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Messages - cefnbrithdir

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General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: February 23, 2015, 07:02:28 PM »


Dear Sri Navi

Thank you for your kind words and especially for bringing Srimad Bhagavatham to my attention. I very much look forward to becoming acquainted with this work.

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General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: February 22, 2015, 07:00:52 PM »
Dear Sri Navi

Thank you for preserving your post to myself and others of the writing  of manikkavachakar. This is a wonderful verse and there is much else  in your post for me to ponder. I did see this straightaway and would have wished to have acknowledged it earlier  but in the light of the way the thread subsequently developed I thought it best to be silent. I understand why you removed this and other posts and welcome your decision.

I also appreciated your further post on 'beyond the I' - your expression of an 'unlimited I' was for me  a felicitous one.

Bhagavan first gave me moments of the peace "which passeth all understanding" for which I will be forever grateful. His wonderful smile looks at me in the room where most of my sadhana takes place. I am also immersed and affected by the teaching of Sri Siddharameswhar  Maharaj and his disciple/devotee Sri Ranjit Maharaj - both also extraordinary men. Their  clarity and the radicality of their understanding has helped me greatly. Devotion is an essential part of their teaching and it is the essential unity of bhakti and jnana which is imparted. Understanding must feed devotion and devotion feeds understanding ( wherever you start from) in a ever deepening 'helix', if you will. Did not Bhagavan espouse also this unity - and is not  all his teaching  under the 'umbrella' of his devotion to Arunachala ?

But what is beyond the 'unlimited I' - the 'I am' of consciousness and knowledge - is also an integral part of their teaching with much consequence for different 'layers' of our human journey and potential.  For that which  is truly unchanging and Unmanifest and for that which  is  changing and Manifest, however complete in consciousness.  The intertwining of Bhakti and Gnana will, with Grace, get us to 'unlimited I' and once here a 'stepping down' to  a completely selfless Devotion and the Grace that flows from this  to what is beyond any I.

The implications of this are relevant both to our sadhana 'on the way up', so to speak, and if we should ever come to such a  height, with Grace and loss of doership, on  a 'stepping  down' to  enlighten others.

Clarity as to what is Real and what is not is then  close to  the crux of things. In our sadhana, and in our being in the world, it is the understanding that our thinking selves, and all that is Manifested to us, is not Real that will  deepen our Devotion and help us to  deal with our external  responsibilities without being  affected by them.  And it is the spiritual power 'beyond any I' but nevertheless within the Manifest, embodied by the Sadguru,  that will come to  us and makes us One with HIM.

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Dear Sri Anil

I am sorry if I was  incoherent. It would have helped slightly  had I spelt strategem correctly !

I mean by a strategy, in this context,  a path to follow so as to be free from the bondage of our illusory minds. Strategy does sometimes have the connotation of a ruse or a trick but this does not seem entirely inappropriate when dealing with our minds.

I was trying to say that although a path is necessary and involves mental activity there is a paradox in that we are using mental activity to free ourselves from the illusion of it. We wish to abide in the Real but our methods of doing so are not Real in themselves. They don't have ontology ( "Being in themselves"). To that extent they are essentially pragmatic not fundamental and I thought this was a relevant comment to what I thought  Sri Navi was trying to say.

That at least was my first observation.

After I had written the post I was again thinking on the difference between faith, which I take to be  complete trust and devotion to that which is beyond the mind,  and belief which I take to mean holding to a mental conception or a mental process which is a type of object. But as Bhagavan so wonderfully stressed they are no objects.

What does it mean therefore  to have  100% faith in Bhagavan himself as far as his teaching is concerned. Bhagavan will always speak for the Truth but what our minds do with his teaching is another matter and the  remembrance that our jiva minds, and  anything which  they think about, is  not Real - however much it may be worthwhile to follow a path - may also be an important strategy for breaking free of our mental  bondage and 'evaporating' an  ego which finds the most subtlest ways of clinging on.

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Dear Sri Ravi and Sri Anil

Is not the paradox that a mental activity is the jiva path to where you (swarupa) are already  but you (jiva) must not take this mental activity as Real because you(jiva) Do not Exist ?  All your mental activity is not Real so it seems a difficulty to put reality on any particular strategm and to do so is not likely to be the best strategm  ( I am not saying that Bhagavan  ever did this but I sometimes worry dear Sri Anil that you seem to come close in your mind  to doing so ).

