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Topics - srkudai

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1
Friends,
       When we try to understand or appreciate Bhagavan, we should take a holistic approach to the teaching.
When Ramana said one thing and one place and another at a slightly different place, we need to properly study it conjunction, not by ignoring one part and accepting only one part. This is a standard approach : resolve "apparent" contradictions. That is how we would gain a proper understanding of what Bhagavan was teaching. The reason we see such problems is because language is limited. Self Knowledge is a Vision, when a sincere student approaches the teacher, the teacher tries to help the student see what he is already seeing. It is like a person who has taken a shadow for a ghost. The teacher sees it as a shadow, the student sees it as a ghost. The teacher wants to make the student see it as a shadow. Simply saying that is a shadow is not going to help... he is seeing a ghost following him.

This thread is a discussion thread on the aspects of Bhagavan Ramana's teachings that have an apparent difference ... at one place we see one statement and at another place we see a slightly different answer ... ill bring these out from the sayings of Ramana and then we will see how these apparent contradictions are best resolved. This would help us gain a clearer understanding of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's teachings.


Love!
Silence

2
General Discussion / Science And Vedanta - Additional Material
« on: December 22, 2017, 03:13:16 PM »
Friends,
 I have created a page called Science and Vedanta , the main thread. This is for additional material either related to the argument directly or indirectly.
This is the place where we can comment or discuss these ideas.

Love!
Silence

3
General Discussion / Science and Vedanta - The Main Argument Thread
« on: December 22, 2017, 03:11:34 PM »
Friends,
       I am a student of science [ math actually] and also of vedanta.
In this thread I would like to explore some of the standard ideas of vedanta and science in conjunction.

I have been studying this subject from quite some time and here I would like to present some very technical and some not so technical arguments and ideas that really fall in line with vedantic thought process ... we shall also see how many of the arguments against the vedantic perspectives are not really solid or rigorous.

Well, i shall explain the technical aspects to the extent that I understand, almost layman terms. May take a few days to even elaborately explain some of the concepts. This thread is a technical one purely for the intellect to enjoy :)

I am also creating another page where we will share some videos that are from mainstream science and also would serve as a place where we can discuss related ideas.

Love!
Silence

4
Friends,
          There are two different powers we can utilize during our sadhana:
1. Wisdom power
2. Will power.

Suppose i sit down to do something as simple as "nama japa" or lord.
I can apply my will power and again and again bring back the mind as it sways here and there.
or I can re-educate my mind saying "what is there in this world which is no more than a figment of imagination , lets rather utilize our left over time effectively by chanting the lord's name"
When this understanding stabilizes, the mind automatically settles down on the nama.

Usually, I think, will power does not do a very good job in settling the mind. We need to understand in a "deep way" and it is this understanding that guides us to liberated living. There is a proper reason for this. This mind of ours is like an instrument, we have taught it for a long time that sense pleasures make us fulfilled, this body is me etc. so now suddenly when we tell it the opposite, the suggestion would not stand. its like telling a child to study when his mind is on movies. one needs to re-educate the mind to see things in proper light. This insight is gained by constantly applying onself to observation. observing things as they are -- this gives us a vision. instead of merely saying everything is dying, i see things as constantly dying... these words are typed .... :) ... motion is to be seen continuously and one needs to see how things are quickly moving into the past. this leads to insight that all this is really like a dream.

unfortunately using sheer will power will not work. There is a famous quote from Yoga Vasishta that says :

Quote
उपविश्योपविश्यैकचित्तकेन मुहुर्मुहुः।
न शक्यते मनो जेतुँ विन युक्तिम्-अनिन्दिताम्॥ [Laghu yoga vasishta 28.126]
By repeatedly bringing the mind back to One-pointedness, it cannot be conquered unless one is equipped with faultless reasoning [ insight gained through proper sravana-manana]

अङ्कुशेन विना मत्तो यथा दुष्टमतङ्गजः।
विजेतुँ शक्यते नैव तथ युकत्याविना मनः॥ [Laghu Yoga vasishta 28.127]

The mind cannot be brought under control without the application of reasoning [and insight] even as a vicious elephant in rut cannot be controlled without using the hook.

The point to be appreciated here is : yukti is not mere reasoning , its really about the vision or insight : its the insight gained through connecting the dots , the sruti or vision provided by guru has to be internalized through this process of connecting the dots and really looking at the world in that way.
Thus one gains insight ... wisdom.
it is this wisdom that allows the mind to settle down and also vanish altogether , if i may be allowed to use that phrase.

Now coming to Holding onto the Self.
We are so habituated to hearing "Holding onto objects" , that we forget that Self cannot be held onto ... one has to resolve in Self. One cannot hold onto Self, one just lets go hold on other objects and simply resolves in the Self. This is what Bhagavan meant by Holding onto Self really. And even here, we need to appreciate that this is via understanding and not via brute force or effort.
When i say understanding, its wisdom and not mere information.

