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Messages - srkudai

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16
Let me add to that...
1. placing attention on I AM is effort. resolving the one who places attention is effortless.
2. being awareness is not a task ... what else can one be ?
3. self inquiry is to just be ... again and again as there is a tendency of the mind to go outwards.
4. its total relaxed being. not an effort.
5. totally equivalent to self surrender. surrender again and again until its total self surrender.
6. to say i am affected by thoughts is a problem ... because we are strengthening the falsehood. thoughts cannot trouble us ...
instead when one feels thus, find out how can i be affected by thoughts and see that i am indeed not affected ... this is relaxed being.

these are my views on this topic ...

i do not think we differ a lot , other than perhaps in expression style
Love!
Silence

17
Dear Anil ji,
        :)

Understanding has to be intellectual ... As Swami Dayananda ji says "only intellect can understand , there is nothing like dental understanding"

The point is ... Vichara is not "To Know Truth" ... Vichara is "To Be The Truth"

This is the essential difference between our ideas i suppose.

Love!
Silence

18
General topics / Re: Reality and Fact
« on: November 13, 2017, 01:10:57 PM »
Dear Shivam ji,
      :) Please see my post on guru sishya samvada , its an interesting discussion between a guru and a sishya, you might be interested.

Love!
Silence

19
General Discussion / Re: Guru Sishya Samvada - An Imaginary Story
« on: November 13, 2017, 01:09:53 PM »

D: Why vedantic text now ?
G: Because Vedantic text is a Pramana.
D: whats that now ? Whats a Pramana ? Will not simply asking questions and getting answers be enough?
G: We will have to discuss this in detail. Simply asking questions and getting answers is most likely not enough.
D: Ok before you explain to me about why Vedantic texts are pramanas, tell me how did Ramakrishna realize without Vedantic learning ?
G: Srinivasa Ramanujam learnt mathematics without books and without knowing what a proof means.so is that a standard ? What will you tell a student who says "I will become a mathematician but I do not need to study the books" ? Systematic training is a must for all of us. A few exceptions
cannot be taken as standards.
D: But why then do you say Ramakrishna / Ramana realized ?
G: Coz they speak the Truth... they have given solid pointers.
D: So we can read them and know the truth ?
G: of course , but I think these are written down when people asked questions and that means those were mostly conversations that might have helped those students, but may or may not help you in person, because those are dispersed and not a systematic presentation. Thats why I think they are wonderful for mananam and nidhidhyasanam [reflection and abidance] but not for Sravanam [Learning or Knowing].
D: You are very rude here.
G: I am neither rude nor very humble. My main moto is the Truth, not a confirmation to Ramana / Ramakrishna.
D: But that can be dangerous ! You may get caught in something and think thats the Truth!
G: :) When you see the Truth, you see solid pointers from Ramana and Ramakrishna which will clearly show you what they are speaking.
D: You said these texts are wonderful for Mananam & Nidhidhyasanam can you explain that a little ?
G: Sravana is to know about the Self from a guru. The guru teaches the upanishads or one of the prakarana granthas to expound the Truth about you : That you are not a Lacking individual.
D: Why will the guru have to use the upanishads/ prakarana granthas ? Why can he not himself teach ?
G: The guru who has grasped the scriptures can teach it himself. The upanishads/Prakarana granthas are still used because they provide a systematic presentation of the subject matter and its also establishing a tradition. The guru does not have a better way to present so why resort to a new method ? Why not present in the same traditional way ?
D: Ok, but when we agreed that a guru who has seen the truth can teach it himself, why cannot a Ramana / Ramakrishna teach by themselves? Perhaps they have a better way?
G: I never said Ramakrishna/Ramana cannot teach by themselves and definitely they have some wonderful comments and pointers. But reading their answers to some random questions is not systematic enough in my opinion.
D: However it should have its use ! They are great saints! You seem to have no respect for them !
G: They are Exceptional Saints and I have the highest respect for them. But then, you cannot use their text to know about yourself because they are answers to questions and not a systematic presentation.
D: I believe you are missing out the importance of Grace here. If I am sincere and I go to Ramana and pray to him, he helps.
G: Yes, he helps by sending you a guru who can teach systematically, in a traditional way.
D: Ok tell me about mananam now.
G: Having understood the Truth, we need to proceed to manana texts where we see how we this teaching is "real" and not theoretical. Anywhere you see people saying this teaching is merely theoretical , that means they lack mananam. Ramana's gospel, Sri Ramakrishna's gospel etc are excellent manana granthas. Infact I suggest Yoga Vasishta and Ashtavakra Gita for this.
D: Ok. Even here we have nothing to with sadhana ?
G: May be some sadhana to facilitate this is ok. It may depend from person to person.
D: Fine, so whats nidhidhyasanam.
G: Well to Remain as Self. Mananam when done properly automatically leads to nidhidhyasanam. All three: Sravana,Manana,nidhidhyasana can happen at the same time if a good guru is teaching. In most cases, however, the disciple sits down and does some enquiry into himself and verifies the validity of teaching. Lives of Ramana etc can stand as examples of how one may live this truth. And then one "Abides" as Self thats nidhidhyasanam. When one goes through this systematically through Self inquiry one gains enough clarity to leave out unrelated events in lives of these saints and continue with whats appropriate.
D: What do you mean unreleated events in the lives of these saints ? You speak very rudely and you seem to lack politeness.
G: you are left to your opinions. I am not rude. There will always be some events in anyone's life that do not have any importance to our spiritual development. For example if Ramana used to clean his teeth with a tooth brush or a twing, how does it matter for spiritual development ? So there are
events that reveal some valuable stuff and there are events that are simply incidental. People get too interested in everything about these teachers and as a result they tend to just look for more and more such events. The guru said "All this is mithya" and people keep saying "we cannot yet take everything as mithya , we take you as Satyam" !!