Is not another paradox that although Reality is through "I " ( "I am "); "I " ( " I am") is not the 'end' ? Is not this "I" still Knowledge and still relative to Ignorance. "That" or "He" is often the words used for this 'beyond the I' and for beyond any relative Knowledge.  Do we not need something to at least point to what is before moola maya and what is  after ?   ( 'Before' and 'after' look completely wrong but what to say ?)

I wonder what you make of this

" The pride of the ignorant jiva is towards external things while the pride of the Knower/ gnani is within. But both are pride and both have "fallen down" because activity has not ceased. Non- activity is beyond these and there cannot be even a touch of pride there. Then the blessing of the saint has borne fruit.

The guru tells the aspirant, " Dear one, do not look within and do not look outside either". By looking outside, the original thought becomes like the objects and by looking within, that thought is the Self seeing itself as the object. While seeing outside the objects are the "seen" and our self is the seer. And while looking inside, our self becomes the "seen" and this brings duality. Therefore it is the act of seeing that creates duality and so if seeing is given up then the natural state of non- duality remains"  - Shri Siddharameswhar Maharaj.

As jivas do we not want "That" to become "Thou". The teaching "Thou art That" may be very helpful to us, but "Thou" is not trying to become "That". It is the other way round.

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Dear Sri Anil

These are terrific posts and there is really nothing I need to add except that it is very much what I hoped you would say and that I am most grateful to you.


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Dear Sri Anil

Thank you for your comforting words- I will have to  ponder your initial thinking.

I look forward to further thoughts when that is convenient for you - and thank you again.

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Dear Sri Subramanian Sir

I believe you have highlighted the akshara stray verse for me. My translation is

" One syllable shines for ever in the Heart as Self.
Who is there anywhere who can write it down ?"

I am most grateful to you. This is wonderful.

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Dear Sri Navi

Thank you for the reference to the Appalam song. I like 'That' and 'Thou art That' as a pointer  because it is so obviously an attempt on the impossible without any confusion of ego. The  story of the two sons works in a different way  and it is good to have had the verse from Sri Arunchala Pathikam highlighted.

 What you draw from your  excerpt from the Gospel of  Sri Ramakrishna I fully accept  - and in Johannine terms this is indeed the 'Son' who has all things within him including the 'Father'.

Thank you for your help.

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Dear Sri Anil and Sri Ravi

Did Bhagavan ever speak of Parabrahman or of something with an equivalent meaning?

How would Bhagavan have replied to the question that everything in consciousness is still  a manifestation. Would there not be  a source of consciousness which is quite unmanifest ? This would be completely 'nirguna' whilst  'nirguna' and 'saguna' that is applied to what is in consciousness may be useful but seems different.

I am reverting to my previous confusion over "I am" and "I-I" which despite an expression of Oneness (in consciousness) still seems  to be a manifestation. It also conveys knowledge (jnana) but  will not knowledge, however exalted, still ultimately  be separative from an absolute unity/an absolute source ?

In St John's Gospel " I am " is the Son "through whom everything that came into being came into being" ( I am not using the word "create" and but neither did the writer of this Gospel ! ) and this is so out of time. The "grace" and "glory" of the Son can be seen and known in Jesus, Bhagavan and all  others who are in complete unity/Oneness with the 'Truth'.
They may have for a time been in human form and then formless within consciousness.

But there is also the "Father"  "whom no one has ever seen" ( using the word "see" in very similar way to that meant by "jnana"). But the "Father" is made known through the "Son" and we become One with the Father through becoming "One" with the "Son". This may be  written in terms of the "jiva" -  but it is also true and what makes this 'economy' possible is that  the light enlightens all men and we all came into consciousness "born of God".

So I think my original question  could be put  another way which is  'How does  the "Father" come into Bhagavan's teaching ?'

With many thanks

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Dear Sri Anil

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all that he had and bought that field.
Again, the kindgom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything  he had and bought it ."
Matthew Ch 13 vv44-46.

I am sure Bhagavan is smiling.

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Dear Sri Anil

Thank you so much for your reply. I thought it was ridiculous that I had questioned any of the words that Bhagavan had so often used. It was self conceit and that is why I removed the post but otherwise I was content and your words have helped me greatly.

This extraordinary business of unmanifest and manifest; of He and I. Thank you for pointing me to the fourth Brahmana.