The case is similar to Self Surrender also. When Bhagavan says surrender to god, its not to mean that i have something that is mine that can be offered to god. We say "Tan man dhan sab thera , sab kuch hai tera", when everything is God's what can i offer to God ? Well, just recognition that everything is God is indeed true surrender. We have, as if, falsely taken ownership of various things. for example, this body is mine ... what is really "mine" about this body ? it is a conglomeration of various elements, elements that are in constant motion... in fact there is no object like a body .. constantly atoms / molecules moving out and in of it ... its only a dynamic entity ... like a river. what is there that can be called "mine" ?
this body is really like a river ... its said that no one can wash one's feet in the same river twice, because its constantly changing ... the same holds for this body ... and can we call it mine ? when this recognition is there and we see God's presence here and now ... that is surrender. its only a surrender of false ideas.

similarly holding onto Self is not really holding onto Self as an object but to let go off the hold on "I" ... and resolve in that Self.
its indeed absolutely relaxed being. And the method to do this is not "will power", but "insight" gained through proper and mindful observation. insight gained through the observation of the ways of the world. How things are all in constant flux and there is really no "me" anywhere around. This insight itself is the Truth.

Love!
Silence

5
General topics / Sri Adi Shankaracharya's Jaagrata Jaagrata
« on: December 15, 2017, 12:07:54 PM »
This is a simple poem which is supposedly by Sri Adi shankracharya. We can make see the Truth of these verses as we journey through our lives. Every moment, every instant, we can really see how True this teaching is.

There are several such works attributed to Sri Adi Shankaracharya which may not have been actually by Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself. May be some of these were by another acharya of the shankara parampara. However in this context the content of the verses is more important than the person who wrote them.

Elsewhere I heard a story related to this song. There used to be a watchman. In olden days the watchman used to roam around singing "Jaagrata! " to mean "Be Alert/Mindful" to everyone. That was the job of the watchman , besides ofcourse the obvious task of taking care of the security. Once this watchman had to go on a vacation and so he asked his son to do the job. The next day morning the king himself came down to the watchman's house to meet his son. The watchman felt really frightened that his son might have done something wrong --- but actually he comes to learn that the king was impressed by his son's style of singing "Jaagrata ! Jaagrata!" , his son sang these slokas and evoked a sense of Truth in the people of the kingdom. These verses are really useful for contemplation as I see them.

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Verse 1:

माता नास्ति पिता नास्ति नास्ति बन्धुः सहोदरः।
अर्थँ नास्ति गृहँ नास्ति तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

There is no mother, no father, no relationships nor any siblings.
No money or house. Therefore be alert, Wake up!


Mother, Father, relations and siblings are really sojourners in this journey of ours.
When the time of death draws near, we leave these all and move away.
We cannot carry a single object from here.
Thus, lets value the time we stay together.
when we are together, and we know its a short time we are together ... lets love each other.
love every experience we chance upon, because these experiences are not going to last.
and at the same time , lets first experience these moments because we seem to be almost
sleep walkign through life unmindful of most of the things. Lost in our ambitions, desires,
feelings, attachments etc, we miss "This Moment" where life really is. Attachment is an attempt
to stop things from moving and in this eagerness to stop things from moving, we miss the Present
and things move anyways.

Vedanta is about : being Relaxed and at the same time being Alert -- but not sleeping
Vedanta is about: being Loving and yet seeing the world as only a dream -- love without attachment.

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Verse 2

जन्म दुःखँ जरा दुःखँ जाया दुःखँ पुनः पुनः।
सँसारसागरँ दुःखँ तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

Birth is sorrow, aging is sorrow, spouse is sorrow !
Samsara itself is sorrow, therefore remain awake! be alert!


Sorrow is when we try to stop things from moving. We tend to get into conflict with what is, because
we think this is going to be a long stay. But the reality is, things are constantly moving.
when i look at myself as being born and aging , and do not like this whole process of aging etc
then there is a conflict. when I look at a woman as "my spouse" and try to control or possess there is
conflict, because its against the nature of things. one cannot make a dream changeless.
its movement cannot be stopped.
things change
things will not be as we plan.
instead of getting into conflict, how about experiencing them as they are ?
This is a transformation. Spouse is not sorrow ... but when i try to hold onto someone as "me and mine"
that causes sorrow. expectations, attachments, aversions ... these make life into a hell.

In this short sojourn, lets not take things to seriously ... lets do what is needed and move on with love,
friendliness and joy. These experiences, which we call samsara are transient and going to change.
Lets bring in acceptance and love -- thus make this journey more joyful.

Quote
Verse 3:


कामक्ष्च क्रोधक्ष्च लोभक्ष्च देहे तिष्ठन्ति तस्कराः।
ज्ञनरत्नापहाराय तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

Kama (desires), Krodha (Anger), Lobha (Greed) are like thieves in this body who steal the jewel called "Jnana" [Self Knowledge]. Therefore be alert! Be Awake!