D: But thats bhakti, we love to hear their stories and love to revel in their presence.
G: Thats not bhakti. Bhakti is not leaving this story of ours and getting involved in someone else's stories. Bhakti is Self Abidance.
D: There are various definitions of Bhakti.
G: There is only one: Self Abidance. No other definition.
D: What if a person does not know all these jnana terms and simply sits and prays.
G: If he abides as Self, knowingly then he is. Do you know the story of Prahallada from Yoga Vasishtam?
D: whats that ? Prahallada story is from bhagavatam.
G: Well After the story of bhagavatam , YV says, Prahallada had to meditate on that Vishnu as his own Self and only then he got liberated. Thats how he found true bhakti!
D: This is surely misinterpretation.
G: Then its done by Yoga Vasishta and not by me.
D: so you say grace has no place here ?
G: Grace is always there. Guru does not have paritiality. When you open your mouth its grace. That you are able to breathe is grace. Grace is always there. Grace is what facilitates your life itself.
D: Ah, so you agree one realizes by Grace and not Self effort ?
G: :) No. Suppose someone asks : Whats the reason for this theft ? And you answer : Sun. because if the light of sun is not there he could not have stolen anything. And then you say its God, because of whom he was able to move his limbs :)! thats not proper reason. These are common reasons, samanya karanas which are same for all. But some people do not steal and this fellow stole. So his vasanas to steal are the reason why he became a thief. So this is vishesha karanam ,specific
reason. When we ask for the reason for something, there is a samanya karanam and vishesha karanam --- a common reason and a specific reason. Grace is there for all. That you are able to breathe is grace. That you are able to lift your hand is grace. So Grace is common enabler. But I become lucky is because of my karma not because of grace. My own self effort. So if i have right effort then automatically results follow. So grace wont block there. If it blocks also, it means thats because of a wrong effort or because of my past karmas.
D: Ok, let me ask you a simple question: Are you not putting down Bhakti when you said that story of Prahallada ?
G: Well do you think yoga vasishta was doing that ?
D: Why did you quote it ?
G: I quoted it with the same intention as Yoga Vasishta.
D: what can that be ? I think we should refer Bhagavatam for Prahallada's story and not YV.
G: Why so ?
D: Because Bhagavatam is more authentic.
G: Yoga Vasishta is telling that story with a specific intention.
D: Whats that ?
G: All preliminary forms of bhakti have to mature into Advaita, Being as "I AM". YV says that Prahallada had to meditate on himself as Vishnu for liberation.
D: You like controversies ?
G: Why do you say so ?
D: Because you always speak against the common people's ideas. They are all vexed with you.
G: Yes, they are vexed with me coz I bring to light such things as above.
D: But will not a devotee who does not go into advaita realize ?
G: Here is what Ramana says :
[Ramana Mahashi's Advice To a Vaishnavite
One Sri Vaishnavite asked him, what should he do to realize Narayana.
Maharshi : You pray to him and meditate on him.
Devotee: After that, what will happen?
Maharshi : You will go to Narayana and be in his august company with other such devotees, singing his glory.
Devotee: After that, what will happen?
Maharshi : If Narayana is quite pleased with you, he will call you one day, very close to him and tell you: Please enquire Who am ?
Devotee: I can do that even here!
Maharshi : And that is what I want you to do here and now!]
So ultimately one has to land up to Self inquiry -- even if one practises bhakti.
D: Did not Ramana say that Surrender is also a path ?
G: Do you mean partial surrender or complete surrender ?
D: Complete.
G: That is equivalent to Just Be. Coz there is only God. Its pure Advaita.
D: Ok, what about partial surrender ?
G: well its a sadhana and all sadhananas ultimately land up to Self inquiry :).
D: You are not saying what Ramana said. You are twisting the fact.
G: Well Verse 8 of Upadesha saram says :
[verse 8: Bheda Bhavanat soham ityasau bhavana bhida pavani mata
compared to contemplation with duality is the contemplation without duality as "I am He" is superior.]
and I am saying the same thing. The contemplation with "I" am jiva and there is "God" is "lower" form of worship and a higher form is "I AM HE". So one has to mature to the higher form some or the other day.
D: You are again twisting the fact.
G: what way ?
D: IF one sincerely prays to God, he can get everything that a person gets out of jnana yoga.
G: Yes, then god will lead him to Jnana : the oneness.
D: How ?
G: For example in Sri RamaHrdhayam , Rama tells Hanuman: since you are a sincere disciple, ill tell you the truth : TAT TVAM ASI.
D: Why should he say so ?
G: Coz without that there is no liberation.
D: Is it not Ego to say "I AM Brahman" ?
G: No. It just means non-identification with ego.
D: But its ego to say I am liberated.
G: It means there is no bondage. To say there is bondage is identification with ego.
D: How so ?
G: well, when you say "I am bound" , who is bound ? Ego right ? you are identifying with it.
D: But will simply saying serve any purpose.
G: Well, Bhavana is important.
D: who says so ?
G: the above statement its clear.
D: Ill do Self inquiry, why this bhavana ?
G: This bhavana is an anga of Self inquiry.
D: Ramana does not say so !!
G: Well read sat darshanam:
[verse 31:
maunena mahhan manasaa svamuulcarcaiva satyatma vicaaraNaam syat |
eshoahametanna mama svarupam iti pramaa satya vicaranaangam ||
Diving in Silence by the mind, inquiring about one's root alone is true Self inquiry. This i am, This is not my nature.
These thoughts are the limbs of True inquiry.]
D: But Ramana said "Does a Man keep repeating he is man?"
G: For whom was that said ?
D: For a man!
G: so once one is firmly abiding as Self, one need not repeat, its redundant.
D: For others also he said dont repeat.
G: yes, to just repeat without bhavana is not correct.
D: It could also mean to have this bhavana is bad.
G: then he would not have said what he said in verse 8 of upadesha saram.
D: How can you say he used "does a man keep repeating he is man" for a realized person ?
G: sat darshanam again
[soham vicharo vapuratmabhave sahayyakaarii pra marganasya |
svatmaika sidhau sa punarnirartho yatha naratva pramitirnarasya ||
In the State of thinking that the body is the Self, the contemplation of "I am he", is helpful to the search of supreme. Just as to a man, the knowledge if his manhood is of no help, similarly in the accomplishment of oneness of one's self, that "I am he" contemplation is useless.]

