mirth;
Here I can eat, here drink and make merry.
O physician, you are a fool!
You see only the surface of things.
Janaka's might was unsurpassed;
What did he lack of the world or the Spirit?
Holding to one as well as the other,
He drank his milk from a brimming cup!

"The vijnani enjoys the bliss of God in a richer way. Some have heard of milk, some have
seen it, and some have drunk it. The vijnani has drunk milk, enjoyed it, and been nourished
by it."


continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 03, 2012, 05:34:59 AM
Discussion on JnAna and Bhakti continued...

"A mere jnani is a monotonous person. He always analyses, saying: 'It is not this, not this.
The world is like a dream.' But I have 'raised both my hands'. Therefore I accept
everything
.

Parable of the weaver woman

"Listen to a story. Once a woman went to see her weaver friend. The weaver, who had been
spinning different kinds of silk thread, was very happy to see her friend and said to her:
'Friend, I can't tell you how happy I am to see you. Let me get you some refreshments.' She
left the room. The woman looked at the threads of different colours and was tempted. She
hid a bundle of thread under one arm. The weaver returned presently with the refreshments
and began to feed her guest with great enthusiasm. But, looking at the thread, she realized
that her friend had taken a bundle. Hitting upon a plan to get it back, she said: 'Friend, it is
so long since I have seen you. This is a day of great joy for me. I feel very much like asking
you to dance with me.' The friend said, 'Sister, I am feeling very happy too.' So the two
friends began to dance together. When the weaver saw that her friend danced without
raising her hands, she said: 'Friend, let us dance with both hands raised. This is a day of
great joy.' But the guest pressed one arm to her side and danced raising only the other. The
weaver said: 'How is this, friend? Why should you dance with only one hand raised? Dance
with me raising both hands. Look at me. See how I dance with both hands raised.' But the
guest still pressed one arm to her side. She danced with the other hand raised and said with
a smile, 'This is all I know of dancing.' "

The Master continued: "I don't press my arm to my side. Both my hands are free. I am not
afraid of anything. I accept both the Nitya and the Lila, both the Absolute and the Relative".

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 03, 2012, 05:50:35 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti continued....

Just what does the Master mean by saying 'Both my Hands are Free' in the parable of the Weaver woman.This question is put to Master Mahasaya(M) .Here is an excerpt from M,The Apostle and the Evangelist:

Mohan — Let us dance raising both the arms - what is itssignificance?

M. — Nitya and lila both are true. The jnanis accept only Brahman and deny the world. Brahman accepted, the world denied. But, the nitya and leela belong to the same One. Those who are only jnanis, to them he says they are frightened persons. The jnani has been called a frightened person. But the vijnani has seen that the same Brahman has become the world, taking up all names and forms. So, Thakur said, ‘There is joy in merging the mind in the Indivisible One by meditating on Him. And there is also joy in keeping the mind in His lila.’ His was not a single-track mind. He believed in the nitya andthe lila, both. Said he, ‘Both lila and nitya belong to Him.’ All this is a description of Thakur’s own state. It constitutes a scripture. People debate, don’t they, who is big and who is small or what is true andwhat is false. The man has only a small capacity. He lives only with one bhava and calls other’s bhava as false. Thakur has solved such a great problem of Vedanta by his direct spiritual experience. He said that the eternal Krishna is also the eternal bhakta. The gopis wanted the eternal Krishna. Thakur accepts both God-with-form and God-without-form. He used to say, ‘I hear there is snow in the north which never melts.’ This is an apt simile for the eternal Krishna.

The Elder Jiten — The other day we were talking of Thakur as saying: ‘The jnani living in the world is like one living in a glass-house from where he can see both inside and outside. And the all-renouncing person is standing as though in the open under sunlight.’We have read the same today. What does it signify?

M. — For example the light of a lamp and the other of the sun. When one lives with one’s family, one’s mind remains attached to one’shouse, family and so on. For the all-renouncing person, the wholeworld is one family. The sunlight, well, it is that of Thakur, and of Chaitanya Deva. All these are descriptions of his (Thakur’s) own states. The ‘all-renouncing’ person means Thakur, Chaitanya Deva.By Thakur’s grace, his devotees see the sunlight even while living inthe world. This is a speciality of Thakur’s devotees. It is by Thakur’s grace that it all happens."To the Pandit he said: ‘Whether God is with form or without form,you must take a plunge. Be mad for Him. Love Him’ - whether it be by the path of jnana or by the path of bhakti. Religion is nothing but loving Him. The intoxication of bhakti’s love and the intoxication ofjnana - both are true. When one succeeds in loving Him all doubts are dispelled by His grace. He shows all, God-with-form and God-without-form. The gopis possessed both Brahman-jnana and prema.Sadhana is needed."

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 03, 2012, 06:02:16 AM
Discussion on JnAna and Bhakti continued....

Excerpt from M,The Apostle and Evangelist:

Mohan — It is said that the jnani’s disposition is that of a frightenedperson. Here has the jnani been discouraged or has the bhakta been praised?

M. — No, here the jnani and the vijnani have been compared and not the jnani and the bhakta. It is the state of both of them after God-realization. The one who gets merged in Brahman, he becomes onewith Him. The other comes back bringing with him the ‘I’ of Vidya(knowledge) and that of the bhakta. And on coming back, he sees that it is Brahman who is appearing in name and form, and the world -that everything is permeated with Brahman. Whom can he fear? He himself is Brahman. All creatures and the whole work are Brahman.Overwhelmed with jnana, Durvasa saw everything filled with Brahman."

Thakur said the same to the Pandit, ‘First establish God-with-form in your mind. Later proceed to God-without-form.When one has practised Bhava-shakti (the power that It exists), it becomes easier to practise later the a-bhava (the vaccum or without form). It also from bhava to a-bhava and then from a-bhava to bhava - that is the entire circle. By Thakur’s grace his intimate disciples have progressed in this way. He brought Narendra from a-bhava to bhava and took Rakhal from bhava to a-bhava. Another devotee (M.) also,he took from bhava to a-bhava and then from a-bhava to bhava. He has asked for both jnana and bhakti together."Thakur used to say, ‘The essence is the love for Satchidananda,whether it be by the path of jnana or by the path of devotion.’ First of all, one has to practise the sadhana according to one’s bhava with all one’s effort. When it becomes established in the heart, He reveals Himself in that very bhava. If He feels the need, He also shows himself in the other bhava. He used to say, ‘First go and see Jadu Mullick by any means possible. Then he will himself show, and tell,how much wealth, how much riches he has’."

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on November 03, 2012, 09:45:27 AM
wonderful posts, Sri Ravi, treasure!

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 03, 2012, 01:28:20 PM
Dear Ravi,

Nice posts on Jnana and Bhakti.  Thanks.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 04, 2012, 05:51:22 AM
Discussion on jnAna and bhakti continued....

Chapter 41 AT RAM'S HOUSE Saturday, May 23, 1885

SRI RAMAKRISHNA was sitting in the drawing-room on the ground floor of Ram's house. He was surrounded by devotees and was conversing with them. Mahima sat in front of him, M. to his left. Paltu, Bhavanath, Nityagopal, Haramohan, and a few others sat around him. It was about five o'clock in the afternoon. The Master inquired after several devotees.
MASTER (to M.): "Hasn't the younger Naren arrived yet?"
Presently the younger Naren entered the room.
MASTER: "What about him?"
M: "Who, sir?"
MASTER: "Kishori. Isn't Girish Ghosh coming? What about Narendra?" A few minutes later Narendra arrived and saluted Sri Ramakrishna.
MASTER (to the devotees): "It would be fine if Kedar were here. He agrees with Girish.(To Mahima, smiling) He says the same thing."
Ram had arranged the kirtan. With folded hands the musician said to Sri Ramakrishna, "Sir, I can begin if you give the order."
The Master drank some water and chewed spices from a small bag. He asked M. to close the bag.
The musician started the kirtan. As Sri Ramakrishna heard the sound of the drum he went into an ecstatic mood. While listening to the prelude of the kirtan he plunged into deep samadhi. He placed his legs on the lap of Nityagopal, who was sitting near him. The devotee, too, was in an ecstatic mood. He was weeping. The other devotees looked on intently.

Nitya and Lila

Regaining partial consciousness, Sri Ramakrishna said: "From the Nitya to the Lila and from the Lila to the Nitya. (To Nityagopal) What is your ideal?"
NITYAGOPAL: "Both are good."
Sri Ramakrishna closed his eyes and said: "Is it only this? Does God exist only when the eyes are closed, and cease to exist when the eyes are opened? The Lila belongs to Him to whom the Nitya belongs, and the Nitya belongs to Him to whom the Lila belongs. (ToMahima) My dear sir, let me tell you-"
MAHIMA: "Revered sir, both are according to the will of God."
MASTER: "Some people climb the seven floors of a building and cannot get down; but some climb up and then, at will, visit the lower floors.
"Uddhava said to the gopis: 'He whom you address as your Krishna dwells in all beings. It is He alone who has become the universe and its living beings.'
"Therefore I say, does a man meditate on God only when his eyes are closed? Doesn't he see anything of God when his eyes are open?"
MAHIMA: "I have a question to ask, sir. A lover of God needs Nirvana some time or other, doesn't he?"

The seed of bhakti cannot he destroyed

MASTER: "It can't be said that bhaktas need Nirvana. According to some schools there is an eternal Krishna and there are also His eternal devotees. Krishna is Spirit embodied, and His Abode also is Spirit embodied. Krishna is eternal and the devotees also are eternal.
Krishna and the devotees are like the moon and the stars-always near each other. You yourself repeat: 'what need is there of penance if God is seen within and without?' Further, I have told you that the devotee who is born with an element of Vishnu cannot altogether get rid of bhakti.Once I fell into the clutches of a jnani, who made me listen to Vedanta for eleven months. But he couldn't altogether destroy the seed of bhakti in me. No matter where my mind wandered, it would come back to the Divine Mother. Whenever I sang of Her, Nangta would weep and say, 'Ah! What is this?' You see, he was such a great jnani and still he wept. (To the younger Naren and the others) Remember the popular saying that if a man drinks the juice of the alekh creeper, a plant grows inside his stomach. Once the seed of bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable: it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and fruits.
"You may reason and argue a thousand times, but if you have the seed of bhakti within you, you will surely come back to Hari."
The devotees listened silently to the Master. Sri Ramakrishna asked Mahima, laughing, "What is the thing you enjoy most?"
MAHIMA (smiling): "Nothing, sir. I like mangoes."
MASTER (smiling): "All by yourself? Or do you want to share them with others?"
MAHIMA (smiling) : "I am not so anxious to give others a share. I may as well eat them all by myself."

Reality includes both Absolute and universe
MASTER: "But do you know my attitude? I accept both, the Nitya and the Lila. Doesn't God exist if one looks around with eyes open? After realizing Him, one knows that He is both the Absolute and the universe. It is He who is the Indivisible Satchidananda. Again, it is He who has become the universe and its living beings".

Friends,I have posted this to show that Sri Ramakrishna had particulary emphasized that the path of Bhakti is as valid as the path of jnAna,and is not just a preliminary approach aimed at purifying the mind as the advaita vedantins project.For example,if we talk of Harilal poonjAji's(papaji) life,he was practising Krishna Bhakti before he attained knowledge of the Self;After this he ceased to manifest the 'bhAva' of Krishna Bhakti.In his case,it served to purify the mind leading to self Realization.
To the contrary ,Sri Ramakrishna manifested all the 'BhAvas' of Bhakti even after attainment of jnAna.He called this as vijnAna.Totapuri never admitted the states of Bhakti;he used to consider them as Delusions of the mind.Yet He came to Realize and recognize the Shakti aspect of Brahman through Sri Ramakrishna.Not just that ,he 'wept' when Sri Ramakrishna sang songs on The Divine Mother.Most important point to note is that the Master is narrating all this to Mahimacharan who was an avowed advaitin,and a practioner of jnAna marga and never accepted the ways of Bhakti!
continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 04, 2012, 12:16:20 PM
udai,
I have nothing to prove!Nor do I feel the need to do so.I know for sure that the seeker can get all bottled up in taking a one sided analytical,mental approach;samadhi and the Bhava states of Bhakti are not to be shied from and may well be a part of the flowering and Fruitition.
Coming to the difference Between Any other school and sri Ramakrishna,I find Sri Ramakrishna truly multisided.This is not just what I have said about Bhakti as an end in itself but this is exactly what Swami Vivekananda has said in his Bhakti Yoga:

"There is a little difference in opinion between the teachers of knowledge and those of love, though both admit the power of Bhakti. The Jnanis hold Bhakti to be an instrument of liberation, the Bhaktas look upon it both as the instrument and the thing to be attained. To my mind this is a distinction without much difference. In fact, Bhakti, when used as an instrument, really means a lower form of worship, and the higher form becomes inseparable from the lower form of realisation at a later stage. Each seems to lay a great stress upon his own peculiar method of worship, forgetting that with perfect love true knowledge is bound to come even unsought, and that from perfect knowledge true love is inseparable."

If you wish you may read the article here:http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_3/Bhakti-Yoga/Definition_of_Bhakti

I will also post what kAnchi MahaswAmi has to say on this topic in his exposition of soundarya lahari of Sri Sankara.

I do not have to bother what Annamalai Swami has said Regarding Bhakti States or samadhi;That may not be his way,but  each one has to proceed as per the promptings of the inner Guru.I am quite sure that the path of Bhakti is as valid as any other.

I wish to quote this wonderful excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance:

"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued adviser, who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the church. On my saying, What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within? my friend suggested, — "But these impulses may be from below, not from above." I replied, "They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the Devil's child, I will live then from the Devil."

If that 'Devil' happens to be sri Ramakrishna,why should I have to know god!Away with all such assumptions that one will get trapped in blissful states of Bhakti.To me,it sounds presumtuous for one to say that one is steering clear of it,when he has not even set his foot on the path!

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 04, 2012, 12:51:30 PM
Dear Ravi, Tusnim,

In Jnana the ego is killed first. In Bhakti, one proceeds with ego towards god and as it becomes total surrender, the ego
becomes atomic and then disappears and then there is only Sivam and no more the little 'I- - the ego.

Manikkavachagar says this in Kovil Tirupadigam Veerse 7, Tiruvachakam:
 
இன்றெனக் கருளி இருள்கடிந்துள்ளக்
தெழுகின்ற ஞாயிறே போன்று
நின்றநின் தன்மை நினைப்பற நினைந்தேன்
நீயலால் பிறிது மற்றின்மை
சென்றுசென்றுணுவாய்த் தேய்ந்துதேய்ந்தொன்றாம்
திருப்பெருந்துறையுறை சிவனே
ஒன்றும் நீயல்லை அன்றியொன் றில்லை
யாருன்னை அறியகிற்பாரே. 394


Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 04, 2012, 03:26:15 PM
Subramanian,
Yes,Thanks very much.what happens ultimately need not concern us;Let us first taste the sweetness of Bhakti.
This is what Sri Ramakrishna says:
"But one need not fear anything if one has received the grace of God. It is rather easy for a child to stumble if he holds his father's hand; but there can be no such fear if the father holds the child's hand. A man does not have to suffer any more if God, in His grace,removes his doubts and reveals Himself to him. But this grace descends upon him only after he has prayed to God with intense yearning of heart and practised spiritual discipline.
The mother feels compassion for her child when she sees him running about breathlessly.She has been hiding herself; now she appears before the child."

This is what is required to be done;not to speculate whether it will lead to the so called 'Ultimate' or 'Penultimate' or less than that or more than that,etc,whether one will get stuck,etc.This sort of idle speculation and dry analysis is the surest way of crippling oneself and stunt one's spiritual growth.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 04, 2012, 04:20:23 PM
Dear Ravi,

Yes. I agree. Remember Sri Bhagavan said how Jnana and Bhakti operate in  different routes even though the goal is the same.
Bhakti to the Self leads to Self. Jnana rises when mind is overcome.,

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 04, 2012, 09:57:47 PM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti continued....

Tasting divine bliss in different ways

It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. They heard the music from the nahabat in the
temple garden
.

MASTER (to Keshab and the others): "Do you hear how melodious that music is? One
player is producing only a monotone on his flute, while another is creating waves of
melodies in different ragas and raginis. That is my attitude. Why should I produce only a
mortotone when I have an instrument with seven holes? Why should I say nothing but, 'I
am He, I am He'?
I want to play various melodies on my instrument with seven holes. Why
should I say only, 'Brahma! Brahma!'? I want to call on God through all the moods-through
santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhur. I want to make merry with God. I want to sport
with God."

Keshab listened to these words with wonder in his eyes and said to the Brahmo devotees, "I
have never before heard such a wonderful and beautiful interpretation of jnana and bhakti
."

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 04, 2012, 10:05:10 PM
Discussion on JnAna and Bhakti continued...

An Excerpt from M,The Apostle and Evangelist.

M. (laughs loudly) — So you have understood everything except this?It means that the jnanis declare that Brahman is true and the world,an illusion. Besides, they connect themselves to Him - ‘I amBrahman, I am That.’ The idea That Brahman is true is firmly held by them. Thakur used to say: ‘Somebody plays a monotone on his flute - bhon...on...on.. And the other plays various ragas and raginis on it. The latter illustrates bhakti yoga. The bhakta enjoys sharing the lila with Bhagavan. He swims in the Ganga - sinking now,coming out. And then he becomes a piece of ice in the ocean ofBrahman and crackles causing bubbles on the surface.’

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 06:14:58 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti continued....

Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Joy of God-Consciousness

(To Captain and the other devotees) "Attribute to yourselves the bliss of God-
Consciousness; then you too will experience ineffable joy. The bliss of God-Consciousness
always exists in you. It is only hidden by the veiling and projecting power of maya. The
less you are attached to the world, the more you love God."

CAPTAIN: "The farther you proceed toward your home in Calcutta, the farther you leave
Benares behind. Again, the farther you proceed toward Benares, the farther behind you
leave your home."

MASTER: "As Radha advanced toward Krishna, she could smell more and more of the
sweet fragrance of His body. The nearer you approach to God, the more you feel His love.
As the river approaches the ocean it increasingly feels the flow of the tides
.

Ideals of jnani and bhakta

"The jnani experiences God-Consciousness within himself; it is like the upper Ganges,
flowing in only one direction
. To him the whole universe is illusory, like a dream; he is
always established in the Reality of Self. But with the lover of God the case is different. His
feeling does not flow in only one direction. He feels both the ebb-tide and the flood-tide of
divine emotion. He laughs and weeps and dances and sings in the ecstasy of God
. The lover
of God likes to sport with Him. In the Ocean of God-Consciousness he sometimes swims,
sometimes goes down, and sometimes rises to the surface-like pieces of ice in the water
.
(Laughter.)

Brahman and Sakti are not different

"The jnani seeks to realize Brahman. But the ideal of the bhakta is the Personal God-a God
endowed with omnipotence and with the six treasures. Yet Brahman and Sakti are, in fact,
not different. That which is the Blissful Mother is, again, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss
Absolute. They are like the gem and its lustre. When one speaks of the lustre of the gem,
one thinks of the gem; and again, when one speaks of the gem, one refers to its lustre. One
cannot conceive of the lustre of the gem without thinking of the gem, and one cannot
conceive of the gem without thinking of its lustre.

"Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute is one, and one only. But It is associated with
different limiting adjuncts on account of the different degrees of Its manifestation. That is
why one finds various forms of God. The devotee sings, 'O my Divine Mother, Thou art all
these!' Wherever you see actions, like creation, preservation, and dissolution, there is the
manifestation of Sakti. Water is water whether it is calm or full of waves and bubbles. The
Absolute alone is the Primordial Energy, which creates, preserves, and destroys. Thus it is
the same 'Captain', whether he remains inactive or performs his worship or pays a visit to
the Governor General. Only we designate him by different names at different times
."

CAPTAIN: "Yes, sir, that is so."