Desires etc are thieves  because they rob us of the present moment. We miss this moment and keep seeking something else. we miss these experiences of life and God is "Here, Now", not in the dead past nor in the future that never is!
We might have knowledge that all this is a dream and yet we often fall into the trap of these thieves and suffer.

Quote
verse 4:

आशाया बध्यते जन्तुः कर्मणा बहुचिन्तया।
आयु क्षीणँ न जानाति तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

We are [The animal -humans are also addressed as animals here]  bound by Expectations: various activities and excess thinking. so much so that we do not recognize the ebbing away of life. Therefore be awake! Be Awake!


:) Acceptance is the solution to expectations. Self Knowledge allows for acceptance.

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verse 5:

सम्पदः स्वप्नसँकाशाः यौवनँ कुसुमोपम्।
विधुच्चन्चचँल आयुषँ तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

All possessions are like what are seen in a dream, youthfulness is only for a short time , like a flower's lifetime. Life passes away like a lightening therefore be alert!

Life passes away like a lightening, and this journey is over.
and we suddenly realize towards the end of life that we have not truely lived
and perhaps we do not even "Truely Die"
So now is the time to live our understanding, now is the time to become more and more mindful.

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Verse 6:

 क्षणँ वित्तँ क्षणँ चित्तँ क्षणँ जीवितमावयोः।
यमस्य करूणा नास्ति तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

Money, memory and life are all momentary.
Lord Yama, the lord of death, does not show any mercy. Therefore be awake!!

Yama has no karuna, meaning he does not wait even a moment ... when our time is up, we do not get a choice.
Thus, when the time is still available, lets live a life of liberation and love rather than a life of strife and struggle.

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verse 7:

यावत् कालँ भवेत् कर्म तावत् तिष्ठन्ति जन्तवः।
तस्मिन् क्षीणे विन्श्यन्ति तत्र का परिदेवना॥

As long as their karma lasts so long we see the animal here, the moment the karma is over, the animal is gone. what is there to brood over this ?

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verse 8:

ऋणानुबन्धरूपेण पशुपत्निसुतादयः।
ऋणक्षये क्षयँ यान्ति तत्र का परिदेवना॥

as per the debts of prarabdha karma, relations are developed in this world. animals, wife or children, they are all forms of debts of previous life. when the debts exhaust temselves, all these pass away, what is there to brood over this ?

What is there to brood over these , tatra ka paridevana ? Brooding or expressing sorrow over these is really an attempt to stop
the dream from changing .. it will change none-the-less and we need to inculcate the habit of seeing all this as a dream
nothing shall remain.
it shall pass away !


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Verse 9:

पक्वानि तरूपर्णानि पतन्ति क्रमशो यथा।
तथैव जन्तवः काले तत्र का परिदेवना॥

As Even the ripe leaves of a tree drop one after the other
even this animal shall drop off, what is there to brood over this ?

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verse 10:

एक वृक्षसमारूढा नानाजाति विहङ्गमाः।
प्रभते क्रमशो यान्ति तत्र का परिदेवना॥

Assembled on the same tree, birds of differed feathers.
as it dawns, they all leave one by one, what is there to brood over this ?

All stages are thus. This forum is also like this. Our house is thus. Our family is like those birds that have come together.
every group , every coming together is of this very nature.


Quote
verse 11:

इदँ काष्ठँ इदम् काष्ठँ नध्यँ वहतिसँगतः।
सँयोगाक्ष्च वियोगाक्ष्च का तत्र परिदेवना॥

This and that corpse are flowing together in a river.
They remain together for some time and then separate, what is there to brood over this?


This body is a corpse ... it does not fear aging or death, neither does the Awareness within ..
its but a few thoughts that create a fear in a fictitious entity ... a notion of I
dropping this one remains absolutely calm and relaxed,
neither the body nor the awarenss have any problem.

thus , in fact : who is there to brood over ?

Love!
Silence

6
General Discussion / Guru Sishya Samvada - An Imaginary Story
« on: November 13, 2017, 12:09:54 PM »
[A new gospel : taken from an old forum]
-----------------------------------

There lived a simple and happy person in a small village. local people considered him a saint and addressed him as guruji. Whenever they had something important to decide, they would go to him and he would give what ever friendly advise he could.
One fine day, a sincere spiritual seeker came to know about him through an acquaintance. He was eager to know the Truth or Reality as he called it. So he reached out to guru ji to meet him and get some knowledge. As he reached out to his hut, he found guru ji sitting in silence with closed eyes! The guru had a long beard because he did not go to a barber for a few days. He thought of going this day but when he woke up in the morning he did not feel any inclination to go. He sat there because he did not feel an inclination to go out and he was with closed eyes because he did not feel any need to open them.

He was not smiling as he did not go to the modern day yoga schools which teach that we should always keep smiling. So at first our seeker was a little confused.His silence was impressive and he was impressed with the beard but guru ji did not smile! The seeker always saw that buddha was seated in padmasana with a smile on face. But here, this person was seated with a bent back and was leaning in an awkward way against a tree. So is this an enlightened person ?

