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Messages - Chuck Cliff

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General topics / Re: Women who were Jnanis
« on: June 11, 2011, 03:03:36 PM »
Dear Subramaniam R.,

I first heard of her in a collection of poems I saw many years ago called "Speaking of Shiva" that had some material attributed to her.  I've read that she is one of the few things that Muslim and Hindu can agree on in the Kashmir.  I found a link to 9th century Vaishnava saint, Andal (Antal) which I don't think has been mentioned in this thread.

Of course, one can discuss whether this one or that one is really jnani. - a fruitless pursuit

Poems, songs and tidbits of stories about their lives are like crumbs fallen from the table, giving us a taste of the Reality they knew/know, whetting our appetite for more.

General topics / Re: Women who were Jnanis
« on: June 11, 2011, 02:20:13 AM »
I've always had a crush on the 14th century Kashmir saint, Lalla, from the first time I heard of her

Here is one her poems in Coleman Barks translation:

I searched for my Self
until I grew weary,

but no one, I know now,
reaches the hidden knowledge
by means of effort.

Then, absorbed in “Thou art This,”
I found the place of Wine.

There all the jars are filled,
but no one is left to drink.

Humour / Re: A (pseudo) koan...
« on: June 11, 2011, 01:59:19 AM », anyway, here's a good answer somebody once gave me right off the top of her head:

"No, since he was a good Jewish boy, he did what his mother told him and wore his galoches!" ::)

Humour / A (pseudo) koan...
« on: June 10, 2011, 10:03:25 PM »
When Jesus walked on water did he get his feet wet?


General topics / Re: Ramana Maharshi on Jesus healing blind man
« on: June 01, 2010, 07:45:50 PM »
This is not a story related in the Bible, that is the canonized texts, neither, I am pretty sure, is it in the gnostic texts.  It sounds to me like it could be one of the Jesus legends in Islam - Ramana could have heard it from one of the muslim devotees. One thing I'm sure of he didn't just make it up, although where he knew of it might not be easy, or even possible.   

What Amitall mentioned is right on the mark, in particular the story [Luke 8:40-48] of a women who suffered from bleeding and had used much money with doctors to no avail - sure touches the hem of his cloak as he passes by thinking it will help her, she is healed on the spot and Jesus demands to know "who touched me" (the text explains that he felt power go from him).

One Christian legend I love is the one that where he walked, flowers grew - it found its way into a song:

"Angels serve the son of man / blessings flow from his hands / don't you know the truth so sweet / flowers grow where he rests his feet"

Love - Being - Aware

General topics / Re: Living in exile with only three books
« on: April 14, 2010, 11:37:39 AM »
Subramiam R.,

I just checked Amazon for the heck of it - series 3 (the three volumes) costs 25£ (used) and series 2 (the one I have) 5£. 

A little known work which I got almost by accident is his "Swedenborg, Buddha of the North", goes for 3.60£  -  it's one of his earliest works and introduced me to Swedenborg, a difficult fellow to get to know.

love - being -aware

General topics / Re: Living in exile with only three books
« on: April 11, 2010, 07:10:39 PM »
How pleasant!  A year old mail from last Spring that sprouts new leaves!

I loved in particular the humor bubbling in the choices and reasons for choices, but it was Subramaniam's choice of a 4th book that sparked a reply from me.

D. T. Suzuki's  "Essays in Zen Buddhism" was a mainstay for me for many years.  It's odd, in a way the texts are tedious to read with words and concepts I could barely grasp, like a slow sonorous chanting of sutras I saw on TV once, then -- suddenly -- a flash of light of insight of understanding that disappear almost before I could recognize them.

Then, one morning, alone on a night shift, about 3 in the morning, I closed the copy of the essays I was reading - suddenly, I was up out of my chair dancing across the room, on the floor, on the table tops, singing a song.  Surprised, I then scratched the words down on a manila envelope I pulled out of a waste basket:

You are reality, beyond all belief
You are the living tree, nourishing my green leaf
You are the hight, the footstep and the path
You are the answer, with no questions asked
You are the beauty shining in each lover's face
You are that certain place of no time or space
    Smaller than an atom
    Bigger than a star
    Able to go slowly fast,
    You stay quickly far
You are, you are, you are...
You are the holy rock
You are the distant shore
You are life itself and even death
     pales before
Your emptiness

Ah, but my books?  I dunno, I really don't know, many clamor for attention, the thick ones claim they have more to say and the thin ones say that their conciseness and brevity is what increases their value -- so, a couple of books, one thick, one thin, and a picture of Ramana -- sigh -- but which picture?

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: UGK & Ramana
« on: February 04, 2010, 12:11:12 AM »
@Soham3 in post #6  -- Haven't most of the people here had something somehow communicated to them by Ramana?  He was not surprised when somebody 600 miles away recieved his teaching -- so, and I've mentioned this before, why should 6000 miles or 60 years make a difference?  Has anyone here learned anything by reading books about him?  I doubt it.  I read Osborne's biography at least 6 or 7 times to no more avail than a bit of inspiration -- then, last spring when I was at my rope's end, drowning, going down for the last time -- suddenly it became clear.  Not everything, no, but that little thing I needed.