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 06:26:33 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti:

Excerpt from the Talks of kAnchi mahAswAmi on Soundarya lahari of Sri Adi Sankara:

“How could Adi Shankara, who preached the jnAna mArga, have promoted this work (Soundaryalahari) of bhakti? It cannot be his,” say
some who profess ‘Philosophy’. But our Acharya was not a professor who isolated philosophy as a separate discipline. Having written very
profoundly on advaita and its deepest implications in his several commentaries and the other works of his, he promoted the spiritual
pursuit of the common man by writing and talking about the need to follow one’s swadharma by Karma and Bhakti. His intent was to raise
the common man from his own level. For this purpose he went from one pilgrim centre to another all his life and composed hymns after
hymns and also established yantras in temples.

The philosophers argue: JnAni says everything is One. But Bhakti can happen only when there is the duality of the devotee and the deity.
Therefore, they say, the jnAni can never be a bhakta. These philosophers cannot themselves claim to have the Enlightenment of
advaita
! But there have been those who could have so claimed, like the sage Suka, Madhusudana Saraswati or Sadasiva-brahmam. If we
carefully study their lives we will know that they had been devotees of God in the fullest sense of the word and have themselves written works of Bhakti. Even in our own times Ramakrishna Paramahamsa has been a great devotee of Mother Goddess. Ramana Maharishi has done works of devotion on God Arunachalesvara. Again, on the other side, great devotees like Manikka-vasagar, Nammazhvar, Arunagiri-nathar, Tayumanavar, etc. have themselves been convinced advaitins, and this
is reflected in innumerable flashes in their compositions
.

If a jnAni should not do a Bhakti composition, then I would say that he should not also do a work of jnAna. Why am I saying this? Let
us go back to the definition of a jnAni. ‘ The world is all mAyA; the thinking of people as if they were separate separate jIvAtmAs is nothing
but Ignorance’ - with such a conviction through personal experience, they have thrown away that Ignorance as well as its basic locus, the
mind, and they live in the non-dualistic state of ‘ ‘I’ am everything’ – such should be the status of the jnAni; shouldn’t it be so? Such a
person preaching, or writing a book, even if it be about the subject of jnAna – is it not a contradiction? Unless such a person thinks there is a
world outside of him and there are jIvAtmAs outside, how can he think of ‘teaching’? Teaching whom? And when we look at it this way, all
those great teachers of jnAna should really not be jnAnis ! What power will there be for such a teaching about jnAna from teachers who are not
jnAnis themselves
?

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 06:34:53 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti continued...:

Excerpt from the Talks of kAnchi mahAswAmi on Soundarya lahari of Sri Adi Sankara continued:

On the other hand what do we observe in our experience? Whether it is the teaching about jnAna in the Gita, or the Viveka Chudamani of
our Acharya, or the Avadhuta Gita of Sri Dattatreya or the teaching in the Yoga-vASiShTa, or a song of Tayumanavar – even as we just read
these we feel we are being taken beyond the curtain created by mAyA to some distant peaceful state of Calm. Just by reading, in one’s spiritually
ripe stage, such teachings, there have been people who have renounced the world and reached the state of Bliss-in-one-Self! If these teachings
had not been written from that spiritual apex of Experiential Excellence, how could such things have ever happened?
Therefore, however much by our intellectual logic, we may argue whether a jnAni can get bhakti, how the jnAni can do any preaching
and so such possibilities cannot exist and so on, these are certainly happening, by the Will of the Lord which is beyond the Possible and the
Impossible
.

It is only the Play of the Lord that, the jnAni, who is non-dualistic internally, appears to do things in the dualistic world. His mind may
have vanished, mAyA might have been transcended by him; but that does not mean the outside world of jIvAtmAs has disintegrated. What do
we gather from this? There is a Super-Mind which does all this and in some mysterious way is compering and directing the entire universe. And
it also means it is the same Supra-Mind that is making the minds of men revolve in the illusion of mAyA. It is that Power which is known in
advaita scriptures as saguNa-brahman or Ishvara. In the scriptures devoted to Shakti or Shiva , whenever they call the Actionless nirguNa-
Brahman as ‘ShivaM’ they call this saguNa-brahman as ‘Shakti’, ‘parAshakti or ‘ambAL’. Just as that nirguNa-Brahman exhibits itself and acts
as the saguNa-brahman, so also, it must be presumed, that the enlightened jnAni also does his external actions and that again, is the
work of the saguNa-brahman
!

Friends,Here kAnchi mahAswami is  exactly what Sri Ramakrishna has said!
continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 06:46:28 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti continued....

Excerpt from the Talks of kAnchi mahAswAmi on Soundarya lahari of Sri Adi Sankara continued:

What is the path of jnAna? It is the effort through self-enquiry and meditation for the eradication of the mind and vanquishing of mAyA.
But the other path is to dedicate oneself and all one’s thoughts and actions to that very parA-shakti (who produced this mAyA on us) with an
attitude of devotion. It is like giving the house-key to the thief himself ! However much the parA-shakti may play with you and toss you and your
mind hither and thither, Her infinite compassion cannot be negated
. Only when we separate and rejoin, we realise the value of that union. To
pray to Her for that reunion and for Her to get us back to Her in answer to our prayers – this is the great LeelA of Duality wherein She exhibits
Her Infinite Compassion
(Is it Sri Ramakrishna or the KAnchi mahaswami who is saying this!-Ravi) ! So when one prays with Bhakti for such release She releases Him by giving Him that Wisdom of Enlightenment
.
It is wrong to think that the goal of Bhakti lies in the dualistic attitude of being separate from God. It is by this wrong assumption that
people ask the question: How can a jnAni exhibit Bhakti? In the very path of Bhakti wherein it appears there is an embedded duality, the same
Bhakti would lead the practitioner to the stage where he will ask: Oh God! May I be one with You! This is the subtle point which the
questioning people miss. When that stage comes to the devotee, the very parA-shakti known as kArya-brahman or saguNa-brahman will bless him
with that jnAna that takes him to the non-dual kAraNa-brahman or nirguNa-brahman.
Not everybody can practise the path of jnAna that brings the realisation of the mahA-vAkyas by sravaNa (hearing), manana (thinking
and recalling) and nididhyAsana (contemplating). Only when the mind vanishes one can realise the Self as the Absolute Brahman. If that is so,
the real question is: How to kill the truant mind, which refuses to be subdued, much less vanquished ? The very effort of vanquishing the
mind has to be done by the mind only. How can it kill itself ? The palm can slap another; but it cannot slap itself. Though we are thus brought
to a dilemma, there is a supreme power which has created all these minds. So instead of self-effort to kill our minds, we should leave it to the
parA-shakti and surrender to Her. Instead of falling at the feet of the witness for the prosecution we fall at the feet of the prosecutor himself !
Then She will help us quell the mind; She will grace us with the necessary jnAna.

Either She might totally eradicate your mind and give you the peaceful state of ‘I am shiva’ (shivoham) or She might tell you from
within:Look, after all, all this is My Play. The Play appears real to you because of mAyA. I shall totally erase that mAyA-view for you. Then you
can also be like me, with that calm non-dual bliss inside and having on the outside a mind which is untouched by mAyA. Thereby you can also
be a witness to all this worldly Dance. You will thus see yourself in Me and see Me in all the worldly multiplicities. In other words instead of
making the mind non-existent, your mind will then be full of Me”.
[/b]

Friends,we may see that this is exactly what Sri Ramakrishna has said!
continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 08:33:15 AM
Udai,
You are missing the point totally and seem to be holding onto what is said in the scriptures.All I am saying is that it is not what we choose,but what is chosen for us that matters and this cannot be reduced to a formula.
What do you mean by 'Liberated'?
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 08:45:59 AM
udai,
"Just by Reading Yoga Vasishta / Ashtavakra Gita --- you can eventually stand liberated ! "

All that I am saying that it may well be ThAyumanavar's songs for someone else,or TiruppAvai for someone else,or Bible for someone else.Inspiration is not in those words,but something that is awakened by the inner Guru who uses the external aids as a prompt.

To say that everyone has to read ashtavakra Gita or Vivekachudamani in order to be 'eventually' liberated;.Otherwise one will be 'caught' up in Duality is untenable.This is sheer dogmatism

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 09:26:03 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti continued.....

Excerpt from the Talks of kAnchi mahAswAmi on Soundarya lahari of Sri Adi Sankara continued:

Either She might totally eradicate your mind and give you the peaceful state of ‘I am shiva’ (shivoham) or She might tell you from
within:“Look, after all, all this is My Play. The Play appears real to you because of mAyA. I shall totally erase that mAyA-view for you. Then you
can also be like me, with that calm non-dual bliss inside and having on the outside a mind which is untouched by mAyA. Thereby you can also
be a witness to all this worldly Dance. You will thus see yourself in Me and see Me in all the worldly multiplicities. In other words instead of
making the mind non-existent, your mind will then be full of Me” ;And She might make you just exactly that way. But I know your
worry. You constantly worry about the impossibility of transcending mAyA, of eradicationg this worldly vision and of vanquishing the mind.
You keep worrying to the extent of almost weeping over it. To such a
wailing seeker She replies: “Why do you worry and weep like this? You are worrying that you cannot discard the world from your view. But you forget that the world
was not your making. This Sun and Moon, mountains, trees, oceans, animal kingdom, and the millions of living beings and categories – all this
was not created by you;“When that is so, you are worrying about the little ‘you’ that you are, and you forget that this little ‘you’ also was not your creation.
Instead of thinking all this is not only one but one with Me, your mAyAclouded view makes you think they are all different and distinct. And
even that mAyA-view that clouds you, again was not your making!“My dear child, you are caught up in the web of the world, a mind
and a MAyA-cloud -- all this is My making. Did I not make Krishna say to you: mama mAyA duratyayA ? (My mAyA is intranscendable). I have
also told you there that it is ‘daivI’ (made by the Power of God). If you had made it all, then you could have overcome them. But it was all made
by Me in the fullness of Power.

“You jIvas have only little fragments of that Power. So if you cannot eradicate the world, the mind and the MAyA that I have made, you don’t
have to cry over it. It is not in your Power. It has to take place only by My Grace. Come nearer to Me through Devotion ! I shall do the eradication
in proper doses for you. “That somebody is able to control his mind and is able to walk on the path of jnAna – that again is My own Grace. It is I who have granted
that privilege to him. What appears as many and different must be seen as one. To crave for that view is what is called ‘advaita-vAsanA’. One gets
it only by My Grace”.(Now the Mahaswamigal, who has been talking in the words of the Mother Goddess, continues on his own).
There is another novelty here. Even the jnAni who has had the non-dual Enlightenment, still enjoys the play of mAyA. He sees the
different things; but knows they are all one. Just as a spectator of a play who is not playing any role in it, the jnAni enjoys the playful novelties of
mAyA and revels in his devotion to that parA-Sakthi who is the author of it all. To be keeping such jnAnis in this dual-non-dual state is also the
work of Mother Goddess. Mark it. It is not that the jnAni is showing Devotion just for the sake of others only. No, By himself he is indeed
thinking( I think the Mahaswamigal is here letting out an autobiographical tip !) "‘What a pleasure to witness this dualistic play of the non-dualistic
One ! What a multiplicity of beauty, panoramic variety and continuity of Love !’ . Thus revelling in that blissful vision, he continues to pour out
his own love (bhakti) to that Transcendental Power from the bottom of his heart. This tribute to the jnAni has been given by the great Teacher Suka
himself. (Cf. Bhagavatam 1-7-10: AtmArAmAshca munayaH nirgranthA apy-urukrame; kurvanty-ahaitukIm bhaktim itham-bhUta-guNo hariH. – meaning,
Those who revel in the Self, even though rid of all attachments, show a causeless bhakti towards the Lord, just naturally
.)
On the one hand the devotee who has yet to get the Enlightenment enjoys the devotional state for the very reason of getting
the Enlightenment; on the other hand, the one who is already enlightened and is a jIvan-mukta shows his bhakti for the sake of
enjoyment of that bhakti and not for any other reward or purpose.


continued.....
Friends,it is absolutely clear what Sri Ramakrishna and The kAnchi mahAswAmi is saying,and these are quite clinching that Bhakti also is an end in itself and this is truly so for a Bhakta;he is not after any so called 'Liberation' projected by the mind that wants to think its way out of its 'limitations' that it finds itself in.
Namaskar.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 09:41:19 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti continued.....

Excerpt from the Talks of kAnchi mahAswAmi on Soundarya lahari of Sri Adi Sankara continued:

(The Mahaswamigal continues to speak the words, as if, of the Goddess):
[b"]“Thus I am the One who gives this new Bhakti in the state of jnAna. And I will be the One who will give you that jnAna to you, my
devotee, when the time is ripe[/b]. Don’t you worry. You have come to Me as your Mother. I will take care of you. The bondage in which I threw you
shall be removed from you by Myself. You need not have to keep on crying for ‘Release’. Once you know I am the only One there is, hold on to
that steadfastly; there is no question of ‘Release’ thereafter. ‘Release’ from what? “Let jnAnis think that they will get the Ultimate Peace only when
the duality-awareness goes away from them and let them go their own way of Enquiry of the Self
. When you feel you don’t have the interest or
the stamina to go that way, don’t feel bad or incomplete. Come through the path of Love. See the multiplicities. But instead of seeing them as
different and separate, try not to forget that the basis of all of them is the single Me
. Love Me from your heart and view everything through Love.
Encompass everything in Love. I shall raise you to the Ultimate Enlightenment by My Love and Grace
”".

Thus arises the godly experience that is blessed by the Mother Goddess. By Mother Goddess I also mean the Lord-God, the paramAtmA,
and also the individual favourite deity of each of us
. It is the same  supreme Power that engulfs you into the mAyA, that graces you as
saguNa-brahman and also takes you to that blissful state of jnAna.Finally let me also say this. By the very fact that the jnAni writes a
book on jnAna, it must follow that he should also write on Bhakti. For,writing a book means communicating with others. So that means he has
accepted the presence of a world of duality in which he has to communicate and educate. The jnAni as he is, must have already
‘descended’ to this world of duality and decided to raise the commonfolk to his level. He who knows that the source of all this duality is that
Infinite Compassionate God–principle, would ipso facto have no compunctions for making a hymn of praise for that Ultimate in Its
saguNa form. And he also knows that it is that very same Power that prods him on to make this hymn. So where is the contradiction here?
But if you contend that he is writing jnAna works for the benefit of the world – ‘loka-sangrahArtham’ without any ‘kartRtva-buddhi’ -- the
awareness of doership – then with the same non-awareness of doership he can write both jnAna works and bhakti works. What and where is the
difference? The World-welfare (loka-kalyANam) is the purpose. It is the Lord who is effecting the welfare through the hands and mouth of these
chosen jnAnis. And the most efficient way for the jnAni, the Lord knows, to reach the masses, is to propagate hymns of praise of the divine,
pilgrimage to holy centers, installation of mystic yantras, and all the way down to ritual worship
".

continued.....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 09:47:05 AM
Friends,
What Kanchi Mahaswami has said,Sri Ramakrishna says it in his inimitably homely way-An Excerpt from The Gospel of sri Ramakrishna:

(To the pundit) "Please don't say anything to Mani Mallick. You must know that there are
different tastes. There are also different powers of digestion. God has made different
religions and creeds to suit different aspirants. By no means all are fit for the Knowledge of
Brahman. Therefore the worship of God with form has been provided.
"The mother brings home a fish for her children. She curries part of the fish, part she fries,
and with another part she makes pilau. By no means all can digest the pilau. So she makes
fish soup for those who have weak stomachs. Further, some want pickled or fried fish.
There are different temperaments. There are differences in the capacity to comprehend."

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 01:03:57 PM
udai,
"There are different temperaments".
You seem to be ignoring this :).
The capacity aspect is true in any field,not just the spiritual.Capacity can be built by Sadhana,but temperament will still override that.

No,very rarely I key it in.These are from pdf documents and simple copy and paste only.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 05, 2012, 01:23:55 PM
Dear Ravi,

Yes. Sri Bhagavan also showed enormous bhakti towards god even after Self Realization. Whenever some devotees bring
kumukum and vibhuti from some temples, He used to wear with utmost devotion. He had taken Ganga jal also like that when
someone brought it from Kasi. Once when Annamalaiyar came for street procession, the Asramam people submitted coconut
and fruits and arti was shown. They applied the arti on the eyes and then the vibhuti and kumkum, to their foreheads. When
they brought the Vibhuti and kumkum to Sri Bhagavan, He applied reverently on His forehead saying - The son is subservient to
Father.

His entire Stuti Panchakam is only a collection of poems showing  his devotion to Annamlaiyar.

Bhakti for bhakti's sake without expecting any reward. They call it ahethu bhakti, bhakti without reason.

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on November 05, 2012, 04:18:47 PM
Dear Sri Ravi,

Wonderful excerpts! I truly enjoy reading them,coz,probably, i would not search them by my own. And,i am also enjoying Your and Sri Tushnim's conversation. Much can we learn from it,and in essence,is truly friendly.

Thank You Very much!

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 05:11:03 PM
Subramanian,
Yes,Sri Bhagavan is a Great devotee as well and often used to be choked with Emotion when he read stories of kannappa Nayanar and other Great saints.
Jewell,
Thanks very much for your kind words.Yes,I am posting all this to bring out that the Bhakti aspect is something that one cannot afford to neglect.Emotions when turned into feeling and directed inwards is a very potent Sadhana that all sadhakas should pay attention to.It is not to be put in cold storage by the cocky intellect which views it with suspicion,and as something inferior that can be dispensed with.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 05, 2012, 05:16:34 PM
Dear Ravi,

Once when some devotee asked Sri Bhagavan: Swami, why have you not written about Unnamulai? You are writing only
about Arunachala! Sri Bhagavan answered;  It is she who is in my heart is writing all these!

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 05, 2012, 05:22:09 PM
Dear Ravi,

கண்ணப்பன் ஒப்பதோர் அன்பின்மை கண்டபின்
என்னப்பன் என்னொப்பில் என்னையும் ஆட்கொண்டருளி
வண்ணப் பணித்தென்னை வாவென்ற வான் கருணைச்
கண்ணப்பென் நீற்றற்கே சென்றூதாய் கோத்தும்பீ. 218

Thus Saint Manikkavachagar also praises Kannappan to a high extent. He says even after seeing Kannappan's love,
you have also taken over me considering me worthy! Tiruvachakam, tiru kothumbi, Verse 4

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 05:28:58 PM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti continued.....

Excerpt from the Talks of kAnchi mahAswAmi on Soundarya lahari of Sri Adi Sankara continued:

Of Soundaryalahari it may be said that there never was one like it, nor ever will be. It has a perennial charm that does not satiate. And its
majestic eloquence is unbeatable. In his bhaja-govindam our Acharya uses very elementary words because it happens to be the alphabet of
Vedanta. But here he is describing the undescribable. So he uses words very precisely. Consequently the vocabulary turns out to be difficult.
But the words chosen only add to the lilting charm of the poetry that he weaves. The metre used is ‘shikariNI’, meaning ‘that which is at the
apex
’. It has 17 syllables for each of the four lines.
Through the descriptions of the Goddess’s form that make up the latter 59 shlokas, he brings ambaal right before our mental eyes in all
Her majesty, grace and splendour and overwhelms us by the bliss which the very words and metaphors pour on us. Just as a master-sculptor
dedicates each movement of his chisel to the object of his sculpture, he transforms each word, as it were, by his own spiritual experience of the
Goddess and thus in turn we readers feel the words themselves constitute the Goddess.
It is not only blissful poetry, but blessed poetry. Such blessedness arises not because of any flowery language, but by the fact the Acharya
is himself blessed ! ‘Mother, this hymn is nothing but a composition ofyours in your own words’ (‘tvadIyAbhir-vAgbhiH tava janani vAcAm stutiriyam
’ – shloka #100), says he in the concluding line
. Inspirations of great saints and sages, not only benefit mankind by their inspired poetry,
but bring to successive generations, an inspired contact with the great men, even long after they have passed away. Thus our Acharya in
enabling us to have a ‘darshan’ of the Goddess herself, gives us, in addition, a ‘darshan’ of himself !
The concept of ‘intense’ devotion does not care for the language used, or for the manner of worship. It is the intensity of devotion and
depth of feeling that matter. But getting that intensity and depth is the most difficult thing
. That is exactly what eludes us. Now that is where
the beauty of such blessed poetry like Soundaryalahari excels
. Whether you understand it or not, whether you pronounce the words correctly or
not, the very attempt itself of reciting it produces in you the needed bhakti! This is the word-power of the words of such blessed poetry. The
vibrations of the words give us all the material and spiritual success
.

