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Topics - sanjaya_ganesh

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The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Solitude and self enquiry
« on: October 08, 2013, 10:04:01 AM »
This question was nagging me for a long time and wanted to post something that answered my own doubts by Bhagawan.

SOLITUDE MEANS ONLY CONTINUOUS PRACTICE

D: When I spent an hour or two on the hill yonder, I sometimes found even better peace than here, which
suggests that a solitary place is after all more conducive to mind-control.
B: True, but if you had stayed there for an hour longer, you would have found that place too not giving you the calm of which you speak. Control the mind and even Hell will be Heaven to you. All other talk of solitude, living in a forest etc., is mere prattle.

D: If solitude and abandonment of home were not required, where then was the necessity for Sri Bhagavan to come here in his seventeenth year?
B: If the same force that took this (meaning himself ) here, should take you also out of your home by all means let it, but there is no use of your deserting your home by an effort of your own. Your duty lies in practice, continuous practice of Self-enquiry.

D: Is it not necessary to seek the company of the wise (the Saints and Sages)?
B: Yes; but the best sat-sangam is inhering in your “Self”. It is also the real guhavasam (living in the cave). Dwelling in the cave is retiring into your “Self”. Association with the wise will certainly help a great deal.

Crumbs from His Table

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General topics / All is Brahman - by Alan Jacobs
« on: October 07, 2013, 07:10:31 AM »
What does the word Brahman actually mean?

Sages say that it is ‘beyond verbal description’, but as a pointer they postulate Sat Chit Ananda which means Reality-Consciousness-Bliss. Brahman is not a God but an Almighty Great Power. It is the substrate of ‘All and Everything’, which means it contains the whole universe and holds it altogether. Brahman has two agents or adjuncts. First of all is Ishvara or Almighty God and Maya its delusionary power.

At birth Ishvara preordains for each life an individual dream designed for his or her spiritual development, drawing on selected vasanas or latent tendencies from previous lives to suit his purpose. This knowledge was given to Paul Brunton by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi and is recorded in the book ‘Conscious Immortality’ published by Ramanasramam *

Maya causes each jiva or soul to superimpose on whatever it perceives in its life dream as a real world, appearing on the screen of consciousness. But it is really all Brahman, unrecognised as such because of the Primal Ignorance, or the jiva’s identification with the egotistic mind and body, which makes he or she believe that they are experiencing a real world, have free will, and are the doers of actions.

So if we see both these adjuncts or agents of Brahman acting together we can truthfully say that all we see as the Seer, the Seeing and the Seen is actually Brahman acting as both the substrate and the power of delusion.

At the point of death, as the Bhagavad Gita points out in Chapter 5 V.26-28, we should contemplate Brahman while fixing our attention on the chakra between the eyebrows. This worship will possibly grant us enlightenment at the end of this life, or else be reborn in a future life into a better spiritual environment. It is easy to surrender to Brahman at the point of death as there is now nothing left to hold onto.

A foremost expression of the way to Liberation is the famed seminal work entitled Shankara’s Crest Jewel of Discrimination or Vivekachudamani, a condensation for every man and woman who are not scholastically trained to read his extensive Brahma Sutras, the consolidating text of Advaita Vedanta.  Fortunately the Crest Jewel has been freely translated by Sri Bhagavan, with his own wise gloss, and published in his Collected Works, translated into English by Arthur Osborne.

The basis of this teaching is Devotion, Discrimination and Self Enquiry. One soon recognises that the Sad-Guru, Bhagavan, is there within the Spiritual Heart, indicated temporarily for us, until we are pulled to enter the Spiritual Heart in its fullness, on the right side of the chest, as stated in the text Spiritual Instruction, also published in His Collected Works; and as such he guides one gradually and gracefully to eventual liberation. The final key after absorbing the Crest Jewel of Discrimination is to gain the understanding that ‘All Is Brahman inside and out’.