[To be Continued ...]

20
General Discussion / Re: Guru Sishya Samvada - An Imaginary Story
« on: November 13, 2017, 12:12:16 PM »
The next day the disciple thought for some time ... should I go to this person again or not ? There seemed only one thing clear about this person: He has total confidence in what he is saying. Now this confidence could well be due to some false notions, only to be gone the next day. But may be he has indeed realized ! Thus pondering, for some unknown reason he decided to go to the guru again.
This time as he entered the place he found the guru clean shaved, without any smile and sitting like a solid Rock. Totally motionless. Pretty impressive. But what he also noticed was that this guru had colored his hair and combed it in "Style" :)! Once again something impressive and some things not at all impressive. He was still seated with his back leaning against the tree. The guru did not notice that he had come.

D: Hello guru ji!
G: Slowly turned towards him waved his had , signing him to come :). He remained in silence for some time and then said .
G: How are you today ?
D: Fine, how about you ?
G: Perfect ! As Always , how else can I be ?
D: Sir, I have pondered on what you said yesterday and even discussed with a friend who is online.
G: Humm.
D: I have a doubt: Are you saying I am already liberated ?
G: Yes. I would say "There is no bondage". Liberation is nothing to be "attained". But you can say like that, if its understood that liberation means "no bondage".
D: Ok, So why should I come to you ?
G: You need not! And you may , as we can talk. There is nothing binding you to come.
D: But I feel I am not liberated.
G: Humm, is that so ?
D: Of what use is a theoretical statement like "You are not bound ", I continue to suffer.
G: Why do you call that "Theoretical". that's purely your interpretation. If you understood and got it you stand free.
D: But then will mere intellectual analysis help me get rid of all my emotions and base feelings hidden in my subconscious mind ?
G: Once again "mere intellectual analysis", another interpretation. Anyways, I never told you your emotions will
vanish.
D: So I will continue to have my subconscious mind which is with anger, agitation etc ! Then I will be troubled, would I not be ?
G: Yes and no.
D: what do you mean ?
G: The subconscious mind can do only one thing: produce thoughts and feelings in your mind.
D: Yes of course. And When the feelings like anger , worry are there, I am one with them.
G: :) If you can see yourself as not one with those mental feelings ?
D: Now what is that supposed to mean ?
G: Well, if the mental state cannot "Touch" you ?
D: How can that be ? This is ridiculous. Its an escape saying my mind has anger but not me.
G: :) We can see that. Does angry thoughts mean "i am angry" ?
D: Wait! The very presence of angry thoughts is sufficient to torment me. Do you know how it goes? The thoughts and then there are some chemicals released in the blood stream also there is a whole neural process that takes place. Nothing seeks my permission and the ideas you are giving me right now will not even be surfacing at that time because neural dynamics will inhibit contrary ideas from arising. Do you get this ?
G: We will take this up in steps, because what you have just asked is a rather big question.
D: Ok, lets start with this: when thoughts related to anger are released, biological changes take place?
G: Yes. Certain chemicals are released and the whole organism is prepared to fight/flight kind of response.
D: Nice. Now do you agree that fight/flight response is a very fast response of brain ?
G: yes. It happens from the limbic system which is very fast and designed to work inhibiting the other functions of brain.
D: So now, when this happens, will not the brain inhibit any piece of knowledge you give me now ?
G: :) Neo-cortex which is the area of reasoning is less prominent.
D: So then, how can reasoning help me here? Because the logical reasoning portion of brain is as if non-functioning at that moment.
G: :) Thats a nice question. But we will have to get deeper into the psyche to explore this better.
D: Ok, lets proceed ...
G: Suppose you see your own shadow and imagine its a ghost. You are chased by it.
D: I do not know why this example is being told, anyways, please continue.
G: So, the shadow is the ghost. It is creating fear, tension, worries etc in mind. Right ?
D: Ok, if I have taken it to be a ghost.
G: So I tell you "That is a shadow and not a ghost".
D: But my fear wont go. I will still be afraid.
G: That means there can be two reasons: a) Samshaya [Doubt , may be you dont believe me], and b) Vipariyaya, the opposite experience.
D: Ok. I understand samshaya but what is vipariyaya ? If it is a shadow and not the ghost, how can I have the experience of a ghost ?
G: Well, you are running and it appears to be following you. So you think its chasing you. Thats the kind of opposite experience.
