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Messages - Graham

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16
General Discussion / Re: want this book please
« on: December 10, 2014, 04:46:47 AM »
Dear Dr. Sundaram,

I asked at the ashram and it is currently being readied for reprint.

I was also told that because it is comprised of digitised images and not text, it is a very, very large file size and will not be available as an electronic version - there are limits and technicalities that would render any electronic version impractical.

Please wait for the reprint.

Graham

17
The original post and all replies on this topic have been removed in accordance with the wishes of the person in question.

Kindly desist from mentioning her name in future.

So called 'selfless service' indicates a kind heart and nothing more, there are millions of people in the world who perform such acts daily, many in the name of humanity, many in the name of religion, others because they are compelled by compassion. It is a single step in the pursuit of sadhana for others and publicizing it spoils it completely.

Graham

18
Arunachala / Re: High quality photo of Arunachala
« on: September 28, 2014, 07:11:13 AM »
Dear All,

Thank you for your support. 55 people have downloaded it in the past three days, which is encouraging.

It is not such hard work to do, software takes care of the stitching, but due to the original image size (up to 12Gb including layers) it does take several days to process it properly, even on a fast system.

For anyone who is interested, I used the Sony A77 Mk2 (ILCA MK2) with a 70-300mm Sony zoom lens for the photos.

The camera is quite brilliant and compensates for my less-than-perfect eyesight, though a few of the sections in the final composition are slightly out of focus and will be replaced when it is possible to photograph them again - currently not possible due to haze for the past few days.

Graham

19
Arunachala / High quality photo of Arunachala
« on: September 25, 2014, 05:29:30 PM »
Dear All,

I have uploaded a small version of a photo of Arunachala taken from my roof. It is a highly detailed panorama composed from 130 separate photos taken with a zoom lens.

The download size is 12.10Mb and is 65Mb when open. If you want to print it out then it measures roughly 39 inches across (100cm).

You can zoom into any part of the image and see every feature clearly (within the scope of the smaller file).

This is the link and it will be available for one month: https://app.box.com/s/ctecuxn1d6jo69cmzr36

The original is almost 7Gb in size and measures roughly 24 feet across (7m). This version will not be available for download.

I hope to be taking more like this over the coming months/years from different points around the mountain.

Graham

20
Ashrams / Re: the famous old age photo of Bhagavan info required
« on: September 03, 2014, 04:54:49 PM »
Dear Krishnan,

To correct Sri Subramanian, it is called the Welling Bust. I am not sure if the actual photographer was one G. G. Welling of Bangalore or that was just the name of the studio.

Will try to find out.


21
Dear Mark,

Why do you torture yourself like this? I suspect that it is rooted in fear, that somehow by following Advaita that you are betraying Jesus.

The old testament is full of 'blood and thunder' as an old friend once said to me, the new testament is full of hope and light, but neither can lead you to the truth. They can perhaps help you to become a better person or an infinitely worse person, even positively demoniacal, depending upon your interpretation.

Advaita leads only inward and guides you to the ultimate truth which you have to Realize yourself. The gurus are there only to give you that inward push.

No doubt Jesus did the same with his close disciples, but such teaching has either been lost or suppressed, though the so-called Gnostic teachings of Jesus are pure advaita.

When you are able to accept the core of all religions 'that there is only One from which everything arose and into which everything will resolve' then your difficulty will evaporate.

It is the feeling of duality that causes the problem and all organised religions depend/survive on that principle of duality. Without it, the 'church (generic term)' will lose its relevance and disappear, so it is in their interest to promote guilt and fear in the religious in order to retain power over others, even to the extent of committing atrocities.

In reality there is nothing to stop you from continuing with your Christian faith and practicing self-enquiry at the same time. You are in fact far better off following that course, rather than torturing yourself over who is right or who is wrong - why do you even care?

Is there anything in the Bible or any other religious book that says 'do not practice self-enquiry', 'do not seek the Self'? Christ said 'seek and ye shall find' 'the light is so close you miss it' 'you are all Gods'.