I have been reading recently about the Divine Name and Presence in Jewish Targum theology -  around the first century AD. There were subtle distinctions between the Divine Name " I am"/ 'HYH (Exodus 3.14) and the unmanifest and never spoken YHWH which has the sense of "He". "I am" (the Memra which means literally utterance /word)  must be behind the "logos" (Greek for word) of St John's Gospel.  In John Ch 9  Jesus "opens the eyes" of a Blind Man. When he comes back seeing, from where he was sent, there is a discussion between people as to whether he is the same person or not. This "Yes he is/No he isn't" conversation  is all  to give the man a chance to say "I am". This is an explosion within this extraordinary text  but it is usually fudged in translation and the knowledge being imparted is lost.

But my point is that such profound things have echoed through men's hearts for so long  - and through Bhagavan's grace we are so blessed to know of this  and to have him looking after us.

Nothing separates us dear friend -  and thank you.

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Dear Sri Anil

I have removed my last post. I must wholeheartedly accept Bhagavan's words. Anything else is my imagination and folly.

Thank you.

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Dear Sri Anil

I find myself back with Talk 398. Knowing that there are no objects bowls me over - and I find it (relatively )  easy to know whether I am creating any in my mind -  for me it is certainly part of the Crescent you have mentioned.

But I then wanted to quote the final part of Talk 398. At the last minute  I realised it may be understood as a refutation of the Sri Godman quote you have made. But never mind. Bhagavan's words must stand.

Thank you dear friend.



D.: Is not Grace the gift of the Guru?

M.: God, Grace and Guru are all synonymous and also eternal and immanent. Is not the Self already within? Is it for the Guru to bestow It by his look? If a Guru thinks so, he does not deserve the name.

The books say that there are so many kinds of diksha [?] (initiations - hasta diksha, sparsa diksha, chakshu diksha, mano diksha, etc.) They also say that the Guru makes some rites with fire, water, japa, mantras, etc., and call such fantastic performances dikshas, as if the disciple (sishya [?]) becomes ripe only after such processes are gone through by the Guru. If the individual is sought he is nowhere to be found. Such is the Guru. Such is Dakshinamurti. What did he do? He was silent; the disciples appeared before him. He maintained silence, the doubts of the disciples were dispelled, which means that they lost their individual identities. That is jnana and not all the verbiage usually associated with it. Silence is the most potent form of work. However vast and emphatic the sastras may be, they fail in their effect. The Guru is quiet and peace prevails in all. His silence is more vast and more emphatic than all the sastras put together. These questions arise because of the feeling, that having been here so long, heard so much, exerted so hard, one has not gained anything. The work proceeding within is not apparent. In fact the Guru is always within you. Thayumanavar says: "Oh Lord! Coming with me all along the births, never abandoning me and finally rescuing me!" Such is the experience of Realisation. Srimad Bhagavad Gita says the same in a different way, "We two are not only now but have ever been so."

D.: Does not the Guru take a concrete form?

M.: What is meant by concrete? Because you identify your being with your body, you raise this question. Find out if you are the body. The Gita says: param bhavam ajanantah (Bh. Gita IX - II) - that those who cannot understand the transcendental nature (of Sri Krishna) are fools, deluded by ignorance. The master appears to dispel that ignorance. As Thayumanavar puts it, he appears as a man to dispel the ignorance of a man, just as a deer is used as a decoy to capture the wild deer. He has to appear with a body in order to eradicate our ignorant "I-am-the-body" idea.


15th April, l937










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Dear Friends

I am not at all sure I can add anything sensible at this point - but here goes

i) I have no idea why Sri Nagaraj replied "I am afraid" to a recent post. But then he added a smile which for me turned the whole thing into a zen koan which I liked very much and made me smile too.  Thank you.

ii) Could what has happened here  demonstrate that "earnestness" can be problematic if it encourages thought.

iii) My own experience is that Bhagavan and Jesus never argue and are  not  jealous of each other. Out of my attempts at being still  often come understandings of one of the other - or should that be of the other of one.

I have read this - and will not complicate by saying whose wisdom it is  -

" Why should one search another man's house, when he has not searched his own house, for a thing he lost while at home ?"


Thank you everybody.

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Dear Sri Anil

Thank you for "Thrice Marvellous Master" - a great poem.

Loneliness of the struggling (ego) "I" is real in unreality - it wants to reach out.

I am thinking of Sri Annamalai Swami after Bhagavan had told him they should not speak again  - for his own benefit.
" If we met accidentally he would walk past me, without acknowledging my presence".

However " By severing the personal link between us, Bhagavan was trying to make me aware of him as he really is. Bhagavan had frequently told me that I should not attach a name and form to the Self or regard it in any way as a personal being".

But what tapas !


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