We have only to keep the objective of bhakti steadfast in our minds.Everything else just follows.
Of all the stotras that our Acharya has done, it is the Soundaryalahari that is the topmost. The aShTottara-nAmAvaLi of the
Acharya has the nAmA ‘soundarya-laharI-mukhya-bahu-stotravidhAyakAya namaH’ meaning: ‘prostrations to the one who composed
many stotras with soundaryalaharI as the prime one
’. Of the BhAshyas that he wrote, ‘brahma-sUtra-bhAshya’ towers supreme; of his expository
works, ‘viveka-chUDAmaNi’ is prime and of all his works of bhakti, the SoundaryalaharI tops the list.

-------------------------------------------------------
SundarI, the beautiful, is Her name. MahA-tripura-sundarI or just, tripura-sundarI , both derived from the root name, SundarI, is the
Goddess propitiated by the great mantra called ‘Shri-vidyA’. Of the many names of ambaal, such as PArvatI, durgA, KALI, BAlA, BhuvaneshvarI,
etc., it is the SundarI name that goes with ‘RAja-rAjesvari’, the Queen name of all the scriptures that talk of and dwell on the Mother Goddess.
Sage Ramakrishna has said: I have seen many forms of Gods andGoddesses; but I have never seen one more charming than ‘tripurasundarI’ ! The word ‘soundaryam’ pertains to SundarI and means ‘TheBeauty’.But the beauty of it all is, that the name ‘tripura-sundarI’ or any of the other (synonymous) names of the same form, namely, ‘LalitA’, ‘RAjarAjeshvarI’, ‘KAmAkshI’ or ‘KaAmeshvarI’ do not occur anywhere in the text, including its title ! Even the other descriptive names of the Goddess
like ‘hima-giri-sutA’ (daughter of Himalaya mountain), or simply, giri-sutA, shivA, bhavAnI, umA, satI, pArvatI, chanDI – occur only at one or two
places. General attributed names, like ‘jananI’, ‘mAtA’, ‘ambA’, ‘devI’ meaning either ‘mother’ or ‘goddess’, -- which commonly go with all
feminine deities -- occur at a few more places, but even they are few.

While he begins with ‘shivaH-shaktyA’, the most potent name of ambaal, namely ‘Shakti’, gets mentioned. ‘Shakti’ means ‘power’. It is the
absolute Brahman’s power or energy that ambaal personifies. So this name tells everything about the Goddess. And it comes in the very
beginning, but never after.(In shloka #32, the word ‘Shakti’ appears but there it is a code-word for a syllable in ambaal’s mantra).
Finally, one more point regarding occurrence of names. The role of a woman has three stages: as daughter, as wife, as mother. The last two
roles certainly do get mentioned very often in stotras pertaining to a feminine deity. But the Soundaryalahari uses the daughter-reference
such as ‘himagiri-sute’, ‘tuhina-giri-kanye’, more often. And again, when the first part of 41 shlokas ends, he ends by referring to ‘janaka-jananI’ ,
the mother-father role of both Ishvara and IshvarI of the whole universe.

continued.......
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on November 05, 2012, 06:12:25 PM
Dear Sri Ravi,

Yes,i agree,feelings when directed towards Divine are very powerfull aid. Sure,some are naturaly inclined toward bhakti,and with some it come later,with progress of sadhana. How will someone act is not important,but feeling is there.  Emotions are very natural,and we should let everything flow naturaly. Whatever comes. And,there are many ways of bhakti too,and how will manifest,according to temperaments. It could be estatic,it could be 'quiet'... Thats my thinking.

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 08:30:12 PM
Jewell,
Yes,Bhakti does call for a Great purity of Heart to reach the required intensity.Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

"Nishtha leads to bhakti; bhakti, when mature, becomes bhava; bhava, when concentrated,
becomes mahabhava; and last of all is prema. Prema is like a cord: by prema God is bound
to the devotee; He can no longer run away. An ordinary man can at best achieve bhava.
None but an Isvarakoti attains mahabhava and prema. Chaitanyadeva attained them".
[hr
The Higher rungs of Bhakti are not at all easily accessible to the vast majority of aspirants.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 05, 2012, 09:11:05 PM
(http://www.ramakrishna.org/images/photo_1.jpg)

Friends,
Here is a wonderful photograph of Sri Ramakrishna in samadhi in Keshab Chandra sen's House.He is gently supported from behind by his nephew Hriday.

The State of Ecstatic samadhi is quite a rare thing and is beyond the bounds for most teachers who teach jnAna;Some of them explain  this away as a 'mental state'!This is understandable as they hardly know anything about it,still less attain to such Heights of parabhakti.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on November 05, 2012, 10:01:36 PM
Dear Sri Ravi, How Beautiful picture!!! I never saw it. Thank You Very much! With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 06:26:43 AM
Jewell,
Yes,the Master is extremely charming and quite a beautiful person.There is this interesting article that swami vidyatmananda compiled on the photographs of the Master.Here is an excerpt:
A devoted lady of the Bhowanipore section of Calcutta,who was the wife of achal Kumar Maitra,a solicitor,and an initiated disciple of Swami Brahmananda(Rakhal maharaj,the spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna),occasionally used to come to visit Maharaj at Balaram Bose's house.From there she would usually go to the Holy Mother's house at Udbodhan office.Swami Saradananda(Direct disciple of sri Ramakrishna ,who wrote his biography-Sri Ramakrishna Leela Prasanga),who lived at the udbodhan office had a great affection for the devoted lady.In due course,the woman conceived the idea of having a marble statue of Sri Ramakrishna made for herself;she sought the advice of swami saradananda about the matter.At that time a well known Maharashtrian sculptor was working in the Jhautala section of Calcutta.The woman went to the studio of this sculptor and placed an order for the statue,asking him to make the statue as prompt as possible.
After that the Lady went occasionally to the Udbodhan office to report on the progress of the statue.
When the clay model was ready,she went to the Udbodhan office and requested swami Saradananda to go to the studio and approve the model.
Shortly after this conversation,Swami Saradananda one morning appeared at Balaram Bose's house to tell Maharaj(Swami Brahmananda)the whole story of the statue.He appealed to Maharaj to go to the studio and approve the model.
On hearing about the statue from Saradananda,Maharaj kept silent for a while and then asked:"Sarat(former name of Saradananda),which figure of the Master should I approve?Even on the same day I saw the Master in many forms.Sometimes one would find him lean and emaciated,sitting silently in a corner.Again,after sometime one would notice him singing Kirtans,all the time clapping his hands,totally forgetful of his body and dress.Sometimes he would be lost in deep samadhi;then there would be a wonderful expression in his face,which beamed with celestial Bliss,while his body radiated a divine Light.At times,he would be found to possess a stature much taller and stronger than the usual one and to move from one end of the southern portico to the other with big,long steps."
Swami Saradananda humbly replied:"Maharaj,I mean that particular figure of the Master which he himself said would be worshipped in every house;you are to approve the model of that form."
Maharaj with a smiling face replied:"All Right,I shall go."
That very afternoon arrangements were made for Maharaj to go to the studio.Swami saradananda,Swami Shivananda(another direct disciple of Sri ramakrishna)and many other sadhus accompanied him.Golap-ma and Yogin-ma(Direct women disciples of Sri Ramakrishna)also went.
Maharaj scrutinized the model minutely.Then he pointed out to the sculptor,"You see,you have the Master bending forward a bit."
"Yes" Replied the Sculptor,"You see Sir,if anyone sits in that posture,with his hands clasped in front of his legs,he is bound to have to bend forward a little."
Maharaj Replied:"We never saw the Master sitting like that.What you say is applicable to ordinary individuals,but was not true in the case of the Master.He had very long arms(It is said that Lord Sri Rama also had very long arms-Ravi).His hands reached to his knees."
Further Maharaj pointed out to the sculptor something about the Master's ears."You see ,generally the ears of people begin above the eyebrows and you have modelled the ears of the Master in the same way.But the Master's ears began from below the line of his eyes."
The people present were extremely interested to hear these detailed facts about Sri Ramakrishna's appearance.The Sculptor agreed to correct the model according to Maharaj's instructions.He said,"Please come after a week and I will have completed the model by that time."
After one week Maharaj and his party went to the studio again.Looking at the model,Maharaj expressed deep satisfaction with the remark:"Now it is quite exact."
The Model was so vivid that everybody who accompanied maharaj on that day felt the Living presence of the Master in the Model.

You may read the complete article here:
http://www.ramakrishna.org/catalog/photohistory/SriRamakrishna_1.htm (http://www.ramakrishna.org/catalog/photohistory/SriRamakrishna_1.htm)

Even persons who have moved with the Master may not be able to notice the minutest details of the Master;it is only the few like Swami Brahmananda who can bring out such aspects!How much more so when it comes to the Teachings!
P.S:Udai,This post had to be keyed in;no copy paste here! I tought it will interest some to know how the Master looked like physically.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 08:51:27 AM
udai,
So far I have seen only 'I'(Ego,a Big one!)and no sign of Truth. :)
I have pointed out on earlier occasions as well;but you seem to take it as if I am making a 'Personal' Reference to you.Let me make it clear;I have no means of Knowing you as a person.Whatever I am saying is based on what is 'Projected' here!
The 'I' always imposes its point of view,and never is bothered about understanding the standpoints of 'Others' which it assumes as inferior to its own.It is only concerned about making statements to impress,not to see whether it is relevant to others.I am referring to your response to 'Swayam' in another thread-that included a list of names(Excluding Udai,who obviously do not belong to that impressive List!)and your subsequent justification of that Statement!Did you ponder to see whether it answered Swayam's question.I think not;You are carrying on your monologue here ;you are free to do that.Just wish to sound you that this 'BIG I' is not Self. :)

Namaskar
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 09:02:17 AM
udai,
"When I say Everyone stands free... its not big I, its Very BiG I "

Yes,indeed;I am questioning the 'I' that says this;may be very small 'I' that one need not bother about,especially the rest of us. :)

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 09:20:34 AM
udai,
Let us understand what is meant by 'Bound'.What does this mean?
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 09:59:15 AM
udai,
My definition is quite simple;All that I am bothered is that as long as you are required to take care of the Body,you are bound.I am least bothered whether your vedanta accepts it or not and whether you 'Identify' with your body or not.
Now tell me,whether you are bound or not. :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 10:34:00 AM
Udai,
Forget Sri Bhagavan.With all the 'Ifs and Buts' it becomes conditional! :)
Where is the question of freedom?

This is what Sri Ramakrishna says:
"It is possible for me togive up the body in samadhi; but I have a slight desire to enjoy the love of God and the company of His devotees. Therefore I pay a little attention to my body".

Elsewhere also he says:""I have gone on suffering so much for fear of making you all weep. But if you all say: 'Oh, there is so much suffering! Let the body die', then I may give up the body."

This is Freedom,that one may decide to 'Drop' the Body at will.

Are we free like  this?Otherwise Freedom is  'imagination' only. :)

This is quite as simple as this.I know most 'jnAnis' will not pass this test. :)

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: ramana_maharshi on November 06, 2012, 02:02:21 PM
Quote
Even better: A person who does not see taking care of the body as bondage ... nor does he see that falling apart of the body as bondage is a free person.
A person who is free from these notions of bondage is free!

Dear udai,

Perfect quote regarding the advaita attitude and i agree with you.

advaita attitude does not mean we should not take care of the body.. remember even bhagavan ramana took care of his body though he did not take ownership of the same.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 02:25:38 PM
prashant/Friends,
Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Paths of knowledge and devotion

A NEIGHBOUR: "Revered sir, what are the doctrines of Vedanta?"

MASTER: "The Vedantist says, 'I am He.' Brahman is real and the world illusory. Even the
'I' is illusory. Only the Supreme Brahman exists.

"But the 'I' cannot be got rid of. Therefore it is good to have the feeling, 'I am the servant of
God, His son, His devotee.'

"For the Kaliyuga the path of bhakti is especially good. One can realize God through bhakti
too. As long as one is conscious of the body, one is also conscious of objects. Form, taste,
smell, sound, and touch-these are the objects. It is extremely difficult to get rid of the
consciousness of objects. And one cannot realize 'I am He' as long as one is aware of
objects
.

"The sannyasi is very little conscious of worldly objects. But the householder is always
engrossed in them. Therefore it is good for him to feel, 'I am the servant of God.'"

To say 'I am not identifying myself with the Body' is just another idea and this does not take one anywhere.The acid test is whether one is conscious of the Body;If so whether he is free to shed it at will?Both Sri Bhagavan and sri Ramakrishna had spent atleast 6 months without being conscious of the Body(and hence the world of objects).The Unreality that they talk of is something that they have actually experienced;not a concept understood by a mind through ratiocination.
This is Freedom.In their case,it is the Divine Providence which took care of the Body;there was no sankalpa-'I should take care of the Body'.Most of the time they never knew whether the Body was there or not,and hence the way they dressed-more for others than for themselves.

I am not suggesting that we should ignore the Body.I am just saying that as long as we have to care for the Body ,we are within the jurisdiction of Shakti and cannot boast of our freedom.We are puppets only.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: ramana_maharshi on November 06, 2012, 02:51:23 PM
oh yes ravi garu agreed.

Even ramana guru said the same thing that there will be no end if one starts to take care of his body so preceisly..

But minimal care is surely required and even both the sages u mentioned and many others like swami sivananda,swami prahupada etc have done the same..

they all ate food on daily basis but to the minimum extent which is necessary to maintain the body and dont have desires to eat "A" particular type of food and on huge quantities...

that is the catch we need to take over from their lives..

but nothing wrong in following our own tradition we r raised.. like jesus followed his tradition and ate non-veg and drank wine, sri ramakrishna ate fish and smoked etc..

though i argued earlier but i think even i agree now that it is very hard to come out of the traditions we are raised and no sage is exception..
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 06, 2012, 03:14:22 PM
Dear Tusnim,

Sri Bhagavan said: Bhadha vasana is one which shall create bondage and would cause rebirths. Bhoga vasana is one which
does not create bondage, and which is destined. For example Sri Bhagavan used to like chilli powder and til oil for idli.
He insisted on this for many years. So also when Malayalam type kanji and aviyal (a mixture of vegetables with curd and
heated in coconut oil was served one day, for a change He asked for a second helping and enjoyed the kanji + aviyal.
These are bhoga vasanas. Detailed description is there in Talks in many of His conversations, eg/. Talks Nos: 344, 349, 390, 394,
398, 401 etc.,

I do not know the occasions when Kanchi Mahaswami had spoken on this topic.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 03:25:54 PM
udai/Friends,
I am not going to throw cold water on someone's aspirations and ideas of Freedom. :)
I just indicated what Sri Ramakrishna has said.
Sri Bhagavan's complete talks can be downloaded from the asramam website.I hope it is available for download.

Kanchi MahaswAmi's talks are wonderfully translated by Sri KTSV Sarma and posted here:
http://advaitham.blogspot.in/ (http://advaitham.blogspot.in/)

Kanchi Mahaswami's select articles on advaita sadhana are available for downloading as a pdf:
http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/downloads/sadhana.pdf (http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/downloads/sadhana.pdf)

His wonderful commentary on soundarya lahari is available as a pdf here:
http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/downloads/sadhana.pdf (http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/downloads/sadhana.pdf)

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 03:36:19 PM
udai/Friends,
Please download kanchi mahaswami's discourses on soundarya lahari here:
http://www.advaitin.net/Articles/Soundaryalahari1.pdf (http://www.advaitin.net/Articles/Soundaryalahari1.pdf)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 04:26:10 PM
Udai,
Here is an excerpt from Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi:

17th September, 1938 Talk 515.

D.: In the explanation given yesterday, it is said that the removal of avarana results in the annihilation of the karana sarira. That is
clear. But how is the gross body considered to fall off too?

M.: The vasanas are of two kinds: bandha hetu (causing bondage) and bhoga hetu (only giving enjoyment). The Jnani has transcended the
ego and therefore all the causes of bondage are inoperative. Bandha hetu is thus at an end and prarabdha (past karma) remains as bhoga
vasana (to give enjoyment) only. Therefore it was said that the sukshma sarira alone survives jnana. Kaivalya says that sanchita Karma (stored
Karma) is at an end simultaneously with the rise of jnana; that agami (Karma now collecting) is no longer operative owing to the absence
of the sense of bondage, and that prarabdha will be exhausted by enjoyment (bhoga) only. Thus the last one will end in course of time
and then the gross body also falls away with it.

Sarira traya (the three bodies) and Karma traya (the three Karmas) are mere phrases meant for the delectation of debaters. A Jnani is
not affected by any of them
.

An aspirant is instructed to find who he is. If he does so, he will take no interest in discussing such matters as the above. Find the
Self and rest in Peace."

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: cefnbrithdir on November 06, 2012, 05:15:38 PM
Udai,
Here is an excerpt from Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi:

17th September, 1938 Talk 515.

An aspirant is instructed to find who he is. If he does so, he will take no interest in discussing such matters as the above. Find the
Self and rest in Peace."

Namaskar.

Dear Ravi

Thank you for this. It was just what I wanted to hear after dipping into a 2008 David Godman blog on a discourse by  Robert Adams. His Foundation have also  recently sent his University Discourses - the second chapters is  all about "akashic records".

Why is this the way to teach aspirants ? Are not these matters for us  just (unreal) distractions and (unreal) objects in the same way that any other externality that takes away our vichara or bhakti might be ?
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 06, 2012, 05:33:50 PM
Dear cenfbrithdir,

Yes. A discussions on matters of spirituality, not taking us to the Truth are only exercise in futility. The best way is
to remain Summa always trying to quell the mind inwards in the Self. Certain clarifications to the beginners  in the Forum
may be of some help to them. Otherwise it is not empty logic, ratiocination and lingual diarrohea.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 06, 2012, 05:38:11 PM
It is not empty logic - should read as "it is empty logic."

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 06:18:01 PM
udai,
"so body is sustained as long as the person lives"

It is said that the jnAni's body is like the Garland on a cow;The cow is just not conscious whether it is there or fallen away.

As long as we are Required to take care of the Body,there is obligation.In order to take care of the Body,we are earning money.This is the dependency and as long as this is there, we are not free.We may say that we are aspiring for freedom.

It is true that through external activities one may not be able to ascertain the state of JnAna;yet there is no other way to test oneself if one is truly free;One may well be imagining oneself as having 'Knowledge' and consider oneself Free.

Yet one may find that one's freedom depends on a thousand things that one may not be conscious of!One has to examine the sense of 'mine' or possession;whether one is an unconscious slave to this?

Namaskar.




Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 06, 2012, 06:29:08 PM
Dear Tusnim,

' Garland on a cow' simile was told by Sri Sankara and also Sri  Bhagavan.

Vivekachudamani says a Jnani does not bother how his body falls. It is like a ripe leaf in a tree. It may fall near Siva
temple, or under the tree or on the river beside. What does he care for his body? What is important for him is the
Self Realization.

One interesting thing about Sri Ramana shedding his moral coil is -  a shooting star moved skywards at that moment
and perched into the summit of Arunachala. This was seen even by people who were in Mumbai, Chennai and Patna.
This is something unparalleled in history about a Brahma Jnani shedding his mortal coil.

Arunachala Siva.   

Arunachala Siva.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: ramana_maharshi on November 06, 2012, 06:33:27 PM
Dear all,

But we also found out that jnanis were not able to come out of their tradition they were raised?

Why is it so? Are they conscious or unconscious while following their raised tradition or surroundings?

Example again like sri ramakrishna followed bengal tradition and ate fish etc...

I believe even jnani's fall under bhoga hetu vasanas and they are not beyond them.

As known bhoga hetu vasanas is not a issue.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 06, 2012, 06:34:28 PM
udai,
I would rather wish to see our material possessions treated like that! :)
'Thoughts' are Free!It is easy to dismiss them. :)

Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Master's renunciation

Master:"Well, what do you think of this? When I touch a coin my hand gets twisted; my breathing stops. Further, if tie a knot in the corner of my cloth, I cannot breathe. My breathing stops until the knot is untied."