Brahman is the substratum of the ‘All’. As Ramana has previosly stated, the dream of life is preordained by Ishvara or Almighty God, an agent of Brahman, for one’s spiritual development or evolution. Therefore all that is perceived on one’s screen of consciousness awareness is a superimposition on Brahman through its adjunct of Maya, and the knowledge that ‘I Am That’. So one needs to fully realise that all one perceives inside and out is Brahman and ‘I Am That’, with great Faith, persistence and determination until the Inner Guru pulls one fully into the Spiritual Heart or the Self, which leads to Liberation, when he deems it is safe and ready to do so. This method is clearly stated on Page 46 and 47 of Ramana’s great translation of the  Crest Jewel of Discrimination in his Collected Works, which explains the Jiva’s whole dilemma and how to gain the  final solution of Self Realisation. He writes as follows ‘All this that appears as separate names and forms is Brahman itself, this view must be held to at all times and places and in all states etc’. On page 57 he continues ‘Do not differentiate between Self and Brahman or between world and Brahman. On the authority of the Vedas realise “I am Brahman”.

In a beautiful short and small book entitled ‘The Essence Of the Ribhu Gita by N.R. Krishnamoorthi Aiyer published by Ramanashramam there are many statements taken from this great Gospel to emphasise this instruction.  For example, on P.38 no.69 we read ‘By the persistent and continued  bhavana of ‘I am the Brahma-Self  all thoughts and feelings of differentiation of Self and non-Self will drop off and permanent abidance in Brahman Self will be achieved’.

Thus the poor suffering jiva or soul has fallen into samsara, the sad dream of life and its repetitive cycle of births and rebirth, because out of primal ignorance it has identified with the body mind egotism, which it believes to be the Self.

This is a gross error and to be freed from this prison house of samsara,  one needs to recover one’s original Self of Reality, Pure Awareness and Bliss, which is Brahman, but ‘That’ is veiled by the subconscious latent tendencies acquired through this life and previous lives.

So we see that the first essential step is to make an inner or outer acquaintance with a Jnani Guru, such as Sri Ramana Maharsh,  who will teach us the principles of Advaita Vedanta, and the necessary practices for the removal of the latent tendencies or vasanas which occlude the Real Self, and then pull one into the Spiritual Heart or Self.

The basis of this teaching, as already stated is Devotion, Discrimination and Self Enquiry. He guides one gradually and gracefully to eventual Self Realisation after our intense effort in Self Enquiry. A sound method of Self Enquiry is given in the book the ‘Technique of Maha Yoga’ by N.R. Narayana Aiyer also published by Ramanashramam.

The final key after fully absorbing the Crest Jewel is to reach the conviction that ‘All is Brahman’ inside and out. Moreover on Page 46 of his translation Bhagavan writes ‘All this that appears as separate names and forms is Brahman itself, this view must be  held to at all times and places and in all states etc.’ On P.57 he continues ‘Do not differentiate between Self and Brahman or between world and Brahman. On the authority of the Vedas realise ‘I am Brahman’.

On p.17 he writes that Liberation is not to be achieved through endless cycles of time by reading the scriptures or worshiping the Gods or by anything else than knowledge of the unity of Brahman and Atman.

Also stated poetically in the Ribhu Gita itself we read in Ch 27 V 33.

‘By the conviction that all is Brahman,

The misapprehension that this world and others will disappear.

Hence, son! Reaching the deep steadfast awareness

That all is that Brahman and That Am I,

And devoid of any differences,

Be steeped in serenity’

Need anymore more be said?

*Paul Brunton , Conscious Immortality. P.135. One portion of this quotation was inadvertently left out of the published version. This quotation given in Be As You Are on P.218 by David Godman is taken directly from the manuscript of this book.

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The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Overcoming destiny
« on: October 05, 2013, 06:54:25 AM »
Question: In ‘Karthuragnaya prapyathe phalam’ [‘actions bear fruit by the ordinance of God’, first verse of Upadesa Saram] who is the karta [God, or the supreme doer]?