D: Humm. Ok.
G: so there are just two problems to the taking place of this knowledge: samshaya & vipariyaya.
D: ok.
G: We will have to solve both.
D: I get that, but you earlier told me that I am already liberated and now you are telling me a sadhana ?
G: My telling you that you are already liberated is exactly like telling that its a shadow and not a ghost. Thats why I said a better way is to say "There is no bondage" or "Bondage is a shadow".
D: You mean that all this bondage I experience is like a shadow ghost chasing me ?
G: Exactly !
D: Is this enough to say ? How does it help me now ? You have said it.
G: Well, as I said "Doubt" and "Opposite Experience" have to be handled.
D: So do you agree there is "bondage" ?
G: No. All I have been saying is that your bondage is only self created and like a ghost imagined in a shadow.
D: And that did not help me !
G: As I said it did not help because you had "Doubt" / "Opposite Experience" which are blocking. As even, a person who thinks the shadows as ghosts is not helped by simply listening that those are mere shadows.
D: So I need experience, Samadhi. Which will make me get the Experience that this world is mithya.
G: :) No!
D: You are telling something new now. Lets see what Ramakrishna, Ramana etc said. Even Shankara spoke highly of samadhi and you are arrogant enough to say its not needed.
G: :) You do not need Samadhi and Ashtavakra Gita and Panchadasi do speak of this.
D: May be you are misinterpreting them.
G: We will look into it and I will demonstrate to you why you do not need samadhi shortly if we can talk for some time.
D: You seem to be eager to discuss this stuff and become a kind of "guru"
G: hey! If a friend finds out something easy and interesting will he not share with others? does he does he have to become a guru for that ?
D: Then in this forum what are you a guru or a disciple?
G: Neither! I share data! This thread calls me a guru, you addressed me "Guruji" earlier. And some have people may bad mouth me. So I am none of that. I am a friend and I share a vision.
D: But if you have a desire to share, you cannot be liberated.
G: :) There are two kinds of desires : binding and non-binding desires. A few non-binding desires are there in everyone as long as they live.
D: What do you mean by non-binding desires?
G: Well, if those desires can be suspended without much effort. Meaning when they arise, I can wave them off and remain without any trouble. Then those desires are non-binding. Infact it is a non-desire though appearing like a desire.
D: So how do I know if a desire is binding or non-binding ?
G: Just suspend that desire without fulfilling and see for yourself.
D: So now there are desires that are binding in me and i have to make them non-binding.
G: You may say so. The actual fact however is the original statement of mine: "No desire can bind you" Now when you say there are some desires that are binding you its a viparita bhavana or opposite experience you are talking about.
D: Hold on! You have diverted the topic. We started with saying that neo-cortex will become useless when our emotions etc are in full function. So how will our reasoning help us ?
G: :) I did not deviate the topic. I just said we will look deeply into it and we started from there.
D: Ok! Thats fine, now tell me have we got any deeper here ?
G: Yes , If your emotions etc are because of taking the shadows as ghosts we know what needs to be done.
D: Ok. So what you seem to be saying is that the "desires or raga-dveshas cannot bind us" because they are like "Shadows imagined to be ghosts". So then, what you have also told me is that I have "doubt" and "opposite experience" and therefore I am not able to live this. You have also promised to demonstrate that samadhi is not required for me.
G: Yes. Only one correction, Its not that I said you have doubt etc, I just said if one has them then they will inhibit him from seeing the truth.
D: ok, I hope that was some kind of correction. But then you should atleast agree now that these inhibitors are there.
G: :) "There" ? Where ? Investigate and they will vanish. They are like the ghosts imagined in shadows.
D: I feel you like ghosts and shadows. Ok, I have this problem : I do not understand how raga-dveshas cannot bind me. Tell me that.
G: Ok, For that you need some Vedantic Knowledge.
D: Vedanta ? Scriptural knowledge is a burden !
G: :) Nothing is a burden unless you carry it on your head where its not required.
D: But great saints like Ramakrishna did not read any scriptures.
G: Humm.
D: Is not Scriptural study just intellectual jargon?
G: :) Who told you all this ? You talk as if being uneducated is a qualification of Atma-Jnana.
D: No, but vivekachudamani says "Shabda jalam maha aranyam", the network of words is a great forest.