The Master asked a devotee to bring a rupee. When Sri Ramakrishna held it in his hand, the hand began to writhe with pain. The Master's breathing also stopped. After the coin had been taken away, he breathed deeply three times and his hand relaxed. The doctor became speechless with wonder to see this strange phenomenon.

The doctor said to M., "Action on the nerves."

MASTER (to the doctor): "I get into another state of mind. It is impossible for me to lay up anything. One day I visited Sambhu Mallick's garden house. At that time I had been
suffering badly from stomach trouble. Sambhu said to me: Take a grain of opium now and then. It will help you.' He tied a little opium in a corner of my cloth. As I was returning to the Kali temple, I began to wander about near the gate as if unable to find the way. Then I threw the opium away and at once regained my normal state. I returned to the templegarden.

"One day at Kamarpukur I picked some mangoes. I was carrying them home. But I could not walk; I had to stay standing in one place. Then I left the mangoes in a hollow. Only
after that could I return home. Well, how do you explain that?"

DOCTOR: "There is a force behind it. Will-force."

M: "He [meaning the Master] says that it is God-force. You say that it is will-force."

The jnAni does not take care of his body!It is taken care of.Are we in such a position,like a dry leaf blown by the wind?

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on November 06, 2012, 08:16:52 PM
Dear Sri Ravi, I cannot thank You enough for the Beautiful,Beautiful story about Sri Ramakrishna,and His behaviour and look. Truly,i have now much better impression of Him. And that mean alot to me! Thank You Very much for the link too! With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 06:02:47 AM
Jewell,
I am quite happy that you found the story of Sri Ramakrishna's pictures interesting and rewarding.Rakhal Maharaj(Swami Brahmananda,spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna)was a Great soul and his teachings are very useful for all aspirants.His life and teachings are published in book form,called 'Eternal Companion'(So called because Rakhal Maharaj was identified by Sri Ramakrishna as a companion of Lord Sri Krishna in his former incarnation!).You may find this book online:
http://www.rkmfiji.org/node/58 (http://www.rkmfiji.org/node/58)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 06:15:40 AM
Friends,
I wish to share the Introduction from 'Eternal companion'(Life and Teachings of Rakhal Maharaj,Spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna) as it will adress most of what we have been discussing here:

The Eternal Companion:Life and Teachings of Swami Brahmananda

To write the biography of an illumined soul is very difficult, if not impossible; for his is pre-eminently an inner life. True, he may engage in certain activities; he may achieve the kind of success which impresses the outer world; but all these activities and achievements- including even his spoken and written teachings- will fall far short of, and fail to express, the real man.
 
An ordinary professor or scholar teaches out of his accumulated learning. Such a man’s scholarship is far greater than the man himself. That is to say, he may teach the loftiest truths, theoretically, without having made them a part of his own life and experience. A man of spiritual wisdom also teaches these truths, not theoretically, but out of his own experience. Nevertheless, the expression of these truths in words cannot possibly correspond to the vastness of his inner knowledge, which is inexpressible because it is transcendental. We know a man with our mind and senses; but our mind and senses cannot reveal to us the nature of an illumined soul. In order to be able fully to understand such a soul a man must himself be illumined.
 
When you go into the presence of one of these great beings, something very wonderful happens. His mere presence gives you, as it were, a supersense which enables you to recognize the greatness which is in him. Maharaj (as Swami Brahmananda was called) used to give us that supersense whenever we were with him. Our minds were lifted up and caught glimpses of his inner nature. But these glimpses were only partial. We were aware that the other disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, who were themselves illumined souls, could see more in Maharaj than we, his disciples, ever saw. Swami Ramakrishananda, founder and head of the Ramakrishna Math in Madras, once introduced Maharaj to the devotees there, saying: ‘None of you have seen Sri Ramakrishna himself; but now you see Maharaj, and that is the same thing.’
 
On another occasion a devotee brought fruit which he wanted to offer to Sri Ramakrishna in the shrine. Swami Ramakrishnananda told him to offer it to Maharaj and said: ‘To offer this fruit to Maharaj is as good as offering it to Sri Ramakrishna.’

One day I hesitated to accept something that Maharaj told me. Swami Shivananda was present at the time, and he agreed with Maharaj immediately. I did not like this. Later I talked to Swami Shivananda alone and more or less accused him of being a ‘yes-man’ to Maharaj. Swami Shivananda laughed and said: ‘My boy, you see in Maharaj only Maharaj; but we see the external form of Maharaj with nothing inside it but God. Whatever Maharaj tells you comes directly from God.’
 
It should be remembered that this statement was not made by a mere ignorant enthusiast but by one who was himself an illumined soul. Its truth was not clear to me at the time, but later I began to understand and believe it because of a talk which I had with Maharaj himself. One day he asked me to look at the almanac and find an auspicious date for his departure from Madras. As I did so, I could not help smiling. Maharaj noticed this and asked me why I was amused. I replied: ‘Well, Maharaj, you always go through this routine whenever you plan to go anywhere, but then you suddenly make up your mind to leave on some other day.’
 
At this Maharaj said: ‘Do you think I do anything according to my own will? The devotees insist upon fixing some date for my going, so to avoid constant pestering I fix a tentative date. But I do not move or do anything until I know the will of God.’
 
‘Do you mean to say,’ I asked, ‘that you are always guided by the will of God?’
 
Maharaj: ‘Yes’.
 
Myself: ‘Well, Maharaj, I too may think or feel that I am doing the will of God, when actually I am only following my own inclinations and attributing them to God’s will. Isn’t that what you do?’
 
Maharaj: ‘No my child, it is not the same.’
 
Myself: ‘Then do you mean to say that you actually see God and talk to Him directly and know His will?’
 
Maharaj: ‘Yes, I wait until I know His will directly and He tells me what I do.’
 
Myself: ‘For everything you do?’
 
Maharaj: ‘Yes for everything I do have the direct guidance of God’.
 
Myself: ‘And do you accept only those disciples He wants you to accept?’
 
Maharaj: ‘Yes’.

continued....

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 06:19:55 AM
The Eternal Companion:Life and Teachings of Swami Brahmananda continued....

After this talk with him, I began to find some meaning in his peculiar way of acting. For example, whenever any of us asked his advice, he would say: ‘Wait. My brain is not working today or my stomach is upset I will answer you tomorrow’. Sometimes, many tomorrows would pass before we got any definite answer. But when Maharaj did finally speak, there was always a special power behind his words.
 
‘How does he know the will of God? Does he go into Samadhi every time before he knows it?’ This was the thought that continually crossed my mind. But not daring to ask him, I waited, hoping somehow to get an answer. Then, one day, I was discussing with another disciple the spiritual visions of ‘Gopal’s Mother’, a women disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. She had been given this name because she used to see Gopal, the boy Krishna, playing with her, walking beside her and calling her ‘Mother’. I expressed my opinion that these visions of ‘Gopal’s Mother’ belong to the transcendental plane and that I did not believe she had actually seen Sri Krishna with her physical eyes. Maharaj, who was sitting in his room, overheard me. He came out and said rather sarcastically: ‘Ah! So you are omniscient!’
 
But Maharaj, I asked, ‘How can one see God in the external world with physical eyes?’
 
Maharaj simply made this statement in English: ‘Show me the line of demarcation where matter ends and spirit begins.’
 
In other words, I understood him to say, when eye of the spirit opens, one sees Brahman everywhere.

The following teachings of Shankara in his Vivekachudamani elucidate the above remark of Maharaj:
 
Our perception of the Universe is a continuous perception of Brahman, though the ignorant man is not aware of this. Indeed, this universe is nothing but Brahman. See Brahman everywhere, under all circumstances, with the eye of the spirit and a tranquil heart. How can the physical eyes see anything but physical objects? How can the mind of the enlightened man think of anything other than the Reality?

In the Upanishads we read that ‘a knower of Brahman becomes Brahman’. What is it that attracts people to a man of God? Young and old, boys and girls, men, women and children, saints and sinners-all felt an indefinable attraction to Maharaj, even if they did not in the least understand what was meant by ‘a knower of Brahman’

continued....


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 06:40:10 AM
The Eternal Companion:Life and Teachings of Swami Brahmananda continued....

When I first met Maharaj I was a boy of eighteen. I did not know anything about God or the realization of God, yet I felt drawn to him as to a long-lost friend who was very near and dear to me. I had never felt such a love before in my life: it was the love of parents and the love of a friend, all in one. Every one had the same experience. Once I asked Swami Subodhananda, another disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, the reason for this all-satisfying love which emanated from Maharaj. The Swami replied: ‘God is love. Maharaj has realized God. Therefore he is full of love’.
 
You did not have to be pure-hearted or spiritually-minded to love Maharaj. Even the most depraved natures felt this love when they came into his presence and many of them were transformed into saints. Maharaj did not talk to everybody about God or spiritual matters or philosophical truths; he would come down, as it were to the level of each individual; he became that person. He had the power of uplift a man without the man’s even knowing it; and when that person left his presence he was bathed in love and purity. When you were in the presence of Maharaj you completely forgot yourself. You felt you were in another world where there was no worry or grief, and where man was not man, but divine. You were filled with a strange joy which you could neither explain nor understand.
 
Maharaj’s bearing was stately and regal. He was tall and well-built and his was serene and joyful. His eyes were deep and seemed always to be gazing into the infinite. Whenever he looked at you, you felt that he was probing the depths of your innermost nature and that he knew all your weakness and failing. But somehow you did not mind this full knowledge because those eyes were so full of mercy and love. We never feared to be known by him. Then there were other times when, though his eyes were wide open, it seemed as if the universe no longer existed for him; he seemed to be living in a different world altogether.

His hands and feet were beautifully formed and they possessed a peculiar attraction. His back strikingly resembled the back of Sri Ramakrishna. Swami Turiyananda once told me how, many years after passing away of Sri Ramakrishna, he saw Maharaj from behind, walking in the grounds of the Belur Math and mistook him for Sri Ramakrishna himself.
 
Once in a crowded railway station I overheard a man who had been observing Maharaj, exclaim to a friend: ‘Look at that man! What part of India does he come from? He isn’t like a Madrasi, or a Parsi, or a Bengali, or a Punjabi. Can you guess his nationality?’ And the other answered: ‘No I can’t. But you can see very well that he is a man of God.

Rakhal maharaj was truly a spiritual Dynamo.I wish to share this point here;I have met many Great ones like kAnchi MahasWami,Sri Anandamoyi ma,Mataji Krishnabia,sant Gulab singh,Sri Radha baba,Yogi Shuddhananda Bharati,Sri Annamalai swami,and among the ones who are living now TGN,Mata Amritananda Mayi,Sri Nochur Venkatraman.They have a subtle presence that is their voice and teaching!I have ,ofcourse come across other swamijis and teachers of Traditional Vedanta,and they are quite intelligent and learned and are carrying on some Good work.Everyone has a place in this world of ours.Some of them have setup schools where they  teach classical Works of Vedanta,and  churn out students who in turn become teachers,and give talks.There is nothing these persons do not know.For every question,they have a ready answer and are absolutely sure what it is.Only it is rare to find someone who is concerned whether the Listener understood,whether his inner need was met.It is this that distinguishes a Self Realized Master from a conventional Teacher.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 06:55:05 AM
cefnbrithdir,

Yes,I agree with you;it is just not necessary to fill our minds with all unnecessary learnings.Sri Ramakrishna used to say:

"What need is there of your counting the number of trees and branches in an orchard? You have come to the orchard to eat mangoes. Do that and be happy. The aim of
human birth is to love God. Realize that love and be at peace".

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 10:35:00 AM
udai,
You may have heard about Krishnakishore,featured in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.Here is the story:

"Once Krishnakishore asked me, 'Why have you cast off the sacred thread?' In those days of God-vision I felt as if I were passing through the great storm of Aswin, and everything had blown away from me. No trace of my old self was left. I lost all consciousness of the world. I could hardly keep my cloth on my body, not to speak of the sacred thread! I said to Krishnakishore, 'Ah, you will understand if you ever happen to be as intoxicated with God
as I was.'

"And it actually came to pass. He too passed through a God-intoxicated state, when he would repeat only the word 'Om' and shut himself up alone in his room. His relatives
thought he was actually mad, and called in a physician. Ram Kaviraj of Natagore came to see him. Krishnakishore said to the physician, 'Cure me, sir, of my malady, if you please,but not of my Om.' (All laugh.)

"One day I went to see him and found him in a pensive mood. When I asked him about it,he said: 'The tax-collector was here. He threatened to dispose of my brass pots, my cups, and my few utensils, if I didn't pay the tax; so I am worried.' I said: 'But why should you worry about it? Let him take away your pots and pans. Let him arrest your body even. How will that affect you? For your nature is that of Kha!' (Narendra and the others laugh.)

He used to say to me that he was the Spirit, all-pervading as the sky. He had got that idea from the Adhyatma Ramayana. I used to tease him now and then, addressing him as 'Kha'.Therefore I said to him that day, with a smile: 'You are Kha. Taxes cannot move you!'

All that I meant is to see whether "taxes" can affect the "Kha" :)
There is no other way;nAnya pantha ayanAya vidyatey!
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 02:04:14 PM
udai,
Sounds like the Proverbial ostrich that bury's its head in the sand and imagining that no predators are there!Good Luck to you. :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 02:18:13 PM
udai,
The problem is that however profound it is as an 'idea' it is very much an Idea.Truth is totally unrelated to 'Idea'. :)
Truth cannot be verified through ideas but has to be tested on the Ground-"Taxes" :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 02:22:38 PM
Udai,
I know that not many will pass the acid test- the sense of 'Mine'.It is not easy.It is quite easy to live in the world of ideas but not so to face facts. :)
Namaskar
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 03:02:23 PM
Friends,
An interesting story from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
"Once Lakshmi and Narayana were seated in Vaikuntha, when Narayana suddenly stood up. Lakshmi had been stroking His feet. She said, 'Lord, where are You going?' Narayana answered: 'One of My devotees is in great danger. I must save him.' With these words He went out. But He came back immediately. Lakshmi said, 'Lord, why have You returned so soon?' Narayana smiled and said: The devotee was going along the road overwhelmed with love for Me. Some washermen were drying clothes on the grass, and the devotee walked over the clothes. At this the washermen chased him and were going to beat him with their sticks. So I ran out to protect him.' 'But why have You come back?' asked Lakshmi. Narayana laughed and said: 'I saw the devotee himself picking up a brick to throw at them.(All laugh.) So I came back.'

The 'I' survives surreptitiously.As Swami Vivekananda says in his inspired talks:'God helps those who do not help themselves'!He is referring to the Great ones who do not have sense of 'I' and 'Mine' -everything happens to them without their volition.
If we are 'Taking care' of our body,it is clear that we are very much caught up in ignorance only;Else we should with equal zest say that we are taking care of other 'bodies' in the world.This is exactly what Swami Vivekananda says in 'Inspired Talks':Learn to feel yourself in other bodies, to know that we are all one.

Living in 'ideas' is quite different than living as a jivanmukta.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 07, 2012, 03:07:32 PM
Dear Ravi,

Nice story. Thanks.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on November 07, 2012, 04:26:59 PM
Jewell,
I am quite happy that you found the story of Sri Ramakrishna's pictures interesting and rewarding.Rakhal Maharaj(Swami Brahmananda,spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna)was a Great soul and his teachings are very useful for all aspirants.His life and teachings are published in book form,called 'Eternal Companion'(So called because Rakhal Maharaj was identified by Sri Ramakrishna as a companion of Lord Sri Krishna in his former incarnation!).You may find this book online:
http://www.rkmfiji.org/node/58 (http://www.rkmfiji.org/node/58)
Namaskar.

Dear Sri Ravi,

Thank You Very much for the link! Interesting indeed to read such stories!

With love and prayers,

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 06:41:53 AM
Friends,
"You see, mere study of books avails nothing. One may recite the written part for the drum glibly from memory, but to play the drum is exceedingly difficult."

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 11:27:25 AM
Udai,
It is clear that the ego is continuing to play its drum! :)
Namaskar
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 11:30:01 AM
udai,
The saying goes:"Physician ,Heal thyself". :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 11:48:15 AM
udai,
Please understand no one is seeking any advice here. :)
I am sharing some of the sayings of The Great ones here and if one finds it useful,one is free to take it;if not one may skip it.
There is simply no need to persist that we are here to put others on track;that is not our job here.
If we are in silence , we would be just content to state what we feel or see;not go on contesting and trying to establish we are right.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: ramana_maharshi on November 08, 2012, 01:23:00 PM
Ravi garu,

what is wrong in giving advice or correcting anyone?

This is infact the whole idea of why great sages have written books as they felt it would be useful in giving advice for generations to come to understand ideal way of living..

Many times in this forum itself i have seen new members seeking advices on various topics and getting benefitted by the given advice.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 08, 2012, 01:29:51 PM
Dear prasanth,

What Ravi meant was that here in this Forum, all members are equally endowed with the knowledge of life and teachings
of Sri Bhagavan and no one 'need' any advice. Occasionally when a doubt arises, (like why Jnana Sambandhar should cause
killing of defeated Jainas) one could answer. That is all.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 01:32:59 PM
udai,
I do not own anything here. :)
I certainly do not have any problem with the posts.You are certainly welcome to share your observations and understanding;only do not expect that others have to concur. :)
May be I see something in this that you are blind to and this has more to do with the manner in which 'Ideas' are shared than the 'Ideas' themselves.It is in the persistence that your 'vision' is right and others are not seeing it;and this persistence is a definitive sign of 'Ego'.This is not a personal comment,as I do not know you.
The Clear sign of 'Ego' is that it seeks to justify itself,have the last word and carry on until others accept or withdraw;If not it will withdraw into a shell,leave the Forum.Yet,it cannot stay away as it feeds on debates(that it calls as Discussions);Without it,it will not feel that life is wothwhile!
The way of silence is that it only whispers,and never shout and insist that it be heard.
Namaskar.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 01:44:17 PM
prashant,
"what is wrong in giving advice or correcting anyone?"

Truly nothing wrong.If one seeks advice,another may give it,provided one is competent.So ,it depends on the subject matter.Sometimes ,it may just be a sharing of information.In spiritual matters some general ,common advice ,guidelines may be given.What I have found best is to share the teachings of the Great ones,and leave it to the recipient to absorb it and find his recourse :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: cefnbrithdir on November 08, 2012, 02:12:32 PM

To simplify horribly it seems to me that in  the East  you have been brought up with the concept of ignorance,  in the West  we have been brought up with the concept of fear. Getting rid of ignorance is not easy - getting rid of fear is not easy either.

"The Maharshi has particularly appealed to me because of his extreme politeness and gentleness. He is gentle to a degree that surpasses gentleness. My visit to the Sage of Arunachala has been the greatest event in my life"

Grant Duff
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on November 08, 2012, 02:46:54 PM
Dear friends, I think that everyone of us has the right to share his/her thoughts the way he/she thinks it is right. So let patiently read others comments and try to extract the wisdom in them. We would never know if the Lord Ramana Himself is trying to tell us something with these words. So lets be democratic and open-minded and try to be what the Great Ones would like we to be. Let Lord Ramana be with us!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on November 08, 2012, 03:02:26 PM
Dear Friends,

I wish to add something on this what Hari said. I think it is good that we have converations and light arguments which can shed some light on us and help us,and keep it that way only,a friendly way,a healthy exchange of opinion.

With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: ramana_maharshi on November 08, 2012, 03:29:38 PM
well said hari garu, we should be patient in reading other's comments. Who knows some unknown power in the form of the other person is testing our patience and we respond in wild manner to make the other person laugh at us that we have fallen into the trap of anger,ego very easily  :-)

Friends,In a debate if you think other person is poking or testing our patience then just dont bother to reply immediately and avoid that temptation to reply immediately when rajo guna(anger,ego..) qualities percentage has gone a bit higher..

Wait for some time and then i am sure our reply will be different...



Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on November 08, 2012, 03:42:21 PM
All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone - Blaise Pascal
 :)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 08, 2012, 03:44:44 PM
Dear atmavichar100,

Yes. Since we are not capable of remaining still, (Summa Iru), we do all sorts of things with our minds jumping
outside towards the world, people and objects.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 03:47:17 PM
Friends,
I appreciate your comments.I have not posted anything in haste or out of anger :)
Please feel free to express yourself the way you wish to in this thread or elsewhere.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 04:24:59 PM
udai,
When you talk of clarity that you see,am reminded of this conversation in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

DOCTOR: "If everything is done by the will of God, then why do you chatter? Why do you talk so much to bring knowledge to others?"

MASTER: "He makes me talk; therefore I talk. 'I am the machine and He is the Operator.' "

DOCTOR: "You say that you are the machine. That's all right. Or keep quiet, knowing that everything is God."

GIRISH (to the doctor): "Whatever you may think, sir, the truth is that we act because He makes us act. Can anyone take a single step against the Almighty Will?"

Free will and God's will

DOCTOR: "But God has also given us free will. I can think of God, or not, as I like."

GIRISH: "You think of God or do some good work because you like to. Really it is not you who do these things, but your liking of them that makes you do so."

DOCTOR: "Why should that be so? I do these things as my duty."

GIRISH: "Even then it is because you like to do your duty."

DOCTOR: "Suppose a child is being burnt. From a sense of duty I rush to save it."

GIRISH: "You feel happy to save the child; therefore you rush into the fire. It is your happiness that drives you to the action. A man eats opium being tempted by such relishes as puffed rice or fried potatoes." (Laughter.)

MASTER: "A man must have some kind of faith before he undertakes a work. Further, he feels joy when he thinks of it. Only then does he set about performing the work. Suppose a jar of gold coins is hidden underground. First of all a man must have faith that the jar of gold coins is there. He feels joy at the thought of the jar. Then he begins to dig. As he removes the earth he hears a metallic sound. That increases his joy. Next he sees a corner of the jar. That gives him more joy. Thus his joy is ever on the increase. Standing on the porch of the Kali temple, I have watched the ascetics preparing their smoke of hemp. I have seen their faces beaming with joy in anticipation of the smoke."

DOCTOR: "But take the case of fire. It gives both heat and light. The light no doubt illumines objects, but the heat burns the body. Likewise, it is not an unadulterated joy that
one reaps from the performance duty. Duty has its painful side too."

M. (to Girish): "As the proverb goes: 'If the stomach gets food, then the back can bear a few blows from the host.' There is joy in sorrow also."

GIRISH (to the doctor): "Duty is dry."

DOCTOR: "Why so?"

GIRISH: "Then it is pleasant." (All laugh.)

M: "Again we come to the point that one likes opium for the sake of the relishes that are served with it."

GIRISH (to the doctor): "Duty must be pleasant; or why do you perform it?"

DOCTOR: "The mind is inclined that way."

M. (to Girish): "That wretched inclination draws the mind. If you speak of the compelling power of inclination, then where is free will?"

DOCTOR: "I do not say that the will is absolutely free. Suppose a cow is tied with a rope. She is free within the length of that rope, but when she feels the pull of the rope-"

MASTER: "Jadu Mallick also gave that illustration. (To the younger Naren) Is it mentioned in some English book?

God alone is the agent
(To the doctor) "Look here. If a man truly believes that God alone does everything, that He is the Operator and man the machine, then such a man is verily liberated in life. 'Thou workest Thine own work; men only call it theirs.' Do you know what it is like? Vedanta philosophy gives an illustration. Suppose you are cooking rice in a pot, with potato, eggplant, and other vegetables. After a while the potatoes, eggplant, rice, and the rest begin to jump about in the pot. They seem to say with pride: 'We are moving! We are jumping!' The children see it and think the potatoes, egg-plant, and rice are alive and so they jump that way. But the elders, who know, explain to the children that the vegetables and the rice are not alive; they jump not of themselves, but because of the fire under the pot; if you remove the burning wood from the hearth, then they will move no more. Likewise the pride of man, that he is the doer, springs from ignorance. Men are powerful because of the power of God.
All becomes quiet when that burning wood is taken away. The puppets dance well on the stage when pulled by a wire, but they cannot move when the wire snaps.
"A man will cherish the illusion that he is the doer as long as he has not seen God, as long as he has not touched the Philosopher's Stone. So long will he know the distinction between his good and bad actions. This awareness of distinction is due to God's maya; and it is necessary for the purpose of running His illusory world. But a man can realize God if he takes shelter under His vidyamaya and follows the path of righteousness. He who knows God and realizes Him is able to go beyond maya. He who firmly believes that God alone is the Doer and he himself a mere instrument is a jivanmukta, a free soul though living in a body. I said this to Keshab Chandra Sen."

GIRISH (to the doctor): "How do you know that free will exists?"

DOCTOR: "Not by reasoning; I feel it."

GIRISH: "In that case I may say that others and I feel the reverse. We feel that we are controlled by another." (All laugh.)

The Other side may equally be 'clear' :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: silentgreen on November 08, 2012, 04:35:51 PM
d: I see only "tensions" in this post.

cguru: Remove the "i"; what do you see?

d: "tensons"

cguru: Yes, "ten sons" are placing their views.

d: Who is the father?

cguru: This is Ramana forum, so obviously Bhagavan Ramana is the father.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on November 08, 2012, 04:48:48 PM
(http://arunachala-ramana.org/photos/restored_photos/full/IOH_20.jpg)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on November 08, 2012, 04:59:37 PM
d: I see only "tensions" in this post.

cguru: Remove the "i"; what do you see?

d: "tensons"

cguru: Yes, "ten sons" are placing their views.

d: Who is the father?

cguru: This is Ramana forum, so obviously Bhagavan Ramana is the father.

(http://emoticonhq.com/images/Skype/smile.gif)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 05:02:10 PM
udai,
Truth cannot be inquired into.Inquiry is into the so called 'Non-Truth' and the root of it is 'I'.The nature of this  inquiry is nothing but undivided attention to the Feeling of 'I' .This is what self-enquiry is about.What is there to discuss about this? :)
All that I have been saying is that the way of Sankya ,standing back from 'Thoughts' is not enough.You seem to be thinking that whatever thoughts that are there,will wear out over a period of time,and are bhoga hetu.This is part of your belief .Did you check what those thoughts are?You may say that you do not bother whether they are there or not,as I have gathered from your posts here.This is 'Clarity' for you.This 'clarity' is not enough for me. :)
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on November 08, 2012, 05:22:25 PM
The Truth is that the Truth is beyond Truth. :D
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 05:25:09 PM
udai,
I have nothing further to add to what I have already said.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 05:33:40 PM
silentgreen,
 :)
Wish to hear more from the wise cguru.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on November 08, 2012, 05:36:34 PM
Who is cguru?
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 06:02:03 PM
Hari,
For cguru,Please see the thread 'Light post' by silentgreen under the Translations and commentaries Head.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Hari on November 08, 2012, 06:13:16 PM
Thank you, Sri Ravi!
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 09, 2012, 06:34:52 AM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

At eight o'clock that evening the Master was sitting in his room with Rakhal and M. It was
the twenty-first day of M.'s stay with Sri Ramakrishna. The Master had forbidden him to
indulge in reasoning.

Futility of reasoning

MASTER (to Rakhal): "It is not good to reason too much. First comes God, and then the
world. Realize God first; then you will know all about His world
. (To M. and Rakhal) If
first one is introduced to Jadu Mallick, then one can know everything about him-the
number of his houses, gardens, government securities, and so on. For this reason the rishi
Narada advised Valmiki1 to repeat the word 'mara'. 'Ma' means God, and 'ra' the world.
First comes God, and then the world. Krishnakishore said that the word 'mara' is a holy
mantra because it was given to Valmiki by the rishi. 'Ma' means God, and 'rā' the world.
"Therefore, like Valmiki, one should at first renounce everything and cry to God in solitude
with a longing heart. The first thing necessary is the vision of God; then comes reasoning about
the scriptures and the world.


(To M.) "That is why I have been telling you not to reason any more. I came from the pinegrove
to say that to you. Through too much reasoning your spiritual life will be injured; you
will at last become like Hazra
. I used to roam at night in the streets, all alone, and cry to the
Divine Mother, 'O Mother, blight with Thy thunderbolt my desire to reason!' Tell me that
you won't reason any more."

M: "Yes, sir. I won't reason any more."

MASTER: "Everything can be achieved through bhakti alone. Those who want the
Knowledge of Brahman will certainly achieve that also by following the trail of bhakti.

"Can a man blessed with the grace of God ever lack Knowledge? At Kamarpukur I have
seen grain-dealers measuring paddy. As one heap is measured away another heap is pushed
forward to be measured. The Mother supplies the devotees with the 'heap' of Knowledge. .
"After attaining God, one looks on a pundit as mere straw and dust. Padmalochan said to
me: 'What does it matter if I accompany you to a meeting at the house of a fisherman?
With you I can dine even at the house of a pariah.'

"Everything can be realized simply through love of God. If one is able to love God, one
does not lack anything
. Kartika and Ganesa were seated near Bhagavati, who had a
necklace of gems around Her neck. The Divine Mother said to them, 'I will present this
necklace to him who is the first to go around the universe.' Thereupon Kartika, without
losing a moment, set out on the peacock, his carrier. Ganesa, on the other hand, in a
leisurely fashion went around the Divine Mother and prostrated himself before Her. He
knew that She contained within Herself the entire universe. The Divine Mother was pleased
with him and put the necklace around his neck. After a long while Kartika returned and
found his brother seated there with the necklace on".

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 13, 2012, 02:56:52 PM
Discussion on Jnana and Bhakti as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

M. accompanied theMaster to the verandah, where Narendra was talking with Hazra. Sri Ramakrishna
knew that Hazra always indulged in dry philosophical discussions. Hazra would say: "The world
is unreal, like a dream. Worship, food offerings to the Deity, and so forth, are only
hallucinations of the mind. The aim of spiritual life is to meditate on one's own real Self
."

Then he would repeat, "I am He." But, with all that, he had a soft corner in his heart for
money, material things, and people's attention.

Sri Ramakrishna smiled and said to Hazra and Narendra, "Hello! What are you talking
about?"

NARENDRA (smiling): "Oh, we are discussing a great many things. They are rather too
deep for others."

MASTER (with a smile): "But Pure Knowledge and Pure Love are one and the same thing.
Both lead the aspirants to the same goal. The path of love is much the easier
."

Narendra quoted a song:
O Mother, make me mad with Thy love!
What need have I of knowledge or reason?

Narendra said to M. that he had been reading a book by Hamilton, who wrote: "A learned
ignorance is the end of philosophy and the beginning of religion."


MASTER (to M.): "What does that mean?"

Narendra explained the sentence in Bengali. The Master beamed with joy and said in
English, "Thank you! Thank you!" Everyone laughed at the charming way he said these
words. They knew that his English vocabulary consisted of only half a dozen words.


It was almost dusk when most of the devotees, including Narendra, took leave of the
Master. Sri Ramakrishna went out and looked at the Ganges for a few minutes from the
west porch. Two priests were bathing in preparation for the evening worship. Young men
of the village were strolling in the garden or standing on the concrete embankment, gazing
at the murmuring river. Others, perhaps more thoughtful, were walking about in the
solitude of the Panchavati.

It became dark. The maidservant lighted the lamp in Sri Ramakrishna's room and burnt
incense. The evening worship began in the twelve temples of Siva and in the shrines of
Krishna and Kali.

As it was the first day after the full moon, the moonlight soon flooded the tops of the trees
and temples, and touched with silver the numberless waves of the sacred river.

The Master returned to his room. After bowing to the Divine Mother, he clapped his hands
and chanted the sweet names of God. A number of holy pictures hung on the walls of the
room. Among others, there were pictures of Dhruva, Prahlada, Kali, Radha-Krishna, and
the coronation of Rama. The Master bowed low before the pictures and repeated the holy
names. Then he repeated the holy words, "Brahma-Atma-Bhagavan; Bhagavata-Bhakta-
Bhagavan; Brahma-Sakti, Sakti-Brahma; Veda, Purana, Tantra, Gita, Gayatri." Then he
said: "I have taken refuge at Thy feet, O Divine Mother; not I, but Thou. I am the machine
and Thou art the Operator", and so on
".

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 13, 2012, 03:19:19 PM
Discussion on Jnana and Bhakti as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Hazra entered the room and sat with the devotees on the floor. Hazra repeated now and
then, "Soham! Soham!" "I am He! I am He!"

To Latu and other devotees he often said: "What does one gain by worshipping God with
offerings? That is merely giving Him things that are His already." He had said this once to
Narendra.

The Master spoke to him.

MASTER: "I explained to Latu who the object of the devotee's worship is."

HAZRA: "The devotee really prays to his own Self."

MASTER: "What you say is a very lofty thought. The aim of spiritual discipline, of
chanting God's name and glories, is to realize just that. A man attains everything when he
discovers his true Self in himself. The object of sādhanāis to realize that. That also is the
purpose of assuming a human body. One needs the clay mould as long as the gold image
has not been cast; but when the image is made, the mould is thrown away. The body may
be given up after the realization of God
.

"God is not only inside us; He is both inside and outside. The Divine Mother showed me in
the Kali temple that everything is Chinmaya, the Embodiment of Spirit; that it is She who
has become all this―the image, myself, the utensils of worship, the door-sill, the marble
floor. Everything is indeed Chinmaya
.

"The aim of prayer, of spiritual discipline, of chanting the name and glories of God, is to
realize just that. For that alone a devotee loves God. These youngsters are on a lower level;
they haven't yet reached a high spiritual state. They are following the path of bhakti. Please
don't tell them such things as 'I am He'."


Like the mother bird brooding over her chicks, Sri Ramakrishna was alert to protect his
devotees
.

This is a practical point that Sri Ramakrishna always cautioned the seeker.One should take care that philosophical thought does not come in the way of  spontaneous way of Bhakti and stunt and paralyse it.Actually there is no contradiction between the two.They are two standpoints and are not at loggerheads with each other.I will post what Swami Vivekananda says on this topic.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 13, 2012, 03:50:44 PM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti in the words of Swami Vivekananda:

"Only love for the Supreme Lord is true Bhakti. Love for any other being, however great, is not Bhakti. The "Supreme Lord" here means Ishvara, the
concept of which transcends what you in the West mean by the personal God."He from whom this universe proceeds, in whom it rests, and to whom it
returns, He is Ishvara, the Eternal, the Pure, the All-Merciful, the Almighty, the Ever-Free, the All-Knowing, the Teacher of all teachers, the Lord who of His
own nature is inexpressible Love."

Man does not manufacture God out of his own brain; but he can only see God in the light of his own capacity, and he attributes to Him the best of all he
knows. Each attribute is the whole of God, and this signifying the whole by one quality is the metaphysical explanation of the personal God. Ishvara is without
form yet has all forms, is without qualities yet has all qualities. As human beings, we have to see the trinity of existence — God, man, nature; and we
cannot do otherwise
.

But to the Bhakta all these philosophical distinctions are mere idle talk. He cares nothing for argument, he does not reason, he "senses", he perceives. He
wants to love himself in pure love of God, and there have been Bhaktas who maintain that this is more to be desired than liberation, who say, "I do not want
to be sugar. I want to taste sugar; I want to love and enjoy the Beloved."


In Bhakti-Yoga the first essential is to want God honestly and intensely. We want everything but God, because our ordinary desires are fulfilled by the
external world. So long as our needs are confined within the limits of the physical universe, we do not feel any need for God; it is only when we have
had hard blows in our lives and are disappointed with everything here that we feel the need for something higher; then we seek God.

Bhakti is not destructive; it teaches that all our faculties may become means to reach salvation. We must turn them all towards God and give to Him that love
which is usually wasted on the fleeting objects of sense
.

Bhakti differs from your Western idea of religion in that Bhakti admits no elements of fear, no Being to be appeased or propitiated. There are even
Bhaktas who worship God as their own child, so that there may remain no feeling even of awe or reverence. There can be no fear in true love, and so long
as there is the least fear, Bhakti cannot even begin. In Bhakti there is also no place for begging or bargaining with God. The idea of asking God for anything
is sacrilege to a Bhakta. He will not pray for health or wealth or even to go to heaven.

One who wants to love God, to be a Bhakta, must make a bundle of all these desires and leave them outside the door and then enter. He who wants to enter
the realms of light must make a bundle of all "shop-keeping" religion and cast it away before he can pass the gates
. It is not that you do not get what you pray
for; you get everything, but it is low, vulgar, a beggar's religion. "Fool indeed is he, who, living on the banks of the Ganga, digs a little well for water. Fool
indeed is the man who, coming to a mine of diamonds, begins to search for glass beads." These prayers for health and wealth and material prosperity are
not Bhakti. They are the lowest form of Karma. Bhakti is a higher thing. We are striving to come into the presence of the King of kings. We cannot get there
in a beggar's dress. If we wanted to enter the presence of an emperor, would we be admitted in a beggar's rags? Certainly not. The lackey would drive us out of
the gates. This is the Emperor of emperors and never can we come before Him in a beggar's garb. Shop-keepers never have admission there, buying and
selling will not do there at all. You read in the Bible that Jesus drove the buyers and sellers out of the temple.

So it goes without saying that the first task in becoming a Bhakta is to give up all desires of heaven and so on. Such a heaven would be like this place, this
earth, only a little better. The Christian idea of heaven is a place of intensified enjoyment. How can that be God? All this desire to go to heaven is a desire for
enjoyment. This has to be given up. The love of the Bhakta must be absolutely pure and unselfish, seeking nothing for itself either here or hereafter.
"Giving up the desire of pleasure and pain, gain or loss, worship God day and night; not a moment is to be lost in vain."
"Giving up all other thoughts, the whole mind day and night worships God. Thus being worshipped day and night, He reveals Himself and makes His
worshippers feel Him
."

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 13, 2012, 04:09:11 PM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti in the words of Swami Vivekananda,continued...:

INCARNATE TEACHERS AND INCARNATION
Wherever His name is spoken, that very place is holy. How much more so is the man who speaks His name, and with what veneration ought we to approach
that man out of whom comes to us spiritual truth! Such great teachers of spiritual truth are indeed very few in number in this world, but the world is
never altogether without them. They are always the fairest flowers of human life -"the ocean of mercy without any motive".

"Know the Guru to be Me", says Shri Krishna in the Bhagavata. The moment the world is absolutely bereft of these, it becomes a
hideous hell and hastens on to its destruction. Higher and nobler than all ordinary ones are another set of teachers, the
Avatâras of Ishvara, in the world. They can transmit spirituality with a touch, even with a mere wish. The lowest and the most degraded characters become in
one second saints at their command. They are the Teachers of all teachers, the highest manifestations of God through man. We cannot see God except through
them. We cannot help worshipping them; and indeed they are the only ones whom we are bound to worship
.

No man can really see God except through these human manifestations. If we try to see God otherwise, we make for ourselves a hideous caricature of Him
and believe the caricature to be no worse than the original
. There is a story of an ignorant man who was asked to make an image of the God Shiva, and who,
after days of hard struggle, manufactured only the image of a monkey. So whenever we try to think of God as He is in His absolute perfection, we
invariably meet with the most miserable failure, because as long as we are men, we cannot conceive Him as anything higher than man. The time will come
when we shall transcend our human nature and know Him as He is; but as long as we are men, we must worship Him in man and as man. Talk as you may, try
as you may, you cannot think of God except as a man
. You may deliver great intellectual discourses on God and on all things under the sun, become great
rationalists and prove to your satisfaction that all these accounts of the Avataras of God as man are nonsense. But let us come for a moment to practical
common sense. What is there behind this kind of remarkable intellect? Zero, nothing, simply so much froth
. When next you hear a man delivering a great
intellectual lecture against this worship of the Avataras of God, get hold of him and ask what his idea of God is, what he understands by "omnipotence",
"omnipresence", and all similar terms, beyond the spelling of the words. He really means nothing by them; he cannot formulate as their meaning any idea
unaffected by his own human nature; he is no better off in this matter than the man in the street who has not read a single book
. That man in the street,
however, is quiet and does not disturb the peace of the world, while this big talker creates disturbance and misery among mankind
. Religion is, after all,
realisation, and we must make the sharpest distinction between talk; and intuitive experience. What we experience in the depths of our souls is
realisation. Nothing indeed is so uncommon as common sense in regard to this matter
.