Bhagavan: Karta is Ishwara. He is the one who distributes the fruits of actions to each person according to his karma. That means He is saguna Brahman [manifest Brahman]. The real Brahman is nirguna [attributeless] and without motion. It is only saguna Brahman that is named as Ishwara. He gives the phala [fruits] to each person according to his karma [actions]. That means that Ishwara is only an agent. He gives wages according to the labour done. That is all. Without that sakti [power] of Ishwara, this karma [action] will not take place. That is why karma is said to be jadam [inert].
(Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 11th August, 1946)

698. Prarabdha, like a whirlwind, relentlessly agitates and spins the mind that has shrunk through the ‘I am the body’ idea. However, it cannot stir, even slightly, the limitation-free mind that shines as the extremely clear space of being-consciousness when that ego-impurity [the ‘I am the body’ idea] is destroyed by self-enquiry.

300. It is impossible for the jiva who has become a victim of ego-delusion to overcome even slightly the force of prarabdha. Therefore, unless he subsides in the Heart by relying primarily on God’s grace, he can never, by mere effort, which is the activity of the rising ego, overcome the buffeting momentum of that prarabdha, subside by himself [in the Heart], attain Self-realization and be freed from fear-causing delusion.
(Guru Vachaka Kovai)


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General Discussion / Arunachala Hill
« on: September 24, 2013, 06:26:53 AM »
Just curious - Are there Sadhus living in Arunachala Hill? Because when I keep viewing the live cam in late evenings / nigh captures, I see spots of light in the hill here and there.

Sanjay.

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General Discussion / Happy Onam...
« on: September 16, 2013, 12:01:37 PM »
Dear all

Wishing a very happy Onam. And remembering some verses from Bhagavatha in Mahabali Charitha.  When Bali Raja was defeated by Lord, Vindhyavali (wife of Mahabali) begged to Lord for his release. Vindhyavali was most intelligent and also an ardent devotee of Lord. Wanted to share this beautiful conversation in Bhagavatha between them.

Vindhyavali said: O my Lord, You have created the entire universe for the enjoyment of Your personal pastimes, but foolish, unintelligent men have claimed proprietorship for material enjoyment. Certainly they are shameless agnostics. Falsely claiming proprietorship, they think they can give charity and enjoy. In such a condition, what good can they do for You, who are the independent creator, maintainer and annihilator of this universe?

 Lord Brahma said: O well-wisher and master of all living entities, O worshipable Deity of all the demigods, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, now this man has been sufficiently punished, for You have taken everything. Now You can release him. He does not deserve to be punished more.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Lord Brahma, because of material opulence a foolish person becomes dull-witted and mad. Thus he has no respect for anyone within the three worlds and defies even My authority. To such a person I show special favor by first taking away all his possessions.

 While rotating in the cycle of birth and death again and again in different species because of his own fruitive activities, the dependent living entity, by good fortune, may happen to become a human being. This human birth is very rarely obtained.

   Although aristocratic birth and other such opulences are impediments to advancement in devotional service because they are causes of false prestige and pride, these opulences never disturb a pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

   Although bereft of his riches, fallen from his original position, defeated and arrested by his enemies, rebuked and deserted by his relatives and friends, although suffering the pain of being bound and although rebuked and cursed by his spiritual master, Bali Maharaja, being fixed in his vow, did not give up his truthfulness. It was certainly with pretension that I spoke about religious principles, but he did not give up religious principles, for he is true to his word.

   The Lord continued: Because of his great tolerance, I have given him a place not obtainable even by the demigods. He will become King of the heavenly planets during the period of the Manu known as Savarni.

   Until Bali Maharaja achieves the position of King of heaven, he shall live on the planet Sutala, which was made by Visvakarma according to My order. Because it is especially protected by Me, it is free from mental and bodily miseries, fatigue, dizziness, defeat and all other disturbances. Bali Maharaja, you may now go live there peacefully.