G: It says that and yet there is a vivekachudamani written and composed out of words! It says that about works that do not teach you that you are Ever Free Self. Shankara himself wrote
commentaries on various vedantic works and he says those are important.
D: So you are telling me that Scriptural Knowledge is important.
G: Yes, a must.
D: But you see more like a "no-rule" guy. Scriptures suggest various sadhanas [Practises] and you say even Samadhi is not required.
G: I do not say practises are not required. Sadhana is a must. But then one has to understand its purpose. Fire is useful, but I should know how to use it. Sadhanas are useful but one should be clear about their purpose.
D: Humm, so now you agree Samadhi is useful.
G: First the need and use of Samadhi has to be clearly appreciated and then we can discuss whether its needed or not.
D: And what about Mano-nashanam ?
G: That is another oft misunderstood word. Vasana Kshaya is one more. In the way its commonly understood all these three: Samadhi, Mano-nasha and Vasana Kshaya are useless. But some scriptures do advocate them in specific ways. With the meaning specified in scriptures They are a MUST. But folk lore , the common usage of these terms is pure nonsense.
D: You seem to be twisting the meaning of scriptures to suite your need.
G: I am simply conveying the Truth , the vision. He who gets it gets it. Scriptures convey the Truth. Without seeing the truth if you try to interpret then there seem to be different ways of interpreting. If you see the truth ,by seeing I actually mean being, you see no second valid interpretation.
D: But Sri Ramakrishna , Ramana have said what they have to say in quite explicit way.
G: Yes. They saw the Truth , meaning remained as Truth, and spoke. One who has the same vision can convey it and also convey it differently. One who does not see the truth my speak about them but gets naught.
D: I been studying Sri Ramakrishna and Ramana for the last 15 years and always tried to take the words as they said, do you mean to say I have not understood what they are saying ?
G: Well, I say nothing. Its for you to say. Do you see yourself as "Fulfilled" or "Lacking" ?
D: Of course Lacking, I need to do a lot of sadhana to be done.
G: Sadhana does not make a "Lacking person", "Fulfilled" because Sadhana is finite ! Sadhana can help you see yourself as a "Fulfilled Person".
D: So I feel I am a lacking person , but will become fulfilled.
G: That means you got nothing ! Ramana constantly says you are ever Free Self, Purna or Complete.
D: But I have not yet realized it, I cannot fake it.
G: Have you understood how you are Purna/Complete ?
D: Thats what I plan to realize through Samadhi.
G: :) Will Samadhi make you realize that you were always Fulfilled? A person goes into samadhi and then comes out saying "I have gone into samadhi and come out". Which means the person still sees himself as a "Changing Mind".
D: So what Ramana / Ramakrishna said is of no use ?
G: who said that ? They are pointers which you should use to see yourself as fulfilled.
D: But you are twisting them and changing their meaning to suite you.
G: I come the other way round. To me it does not matter who said it. If it is the Truth, I convey it. If its not correct I dismiss it.
D: Can Ramana / Ramakrishna say something thats not true ?
G: Not sure! Ramana is what he is coz he saw the truth and spoke it. If I have seen the Truth then I appreciate what he said and the way he said. But If I have not seen the truth and do not use those pointers to see the Truth that I am fulfilled then I will continue to remain ignorant -- just repeating like a parrot.
D: So now you are dismissing Ramana / Ramakrishna 's teachings ?
G: No. All I am saying is that my purpose is not to confirm to what Ramana/Ramakrishna said. My purpose is to see myself as fulfilled and if those pointers help, they help. thats all.
D: do you say the same thing about scriptural teachings also ?
G: Of course. Whats the difference ?
D: Truth cannot be seen they say !
G: Yes, Its not an object to be seen. Its "You" the Self who has no lackings.
D: Sadhana is not required at all, then ?
G: Sadhana is absolutely important , but this is a subtle point we should grasp. Sadhana is to remove viparita bhavana or vipariyeya which I said earlier: the opposite experience.
D: Why do I need Sadhana if I am already That ?
G: Not needed.
D: But I do feel lackings.
G: Then do Sadhana , having understood the Truth that you are fulfilled.
D: Why do I have to understand that I am fulfilled ? Why not simply practise ?
G: LOL! What will you practise if you have not understood ?
D: So you mean to say understanding is required for sadhana ?
G: Absolutely. Without knowing your true nature from a guru, no sadhana.
D: I have lot of doubts on that, but before getting into it... tell me how to get this understanding?
G: Go to a guru and learn from him.
D: So I have to go to a guru and learn from him about myself ?
G: Learn a vedantic text from him.