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 13, 2012, 04:24:56 PM
Discussion on jnAna and Bhakti in the words of Swami Vivekananda,continued...

By our present constitution we are limited and bound to see God as man. If, for instance the buffaloes want to worship God, they will, in keeping with their
own nature, see Him as a huge buffalo; if a fish wants to worship God, it will have to form an Idea of Him as a big fish, and man has to think of Him as man.
And these various conceptions are not due to morbidly active imagination.
Man, the buffalo, and the fish all may be supposed to represent so many different vessels, so to say. All these vessels go to the sea of God to get filled
with water, each according to its own shape and capacity; in the man the water takes the shape of man, in the buffalo, the shape of a buffalo and in the fish, the
shape of a fish. In each of these vessels there is the same water of the sea of God. When men see Him, they see Him as man, and the animals, if they have
any conception of God at all, must see Him as animal each according to its own ideal. So we cannot help seeing God as man, and, therefore, we are bound to
worship Him as man. There is no other way.


Two kinds of men do not worship God as man — the human brute who has no religion, and the Paramahamsa who has risen beyond all the weaknesses of
humanity and has transcended the limits of his own human nature. To him all nature has become his own Self
. He alone can worship God as He is. Here, too,
as in all other cases, the two extremes meet. The extreme of ignorance and the other extreme of knowledge — neither of these go through acts of worship. The
human brute does not worship because of his ignorance, and the Jivanmuktas (free souls) do not worship because they have realised God in themselves.
Being between these two poles of existence, if any one tells you that he is not going to worship God as man, take kindly care of that man; he is, not to use
any harsher term, an irresponsible talker; his religion is for unsound and empty brains
.

God understands human failings and becomes man to do good to humanity:
"Whenever virtue subsides and wickedness prevails, I manifest Myself. To establish virtue, to destroy evil, to save the good I come from Yuga (age) to
Yuga."

"Fools deride Me who have assumed the human form, without knowing My real nature as the Lord of the universe." Such is Shri Krishna's declaration in
the Gita on Incarnation.

"When a huge tidal wave comes," says Bhagavan Shri Ramakrishna, "all the little brooks and ditches become full to the brim without
any effort or consciousness on their own part; so when an Incarnation comes, a tidal wave of spirituality breaks upon the world, and people feel spirituality
almost full in the air."

Bhakti Yoga by Swami Vivekananda

Swamiji's words above are a commentary on Sri Ramakrishna's statement:"The aim of prayer, of spiritual discipline, of chanting the name and glories of God, is to
realize just that. For that alone a devotee loves God. These youngsters are on a lower level; they haven't yet reached a high spiritual state. They are following the path of bhakti. Please don't tell them such things as 'I am He'."


'I am HE' is not a matter of Discussion;it is not something to be debated or intellectually cogitated;when the Mind falls into silence,there is the indescribable.

With this I am concluding the topic on jnAna and Bhakti.

Namaskar.


Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 14, 2012, 04:41:37 PM
Hari/Friends,
Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Discipline for God-vision

DEVOTEE: "Sir, we hear that you see God. If you do, please show Him to us."

MASTER: "Everything depends on God's will. What can a man do? While chanting God's
name, sometimes tears flow and at other times the eyes remain dry. While meditating on
God, some days I feel a great deal of inner awakening, and some days I feel nothing.

"A man must work. Only then can he see God. One day, in an exalted mood, I had a vision
of the Haldarpukur. I saw a low-caste villager drawing water after pushing aside the green
scum. Now and then he took up the water in the palm of his hand and examined it. In that
vision it was revealed to me that the water cannot be seen without pushing aside the green
scum that covers it; that is to say, one cannot develop love of God or obtain His vision
without work. Work means meditation, japa, and the like. The chanting of God's name and
glories is work too. You may also include charity, sacrifice, and so on.

"If you want butter, you must let the milk turn to curd. It must be left in a quiet place. When
the milk becomes curd, you must work hard to churn it. Only then can you get butter from
the milk."

Futility of mere study

MAHIMACHARAN: "That is true, sir. Work is certainly necessary. One must labour hard.
Only then does one succeed. There is so much to read! The scriptures are endless."

MASTER (to Mahimacharan): "How much of the scriptures can you read? What will you
gain by mere reasoning? Try to realize God before anything else. Have faith in the guru's
words, and work. If you have no guru, then pray to God with a longing heart. He will let
you know what He is like
.

"What will you learn of God from books? As long as you are at a distance from the marketplace
you hear only an indistinct roar. But it is quite different when you are actually there.
Then you hear and see everything distinctly. You hear people saying: 'Here are your
potatoes. Take them and give me the money.' "From a distance you hear only the rumbling
noise of the ocean. Go near it and you will see many boats sailing about, birds flying, and
waves rolling.

"One cannot get true feeling about God from the study of books. This feeling is something
very different from book-learning. Books, scriptures, and science appear as mere dirt and
straw after the realization of God
.

"The one thing needful is to be introduced to the master of the house. Why are you so
anxious to know beforehand how many houses and gardens, and how many government
securities, the master possesses? The servants of the house would not allow you even to
approach these, and they would certainly not tell you about their master's investments.
Therefore, somehow or other become acquainted with the master, even if you have to jump
over the fence or take a few pushes from the servants. Then the master himself will tell you
all about his houses and gardens and his government securities. And what is more, the
servants and the door-keeper will salute you when you are known to the master.' (All
laugh.)

continued...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 14, 2012, 04:46:31 PM
Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

Yearning for God

DEVOTEE: "Now the question is how to become acquainted with the master." (Laughter.)

MASTER: "That is why I say that work is necessary. It will not do to say that God exists
and then idle away your time. You must reach God somehow or other. Call on Him in
solitude and pray to Him, 'O Lord! reveal Thyself to me.' Weep for Him with a longing
heart.
You roam about in search of 'woman and gold' like a madman; now be a little mad
for God. Let people say, 'This man has lost his head for God.' Why not renounce everything
for a few days and call on God in solitude?

Work hard for His realization

"What will you achieve by simply saying that God exists and doing nothing about it? There
are big fish in the Haldarpukur; but can you catch them by merely sitting idly on the bank?
Prepare some spiced bait and throw it into the lake. Then the fish will come from the deep
water and you will see ripples. That will make you happy. Perhaps a fish will jump with a
splash and you will get a glimpse of it. Then you will be so glad!
"Milk must be turned to curd and the curd must be churned. Only then will you get butter
.
(To Mahima) What a nuisance! Someone must show God to a man, while he himself sits
idly by all the while! Someone must extract the butter and hold it in front of his mouth! (All
laugh.) What a bother! Someone else must catch the fish and give it to him!


"A man wanted to see the king. The king lived in the inner court of the palace, beyond
seven gates. No sooner did the man pass the first gate than he exclaimed, 'Oh, where is the
king?' But there were seven gates, and he must pass them one after another before he could
see the king."

MAHIMACHARAN: "By what kind of work can one realize God?"

MASTER: "It is not that God can be realized by this work and not by that. The vision of
God depends on His grace. Still a man must work a little with longing for God in his heart.
If he has longing he will receive the grace of God
.

Favourable conditions for realization of God

"To attain God a man must have certain favourable conditions: the company of holy men,
discrimination, and the blessings of a real teacher. Perhaps his elder brother takes the
responsibility for the family; perhaps his wife has spiritual qualities and is very virtuous;
perhaps he is not married at all or entangled in worldly life. He succeeds when conditions
like these are fulfilled.

"In a certain family a man lay seriously ill. He was at the point of death. Someone said:
'Here is a remedy: First it must rain when the star Svati is in the ascendant; then some of
that rain-water must collect in a human skull; then a frog must come there and a snake must
chase it; and as the frog is about to be bitten by the snake, it must jump away and the
poison of the snake must drop into the skull. You must prepare a medicine from this poison
and give it to the patient. Then he will live.' The head of the family consulted the almanac
about the star and set out at the right moment. With great longing of heart he began to
search for the different ingredients. He prayed to God, 'O Lord, I shall succeed only if You
bring together all the ingredients.' As he was roaming about he actually saw a skull lying on
the ground. Presently there came a shower of rain. Then the man exclaimed: 'O gracious
Lord, I have got the rain-water under Svati, and the skull too. What is more, some of the
rain has fallen into the skull. Now be kind enough to bring together the other ingredients.'
He was reflecting with a yearning heart when he saw a poisonous snake approaching. His
joy knew no bounds. He became so excited that he could feel the thumping of his own
heart. 'O God,' he prayed, 'now the snake has come too. I have procured most of the
ingredients. Please be gracious and give me the remaining ones.' No sooner did he pray thus
than a frog hopped up. The snake pursued it. As they came near the skull and the snake was
about to bite the frog, the frog jumped over the skull and the snake's poison fell into it. The
man began to dance, clapping his hands for joy. So I say that one gets everything through
yearning
.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 15, 2012, 06:11:11 PM
Friends,
I wish to share this excerpt from 'Spiritual Practice' by Swami ashokananda:

A map of a land is not the land itself. When we philosophize about God, we do not really perceive God. The concept of God is not God Himself. This
distinction has to be clearly borne in mind. We must remember that reason or intellect is concerned with systematizing the knowledge of things, not with perceiving them. But
things must first be perceived. That is essential, we perceive external objects through sense-intuition, and mental objects through mental intuition; and then we systematize
those perceptions, which is an indirect process. Similarly we must perceive the Spirit through spiritual intuition. That is religion. That is spirituality, So intellectualism and
spiritual intuition cannot be identical. They are altogether distinct
. All of us have heard how Sir J.C. Bose has demonstrated that plants have life and sensibilities, Sir J.C. Bose's experiments have given us the intellectual comprehension that plants feel as we feel. But we do not yet perceive them as so feeling. To perceive them as living and feeling we must raise our consciousness to a higher and subtler level. We must acquire super-conscious perception. Otherwise the fact of plants being alive will ever remain with us a matter of intellectual conviction at best. To acquire the intellectual conviction, the manipulation of a few instruments is enough. But in order to perceive the life of plants, to feel plants as endowed with happiness and sorrow, joy and suffering, we have to acquire a new kind of perception. Therein lies a fundamental difference between intellectualism and spirituality.

In order to be religious, what is essential is the development of a new power of perception, whereby we come to know the universe not as material and mental, but as spiritual.
Intellect is not that power. Therefore intellectualism does not help us spiritually. Hence we find that even giants of intellect are sometimes babies spiritually. Intellect is satisfied with the appearances of things. Spirituality penetrates beyond the appearances and reaches the heart of things, which is Divinity. We have said that one fundamental difference between intellect and religion is that the former is concerned with the conception of things and the latter with their perception. But that perception should be not of external aspects but of the very essence, which is always Divine. This, then, is another great difference between intellectualism and spirituality.

A third difference lies in the difference of the personal attitude towards Reality, as implied by intellect and religion. Intellect reduces even a living thing to an idea; religion makes even an idea a living thing. God, to intellect, is a concept; to religion, the soul of one's soul. In religion, we seek to realize Reality which appears to our present experience as a half material, half living universe, as the Eternal Person endowed with infinite consciousness. This differentiates religion essentially from intellectualism.
...........................................
..............................................
We thus see three different evaluations of intellectualism. In the first stage, its culture is positively beneficial as it leads to the refinement of mind. In the second stage, we feel that it does not lead to spiritual knowledge proper, which we have to acquire through quite a different kind of perception, the spiritual intuition or Yoga-shakti. But though we feel the ultimate worthlessness of intellectualism, we still have to cultivate it, until we are engulfed by the overwhelming love of God, in order to be fully convinced of the truth and value of our chosen spiritual ideal so that there may not be any subsequent conflict. In the third stage, our mind has become thoroughly concentrated. We want to realize and love God alone and forget everything else. The world seems trash. Intellectualism is then an obstruction and even painful".

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 16, 2012, 05:58:22 AM
Spiritual Living is all about Ripening in a spontaneous way-To live life fully and not to insulate oneself from the vicissitudes of life;It is to take on the joy and sorrow with equal abandon.It is not about asserting our individuality but to link it with the whole of Life.
We do not have to abandon our Humanity in order to assert our Divinity.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on November 16, 2012, 06:27:48 AM
Quote
To attain God a man must have certain favourable conditions: the company of holy men,
discrimination, and the blessings of a real teacher. Perhaps his elder brother takes the
responsibility for the family; perhaps his wife has spiritual qualities and is very virtuous;
perhaps he is not married at all or entangled in worldly life. He succeeds when conditions
like these are fulfilled.

Why is success attributed only to someone who is not married and have no prarabdha? If someone is married, has responsibility to take care, does not have company of holy men (in modern cities) and does not have a real life teacher (in modern fake guru flood), can such a person not succeed?

Sanjay
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 16, 2012, 06:58:48 AM
Sanjaya,
What Sri Ramakrishna is saying is that all favourable conditions to one's spiritual development are brought about by True Yearning.One needs to have this yearning;if we have this,all odds will turn out favourable by The Grace of God.This is the essence of this saying.One will get satsangha,will be endowed with Vairagya and Viveka,Get the blessings of a Real Teacher;One's family and social circumstances will all become favourable and facilitate the spiritual development of an Earnest Sadhaka.

This is not to be taken to classify what  'Favourable' and 'Unfavourable' means.It is to say that everything will turn out in one's favour if we seek God.

Please go through it and the parable that follows illustrates how all seeming odds are overcome through unceasing yearning for God.If we have Yearning we will not leave any stone unturned in order to be worthy of Divine Grace.We will find that everything turns out 'favourably'.

We may recall how once Kunju Swami decides to leave Asramam and goes out without informing Sri Bhagavan;How he meets with Obstacles and Difficulty on the way;How when he decides to go back to asramam and Sri Bhagavan,everyone comes to his help!

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 16, 2012, 11:27:53 AM
Dear Ravi,

Yes. It also happened in the case of Annammalai Swami and N.N. Rajan and one more kitchen worker.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on November 17, 2012, 04:23:02 PM
Spiritual Living is all about Ripening in a spontaneous way-To live life fully and not to insulate oneself from the vicissitudes of life;It is to take on the joy and sorrow with equal abandon.It is not about asserting our individuality but to link it with the whole of Life.
We do not have to abandon our Humanity in order to assert our Divinity.

Namaskar.
  Dear Sri Ravi, Beautiful and inspirational words. And so true. It is all what spiritual life is,and life itself is spiritual. We need to bring only awareness and discrimination,and then life is not a problem,but one good lesson and beauty. There is no conflict there,and should not be,there is no need. And it is more simple too. To accept hard and beautiful in the same way,to know that all passes,and to squiz every drop of happiness from every moment. Thank You Very much! With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 17, 2012, 07:28:36 PM
Jewell,
Once a while I blabber something on my own!Thanks very much for your kind appreciation.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on November 17, 2012, 08:34:28 PM
Dear Sri Ravi, I would not call this beautiful words a blabbering. But,anyhow,You should blabber more like this then. :) With love and prayers,
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on November 17, 2012, 08:40:21 PM
Sri Ravi, Sri Jewel,

the pain is as charismatic as its counterpart! When one welcomes both, one stops praying God for anything, but just experiences gratitude to both, for their visit.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on November 17, 2012, 08:50:56 PM
Dear Sri Nagaraj, Yes,we should welcome both,pain and happiness,same. They are the sides of the same coin. If there wouldnt be happiness,there wouldnt be the pain also,and other way around. Pain is call for attention,awareness. But i wont call pain charismatic at all. Lesson,yes,but i dont see beauty in pain at all. If i watch it that way then my search stops,coz all this search is because we dont want pain. And this search is just a play,we love to search,to uncover,we love mysteries. Little funny when i think about it.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on November 17, 2012, 09:17:43 PM
Sri Jewel, i understand what you have conveyed...
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 18, 2012, 09:50:03 AM
"After having the vision of God man is overpowered with bliss. He becomes silent. Who will speak? Who will explain?

"The king lives beyond seven gates. At each gate sits a man endowed with great power and glory. At each gate the visitor asks, 'Is this the king?' The gate-keeper answers, 'No. Not this, not this.' The visitor passes through the seventh gate and. becomes overpowered with joy. He is speechless. This time he doesn't have to ask, 'Is this the king?' The mere sight of him removes all doubts."

PREACHER: "Yes, sir, it is so described in Vedanta."

MASTER: "When the Godhead is thought of as creating, preserving, and destroying, It is known as the Personal God, Saguna Brahman, or the Primal Energy, Adyasakti. Again,when It is thought of as beyond the three gunas, then It is called the Attributeless Reality, Nirguna Brahman, beyond speech and thought; this is the Supreme Brahman, Parabrahman.

The three gunas
"Under the spell of God's maya man forgets his true nature. He forgets that he is heir to the infinite glories of his Father. This divine maya is made up of three gunas. And all three are robbers; for they rob man of all his treasures and make him forget his true nature. The three gunas are sattva, rajas, and tamas. Of these, sattva alone points the way to God. But even sattva cannot take a man to God.

Parable of the three robbers

"Let me tell you a story. Once a rich man was passing through a forest, when three robbers surrounded him and robbed him of all his wealth. After snatching all his possessions from him, one of the robbers said: 'What's the good of keeping the man alive? Kill him.' Saying this, he was about to strike their victim with his sword, when the second robber interrupted and said: 'There's no use in killing him. Let us bind him fast and leave him here. Then he won't be able to tell the police.' Accordingly the robbers tied him with a rope, left him, and went away.
"After a while the third robber returned to the rich man and said: 'Ah! You're badly hurt, aren't you? Come, I'm going to release you.' The third robber set the man free and led him out of the forest. When .they came near the highway, the robber said, 'Follow this road and you will reach home easily.' 'But you must come with me too', said the man. 'You have done so much for me. We shall all be happy to see you at our home.' 'No,' said the robber, 'it is not possible for me to go there. The police will arrest me.' So saying, he left the rich man after pointing out his way.

"Now, the first robber, who said: 'What's the good of keeping the man alive? Kill him', is tamas. It destroys. The second robber is rajas, which binds a man to the world and entangles him in a variety of activities. Rajas makes him forget God. Sattva alone shows the way to God. It produces virtues like compassion, righteousness, and devotion. Again, sattva is like the last step of the stairs. Next to it is the roof. The Supreme Brahman is man's own abode. One cannot attain the Knowledge of Brahman unless one transcends the three gunas."

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 18, 2012, 10:06:35 AM
“This world itself is the forest. The three robbers prowling here are sattva, rajas, and tamas.
It is they that rob a man of the Knowledge of Truth. Tamas wants to destroy him. Rajas
binds him to the world. But sattva rescues him from the clutches of rajas and tamas. Under
the protection of sattva, man is rescued from anger, passion, and the other evil effects of
tamas. Further, sattva loosens the bonds of the world. But sattva also is a robber. It cannot
give him the ultimate Knowledge of Truth, though it shows him the road leading to the
Supreme Abode of God
. Setting him on the path, sattva tells him: 'Look yonder. There is
your home.' Even sattva is far away from the Knowledge of Brahman.

"But to feel that one is a free soul is very good. By constantly repeating, 'I am free, I am free', a man verily becomes free. On the other hand, by constantly repeating, 'I am bound, I am bound', he certainly becomes bound to worldliness".

'Becomes Free' is work in progress!It does not mean one is free!What Sri Ramakrishna is saying is that it is a Good 'Attitude' for an aspirant.

Elsewhere he clearly says:

Go beyond duality

"Let me tell you something else. Go beyond knowledge and ignorance. People say that such and such a one is a jnani; but in reality it is not so. Vasishtha was a great jnani, but even he was stricken with grief on account of the death of his sons. At this Lakshmana said to Rama: 'This is amazing, Rama. Even Vasishtha is so grief-stricken!' Rama said: 'Brother, he who has knowledge has ignorance as well. He who is aware of light is also aware of darkness. He who knows good also knows bad. He who knows happiness also know misery. Brother, go beyond duality, beyond pleasure and pain, beyond knowledge and ignorance.' (To Narendra) So I am asking you to go beyond both knowledge and ignorance."