But being a sincere seeker he wanted to give him the benefit of doubt ! he thought, let me ask him and find out.
D: Sir, have you found the Truth ?
G: :) Yes.
D: You are faking, the standard answer should be silence.
G: Its ok, if I answer I wont lose it!
D: Who answers.
G: Me. Why do you have such a confusion.
D: Oh! That means you are present as an individual!!
G: Of course.
D: Then you are not liberated.
G: Liberation is not a new state. There is no bondage and this is at once true for you as well as me.
D: You and me, so you see duality.
G: Of course, how else will I speak ?
D: You may make any egoistic claims, I am humble, I am in maya -- please dont include me.
G: If its there then its not called Maya, Maya means ya ma... that which is not there ! so how can you be that which is not there.
D: Hey! Now you reject Maya ? Shankara said there is Maya !!
G: He said the world is Maya, meaning its not there.
D: If its not there, how can you see it ?
G: Like a Mirage. There are three: SAT, ASAT, MAYA. SAT means that which IS and changeless. ASAT means that which is not and is not experienced like the horns of a hare and Maya is that which is seen and yet not there. Maya is that which is there because its seen!!
D: Oh ! Now you analyze also !
G: Of course I do , God gave me an intellect to use!
D: Hey look! You cannot get God using intellect.
G: You don't need to "Get" him :). He is already given to you.
D: You have to pray to God to Find him.
G: Why do you have to find him? Is he Lost ?
D: What else ? I do not see God anytime!
G: You do not see because God is not an object to be seen.
D: Did not Sri Ramakrishna see God ?
G: Humm! If its seen its an object.
D: I am now getting convinced that you are a fake guru !!
G: Is guru a position to be taken up like a political figure? If you seek knowledge from me I am your guru.
D: But should I not also get your "Grace"
G: whats that ?
D: Well, it means I should be able to easily find God ... without much effort on my part because I am a weak person.
G: But you never Lost God! And then you are not weak.
D: Don't say that! I am weak. Its very arrogant to say i am not weak. I am servant of God!
G: when did God appoint you as his servant ?
D: I do not want to argue on that. This time spent with you is a total waste! I am now going to meet someone who can help me find God in a true way! You are very one sided and dry in your approach.
I am also convinced that you are far from realization.
so our seeker started walking away ...
and the guru nodded his head a few times seeing that he cannot help him, got up to have a glass of water.
Just then the disciple again turned back and ...
D: I saw you shaking your head! Do you see you get affected ?
G: Ofcourse I would have felt nice if you understood :)
D: So you have those "feelings"
G: yes.
D: How can you be liberated then ?
G: Liberation is in-spite of all that. Like a movie on a screen, the screen is unaffected by the movie.
D: Ok, tell me one thing. Are you getting affected or not ?
G: Depends on from what stand point you are asking. Suppose you hit me with a stone, it will pain.
D: That means you are affected ! Then how can you claim to be Liberated ?
G: Liberated because there is no bondage! What else ? Do you expect me to have no pain when hit?
D: Ramana did not feel pain.
G: oh! Did he not himself say he had pain ?
D: Lets talk about it later, so tell me if someone praises you, do you feel nice ?
G: yes, ofcourse !
D: And When someone hurls abuses you feel bad ?
G: Yes!

D: And then whats liberation ? Are these not bondages ?
G: :) Mind has its functioning , I am not the mind.
D: So you are have these feelings or not ?
G: It depends on what stand point you talk from. If I am playing a role in a drama, the role has its emotions and expressions. The one who plays the role is beyond. When speaking from the stand point of the role I have those emotions and when speaking from the standpoint of the one who plays the roles I have none! So I have pure choice whether to express those emotions or not.
D: How can you prove me that you are liberated ?
G: I cannot and will not.
D: Why should I believe you ?
G: You need not.
D: But you are not like a liberated person in any way !!
G: What do you mean by that ?
D: Well, see ... You are very ordinary.
G: Of course I am, what else do you expect ?
D: Ramana was meditating when worms ate away a part of his body and he remained aloof. Ramakrishna once fell on a burning charcoal in samadhi. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu fell in yamuna ! do you see , there was something extraordinary about them.
G: Did they claim they were extraordinary and anything greater than you ?
D: No! But they had an extraordinary side.
G: You found that ?
the disciple wanted to try a different direction of inquiry...
D: When someone blamed Buddha he smiled and you are saying you would be happier if someone praised.
G: Ok, yes.
D: So Buddha was enlightened and you are not.
G: You are entitled to your opinion. To smile, not to smile etc is a choice. Whether one has the choice or not is what matters.
D: You do not fit into any "Prototype" of Enlightened person!!
G: Yes, infact there is no prototype for a wise man. Be wise and chose your lifestyle. A lifestyle wont make you enlightened. Moreover by associating these extraordinary stuff with them you miss the Wisdom they are teaching.
D: How so ?
G: well because they are teaching something thats ordinary and you are expecting something extra ordinary.
It was late in the night and so the disciple decided to leave and meet the guru the next day. Guru smiled and said "Do come tomorrow :). There is a lot more to talk"! ...