[to be continued ...]

21
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 ...]

22
Dear Anil ji,
          :)

The concepts of "Vasanas Destruction" and "Mind Destruction" are among the most confused ideas with most people. Even in Ramana Maharshi and Annamalai Swami's explanations ... those were recorded by people and i think their personal understandings did creep in every now and then.

Please see the following quote of Annamalai Swami that says that Jnani has Vasanas ! :) He further says that mind is dead and yet there are vasanas and thoughts ! :) People often gloss over these and leave them there without meditating on their meaning. We should take a holistic view of what Ramana is teaching and for that its imperative that such statements as below of Annamalai Swami are properly understood.

I explain my view below this quote [living by the words of bhagavan :Page 267, conversations with Annamalai Swami:]

Quote
Nothing can cause bondage for the Jnani because his mind is dead. In the absence of mind he knows himself only as consciousness. Because the mind is dead, he is no longer able to identify himself with the body. But even though he knows that he is not the body, its a fact that the body is still alive. That body will continue to live, and the Jnani will continue to be aware of it, until its own karma is exhausted. Because the jnani is aware of the body, he will also be aware of the thoughts and vasanas that arise in that body. None of these vasanas has the power to cause bondage for him because he never identifies with them, but they do have the power to make the body behave in certain ways. The body of the jnani enjoys and experiences thses vasanas although the jnani himself is not affected by them. that is why its some times said that for the jnani there are bhoga vasanas but no bandha vasanas.

The bhoga vasanas differ from jnani to jnani. some jnanis may accumulate wealth, some may sit in silence; some may study the sastras while others may remain illiterate; some may get married and raise families but others may become celibate monks. it is the bhoga vasanas which determine the kind of lifestyle a jnani will lead. The jnani is aware of the consequences of these vasanas without identifying with them. Because of this he never falls back into samsara again.

The vasanas arise because of habits and practices of previous life times. that is why they differ from jnani to jnani. When vasanas rise in ordinary people who still identify with the body and the mind, they cause likes and dislikes. some vasanas are embraced whole heartedly  while others are rejected as being undesirable. These likes and dislikes generate desires and fears which in turn produce more karma. while you are still making judgements about what is good and what is bad, you are identifying with the mind and making new karmas for yourself. when new karma has been created like this, it means that you have to take another birth to enjoy it.

The jnani's body carries out all the acts which are destined for it. But because the jnani makes no judgements about what is good or bad, and because he has no likes and dislikes, he is not creating any new karma for himself. because he knows that he is not the body, he can witness all its activities without getting involved in them in any way. There will be no rebirth for the jnani because once the mind has been destroyed, there is no possibility of any new karma being created.

Please see. Bhagavan says Deho na janati ... the body does not know ... its jada. but the point to be understood is that even mind is only subtle body. hence mind too is jada. mind and along with it vasanas are jada. so death of a jada entity is meaningless. the truth is, to just recognize that they were never alive in the first place is jnanam. one has to correct some wrong thinking. thats all that matters. that correction of wrong thinking cannot be accomplished by strengthening wrong thinking. Even for once if i look at vasana as a binding agent, i am strengthening it. How can Vasana bind you, who are Self ? it is jada, lifeless. Do you see this ? If a rope is tying you or binding you, then someone can untie it. but if i am bound by an imaginary rope ? just stop believing in its reality. it looses its sting.

The problem in saying "This is though" is that we are giving special importance to it , we are saying it has some strength of its own. We are strengthening ignorance. the vasanas by itself has no strength to bind us ... we give it the strength by saying this is tough.

Lets take this example: suppose i am an alcoholic ... and suppose i sit in a room ... simply sit and decide not to drink ... what can force me to drink ? a thought has to arise. without thought there is no force possible on me. but even the thought is not exerting a force. it arises in my presence and vanishes in my presence. there is an imaginary "I" which sits there and sanctions the thought ... validates it ... gives it importance and then feels that its dragged by that thought ! Please see the subtle point here.

Love!
Silence

23
General topics / Re: Reality and Fact
« on: November 13, 2017, 11:13:08 AM »
Dear Shivam ji,
          :)

The difference is not skill but knowledge. When a loved one passes away, if one feels pain, and cries. isnt it normal ?
Sri Ramakrishna cried when his mother passed away. I vaguely remember a few tears from Ramana's eyes even when one of his women devotees lost her adopted son or daughter. This is at one level.
Yet at another level there is total relaxedness [upashama] ... which is not lost even when one is going through that pain. This is very interesting. its not a divided person. its the same person. May be an example will make the point clear. when i see a movie with lot of pain... i cry, but at the same time "I" [Self :) ] remain unmoved in my seat ! It is not that i do not emote with the movie. I do emote. yet, there is a total conflictlessness with my being. That is a movie ... and This is Me. 
That "Self" is you. you are free from all these, even when they arise and pass away ... this is the experience .


It is very important to understand this difference Shivam ji, without understanding this people often tend to have many exotic ideas about liberated living that stop them from actually living a liberated life here and now. as i said the gain is total conflictlessness total inner silence inspite of all movements in mind. the movements of the mind are like clouds passing by in my presence which is total relaxed presence.