How many clues do you need?  At the right time all of this will drop away.

Graham

22
Ashrams / Re: Dress code at Ashram?
« on: June 24, 2014, 11:31:09 AM »
Dear kaleido,

The dress code at the ashram is basically 'modesty is best'. This is for the safety of ladies in India as well reducing distraction for those with less-disciplined minds.

You should cover your lower portion with loose clothing over trousers, or by wearing a long loose dress. This is particularly important when sitting on the floor. You should also wear a loose cloth across your chest.

Wearing covering like this says a very clear 'No' to those whose minds are not on meditation or spirituality.

Walking barefoot is only 'required' inside buildings and outside the shrines at the ashram.

Graham

23
Forum Updates / Re: Transfer complete
« on: March 08, 2014, 06:13:08 AM »
Dear All,

I will look into importing topics into the current forum, but this might take some time as it requires someone who has experience with MySql and I do not have it - they also have to be sitting here in front of my computer when they do it for security reasons.

There is someone at the ashram who knows about this and when he has time he has promised to come.

Best wishes

Graham

24
Forum Updates / Re: Transfer complete
« on: March 08, 2014, 05:47:26 AM »
Dear Hari,

This version has UTF-8 as its default character set, so anything posted from now on should appear correctly.

I will need to change all previous posts to UTF-8 at a later date when we know that everything is working fine.

Graham

25
Forum Updates / Transfer complete
« on: March 08, 2014, 05:21:57 AM »
Dear All,

The forum changeover is now complete.

This forum is a clean install of the software, with the backup database from 9th February 2014 installed and should work properly now at its regular address.

It took longer than it should have done, but hopefully everything will be fine.

You can see the previous version at http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum_2/index.php if you want to move anything you posted after 9th February 2014 - you can no longer post to the old version.

If anything on THIS forum doesn't work properly then please let me know.

Graham

26
Cautionary advice / Re: Depression, despair and hopelessness in sadhana
« on: January 22, 2014, 06:35:45 AM »
Dear All,

I see that my previous response has caused some consternation. This is a difficult area and offence can easily be caused according to the perceptions of the reader. I was reluctant to reply for that very reason and now see some need for clarification of my statements regarding my perceptions.

There are three ways, karma-marga, bhakti-marga and jnana-marga.

Karma-marga requires maintenance of the idea of duality throughout life. Bhakti-marga requires it until the devotee surrenders fully and merges into the object of his devotion, whilst Jnana-marga starts with bhakti and duality, but in the end even that has to be given up.

There are innumerable methods of combining the three and each seeker will adapt according to their capabilities or needs.

The question arises whether Jnana-marga is disrespectful to the guru by discarding duality completely. My answer is that it is not, quite the reverse, because it is true surrender, viewing everything as only One, including the viewer - this does not remove the necessity of maintaining duality until the stage is reached when it can be discarded completely, nor does it imply disregarding the guru.

However, when pursuing jnana-marga I personally feel that it is very important not to confuse the satguru with the body or form, because that is a handle upon which the ego will seize and prevent any real progress on that particular path.

Bhagavan said, "when the devotee turns inwards the work of the outer guru is over and the inner guru (true guru) takes over" (paraphrased).

Yet even in the last stage of Jnana-marga there remains the final surrender to the highest power to make it complete.

So all three paths require surrender.

As to the efficacy of any method, I would recommend everyone to read and re-read the 'Vidya Gita' in Tripura Rahasya.

Graham

27
Cautionary advice / Re: Depression, despair and hopelessness in sadhana
« on: January 21, 2014, 02:26:45 PM »
Dear Anand,

You are of course right, words are easy, actions are not so easy, especially when they fly in the face of worldly experiences, doubt and apparent obstacles.

As far as I can remember Bhagavan never told anyone to have faith in Him specifically, He told them to trust Bhagavan, meaning God, Brahman, Self. Primarily because He did not identify with the body and 'is the Self of all', exactly the same as you are in truth.