As for this Falk fellow -- why do you put credence in his witness?  I went to his "stripping the gurus" site and although a number of those he "strips" deserve serious criticism as fakes, fools and/or hustlers, my impression is that he is a muckraker and scandalmonger  out to make bucks (that is my impression -- I may be quite wrong!).

If Maurice Frydman (thank you, Amitall!) says Mararaj and UG met in that fashion, I would figure that was what happened. 

On the other hand, why are we talking about this here on the "Teachings of Maharshi" board?

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: UGK & Ramana
« on: February 02, 2010, 09:21:51 PM »
Ramana said he is not sure whether UGK is a fit receptacle.   I may remember incorrectly, but I think that UG Krishnamurti wrote that Ramana's reply was that yes he could give him enlightenment but would he (UG) be able to take it -- as far as I know it is only UG's witness we have to the incident, but it seems reasonable as the it obviously is a big joke on him if the other things he says are to be taken at more or less face value

JK was involved with ladies... so? Did he hide it, call it something else?  Otherwise what can one conclude from this -- ah! Papaji was not enlightened! (and perhaps he wasn't -- who can tell?).    ::)

All I know is that Ramana somehow communicated something priceless to me -- how to recognize the still-point, the secret heart.

Thanks Soham3 for the details on Brunton (and for the extra material others have shared!) For the little they're worth, my comments on the 6 criticisms attributed to Brunton:

1. Probably/correct that somebody bad mouthed Brunton, but so what?
2. If "...psychological state but was unable..." was elided, this could be true enough -- Ramana didn't control the Ashram, devotees of anything in a normal/worldly way.
3. Correct, but then, did Ramana ever speak of "short-cuts"?  True, some folk have run with quotes out of context to give  credence to neo-advaita, God-realization by mail-order schemes -- you name it.
4. & 5. If this is Brunton's teaching, I don't understand what he's talking about and suspect he didn't either.
6.  Well, yes, and Jesus neither added or detracted from the Law --so, what to do but shrug ones shoulders?

The bottom line is that Ramana was not upset by all kinds of goings-on, so why should we bother?  If Brunton got himself into a lather and thought he was scathing in his attacks,  well that's his problem -- it's kind of like a mighty ant banging on the foot of a poor, helpless elephant.


"In some of the books, he wrote about Bhagavan's direct path, as if it were his own invention."  One could perhaps say the same thing about the American William Samuel (1924-1996) who no where mentions Ramana although it is almost certain that sat in in silence at the Ashram for a fortnight.  This is not of any real consequence

The valid question is "Did he criticize Ramana" [for anything] and, here, the answer is no -- so, back to the top, did Brunton attack Ramana?  Perhaps what was meant was that he was soured on Ashram administration (in which case, he would not be the first, or likely the last -- it seems to be part of some people's "sadhana" ;D)

Soham3, I see you have repeated the same statement again -- again, what are your references / quotes -- perhaps others would  / would not consider them "scathing"?

Uh, Soham3, this is so short and cryptic, that I don't really understand what you are trying to say -- any references to this statement or can you make it more clear what you are trying to tell?

General topics / Re: Ryokan Poem
« on: January 09, 2010, 08:14:01 PM »
from  Subramaniam's post:
Bhagavan Ramana also said,  when the thieves had been caught..." I do not know any of them!"
supposing I was the thief and comprehended what was also being said here, I would have been mortified -- Ramana saying that he knew them would mean that they would only be carted away to a physical jail....

General Discussion / Re: Eating vegetables
« on: December 30, 2009, 06:55:43 PM »
What is "wrong" with killing plants to eat them?  Would it be better to eat them alive or worse to boil them first? 

If apples scream when we bite into them -- is that bad and if so, is it more bad than biting a dead chicken (leave aside the horrible treatment if poultry before it lies, packaged in a protected atmosphere and garanteed samonella free, on sale...)

I saw a documentary about some people who live way, way up north.  Their diet is mostly, fish, seal, walrus and whale.  I saw them kill a big bull walrus, drag it ashore and, before starting to cut it up (this must be done quickly as the meat becomes inedible after a few hours if not partitioned) the leader of the hunters knelt and said in prayer something like, "Forgive us grandfather walrus, but our wives and children must have food to eat or they will die".

I figure that it is the attitude towards and treatment of food objects that is important, not very much what is eaten.

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Bring out the Vasanas
« on: December 17, 2009, 12:39:31 PM »
Sorry, all, but this caught me in an ornery mood  :P.

About these ascetics getting married -- how can a fellow know that was desire? Could asceticism also be a sort of desire? And where does destiny fit in.  And what of the "girl"? 

Desire without desire, lust without lust -- see without a catechism up your sleeve  :-*.

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