[CONTINUED ...]

7
General topics / About Ramayana
« on: November 09, 2017, 11:47:50 AM »
About Ramayana
-------------------------
Ramayana is called an Itihasa. :) Itihasa literally means "this is how it happened". Most people interpret this to mean that Ramayana is really about history. Itihasa can mean, this is how it happened, but what happened ? We might think that this is how rama's story took place. That is one way to think about it. Another way to understand it is to think of it as purely allegoric. There is one person- could be you or me- he or she was just like us. And his this person's life there was suffering and he discovered a way out of it. This narration is about how he discovered liberation, moksha. How did he do that?

Rama = Brahman within this person, Ramyathe iti Rama. There are other names for it. Buddhism calls it Primordial Awareness. Self is Hindu name for it. Self does not mean an individual, it means something different. Another name for it is emptiness. But for now, we may take Rama to mean "me". what do i think "I AM" ? Well, i have some picture of myself. The Scriptures say, that these are all notions you have about urself and this is not the true you. Then what is the True me ? Well, that needs to be studied in the upanishads and the gita to gain clarity. The ultimate teaching of Upanishads is "you are of the nature of pure bliss". But then how is it that i suffer? I may be of the nature of pure bliss, but i suffer and this is my reality. Hinduism does not teach escaping from what is. One has to face what is and look deeply at it and as one looks deeply into the nature of reality one discovers the truth of the upanishads.

Sita = Peace, The bliss that upanishads talk about. She is said to be the daughter of a kingdom called Videha, which means "sans the body" :) ! what can that mean ? There is a peace that is not due to body. In Vedantic context, even our mind and psychological elements constitute what is known as subtle body. So This Peace , or the Bliss that is talked about by the Vedantic texts - it is not dependent on the body [and mind] and is also our true nature !

This is what the scriptures teach. But we need to realize it. ultimately my life is fulfilled only when i live it 24 7! I revel in my true nature 24 7, ever happy. We have examples of saints like Sri Ramana maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna paramahamsa, Gautama Buddha etc who reveled in this Truth. And we need to discover this within. How is this done ? We need to seek help from Hanuman for this, but before that ...

Ravana = Ego and Rajas aspect of Ego. That is the sense of I that arises from all the activities of life. our success - our story.
Khumbakarna = Tamas Aspect of Ego - ie, our desires for sense pleasures etc.
Vibhishana = Satva Aspect of Ego - our desire to calm the mind, charitable activities etc.

In order to discover our true nature to be pure happiness we need to seek the help of Hanuman. Hanuman is an intellect equipped with proper understanding about Rama. A guru teaches the truth of Vedantic texts and the vision has to be gained. Unless i gain the vision and see "how i am of the nature of pure bliss", i have not understood the teaching at all. So Hanuman is an intellect that has understood the truth about our true nature. But even after understanding our vasanas, or past tendencies seem to drag us down. In other words  the information and the logic gained with the teacher's help has not yet settled in. So there is a need to use this knowledge or vision provided by the teacher to cut open our own minds and operate upon them. Its like a surgeon operating on a wound. The knowledge from the scriptures is needed for us to not get lost and to be able to perform this operation. We need to start observing our own mind along with all the attachments, worries, fears, jealousies , desires etc. We need to face all these and then discover the Truth taught by the scriptures within ourselves. The teaching provides us with a vision and we need to validate it within by taking an inner journey where we observe our own feelings and thoughts and all the millions of desires and dreams we have entertained all along. Hanuman's journey to Lanka is really this inner travel - observing one's own mind. In order to do this, we need to leave the world where it is and look within. This journey is symbolically represented by Hanuman's crossing the ocean. And when Hanuman starts to cross the ocean, the first obstacle he faces is "surasa", meaning good or valid enjoyments. One can get caught in these and get lost in the journey. It could be merely intellectual thrill. one may start discovering intellectual thrill in the arguments of the scriptures and that is enough to get caught. But hanuman does not loose sight of his goal which is to discover the truth of his own nature. Then the second obstacle is Simhika which "Stalls progress" ... a feeling that i am not progressing. When we try to look within, this is a feeling that may arise. When we see this too as a feeling and observe it as a witness, it shall slowly dissolve too. And then hanuman reaches lankhini, a daemon that does not allow one to enter into the innermost recess of our mind. IT does not allow us to see our own subconscious clearly. When hanuman knocks this , the daemon says "you have almost won , already" !
Hanuman then observes the contents of the mind and what does he see ? women, wealth, intoxicants, riches of various kinds etc. and in there he sees mandodari , a kind of happiness one gains by ego satisfaction. she is the wife of ego = ravana. He soon sees that that happiness is because of the riches and the possessions and moves on ... and there he discovers sita, as long as ravana [ego] is in dominance this sita does not appear, it really appears very lean, unhappy... it does not appear as bliss of our nature. The place where sita is there its called ashoka vana, ashoka, there is no sorrow. one has to reach this place in the innermost regions of one's own mind.