Having faith in something unknown is difficult to maintain and sometimes leads to fanaticism or failure in the absence of proof, but the Self is known to everyone and Bhagavan pointed everyone to that alone. There cannot be any absence of proof in That.

Let us take my own case; I pursued this course of sadhana because something inside me compelled it. Even when I faced obstacles and setbacks I still returned, perhaps a little bruised, but nevertheless I returned with more determination each time and easily overcame new obstacles as my strength and determination grew - this is the sole purpose of failure, to nurture strength.

Does this sound familiar? It is the case with the majority of persistent devotees.

Who is guiding/compelling this? The answer is the Self, the tiger wants its prey and won't let go until it succeeds.

Self is the guru and the goal. Bhagavan Ramana simply pointed the way - He said in reply to a devotee complaining about lack of progress "I have shown the way, the rest is up to you".

If you consider Bhagavan Ramana as a body, living or dead, then you have failed to understand Him. To honour Him and everything He exemplified you have to follow his teaching with trust and faith, and to understand that He was and is the Eternal Brahman.

He left behind instructions on how to realize the Self and all you have to do is to hold on to that awareness whenever possible until the goal is reached, but that is difficult because the mind does not want to remember.

I have read somewhere that all it takes is three minutes of absolute concentration on the Self to become self-realized - for the mind to merge into its source. Three minutes only - there are 1,440 in a day, 525,600 in a year and 36,792,000 in an average 70 year lifetime (excluding leap-years), yet we can't find three continuous minutes to concentrate on the self uninterruptedly.

I spent years practicing and getting nowhere until I accepted that I lacked the concentration required. So I took up the practice of concentration until I had the requisite ability and then pursued enquiry again.

I used a method recommended by Mouni Sadhu in his book Concentration. I created a device from a broken electric alarm clock. I mounted the tiny motor on the back of a piece of white mica 18 inches square, and fitted a white mica pointer to the second hand spindle. I put a black dot at the end of the pointer and used it to concentrate on until I succeeded in holding on to the black dot for minutes on end, not allowing any thought to enter my mind, not even that of watching the dot as it smoothly made its way around the face.

It took several months of effort to reach this goal, practicing for one hour per day. The strain at first was quite high, but I learned to do it without strain and from that point onwards there was daily progress.

Once I passed the one minute point it became easier and progress after that was rapid.


Just as a carpenter or engineer needs tools, so do we, and our tools are faith in God-Guru-Self, concentration and effort.

The alternative is to remain fully ego-realized by giving up the quest, but for genuine seekers that is not an option.

Graham

28
Dear Suresh,

Being-Consciousness-Bliss or Being-Awareness-Bliss is the Self, the natural state.

I seem to recall Bhagavan being asked why it is described as such and His reply was (paraphrased), that it is beyond description, but this is as close a description as you can get due to the limitations of the mind and language.

Graham

29
General topics / Re: Facing Darkness
« on: January 05, 2014, 04:37:09 AM »
Dear hendrik2k1,

This is a good sign, not necessarily a bad one. It is a trick of the mind trying not to surrender. We all go through this.

Take a look at your life in full, at the world around you - past, present and future prospects, at the thoughts that afflict you, and then ask if that is truly the love of your life.

In reality you have three choices - first, continue with meditation until it passes, second, immerse yourself in depressive thoughts, or third, return to worldliness and the misery that brought you here in the first place.

Try to remember that 'every thought is meditation' and powerful repeated thoughts bring about the creation of the object of that thought, that is why Bhagavan recommends the 'who am I?' inquiry, which is pure and finally results in the highest siddhi.

No-one ever said that this was easy, this is just one more step on the ladder of attainment.

Graham

30
Dear Ravi,

The forum itself has not been changed in any way. I see the 'modify' option at the top of each post - but only when logged in.

If there is a particular post that has problems, then please send me the url.

Graham

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