   O Bali Maharaja [Indrasena], now you may go to the planet Sutala, which is desired even by the demigods. Live there peacefully, surrounded by your friends and relatives. All good fortune unto you.

   On the planet Sutala, not even the predominating deities of other planets, what to speak of ordinary people, will be able to conquer you. As far as the demons are concerned, if they transgress your rule, My disc will kill them.

   O great hero, I shall always be with you and give you protection in all respects along with your associates and paraphernalia. Moreover, you will always be able to see Me there.



Sanjay

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General Discussion / Prayer?
« on: September 16, 2013, 10:00:05 AM »
Dear friends

Anyone know / can refer me to any link / book on an amazing prayer I heard several years back. I dont know if it was in Hindi or in Bengali (Not sure). However, the meaning goes like this and I think each stanza ends with "hathathe..."... Meaning goes as...

Oh Lord, Pardon me for offering to you everyday flowers - because by doing so I forget that every flower in brahmanda is in fact yours
Oh Lord, Pardon me for praying to you everyday - because by doing so I forget that every spoken and unspoken word is you
Oh Lord, Pardon me for asking for silly things to you every day - because by doing so I forget that you are trikalajnani
Oh Lord, Pardon me for offering you for food everyday - because by doing so I forget that it is you who give me and every living being food

and so on... many verses...

Sanjay

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Health & Welfare Issues / Kind request for your prayers please...
« on: September 09, 2013, 12:06:38 PM »
Dear Devotees

Posting this on Vinayaka Chaturthi day as you and your prayers mean the highest heaven to me - as I have none in this world whom I respect as much as the members of this forum - many who frequent here are living gurus to me.

I am writing this to humbly seek your prayers. Dont want to elaborate too much on personal issues - but I am starting a new line of treatment for my son who was born as second most premature in the medical history in India - 4 years back. Even though he is four years old, his growth and development is barely 18 months - because at birth his nervous system itself was not fully developed. Thanks to Bhagawan, he came out healthy and still very slowly catching up on his development. A very promising treatment - I am starting this month - and some medicines are arriving from Europe. I wish to seek the blessings and humbly request prayers of all my living gurus in this forum and friends for his recovery through these medicines.

If you remember me, kindly pray for my son - at least for few seconds on this auspicious day or during this month please. Above and beyond anything on Earth, you and your prayers mean a Brahmanda to me - and nothing can be more powerful than the sincere wishes and prayers on the most devoted disciples of Bhagawan - you all. I cannot describe in words how powerful a second of heartfelt prayer by rare disciples of bhagawan like Subramanian sir, Sri Nagaraj, Ravi sir, Hari, Jewel, Graham, Jyothi, Deepa, ksksat, Atmavichar, Anil Ji, prasanth_ramana_maharshi, latha, silentgreen, Balaji, Anand, nonduel, Child of Arunachala and all others - can have an impact on him. The impact is beyond words.

Kind regards and earnest heartfelt thanks. Seeking your blessings,

Sanjay.

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General Discussion / Teacher's Day - SEP 5
« on: September 05, 2013, 10:49:09 AM »
Remembering the guru of Anantha Koti Brahmanda ...


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General Discussion / Help keep Sudharma afloat
« on: September 04, 2013, 02:29:30 PM »
Sudharma is India’s only Sanskrit news daily printed from Mysore. It is indeed a remarkable achievement to keep a newspaper going, especially in a language considered “dead” in popular perception. The newspaper, launched in 1970, has a print order of 3,000 copies a day and is dispatched across India by post.

Sudharma is struggling to stay afloat and every small donation counts. Please spread the word - http://sudharma.epapertoday.com/.

-Sanjay.

10
Humour / Happiness
« on: August 26, 2013, 02:17:07 PM »

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I. HAPPINESS

All beings desire happiness always, happiness without a tinge of sorrow. At the same time everybody loves himself best. The cause for love is only happiness. So, that happiness must lie within oneself. Further, that happiness is daily experienced by everyone in sleep when there is no mind. To attain that natural happiness one must know oneself. For that, Self-enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ is the chief means.