Hanuman then uses the fire of knowledge and burns the entire lanka - mind. Its like a burnt rope now, it can no more bind. this is the meaning.

When Rama vanquishes Ravana, he asks Sita to prove her purity. This means to prove that Sita is the peace due to one's true nature and not due to some sense or ego gratification. There is peace that i may feel due to a certain circumstance in my life. Rama's Sita is that Peace htat is independent of the various situations of life. So Sita gives the proof by exposing herself to the fire of knowledge. The proof that one is experiencing this Peace is that one is unaffected as the physical and mental climate changes. As the situations of life change, this peace is unaffected and this is the proof. That is why Sita is asked to expose herself to fire as a proof. This is not some male ego in operation that needs to be defended using lot of logic. If we see carefully the entire search is for peace, sita ... not for rama. i suffer ... so i seek a way out of it. in the process i learn about my true nature which is rama and this is how i [hanuman] apply it upon myself to see its truth which is sita.
The knowledge of Rama [my true nature ] is incomplete until its united with Peace. Until i discover that happiness or peace 24 7, the knowledge is incomplete. Hanuman, the intellect equipped with knowledge of Rama , has the knowledge required to explore his own mind and resolve the conflicts within to discover Sita.

one has to take help from the satvic aspect [vibhishana] and observing our own mind , cross the ocean of samsara to discover the oneness of our true nature and Sita. This is the entire journey.

A lot of other stories would also make immediate sense. We see that Rama kills Vaali from behind the tree. The point is Vaali is one's desires
and emotions. One cannot kill it by fighting with it, because its me who am giving those desires strength in the first place. i make them strong by believing that they make me better and then if i try to fight my desires i will loose because half of my strength is already given to them by considering them valuable. So Rama sends in a decoy in sugriva to invoke the desire , as if calling it to fight... and then observes from a distance - witnesses it. the arrow released by Rama is of clear and focused attention that destroys vaali. the way to work with our desires etc is not fight them but to observe their operation as a witness with focused and relaxed attention.

This is itihasa, because this is how liberation happened and this is how it happens always. it might be based on some human life , a king perhaps ... but that is immaterial. what is important is ... this is how liberation is discovered ... and this is how it happened ... itihasa ... and this is infact how it happens ... :) This is why Ramayana is important. Why should we bother about the story of Rama ? Its not really about Rama .. its about ourselves ...every time we suffer, we are "missing" Peace, the Sita within. until we discover that our true self is one with that peace ... until then we cannot discover happiness 24 7 and so , Ramayana is extremely important. the proof of the pudding is in eating ... learn about the true nature of Self and with a pure intellect explore within, observing your own mind dispassionately to discover your peace. This is Ramayana.

8
General topics / The story of Mind, From Yoga Vasishta
« on: October 30, 2017, 04:53:07 PM »
The story of Mind, From Yoga Vasishta:

There is a formidable and desolate forest in which there was a man. He was with a thousand hands and eyes. Apparently very confused, he would strike himself violently with iron bars and run about crying. Running about like that he fell in a dark well with a hidden way out.

It took him some time to find his way out and then he slowly got out of the well into a thorny forest. Then again, departing and beating himself often, running and laughing he managed to enter a cool forest of plantain trees.

but he did not remain there for long. There also he started beating himself and running, he fell into the same well again ! He was as though drunk or semi conscious!!

Vasishta ji says: Having seen this for a long time , i held him by force ... and jolted him to consciousness. I then asked him " What is this ? Who are you? Why do you run in vain ?", thus asked, he said:
"I am no body, i do nothing. You are my enemy. Having seen by you, i am lost! Then , laughing, he gave up his limbs all around"
Thus in that forest, many men like him dwell, wandering about. That forest is there even today.

Sri Rama: Sage! What is that great forest ? What is it that they are intent on doing ?

Vasishta replies:

In this great forest of worldly existence, minds indeed wander about. They are lead by me , by discrimination, to supreme tranquility. Some, by disregarding me, fall down into hells. The forest of plantains is heaven. the affliction by sorrow is the thorn. "I am lost", when he said this, it was the cry of ego ... the feeling of me and mine ! The beatings are the blows of fancies or imaginations. They are indeed caused by oneself. The mind is reduced to a state of bondage only by its own imaginations and impressions. Like a silk worm in the cocoon one binds oneself by one's own imaginations and super-impositions.
This story of mind has been narrated to you. Contemplate on it with the mind , using this discrimination observe the mind and reject the fancies or imaginations of mind.

prahaaraaH kalpanaaghaataaH kriyante svayameva hi |
sa.NkalpavaasanaajaalaiH svairevaayaati bandhanam|
mano liilaamayaiH bandhaiH koshakaarakR^imiryathaa ||

प्रहाराः कल्पनाघाताः क्रियन्ते स्वयमेव हि।
सँकल्पवासनाजालैः स्वैरेवायाति बन्धनम्।
मनो लीलामयैः बन्धैः कोशकारकृमिर्यथा॥

The beatings are the blows of fancies (or imaginations). They are indeed caused by oneself. The mind is reduced to the state of bondage only by its own net of impressions of imaginations, just as the silk worm in the cocoon confines itself by bonds with ease.