Love!
Silence

24
Dear Anil ji,
           :) I request you to ponder on these points with an open mind and lets see what we really are saying. We are probably in a very subtle area, so please ponder on this points carefully... i am sure you will appreciate their meaning :

Quote
It is not easy to get rid of hardened habits in a trice.

By saying this are we strengthening those habits ? hard for whom ? please see. its ego saying its hard or easy .
ok ... let me put this in a different way... without the thought "its not easy to get rid of habits" ... can you feel this way ?
the thought is required isnt it ?

suppose you do not oblige or agree with the thought when it arises... what happens ? :)

Quote
no other way to succeed other than to draw the mind back every time it turns outward and fix it in the Self,


True, but do you see the word "Succeed" ? :) -- success vs failure ?
What do they mean by "Drawing the mind back and fixing in Self" ? Can the mind be anywhere but in Self ? Suppose i "do" some activity to fix mind on Self, is "doing" taking us away from "being" or towards "being" ?

Quote
Vichara seeks to transcend the ego by seeking its Source, which is the Self.

Who "transcends" ? The ego cannot. Self need not. isnt this so ?

Quote
Yes, it is a wonder of wonders that what we are experiencing all the time is Reality only, still we do not know it!

What is it we do not know ? All that needs to be known is known. I AM is God, Self. Ever experienced. All else is mithya. what else does one want to know ? Right now, you are in the embrace of God. Ramana. To your left, right, up, above, below and inside , Ramana is there. you are embraced by him. your mind may not accept ... and you disagree with that mind. its that simple. [dont ask me who this u is... it does not matter here. ]

We should be careful not to create artificial destinations !
Sadhana is required ... but in a different sense ... in a totally different way its meaningful.

Love!
Silence

25
General topics / Re: Reality and Fact
« on: November 12, 2017, 08:48:53 PM »
Dear Shivam ji,
        :)

Quote
why not live a reasonably wise life here with the acceptance of the fact that there is going to be some desire, some anger some attachment, anxieties and worries in life!


Why not ? Religion is not against emotions. A liberated person does not become a zombie. A liberated person feels love for his people, has attachments, is anxious when a relative is in the hospital perhaps. The difference between a liberated person and a person in bondage is not in the absence of emotions. The difference is in the skill with which those emotions are managed. The confusion arises because a liberated person says "I have no anger". i know this ... but does he not also say "I have no body" ? :) Does that not defeat itself ? That statement "I have no anger" is from a different stand point ! One needs to understand these things clearly. Ramana got a little angry when people used to give him special treatment [esp. during lunch or dinner :) ] . Did he not ?

Self Knowledge does not snatch away normal human emotions and make us unemotional ... it enriches every experience and makes life worth living. Infact life lived without self knowledge is really lived mostly in forgetfulness. self knowledge makes one truely live life... as you live through the day you shall feel welling up of unexplainable joy continuously. you may be interacting with people in different ways, situtations may be conducive or not ... and yet there is this spring of joy within which you cannot miss ... this is self knowledge. its really getting in touch with life... all relations become beautiful. emotions , beautiful . I say this ... and if you have read my other posts ... i advocate that this world is a dream very strongly. I do not find a contradiction. When you understand the vision of the scriptures you too shall see clearly what i am saying.

Most often we really do not live a "reasonable" life ! We live a life of forgetfulness ... evening if you ask yourself "how many moments of my life have i really lived" ... if you understand this question really and ask ... you shall yourself see that a vast majority of the day was really missed. with my child but mind in the office. in the office but mind at home. going by car, but mind on my fav. pet project. is this "reasonable" really ? Please ponder. if you do not miss ... you are living a liberated life, no one needs to certify that.

Love!
Silence

26
Dear Anil ,
      :) Inner absorption in japji as well as my own quote means : "thoughtlessness" -- Mano-laya in Bhagavan's saying.

I would like to add few more thoughts ... this topic is so beautiful that any amount of explanation can be given :) ... its like enjoying a poetry ... please see ...

We have an extraordinary statement in Ashtavakra gita:

Quote
निःसंगो निष्क्रियोऽसि
त्वं स्वप्रकाशो निरंजनः।
अयमेव हि ते बन्धः
समाधिमनुतिष्ठति॥१-१५॥

There is no association [ no one else to associate with, relate with], and you are not the doer. Self effulgent and spotless you are. This alone is your bondage that you try to still the mind.