Happiness is the nature of the Self. They are not different. The only happiness there is, is of the Self. That is the truth. There is no happiness in worldly objects. Because of our ignorance we imagine we derive happiness from them.

If, as a man generally imagines, his happiness is due to external causes, it is reasonable to conclude that his happiness must increase with the increase of possessions and diminish in proportion to their diminution. Therefore, if he is devoid of possessions his happiness should be nil. What, however, is the real experience of man? Does it confirm this view? In deep sleep the man is devoid of all possessions, including his own body. Instead of being unhappy he is quite happy. Everyone desires to sleep soundly. The conclusion therefore is that happiness is inherent in man and is not due to external causes. One must realize his Self in order to open the store of unalloyed happiness.

There is a story in Panchadasi, which illustrates that our pains and pleasures are not due to facts but to our concepts.

Two young men of a village went on a pilgrimage to North India. One of them died there. But the other having picked up some job decided to return to his village only after some time. Meanwhile he came across a wandering pilgrim and sent word through him to his village about himself and his dead friend. The pilgrim conveyed the news and in doing so inadvertently changed the names of the living and the dead man. The result was that the dead man’s people were rejoicing that he was doing well and the living man’s people were in grief that he was dead.

I used to sit on the floor and lie on the ground. No cloth spread out. That is freedom. The sofa is a bondage. It is jail for me. I am not allowed to sit where and how I please. Is it not bondage? One must be free to do as one pleases and should not be served by others. ‘No want’ is the greatest bliss. It can be realized only by experience. Even an emperor is no match for a man with no wants.

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AHAM SPHURANA
22nd November, 1945


Yesterday a Bengali Swami in ochre robes by name Hrishikesanand came here. This morning
from 8-30 to 11-00 Bhagavan continuously discussed spiritual matters with him. That voice
flowed full of nectar and uninterruptedly like the waters of the Ganges. How can my pen
keep pace with that great flow? That amrit (nectar) can only be drunk deep with the hand of
devotion: how can it be gathered and conveyed on paper? When Sri Bhagavan was relating
his experiences in Madurai of the vision of death, these eyes were incapable of taking in the
radiance of his personality, these ears of grasping the full wisdom of his words. It is natural
for the enthusiasm of one who relates an incident to reflect the level of intelligence of him
who listens.

I should have given you a more detailed account of the questions asked by the Swami and the
replies given by Bhagavan; only at present the place reserved for ladies in the hall is rather
far from Bhagavan, and, as I happened to be sitting at the back, I could not hear properly all
that was being discussed. I did however hear one thing clearly. Bhagavan said, “In the vision
of death, though all the senses were benumbed, the aham sphurana (Self-awareness) was
clearly evident, and so I realised that it was that awareness that we call ‘I’, and not the body.
This Self-awareness never decays. It is unrelated to anything. It is Self-luminous. Even if this
body is burnt, it will not be affected. Hence, I realised on that very day so clearly that that
was ‘I’.”

Many more such things were said but I could not follow or remember them; and so I am not
able to write any more about them. There have been several discussions as this before, I am
only sorry I have let slip such innumerable gems. Please excuse my laziness and indifference
in not writing you even though you have been asking me all these days to write.

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Bhagawan willing - I will be posting some Q&A that was very helpful to me from this very helpful book containing Bhagawan's Upadesha...


Sri Ramanarpanamastu

1. What are the marks of a real teacher (Sadguru)?


Steady abidance in the Self, looking at all with an equal eye, unshakeable courage at all times, in all places and circumstances, etc.


2. What are the marks of an earnest disciple (sadsisya)?

An intense longing for the removal of sorrow and attainment of joy and an intense aversion for all kinds of mundane pleasure.