9
General topics / THE STORY OF THE CHILD - YOGA VASISHTA
« on: October 30, 2017, 04:50:09 PM »
THE STORY OF THE CHILD - YOGA VASISHTA

prapa~ncotpattireva.N hi baalakaakhyaayikaakramaat |
raajaputraaH trayaH santi shuuraa asati pattane ||

प्रपञ्चोत्पत्तिरेवँ हि बालकाख्यायिकाक्रमात्।
राजपुत्राः त्रयः सन्ति शूरा असति पत्तने॥

The origin of the world is indeed like this, in the manner of a tale narrated to a child (by the mother). There are three brave princes in a non-existent city).

Of these three, two were never born and the other one never indeed was stationed in a womb.

dadR^ishuH gagane vR^ixaan bhuktvaa svaadu ca tatphalam |
sarittritayamaaseduH pathi kallolamaalitam ||

ददृशुः गगने वृक्षान् भुक्त्वा स्वादु च तत्फलम्।
सरित्त्रितयमासेदुः पथि कल्लोलमालितम्॥

Once having gone out with the object of acquiring the best, they saw in the sky trees possessing fruits and having eaten those sweet fruits they reached three rivers crowned by large waves , on the way.

There [amongst those riverse], one was completely dry and there was not even a little water in the other two. Having bathed there and sported in the water, and having drunk the water... The three reached a city about to be (of the future), and the end of the day. There they saw three beautiful mansions. One was without walls and pillars, the other two houses were non-existent. There they obtained three pans (vessels) made of molten gold. In those pans they prepared food and served it to brahmanas who were without mouths ! Then they themselves ate the remnants and stayed there happily.

dhaatryaa hi kathitaametaa.N nirvicaaradhiyaa yathaa |
baalo nishcayamaayaati vicaarojGYitacetasaam |
iya.N sa.Nsaararacanaa.apyavasthitimupaagataa ||

धात्र्या हि कथितामेताँ निर्विचारधिया यथा।
बालो निश्चयमायाति विचारोज्ज्ञितचेतसाम्।
इयँ सँसाररचनाऽप्यवस्थितिमुपागता॥

Just as a child attains conviction in this tale narrated by the mother due to a thoughtless [unreflecting] mind, this creation of the worldly life too has assumed existence to those from whose minds reflection (or enquiry) has left (or dropped).

10
Vijnana Bhairava Tantra - A Perfect Meditation Method:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Verse 48.
dehaantare tvagivabhaaga.N bhittibhuuta.N vicintayet|
na ki~nchidantare tasya dhyaayannadhyeyabhaagbhavet ||

देहान्तरे त्वगिवभागँ भित्तिभूतँ विचिन्तयेत्।
न किञ्चिदन्तरे तस्य ध्यायन्नध्येयभाग्भवेत्॥

One should meditate on the body as only enclosed by the skin with nothing inside. Meditating in this way one attains the One who cannot be meditated upon (ie, Siva)
-----------------------
This is not imagination .... this is the truth as it is ... at some level if we think there is a body ... then the body is like a room ... if i knock at the room ... there should be someone within to respond ... if the room is empty ... there is no response ... this is the form of meditation suggested. i leave the body like an empty room .. all sensations or perceptions are like knocking at the doors of this room ... with no one to respond ... there is total Silence :)
infact there is no one if one gains a little clarity ... manasantu kim, margane krite naiva manasam marga arjavat says ramana .... which means having inquired what is mind and when tries to see its source one discovers that there is no mind and this is the most direct path ! This is Self Inquiry :) Explained another way.

Vijnana bhairaga Tantra has about 112 meditation methods ... all of them are unique and direct ... many of them lead to Self Inquiry if properly understood :)

Sri Ramakrishna Puts it beautifully in his simple style :

MASTER (to M.): ?Every now and then I think that the body is a mere pillow-case. The only real substance is the Indivisible Satchidananda.
--> Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna , Chapter 44.

11
General topics / Importance of Scriptural Reasoning -- Yoga Vasishta
« on: October 30, 2017, 04:37:19 PM »
Yoga Vasishta says that mind cannot be brought under control by simply bringing it back to onepointedness again and again. One has to equip oneself with proper scriptural reasoning and only then will one be able to control the mind.