There is a nice story of a samurai. He won a great war and returned home... when he found a rather big rat in his house. Proud of his abilities, he took out the sword and tried to kill it but the rat proved out to be too fast for him. he tried a lot and finally got exhausted. He then woke his wife up and discussed the rat problem with her. She said "see, you may be a great samurai, but a foolish person. (wife you see) , to kill the rat, u do not use the sword, u use a cat, its that simple." . So he went out, brought a cat, big fat cat. but the cat tried a lot to catch the rat and it still failed. the rat was too fast for it. Then he went to the king's place and got the royal cat. the royal cat also could not catch the rat. As he felt exhausted, he happened to meet a wise man, who told him "see, these cats are fed by their owners and hence they lost their natural instinct. you need a natural cat and that can kill it". The samurai then went to the wild and brought a cat from there and the cat immediately caught the rat. Then he asked the cat "how did u catch it ? what was the strategy ? what was the approach ?" and the cat said "sir, its my nature. i simply caught it. there is no strategy, no approach, no method to what i did. it comes naturally to me" !!
Meditation is like that. it has to be natural. one cannot reach that silence by absorption, observing breath or anything ... all methods ... are only aids ... infact through methods its not possible at all. because every method is entertaining the ego[rat]. meditation is really the lack of ego, lack of a person inside. one cannot entertain the ego with a method and at the same time "try" to enter the realm of meditation. one cannot give this "ego" a reality and then think that one will eventually vanquish it.

All methods we use are artificial "owner-fed, tamed cats" ! They cannot catch the rat. for killing the rat, we need to get to the most natural and simple being, abidance ... Self.

Do you see this ? It is we who think there is a "real" ego ... and then try to "fight it" ... its like fighting with vaali in ramayan. we give it strength by treating it as real and then it wins. ego is a myth. please tell me ... where is me ?

body has no sense of me : deho na janati
awareness is pure witness.
and inbetween there are discrete thoughts ... where am i ?

thoughtlessly there cannot be a suffering .... and its such a wonder that discrete and momentary thoughts can create a sense of incompleteness or bondage that remains or stays !! what a wonder ! The point is ... its we who give it a reality by meditating on those momentary thoughts and creating a sense of "I" that seems to be "there" ! There is none !

Nothing to do, nowhere to go !

Love!
Silence

27
जब मैं था तब हरी नहीं, अब हरी है मैं नाही |
सब अँधियारा मिट गया, दीपक देखा माही ||

Sri Kabir

When the mundane 'I' was there, there Hari (God) was not. Now Hari alone Is, and mundane 'I' has disappeared. When I saw the Light (Deepak) within, all darkness vanished and was not seen anymore. (Trans. by me)


:) Beautiful. Shared on my facebook as well.

28
Dear Anil ji,
       :)

Quote
"chupai chup n hovee jae laae rehaa liv thaar ||
By remaining silent, inner silence is not obtained, even by remaining lovingly absorbed deep within."

usually we look at silence as absence of sounds. When we look at silence in contrast to sound, we are still stuck in the realm of duality.
This is with reference to the physical silence. We all agree to this.
But often, we take mental silence to be the true "inner silence" !
If we observe carefully, we are still contrasting between "mental movements vs lack of mental movements" . that is still duality.
please see...
True inner silence is neither physical silence, nor mental silence, its that Awareness in whose presence physical and mental silence keep appearing and disappearing.

To put it in more technical terms: there are two kinds of samadhi ... citta samadhi is what people often talk about. citta samadhi means lack of thoughts  ... there is another kind of samadhi called cit samadhi, which means to abide in Awareness ... there ... the body continues as it is, mind continues as it is ... and this is true silence ... its not disturbed by thoughts , nor is it disturbed by sounds ! :)

True jnana is not to "control" , "vanquish" or even "kill" mind ... true jnana is to recognize that mind is a mirage , unreal , like a snake seen on a rope ... and then one makes no attempt to stop the snake from moving, nor does one try to get rid of the snake.

This kind of silence, which is undisturbed restufulness in the presence and absence of thoughts is not obtained by inner absorption ... its one's true nature ... one may discover it through total self surrender or more precisely right knowledge.

Love!
Silence

29
Dear Anil ji,
    :) Japji sahib is a song, a chant in sikh religion.
you can listen to this here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbftHnxqUfk&t=13s

And the text can be found here :

https://www.allaboutsikhs.com/jupji-sahib/learn-jupji-sahib-onlinemool-mantra-a-pauri-1-2

Its about pure grace of God. with interspersed statements that we cannot grasp him with our intellect and mind.

The reason i pointed out this to you is because you seem to be enjoying sant kabir's sayings [as even i do a lot.]. Guru granth sahib has lot of his sayings ... this is what wiki has to say :
Bhagat Kabir (Gurmukhi: ਭਗਤ ਕਬੀਰ) was a Devotee and Spiritual Poet lived in Uttar Pardesh, India. He was a strict monotheist and follower, probably founder, of Gurmat. In Guru Granth Sahib, There are 227 Padas in 17 ragas and 237 slokas of Kabir.


sample: :) -- to make you more curious

sochai soch n hovee jae sochee lakh vaar ||
By thinking, He cannot be reduced to thought, even by thinking hundreds of thousands of times.

chupai chup n hovee jae laae rehaa liv thaar ||
By remaining silent, inner silence is not obtained, even by remaining lovingly absorbed deep within.

naanak hukamai jae bujhai th houmai kehai n koe ||2||
O Nanak, one who understands His Command, does not speak in ego. ||2||

[i would replace hukamai with not command but "by his grace" ]

Love!
Silence     

30
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.

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