3. What are the characteristics of instruction (upadesa)?


The word 'upadesa' means : 'near the place or seat' (upa - near, desa - place or seat). The Guru who is the embodiment of that which is indicated by the terms sat, chit, and ananda (existence, consciousness and bliss), prevents the disciple who, on account of his acceptance of the forms of the objects of the senses, has swerved from his true state and is consequently distressed and buffeted by joys and sorrows, from continuing so and establishes him in his own real nature without differentiation.

Upadesa also means showing a distant object quite near. It is brought home to the disciple that the Brahman which he believes to be distant and different from himself is near and not different from himself.



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Health & Welfare Issues / Road Construction - Good news
« on: May 30, 2013, 10:06:10 AM »
Some good news on roads leading to Ashram as the roads were very bad when I visited in January - From latest Mountain Path

Road Construction


Road work has begun on the roads to Tiruvannamalai from Chennai
and Bangalore. It is part of a major project to link Puducherry and
Bangalore by a first class highway, NH-66. There will be considerable
disruption on the roads during 2012 and through 2013. One estimate
says it may take eighteen months to complete the work. A report in
The Hindu on 8th December 2010, said that some 19,000 tamarind
and neem trees will be axed in the process. The Hindu also quoted
NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) officials who said they
would make all efforts to save as many trees as possible. They also said
the NHAI would plant three trees for every tree felled. Toll gates may
be set up near Singarapettai, Tiruvannamalai and Gingee. Once the
road is finished it should reduce travel time between Tiruvannamalai
and Chennai by at least half an hour.

Work on a by-pass road to the south of Tiruvannamalai connecting
the Tindivanam and Bangalore roads has commenced. It begins
some five kilometers out on the Bangalore road, passes near the
Rangammal Hospital and behind the Samudramaeri (large tank),
and then connects up with the ring-road to the east which presently
joins the Tirukoilur and Tindivanam roads.

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http://www.drsinatra.com/debunking-the-great-cholesterol-myth

Debunking the Great Cholesterol Myth
by Dr. Stephen Sinatra


When I first came to Healthy Directions over seventeen years ago, what excited me most was the ability to get the latest cutting-edge heart research out to more people than I could ever reach in my clinical practice, including other doctors and healthcare professionals.

One of my top missions has been is to educate people on the true cause of heart disease, and it’s not cholesterol. Most doctors and cardiologists are still testing their patients’ cholesterol numbers and wearing out their prescription pads with orders for prescription-lowering statin drugs. Meanwhile the true cause of heart disease, inflammation, is still largely ignored.

So, when I was invited to co-author a book with Dr. Jonny Bowden—a leading nutritionist who knows my position on statin therapy and the over-treating of cholesterol numbers instead of people—I jumped at the opportunity to spread this message even wider.  Our new book, The Great Cholesterol Myth was just released. In fact, some of you may have caught my interview about it on The 700 Club  for which we are very grateful. That airing helped to make more people aware of what’s really important when it comes to heart health. 

Here are just a few of the many facts Dr. Bowden and I shared in the book:

The hypothetical link between high levels of total cholesterol and heart disease has NEVER been proven. It’s a diagnosis conjured up to serve drug companies who want to sell cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.


Cholesterol levels are a poor predictor of heart attacks. Only about 50% of heart attack victims have high cholesterol levels, and 50% of people who have high cholesterol do not have heart disease.


Recent studies suggest statin drugs are associated with a higher risk of diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Dr. Bowden and I agree that while Big Pharma is busy raking in over $31 billion annually by selling high-cholesterol drugs with lousy side effects to unknowing victims, their success is putting the American public’s health at risk.

Plus, all of this erroneous focus on high cholesterol is diverting research dollars away from the real cause of heart disease—inflammation. 

Chronic inflammation is a major predictor of coronary artery disease. Studies show elevated levels of CRP (inflammation) puts you at twice the risk of dying from cardiovascular-related problems as those with high cholesterol. Your doctor can order a CRP blood test, and while results may vary by lab you generally want a reading below one.


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