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 20, 2012, 06:45:19 AM
Friends,
Appropos of today's post in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,the Master speaks like Lord Sri Krishna ,as a shrewd politician!He knows that Rakhal's father was worldly and was seeking his company for his own ends.He is balancing the statement that Rakhal is like a pea-plant growing in a heap of Dung and balancing it with another statement that if the yam is a good one,its shoots also become Good,Like father like son,etc! :)
Sri Ramakrishna considered Rakhal as his spiritual son;He later on became swami Brahmananda,the first president of Sri Ramakrishna Mutt and Mission  and a spiritual dynamo that inspired so many others.

Namaskar
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 23, 2012, 10:34:12 AM
Udai,
To stand back from thoughts and remaing untouched is just a step.It is also equally important to be aware of what those thoughts are ,and why they are there.I find that most often although you think you are 'untouched' you are just being tossed about and are 'Reacting' and not responding in a mature way.It is like 'Tit' for 'Tat'.This is something that even a beginner will learn to see and correct.You cannot stay without having the 'Last word' on anything discussed.
You are now arguing that you are not arguing because Subramanaian asked you to! Do you think it is not an arguement?You are endlessly justifying whatever you are doing(Quitting the Form-'I do not want to disturb others!Again Coming back-'Friends want you back!Again Quitting !Again coming back and posing as a Beginner so that you can guage the understanding of others!Then when caught ,saying that Everyone knows who you are from your quality of questions!That you do not want Others to be biased on who is presenting but should focus on ideas that you are presenting......????)and presenting here and demanding and questioning whether others have understood and if they have that they should summarize!?????Why should others summarize?
It is all a BIG I.
you are now saying that what atmavichar is perfect!What about the other things he has expressed?Did you read it?
Since you asked feedback on what you are presenting,I am mentioning this.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 23, 2012, 08:58:18 PM
What is vasana?Whatever rises from nowhere and 'compels' one to do something.This is all what a vasana is,and this cannot be handled by a general 'I am not the Body' mentation.
Further we cannot be eating 'onions' and 'Raddishes' all the time and justify the Belching saying that it is only a 'Vasana'.This is a 'Habit' which is Gross and one has to handle it at the Gross and subtle levels.Stop the eating of 'onions' and 'Radishes' and ensure that one is free from Belching.
Vasana is something that is ordinarily never there in the conscious Living and takes us by surprise by its surfacing;we then become aware of its existence and deal with it by ensuring that its roots are removed and no further possibility exists for their reappearance.
Now do not take it that I am suggesting to avoid eating of the plant onion and Plant Raddish.I am speaking in metaphorical terms-I mean every Rajasic activity(Argueing endlessly,Projecting oneself,thinking that every other person is dumb)-All other 'Vasanas' are easier to handle but the 'self importance' and 'I am knowledgeable' vasana can only be fixed by a Guru who comes down with a sledge Hammer even when the disciple is not conscious of its presence in himself.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on November 24, 2012, 05:12:25 AM
Dear Ravi,

Yes. The vasanas are deeply embedded and one does not know when these would strike us. It is like Hanuman who
suddenly appeared from nowhere and vanquished the ministers, commanders and even Akshyakumara without any
weapons worth the name. Vasana Kshayam needs a Brahmastra - Self Inquiry and  Guru's Grace.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on November 24, 2012, 11:51:44 AM
Friends

I am copy pasting some  of the opinions here on Vasanas in the Vasana thread that I have opened .Those views are very enriching ..Kindly share your views there .
"Vasana" is a very important topic as every spiritual seeker is disturbed by it and how to tackle it is what we need the method .
Om Peace .
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on November 29, 2012, 06:30:30 AM
Friends,
"You may raise an objection and say: 'We have not seen God. How can we feel attracted to Him as the gopis felt attracted to Krishna?' But it is possible. 'I do not know Him. I have only heard His name, and that has fixed my mind upon Him.'

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.

Sri Nochur Venkatraman says wonderfully in one of his talks:
அறிந்து அடங்குதல் ஞானம் ;அடங்கி அறிதல் பக்தி
Knowing and subsiding is jnAna;Subsiding and Knowing is Bhakti.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on December 03, 2012, 06:14:34 AM
Quote
Master's experiences in samadhi

AMRITA: "Sir, how do you feel in samadhi?"

MASTER: "You may have heard that the cockroach, by intently meditating on the
bhramara, is transformed into a bhramara. Do you know how I feel then? I feel like a fish
released from a pot into the water of the Ganges."

AMRITA: "Don't you feel at that time even a trace of ego?"

MASTER: "Yes, generally a little of it remains. However hard you may rub a grain of gold
against a grindstone, still a bit of it always remains. Or again, take the case of a big fire; the
ego is like one of its sparks. In samadhi I lose outer consciousness completely; but God
generally keeps a little trace of ego in me for the enjoyment of divine communion.
Enjoyment is possible only when 'I' and 'you' remain".

"Again, sometimes God effaces even that trace of 'I'. Then one experiences jada samadhi or
nirvikalpa samadhi. That experience cannot be described. A salt doll went to measure the
depth of the ocean, but before it had gone far into the water it melted away. It became
entirely one with the water of the ocean. Then who was to come back and tell the ocean's
depth?"

Dear Sri Ravi,

Wonderful post on samadhi!

Quote
I feel like a fish
released from a pot into the water of the Ganges."

I love this part alot. I feel like it is the best way to explane something which cannot be explaned. Beautiful!
Thank You Very much!

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tvk2Rhv46TI/UExpddQZlYI/AAAAAAAAB54/pyW1UBcuriQ/s1600/Sri+Ramakrishna.png)(http://www.messagefrommasters.com/Life_of_Masters/Ramakrishna/ramakrishna_samadhi.jpg)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on December 03, 2012, 06:19:13 AM
Do you know how I feel then? I feel like a fish
released from a pot into the water of the Ganges."

:) I was just going to highlight this, Sri Jewel has been quicker in highlighting the same :)

Only the Master can come with something so simple and yet so profound. A layman can be able to discern or strive to 'know' that AnandA, or get an idea of libration should be like, which will motivate one to aspire for liberation.

wonderful.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Jewell on December 03, 2012, 06:25:11 AM
Yes,truly motivational and inspirational. I already feel free,by reading this only.  :)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 03, 2012, 06:59:07 AM
Jewell/Nagaraj/Friends,
Yes indeed.Sri Ramakrishna had this gift of expressing subtle truths in a homely fashion and make it tangible for the layman.Here are a couple of passages in The Gospel where he explains this to M.

"It was the day of the new moon. Gradually night descended and dense darkness enveloped
the trees and the temples. A few lights shone here and there in the temple garden. The black
sky was reflected in the waters of the Ganges.

The Master went to the verandah south of his room. A spiritual mood was the natural state
of his mind. The dark night of the new moon, associated with the black complexion of Kali,
the Divine Mother, intensified his spiritual exaltation. Now and then he repeated "Om" and
the name of Kali.

He lay down on a mat and whispered to M.

MASTER: "Yes, God can be seen. X- has had a vision of God. But don't tell anyone about
it. Tell me, which do you like better, God with form, or the formless Realitv?"

M: "Sir, nowadays I like to think of God without form. But I am also beginning to
understand that it is God alone who manifests Himself through different forms."

MASTER: "Will you take me in a carriage some day to Mati Seal's garden house at
Belgharia? When you throw puffed rice into the lake there, the fish come to the surface and
eat it. Ah! I feel so happy to see them sport in the water. That will awaken your spiritual
consciousness too. You will feel as if the fish of the human soul were playing in the Ocean
of Satchidananda. In the same manner, I go into an ecstatic mood when I stand in a big
meadow. I feel like a fish released from a bowl into a lake".

The Master is broaching the Topic of the Formless aspect of God on a new moon day and at night time!The uniqueness of The Gospel is that it captures all this ambience and not just the conversation,thus adding to the vividness for reliving these moments.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 03, 2012, 07:03:36 AM
Mani Sen said good-bye to the invited brahmins and Vaishnavas with suitable gifts of
money. He offered five rupees to Sri Ramakrishna. The latter said that he could not
possibly accept any money. But Mani insisted. The Master then asked him in the name of
his guru not to press him. Mani requested him again to accept the offering. Sri Ramakrishna
asked M., in a distressed voice, whether he should take the money. The disciple made a
vehement protest and said, "No, sir. By no means."

Friends of Mani Sen gave the money to Rakhal, requesting him to buy some mangoes and
sweets for the Master. Sri Ramakrishna said to M.: "I have definitely said to Mani that I
would not accept the money. I feel free now. But Rakhal has accepted it. His is now the
responsibility."

Sri Ramakrishna, accompanied by the devotees, took a carriage to return to Dakshineswar.
They were going to pass the temple garden of Mati Seal on the way. For a long time the
Master had been asking M. to take him to the reservoir in the garden in order that he might
teach him how to meditate on the formless God. There were tame fish in the reservoir.
Nobody harmed them. Visitors threw puffed rice and other bits of food into the water, and
the big fish came in swarms to eat the food. Fearlessly the fish swam in the water and
sported there joyously.

Coming to the reservoir, the Master said to M.: "Look at the fish. Meditating on the
formless God is like swimming joyfully like these fish, in the Ocean of Bliss and
Consciousness."

This is how the Master actually showed to devotees what he meant by his words,and gave them a tangible clue to the inexpressible.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 03, 2012, 09:40:08 AM
Nagaraj/Friends,
Here are some excerpts from The Gospel where M literally abides by the words of Sri Ramakrishna and stays away from Family.

Saturday, December 29, 1883

It was the day of the new moon, auspicious for the worship of the Divine Mother. At one
o'clock in the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna got into a carriage to visit the temple of Kali at
Kalighat. He intended to stop at Adhar's house on the way, since Adhar was to accompany
him to the temple. While the carriage was waiting near the north porch of the Master's
room, M. went to the Master and said, "Sir, may I also go with you?"

MASTER: "Why?"

M: "I should like to visit my home in Calcutta."

Sri Ramakrishna reflected a moment and said: "Must you go home? Why? You are quite all
right here."

M. wanted to see his people a few hours, but evidently the Master did not approve.



Again,in continuation:
At eight o'clock that evening the Master was sitting in his room with Rakhal and M. It was
the twenty-first day of M.'s stay with Sri Ramakrishna
. The Master had forbidden him to
indulge in reasoning.
Futility of reasoning
MASTER (to Rakhal): "It is not good to reason too much. First comes God, and then the
world. Realize God first; then you will know all about His world. (To M. and Rakhal) If
first one is introduced to Jadu Mallick, then one can know everything about him-the
number of his houses, gardens, government securities, and so on. For this reason the rishi
Narada advised Valmiki1 to repeat the word 'mara'. 'Ma' means God, and 'ra' the world.
First comes God, and then the world. Krishnakishore said that the word 'mara' is a holy
mantra because it was given to Valmiki by the rishi. 'Ma' means God, and 'rā' the world.
"Therefore, like Valmiki, one should at first renounce everything and cry to God in solitude
with a longing heart. The first thing necessary is the vision of God; then comes reasoningabout
the scriptures and the world.
(To M.) "That is why I have been telling you not to reason any more. I came from the pinegrove
to say that to you. Through too much reasoning your spiritual life will be injured; you
will at last become like Hazra. I used to roam at night in the streets, all alone, and cry to the
Divine Mother, 'O Mother, blight with Thy thunderbolt my desire to reason!' Tell me that
you won't reason any more."
M: "Yes, sir. I won't reason any more."
MASTER: "Everything can be achieved through bhakti alone. Those who want the
Knowledge of Brahman will certainly achieve that also by following the trail of bhakti.

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on December 03, 2012, 10:12:20 AM
Reasoning has to end, That is why I have been telling you not to reason any more.

Ramana said: The Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach it.

Implicit faith, is a rare blessing!

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 03, 2012, 08:46:59 PM
M's stay with the Master continued as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Friday, January 4, 1884
Sri Ramakrishna was sitting in his room. M. was still staying with the Master, devoting his
time to the practice of spiritual discipline
. He had been spending a great part of each day in
prayer and meditation under the bel-tree
, where the Master had performed great austerities
and had seen many wonderful visions of God.

Master exhorts M. not to reason & Different attitudes toward God

MASTER (to M.): "Don't reason any more. In the end, reasoning only injures the aspirant.
One should assume a particular attitude toward God while praying to Him-the attitude of
friend or servant or son or 'hero'.

"I assume the attitude of a child. To me every woman is my mother. The divine Maya,
seeing this attitude in an aspirant, moves away from his path out of sheer shame.
"The attitude of 'hero' is extremely difficult. The Saktas and the Bauls among the
Vaishnavas follow it, but it is very hard to keep one's spiritual life pure in that attitude. One
can assume other attitudes toward God as well the attitude in which the devotee serenely
contemplates God as the Creator, the attitude of service to Him, the attitude of friendship,
the attitude of motherly affection, or the attitude of conjugal love. The conjugal
relationship, the attitude of a woman to her husband or sweetheart, contains all the restserenity,
service, friendship, and motherly affection. (To M.) Which one of these appeals to
your mind?"

M: "I like them all."

MASTER: "When one attains perfection one takes delight in all these relationships. In that
state a devotee has not the slightest trace of lust. The holy books of the Vaishnavas speak of
Chandidas and the washerwoman. Their love was entirely free from lust.
"In that state a devotee looks on himself as a woman. He does not regard himself as a man.
Sanatana Goswami refused to see Mirabai because she was a woman. Mira informed him
that at Vrindavan the only man was Krishna and that all others were His handmaids. 'Was it
right of Sanatana to think of himself as a man?' Mira inquired."

continued....

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 03, 2012, 08:49:56 PM
M's stay with the Master continued as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna....

Saturday, January 5, 1884
It was the twenty-third day of M.'s stay with Sri Ramakrishna. M. had finished his midday
meal about one o'clock and was resting in the nahabat when suddenly he heard someone
call his name three or four times. Coming out, he saw Sri Ramakrishna calling to him from
the verandah north of his room.

M. saluted the Master and they conversed on the south verandah.

MASTER: "I want to know how you meditate. When I meditated under the bel-tree I used
to see various visions clearly. One day I saw in front of me money, a shawl, a tray of
sandesh and two women. I asked my mind, 'Mind, do you want any of these?' I saw the
sandesh to be mere filth. One of the women had a big ring in her nose. I could see both their
inside and outside-entrails, filth, bone, flesh, and blood. The mind did not want any of
these-money, shawl, sweets, or women. It remained fixed at the Lotus Feet of God".

"A small balance has two needles, the upper and the lower. The mind is the lower needle. I
was always afraid lest the mind should move away from the upper needle-God. Further, I
would see a man always sitting by me with a trident in his hand. He threatened to strike me
with it if the lower needle moved away from the upper one".

"But no spiritual progress is possible without the renunciation of 'woman and gold'. I
renounced these three: land, wife, and wealth. Once I went to the Registry Office to register
some land, the title of which was in the name of Raghuvir. The officer asked me to sign my
name; but I didn't do it, because I couldn't feel that it was 'my' land. I was shown much
respect as the guru of Keshab Sen. They presented me with mangoes, but I couldn't carry
them home. A sannyasi cannot lay things up".

"How can one expect to attain God without renunciation? Suppose one thing is placed upon
another; how can you get the second without removing the first?

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 03, 2012, 08:56:21 PM
M's stay with the Master continued as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna....

Saturday, January 5, 1884

It was about four o'clock. Rakhal and several other devotees were listening to a kirtan by
M. in the hut at the Panchavati
. Rakhal went into a spiritual mood while listening to the
devotional song. After a while the Master came to the Panchavati accompanied by Baburam
and Harish. Other devotees followed.'

RAKHAL: "How well he [referring to M.] sang kirtan for us! He made us all very happy."

The Master sang in an ecstatic mood:
O friends, how great is my relief
To hear you chanting Krishna's name! . . .

To the devotees he said, "Always sing devotional songs" Continuing, he said: "To love God
and live in the company of the devotees: that is all. What more is there?"
He said, again:
"When Krishna went to Mathura, Yasoda came to Radha, who was absorbed in meditation.
Afterwards Radha said to Yasoda: 'I am the Primordial Energy. Ask a boon of Me.' 'What
other boon shall I ask of You?' said Yasoda. Only bless me that I may serve God with my
body, mind, and tongue; that I may behold His devotees with these eyes, that I may
meditate on Him with this mind, and that I may chant His name and glories with this
tongue.'

"But those who are firmly established in God may do as well without the devotees. This is
true of those who feel the presence of God both within and without
. Sometimes they don't
enjoy the devotees' company. You don't whitewash a wall inlaid with mother of pearl-the
lime won't stick
."

The Master returned presently from the Panchavati, talking to M.

MASTER: "You have the voice of a woman. Can't you practise a song such as this?
Tell me, friend, how far is the grove
Where Krishna, my Beloved, dwells?

(To M., pointing to Baburam) "You see, my own people have become strangers; Ramlal
and my other relatives seem to be foreigners. And strangers have become my own. Don't
you notice how I tell Baburam to go and wash his face? The devotees have become
relatives.

(Looking at the Panchavati) "I used to sit there. In course of time I became mad. That phase
also passed away. Kala, Siva, is Brahman. That which sports with Kala is Kali, the Primal
Energy. Kali moves even the Immutable."

Saying this, the Master sang:
My mind is overwhelmed with wonder,
Pondering the Mother's mystery;
Her very name removes
The fear of Kala, Death himself;
Beneath Her feet lies Maha-Kala. . . .

Then he said to M.: "Today is Saturday. Go to the temple of Kali."

continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 03, 2012, 09:10:07 PM
M's stay with the Master continued as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna....

Saturday, January 5, 1884

As the Master came to the bakul-tree he spoke to M. again: "Chidatma and Chitsakti. The
Purusha is the Chidatma and Prakriti the Chitsakti. Sri Krishna is the Chidatma and Sri
Radha the Chitsakti. The devotees are so many forms of the Chitsakti. They should think of
themselves as companions or handmaids of the Chitsakti, Sri Radha. This is the whole gist
of the thing.' "

After dusk Sri Ramakrishna went to the Kali temple and was pleased to see M. meditating
there.

The evening worship was over in the temples. The Master returned to his room and sat on
the couch, absorbed in meditation on the Divine Mother. M. sat on the floor. There was no
one else in the room
.

The Master was in samadhi. He began to come gradually down to the normal plane. His
mind was still filled with the consciousness of the Divine Mother. In that state he was
speaking to Her like a small child making importunate demands on his mother. He said in a
piteous voice: "Mother, why haven't You revealed to me that form of Yours, the form that
bewitches the world? I pleaded with You so much for it. But You wouldn't listen to me.
You act as You please."

The voice in which these words were uttered was very touching.

He went on: "Mother, one needs faith. Away with this wretched reasoning! Let it be
blighted! One needs faith-faith in the words of the guru, childlike faith
. The mother says to
her child, 'A ghost lives there'; and the child is firmly convinced that the ghost is there.
Again, the mother says to the child, 'A holy man is there', and the child is sure of it. Further,
the mother says, pointing to a man, 'He is your elder brother', and the child believes that the
man is one hundred and twenty-five per cent his brother. One needs faith
. But why should I
blame them, Mother? What can they do? It is necessary to go through reasoning once.
Didn't You see how much I told him about it the other day? But it all proved useless."


M never argued with the Master ,yet for days together he is listening to the same thing over and over again-'Away with Reasoning"!The Master is wiping out the deep hidden vasanas that a Great soul like M was not even conscious of!He is teaching a Great soul like M 'simple faith'!Just compare all this with what a smattering of learning does to us,how immediately we come to think that we are quite advanced and are self realized,and do not need all this kinder garden advices!!!
Living with a Guru like Sri Ramakrishna is a totally different order than what we may imagine it would be.The Master will not pander to comfortable armchair Sadhana-'I am the Self'. :)
continued....
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 03, 2012, 09:22:43 PM
M's stay with the Master continued as in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna....

Master's prayer to the Divine Mother

The Master was weeping and praying to the Mother in a voice choked with emotion. He
prayed to Her with tearful eyes for the welfare of the devotees: "Mother, may those who
come to You have all their desires fulfilled! But please don't make them give up everything
at once, Mother. Well, You may do whatever You like in the end. If You keep them in the
world, Mother, then please reveal Yourself to them now and then. Otherwise, how will they
live? How will they be encouraged if they don't see You once in a while
? But You may do
whatever You like in the end."