उपविश्योपविश्यैकचित्तकेन मुहुर्मुहुः।
न शक्यते मनो जेतुँ विन युक्तिम्-अनिन्दिताम्॥ [Laghu yoga vasishta 28.126]

By repeatedly bringing the mind back to One-pointedness, it cannot be conquered unless one is equipped with faultless reasoning [scriptural reasoning in the context]

अङ्कुशेन विना मत्तो यथा दुष्टमतङ्गजः।
विजेतुँ शक्यते नैव तथ युकत्याविना मनः॥ [Laghu Yoga vasishta 28.127]

The mind cannot be brought under control without the application of reasoning even as a cicious elephant in rut cannot be controlled without using the hook.


Thats why Vasishta suggests:
अध्यात्मविध्यधिगमः सधुसँगम एव च।
वासनासँपरित्यागः प्रणस्पन्दनिशेधनम्॥
एतास्तु युक्तयः पुष्टाः सन्ति चितजये किल॥

Study of Scriptures, Company of the Holy, renunciation of desires and control of vital energy are the perfect
means to conquer the mind [LYV 28.128 & 129 first line].

Harih OM!

12
General Discussion / Does Anyone Recognize this chant ?
« on: October 27, 2017, 12:00:24 PM »
Hi Friends ,
        In the following short clip from an extraordinary movie on Sri Ramakrishna , at 4:07 , a chant is used by Totapuri to help Sri Ramakrishna to enter meditation. It ends with Tasmai namo brahma niranjanaya ... does any one know where we can get this complete chant ?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2ke_w5pIFE&t=934s

Love!
Silence

13
General topics / What is Self Inquiry ?
« on: October 25, 2017, 01:36:30 PM »
The best explanation on Self Inquiry I have ever read comes from Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's Upadesha Saram where he says :
Manasantu kim, margane krite naiva manasam , marga arjavat...

This is the most direct path... what is it ? to look within as to whence mind [or equivalently I] arises and to discover there is no mind or I!

Self Inquiry is not yet another "doing"... its a means to resolve all doing to Just Be.
Thus, Self Inquiry should make us calm and not Tensed up. It is an instant movement towards effortlessness.

Lets observe this closely. This body of ours is like a room. The awareness is like space within the room and inbetween there are a few thoughts ... thoughts by nature are instantaneous. they come and vanish by themselves. we need not do anything about that. If you do not believe me on this, try to hold onto a thought without changing :) . They change. They pass away. Now ... lets ask an interesting question "Who am I ?"
if i am the body, the body does not have any worries about its aging, it does not have any worries whether ill pass or fail or what others think about me ... all these are not body's worries... thats why bhagavan says "deho na jaanati", the body does not know !
if i am the awareness, Awarenes is a mute spectator ... it does not care for anything. ever silent Self ... it is ever in just be state.

who else is there ? I cannot be a thought either since i see its coming and its going as well ! i live past its death ! so i cannot be the thought. then who is there ? The point here is , there is no one. Thus there is neither bondage nor liberation.

This is Self inquiry. We should not make it into another activity for this fictitious I to engage in. Even when i say "fix the attention on I AM" -- thats really making another activity ... to truely turn attention towards I AM is to dissolve the I in it and remain as I AM, what else can one be, since one is ever that I AM ? To turn attention towards awareness is to withdraw attention from the false I and nothing else.

This is transforming our entire life into meditation. There is nothing to do, no where to go. this is liberation. Bhagavan Ramana puts it beautifully : nashta manasotkrusta yoginah krityam asti kim ? sva stithim yathah ... for the one who has his mind dissolved, what is there to be done but to just remain as one is ? well ... mind is not even dissolved, it never was in the first place ... so this recognition is the dissolution of mind ...

Love!
Silence

14
OM!

This is an attempt to reconstruct the thoughts that went into an old thread on upadesha saram in which many of the forum members have participated. In a fit of disappointment I am guilty of spoiling that thread by deleting my posts. while what I did cannot be undone, here I would make an attempt to correct some of the damage done. This effort of mine is especially dedicated to sri DRPVSSNRAJU who is no more with us.

I request all the forum members  to participate by presenting their views on the verses. Lets  not engage in debates and arguments here. Debates may be done in another thread. :) The first person who starts a verse should make it a point to give the sanskrit verse with translation. And please write the verse number on the top of your comment for clarity.

Love!
Silence

15
Hi Friends,
         For all of us , whether we are students of Vedanta or whether we are seeking worldly success, its important that we gather our minds together and sharpen them so that they could be used effectively. Most often, our minds are not really with us. Let me take a simple example: Swami Vivekananda says "Be Strong" but then a "weakness" overtakes us and we are gone for a toss. The teaching is correct but we are not really in a position to "own it up" because our minds are not with us. To assimilate the teaching we need to introduce certain simple sadhanas into our daily practice. Daily practice is absolutely important and very basic. In this thread I will be presenting a few simple techniques / articles /videos on useful daily practices. In my opinion, any of these [or a combination, one can try some variation] can be of immense benefit in assimilating self knowledge. These are very elementary but "regular" practice of these simple and elementary techniques can transform our lives in big ways and also make assimilation of knowledge very easy.

Here I would also like to present some modern research findings on the effects of meditation and other  miscellaneous stuff.

Love!
Silence

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