Advice to M

The Master was still in the ecstatic mood. Suddenly he said to M: "Look here, you have had
enough of reasoning. No more of it. Promise that you won't reason any more."


M. (with folded hands): "Yes, sir. I won't."

MASTER: "You have had enough of it. When you came to me the first time, I told you
your spiritual Ideal. I know everything about you, do I not
?"

M. (with folded hands): "Yes, sir."

MASTER: "Yes, I know everything: what your Ideal is, who you are, your inside and
outside, the events of your past lives, and your future. Do I not?"


M. (with folded hands): "Yes, sir."

MASTER: "I scolded you on learning that you had a son. Now go home and live there. Let
them know that you belong to them. But you must remember in your heart of hearts that
you do not belong to them nor they to you
."

M. sat in silence. The Master went on instructing him.

MASTER: "You have now learnt to fly. But keep your loving relationship with your father.
Can't you prostrate yourself before him?"

M. (with folded hands): "Yes, sir. I can."

MASTER: "What more shall I say to you? You, know everything. You understand, don't
you?"


M. sat there without uttering a word.

MASTER: "You have understood, haven't you?"

M: "Yes, sir, I now understand a little."

MASTER: "No, you understand a great deal. Rakhal's father is pleased about his staying
here."

M. remained with folded hands.

MASTER: "Yes, what you are thinking will also come to pass."

We may note how the Master is telling M to Prostrate before his father!Just because he has done sadhana for 24 days with Sri Ramakrishna,does not mean that he can afford to become complacent!He tells M :"You have now learnt to fly. But keep your loving relationship with your father"
Learning Right attitude is very very important to a sincere seeker.The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna is a wonderful book where one can learn a lot if he stays humble and keeps his mind open.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on December 04, 2012, 08:53:39 AM
What a wonderful relationship is this, that of a Guru and Disciple, very intense. What more can we do, but get soaked in it. What a blessed soul was Sri mahendranath gupta. What kind of tapas they may have done to earn such proximity of Guru. It only creates a prayer of yearning within, wont we also get such a blessing some day!

Sometimes simplicity is looked down upon, as ordinary, but in it some find precious treasures, in it is everything!

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 04, 2012, 06:38:22 PM
Nagaraj,

Quote
"Sometimes simplicity is looked down upon, as ordinary, but in it some find precious treasures, in it is everything!"

You are indeed Blessed!I appreciate your deep aspiration and fine sensitivity.Master Mahasya is an ideal disciple and he truly lived by the words of the Master,quite exemploary in all respect.

This is what Sri Ramakrishna had to say on this Great soul:

"He is a deep soul like the Falgu river, he has real spirituality within."

"Your bhava is that of Prahlada — ‘I am That’ and ‘I am God’s servant.’

"The Master (M.) is very pure."

"He has no pride."

"You are my own, of the same class substance like father and son."

"You are the inner as well as the outer pillar of Nata Mandir."

 Such a Great soul wrote The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,a Rare treasure trove that deals with all aspects of Spiritual Living and what is most important,it puts one right at the feet of The Great Master.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on December 05, 2012, 06:26:13 AM
This is what Sri Ramakrishna had to say on this Great soul:

"He is a deep soul like the Falgu river, he has real spirituality within."

"Your bhava is that of Prahlada — ‘I am That’ and ‘I am God’s servant.’

"The Master (M.) is very pure."

"He has no pride."

"You are my own, of the same class substance like father and son."

"You are the inner as well as the outer pillar of Nata Mandir."

Such a Great soul wrote The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,a Rare treasure trove that deals with all aspects of Spiritual Living and what is most important,it puts one right at the feet of The Great Master.

Sri Ravi, What a massive work is the Gospel, and i wonder how could anyone have been able to write the words of the Master, which are so mysterious and beyond ordinary human mind's grasp. I feel these above words of the The Master on Master Mahasya is very rare, what a blessing, how humble He should have been in order that the Master even expressed such things about Him, these expressions of the Master is nothing short of saying He is Him and Him is He.

These great devotees, are comparable to the great nAyanmArs and the Master Himself being the absolute paramEshwarA.

The Master truly becomes the Disciple here, meaning the disciple is [as good as] the Master. These kind of disciples look so huge and tall, like the gOpurams of great temples, that we look so small before them. It sprouts a feeling from within to disappear into oblivion out of shame seeing their greatness, humility and knowledge.

I do not know why but, when i see Master Mahasya, i see Muruganr and when I see Muruganar, i see Master Mahasya. Ramana and Ramakrishna is that paramporul, brahman.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 05, 2012, 06:42:52 AM
Nagaraj,
Yes ,the simplicity and utter self effacement of these disciples is ever a Beacon to all aspirants.Indeed what you have expressed is absolutely true and what every earnest aspirant knows intuitively.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 05, 2012, 05:18:27 PM
Anil,

"but unless you plunge into God with yearning of heart, you will not comprehend Him. By mere scholarship you may fool man, but not God."

Quote
Dear Sri Ravi,
Pranam,

Sri Bhagwan has also said that if there is yearning in the heart, Realisation will be forced upon you whether you desire it or not.

Thanks very much, sir.

Pranam,
  Anil

Yes indeed ,Friend.Interestingly ,both Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavan did not consider scriptural knowledge as essential to Realization.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 05, 2012, 05:46:13 PM
Dear Tusnim,

Sri Bhagvan has said that 'yearning for liberation' called Subeccha, is mentioned in the Talls No., 256..

There Sri Bagavan explains seven jnana bhoomis. This is the first stage.

Arnachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 05, 2012, 05:58:22 PM
udai/Subramanian,
Here is the excerpt from Talk 265,21st October 1936:

The aristocratic lady again came after a few days, went straight to Bhagavan, saluted him and said:“I came last time with my husband and children. I was thinking of
their food and time was pressing. So I could not stay here as long as I would have wished. But I was later worried over the hurried nature of the visit. I have returned now to sit quiet and imbibe Sri Bhagavan’s Grace. May He give me strength of mind!”

The hall was already kept clear of people. She sat on a crude carpet in front of Sri Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan said smiling: “Yes.Silence is perpetual speaking. Ordinary speech hinders that heart to- heart talk.”
She agreed and sat quiet. Sri Bhagavan was sitting reclining on the sofa. His eyes were fixed in her direction with a gracious smile on His
lips. Both remained silent and motionless for about an hour.Prasad was distributed. The lady said: “Now I want to return. The river between Bangalore and this place is in floods. On my way here a bus was overturned in the floods. My car came later, and I saw the sad accident. Still I was not afraid to ford the river. My car came out
safe. I would like to return in daytime.
“This time I shall not say ‘is the last time I shall come’ as I said on former occasions. I do not know, but it may be so. Yet Maharshi should give me strength of mind.
“I long for bhakti. I want more of this longing. Even realisation does not matter for me. Let me be strong in my longing.”
M.: If the longing is there, Realisation will be forced on you even if you do not want it. Subhechcha is the doorway for realisation.

D.: Let it be so. But I am content with longing. Even when I am away from this place I must not relax in my devotion. May Sri Bhagavan give me the necessary strength. Such longing could only be through His Grace. I am personally too weak.Again, when I was here on a previous occasion I asked several questions. But I could not follow Sri Bhagavan’s answers. I thought I would not ask any more questions but only sit quiet in His Presence imbibing Grace which might be extended to me.
So I do not pursue Maharshi with more questions this time. Only let me have His Grace
.
M.: Your repeated visits to this place indicate the extension of Grace.
She was surprised and said: “I was going to ask Maharshi if He called me. For all of a sudden my husband told me this morning: ‘There are two days free. If you want you may visit Maharshi and return.’
“I was very agreeably surprised and pleased. I took it to be a call from Maharshi.” She also expressed a desire to reside near Maharshi and asked for His blessings.
Maharshi said: A Higher Power is leading you. Be led by the same.
D.: But I am not aware of it. Please make me aware of it.
M.: The Higher Power knows what to do and how to do it. Trust it.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 05, 2012, 06:08:02 PM
Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun.Longing is followed by the vision of God.

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 05, 2012, 06:24:57 PM
Dear Ravi,

Yes. This longing for God is described by Sri Bhagavan slightly differently, 'yearning for liberation'. It is in Talks No. 256.
It is called Subeccha. It is one of the 7 Jnana Bhoomis, the first stage.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 05, 2012, 06:28:43 PM
Dear Ravi,

Manikkavachagar says:

வான நாடரும் அறி ஒணாத நீ
மறையில் ஈறும் முன் தொடர் ஒணாத நீ
ஏனை நாடரும் தெரி ஒணாத நீ
என்னை இன்னிதாய் ஆண்டு கொண்டவா
ஊனை நாடகம் ஆடு வித்தவா
உருகி நான் உனைப் பருக வைத்தவா
ஞான நாடகம் ஆடு வித்தவா
நைய வையகத்து உடைய விச்சையே. 99

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on December 05, 2012, 06:56:57 PM
(http://lindasyogadotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/listen.jpg?w=611)
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on December 05, 2012, 08:24:28 PM
 "If the longing is there, Realisation will be forced on you even if you do not want it. Subhechcha is the doorway for realisation."

Dear Sri Tushnim,

Yes, why doubt it? This is a very important saying of Sri Bhagwan which has even been mentioned in Sriramanasramam's Diary, 2011, on page dated April 1,2011, below Sri Bhagwan's picture.

Dear Sri Tushnim, both Sri Ramakrishna Param Hamsa as well as Sri Bhagwan, our two great Masters, do not consider study of scriptures as essential to Realisation. I do not understand why you  cannot accept this simple fact.

Pranam,
  Anil 
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: atmavichar100 on December 05, 2012, 09:22:12 PM
Quote
Dear Sri Tushnim, both Sri Ramakrishna Param Hamsa as well as Sri Bhagwan, our two great Masters, do not consider study of scriptures as essential to Realisation. I do not understand why you  cannot accept this simple fact.

My take regarding study of Scriptures :

I discussed this personally with a Traditional Teacher of Advaita and he said that traditionally students are required to study the 3 main sources of Advaitic Texts : 1) Bhagavad Gita 2) Ten Major Upanishads and 3) Brahma Sutra plus lots of other Prakarna Granthas like Viveka Chudamani , Atma Bodha , Upadesa Saram , Tattva Bodha etc etc

But he said that since maturity of each student is different , some may inspite of reading all the above texts might still be confused and not clear and some  mature students may after studying a simple text Atma Bodha , Upadesa Saram or even a minor Upanishad like Keno Upanishad might feel they have had their doubts cleared and feel no more inclined to study further texts and go away and the teacher will definitely welcome such a step . But if such a student wants to convey / teach Scriptures to others then he must have a solid knowledge of all the above texts as understanding the truth for one's own self is different from able to convey to others in a proper methodology .
So for personal clarity there is no compulsion to study all those texts .

The question is not what you read ( i.e Upanishads  , Ramana's works , Ramakrishna Works etc ) , how much you read but what have you assimilated or understood  or how much clear you are . So it all boils to a students maturity and his coming in contact with the right teacher or right book that answers his doubts .
So we can never standardize saying one should read or not read scriptures as each and every individual vary with regard to their spiritual maturity . That is one reason we have  Adi Shankara write lot of works called Prakarna Granthas like Upadesa Sahasri ( 1000 verses ) to Eka Sloki ( 1 verse ) and even Bhagwan Ramana wrote Upadesa Saram , Sar Darshanam and translated Adi Shankara's Atma Bodham , Dakshinamurti Stotram etc in Tamil  and Muruganar wrote tons of pages in classical Tamil on Bhagwan Ramana's Upadesa . What is the need for Muruganar to write so many pages in classical Tamil  when Bhagwan's main message is just "Silence "? How many people are competent to understand that "Silence" of Bhagwan ?
By the way I have seen people who are against studying  Traditional Scriptures keep volumes of books  and CDs of their favorite teacher and keep reading them daily or listening to them daily like scriptures . If those Books can give better explanation or clarity to them it is fine but there are some people who feel that they get that clarity by reading Traditional scriptures and not through other teachers and we need to respect that also.

So in conclusion :
 Let those who want to study traditional scriptures study and those who do not want to study  need not study and we must respect both . Ultimately we cannot force anyone to do something that they are not naturally inclined to do or interested to do .

Om Peace .
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on December 05, 2012, 09:44:43 PM
Quote:
"So in conclusion :
 Let those who want to study traditional scriptures study and those who do not want to study  need not study and we must respect both . Ultimately we cannot force anyone to do something that they are not naturally inclined to do or interested to do "


Dear Sri atmavichar,

Yes. I personally feel exactly the same. Thanks very much.

Pranam,
  Anil

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 05, 2012, 10:54:01 PM
Friends,
"Everyone thinks his watch is right; but as a matter of fact no watch is absolutely right. But that doesn't hamper one's work. If a man is restless for
God he gains the company of sadhus and as far as possible corrects his own watch with the sadhu's help".


The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

I do not totally agree with this maturity theory propounded by the Traditional advaita Teacher.It is more a matter of predeliction and exposure.In fact,I would say that the more mature a seeker,the less and less he would rely on scriptural knowledge!

I also do not agree with the competency required to understand the Silence of Bhagavan!(This is one of the usual arguements that Swami Dayananda and his disciples put forth!I have to say that this is quite silly)Even monkeys and animals were competent to understand and appreciate the Silence in Bhagavan's Presence.It requires sadhana to be in that stae on one's own.This is all.

As For Muruganar,it was simply his prarabda that he happened to be a Tamil Teacher with a Fascination for Tiruvachakam,and blessed with the Bhakti of a Manikkavachakar ,he composed those works and Sri Bhagavan encouraged it in his case.

So the issue is not whether scriptural works can be studied or not.The issue is when someone tries to dump it on others and goes to a Ridiculous extreme in saying that without a systematic study of it Self Realization is not possible!This is the problem.This sort of a false propaganda is orchestrated by the likes of Swami Dayananda and I have personally come across many of those carried away by this sort of a 'Traditional' concoction.
One of the Best exponents of pure advaitic teaching that I have come across is Sri Nochur Venkatraman.I warmly recommend his talks to all seekers who understand Tamizh or MalayaLam as he usually talks in these languages.Truly a Great soul.

Namaskar.

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 06, 2012, 09:46:44 PM
Friends,
Sri Swami Yukteswar Giri,guru of paramahansa Yogananda is a sage and a strong disciplinarian.His sayings are always pithy and straightforward.Here is one such saying:
"Do not confuse understanding with a larger vocabulary. Sacred writings are beneficial in stimulating desire for inward realisation, if one stanza at a time is slowly assimilated. Otherwise, continual intellectual study may result in vanity, false satisfaction, and undigested knowledge".

Autobiography of a Yogi
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 07, 2012, 06:26:00 AM
Subramanian/friends,

Quote
Dear Ravi,

Excellent. This excellent idea has also been reflected in Manikkavachagar's verse 1 in Kovil Mootha Tirupadigam.


 உடையாள் உன்தன் நடுவிருக்கும் உடையாள் நடுவுள் நீயிருத்தி
அடியேன் நடுவுள் இருவீரும் இருப்பதானால் அடியேன்உன்
அடியார் நடுவுள் இருக்கும் அருளைப்புரி யாய் பொன்னம்பலத்தெம்
முடியா முதலே என்கருத்து முடியும் வண்ணம் முன்னின்றே. 378


Once Sri Bhagavan was asked at to why He was not singing any praise for Uma. Sri Bhagavan said: It is she who is within
me and making me write about Siva!

Arunachala Siva

Beautiful verse of Manikkavachakar.Great ones have realized the fundamental Truth and they echo the same!Quite charming.

Thanks very much.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 07, 2012, 07:33:09 AM
Friends,
Guru is Tatvam,is a principle that manifests to clear the ignorance and guide us on the path.This is what Sri Ramakrishna says:

Quote
"Satchidananda alone is the Guru. If a man in the form of a guru awakens spiritual consciousness in you, then know for certain that it is God the Absolute who has
assumed that human form for your sake".

It is helpful for seekers to understand this in a deep way and not limit this Guru Tatva with a particular Name and form only.If this is done,one will not be in a conflict whether it is appropriate to quote Sri Ramakrishna or Sri saibaba or any of the other Great ones in a Forum devoted to Sri Bhagavan Ramana.Although intellectually we understand this principle,unless we internalize the same,it manifests as a conflict and expresses itself in some way or other.

I am happy to see that there are many seperate threads that posts the teachings of Great ones and this is a convenient way to present and assimilate the same.
What differentiates the devotee from a fan?What distinguishes a devotee of a Guru from a Fan of a Star Personality?
A Devotee is an aspirant of the teachings of the Guru.This teaching helps him to dissolve his isolation and particular beliefs,and realize what is truly universal in him that links him with the all-the whole.
A Fan is someone who attaches himself to a Star(a film star or a Politician or a Guru)as it gives him a sense of 'Identity' and security;he basks vicariously in the reflected glory.He is happy to belong to the elite club that differentiates him from the common mass.The only way he can strengthen the bond with his STAR is to isolate himself from any links with any other Star or Group.In other words,he promotes personality cult and exhults in the superiority of his cult over that of every other similiar cult.

Spiritual Truth is something fundamental and universal;yet in its presentation for the seeker,it is packaged differently to suit the predeliction and particular background of the seeker.This explains the seeming differences between the teachings of various Great ones,and it is indeed proper and advisable that every seeker sticks to what is graspable by him.As we do this and internalize it,we will realize that all the teachings are relevant and appropriate and are designed to reach out to those who have a need for that.This understanding dissolves the 'Hierarchy' that one teaching is superior to the other,or that one is more Enlightening than the Other-all this exclusivity is dissolved.

The Fundamental attitudes that a seeker needs to imbibe remain the same-Humility,earnestness,steadfastness,Healthy respect for others,serenity,etc.Every teaching if pursued sincerely should lead to this and beyond to the universal essence of our Being.

It is helpful for seekers to read not just the teachings but also lives of the Great ones,as it will certainly help to develop the attitude that is indispensable and helps to assimilate the teachings;this way the teaching can be not just cerebrated but deeply internalized and lived.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Nagaraj on December 07, 2012, 08:05:19 AM
in the same line, i provide the link to another article on Guru Tatvam.

http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=7164.msg31343#msg31343 (http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=7164.msg31343#msg31343)

Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 07, 2012, 11:25:42 AM
Nagaraj,
Thanks very much for that wonderful transcript of the talk by Sri Nochur.I totally concur and appreciate every single word in that talk.Sri Nochur has this rare gift of talking from the Heart and not from the Head!Truly a Great soul.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 10, 2012, 06:39:00 AM
Friends,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna is a wonderful guide to all aspirants.All the sayings of the Master
are easily intelligible and need no interpretation.He himself explains clearly what he means.
Here is such an example:

"There are certain signs of God-realization. The man in whom longing for God manifests
its glories is not far from attaining Him. What are the glories of that longing? They are
discrimination, dispassion, compassion for living beings, serving holy men, loving their
company, chanting the name and glories of God, telling the truth, and the like. When you
see those signs of longing in an aspirant, you can rightly say that for him the vision of God
is not far to seek
.
The state of a servant's house will tell you unmistakably whether his master has decided to
visit it. First, the rubbish and jungle around the house are cleared up. Second, the soot and
dirt are removed from the rooms. Third, the courtyard, floors, and other places are swept
clean. Finally the master himself sends various things to the house such as a carpet, a
hubble-bubble for smoking, and the like. When you see these things arriving, you conclude
that the master will very soon come"

Namaskar.
Title: Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
Post by: Ravi.N on December 17, 2012, 12:19:14 PM
Atmavichar/Friends,
"
Quote
But the next question asked is Bubble /wave is similar in substance with Ocean but differs in their strength i.e strength and energy of a wave is different from strength and energy of Ocean .
I have no answer for this .I was discussing this with a friend of mine and both of us could not get an answer  So would be happy if others can share the answer to this question i.e Wave is similar to Ocean in essence but differs in its strength and energy ,so is the analogy right ?"

No analogy is complete and we need to understand this from the words of the Great ones.We cannot ex