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Messages - Graham

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Forum advice, news & etiquette / Re: Tolerance
« on: October 28, 2012, 06:29:41 PM »
Dear All,

From the Vidya Gita of Sri Tripura Rahasya:

1-20. "I shall now relate to you an ancient sacred story. On one occasion very long ago there was a very distinguished gathering of holy saints collected in the abode of Brahma, the Creator, when a very subtle and sublime disputation took place. Among those present were Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata, Vasishta, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Brighu, Atri, Angiras, Pracheta, Narada, Chyavana, Vamadeva, Visvamitra, Gautama, Suka, Parasara, Vyasa, Kanva, Kasyapa, Daksha, Sumanta, Sanka, Likhita, Devala and other celestial and royal sages. Each one of them spoke of his own system with courage and conviction and maintained that it was better than all the rest. But they could reach no conclusion and so asked Brahma: 'Lord! We are sages who know all about the world and beyond, but each one's way of life differs from that of the others because the dispositions of our minds differ. Some of us are always in Nirvikalpa Samadhi, some engaged in philosophical discussions, some sunk in devotion, some have taken to work, and others seem exactly like men of the world. Which is the best among us? Please tell us. We cannot decide ourselves because each thinks that his way is the best.'

"Thus requested, Brahma seeing their perplexity answered: 'Best of saints! I also would like to know. There is Parameswara who is the All-knower. Let us go and ask him.' Collecting Vishnu on their way, they went to Siva. There the leader of the deputation, Brahma, asked Siva about the matter. Having heard Brahma, Siva divined the mind of Brahma and understood that the rishis were wanting in confidence and so that any words of his would be useless. He then said to them, 'Hear me, Rishis! Neither do I clearly see which is the method. Let us meditate on the Goddess - Her Majesty Unconditioned Knowledge - we shall then be able to understand even the subtlest of truths by Her Grace.' On hearing these words of Siva, all of them, including Siva, Vishnu and Brahma, meditated on Her Divine Majesty, the Transcendental Consciousness pervading the three states of life (waking, dream and sleep). Thus invoked, She manifested in Her glory as the Transcendental Voice in the expanse of pure consciousness. ........

In the Uddhava Gita of Srimad Bhagavatham, Lord Krishna says:

“The three divisions of the Veda are really meant to convey the truth that Brahman, the Supreme Reality, is the Self of all. The Vedic texts say things which are not what they appear to be on the surface: they are thus most difficult to understand, being as vast and as unfathomable as the ocean. Presided over by Me, the infinite Brahman of infinite powers, the Veda is perceived by the wise as Anahata sound in all beings, like the fibre in a lotus stalk. The true meaning of what it reveals, explains, interrogates and refutes, is known to no one but Me.


My comment:

There are always going to be disputes, this is a fact of life.

Each of us has come by different routes to the spiritual path and each of us will have found some things beneficial and others not so beneficial. It is only upon reaching the final state that one is able to perceive unity in all.

Tolerance does not imply subservience but acceptance that there are differing views as to what is helpful and what is not, likewise each will interpret things according to their current mindset and the mind is the most devious of all things and even dangerous to sadhana at times.

I learned a long time ago not to trust the mind, because it has a habit of only seeing what it wants to see and becoming obsessed with words - this is the failing of the fanatic and the fundamentalist, who build a fortress of words without foundations.

Many years ago when first starting out I read all of the ashram publications and thought I knew everything, it was only later in the 1990's when I transferred them all to digital format and had to read every single word carefully, that I realised I had not actually read them at all properly. The mind had conveniently skipped over or forgotten that which it did not like.

As Lord Krishna stated above, there are hidden meanings in all scripture, including the teachings of the saints and sages. They are hidden for very good reason and when you do glimpse the hidden meanings the light of truth floods in and it is usually by accident or crisis that this truth and understanding dawns.

Friendly disputes can lead to greater understanding from within by forcing reflection upon otherwise rigid views.


Forum advice, news & etiquette / Re: Dattaswami - banned from this site
« on: October 28, 2012, 05:38:49 PM »
Dear Hari,

Whoever this person was, he was a total nuisance, he flooded every thread and topic with endless rhetoric, repeated on page after page. If I recall correctly he posted up to 60 very long pages a day, all of them starting with 'Dattaswami says this'.

Whether it was Dattaswami himself or some crank follower who was doing the posting, it was obvious that they were using this forum as a promotional tool for this fellow.

This forum is not about his immense ego, however knowledgeable he might be.


Security Issues / Re: Stealing password or something else?
« on: October 28, 2012, 07:02:02 AM »
Dear Members,

The server/software for this forum is very secure. Passwords are stored in highly encrypted format in a database behind a very secure firewall. I have unrestricted access to the database, but even I cannot retrieve passwords because I do not have the decrypt key.

The default information that is stored in the database about users is restricted to the username, password, email address and IP from which they log in each time. If you update your profile then that information is also kept until such time as 'you' change or delete it.

We do not have any information about users other than that which is absolutely necessary for the forum to function.


When you first log in a 'session cookie' is created, this remains on your computer during your current session and is automatically deleted when you click on 'log out' or you close your browser. This cookie is required to permit you to 'post' and to navigate the forum without having to log in again.

No other cookies are created unless you choose to 'be remembered on this computer' ... meaning your computer ... where the cookie is stored. If you choose this option (as most people do), then every time you visit this forum you are automatically logged in at that time.

We do not employ any form of tracking cookie, other than the temporary session cookie mentioned earlier.

If you do not choose 'log out' or close your browser when leave the site, you will remain logged in as far as your browser is concerned and you will see your name as 'active' if you revisit the site.

In actual fact as soon as you leave the site you are automatically removed from the 'active' list, because the forum server has no link to your computer and cannot see the session cookie without your returning to the site.

I hope this clarifies any doubts you may have.


Health & Welfare Issues / Re: Microwave Radiation Dangers In Your Home
« on: April 28, 2012, 04:26:50 PM »
Dear Nagaraj,

This subject has been bothering me for some time now. I have noticed over the past 10 years how so many people, who previously had good memories have become totally forgetful and easily distracted.

Perhaps the digital age itself is partly to blame, because in these days of instant communication memory is not required as much (most of it in my experience being unnecessary chatter), but I am almost sure that the radiation from these towers is not helping matters.

I was told that some westerner brought a detector from the west and measured the output from the towers. According to the story I was told, they were either 1600 or 16,000 times the radiation level permitted in the west.

We are all being slowly cooked from the outside by the sun and the inside by the microwaves.

Let us hope that it improves.


There are many brands of bottled water in India and there have probably been just as many scandals as there are brands.

For the past five years I have been purchasing Bisleri in the plastic 12 litre and now 10 litre cans at the rate of four or five per week here in Tiruvannamalai.

In previous years there would occasionally be a bad one, but the last 12 months has been exceptional in that the rate of bad and/or stinking water has grown from perhaps 2% five years ago to a minimum of 50% and sometimes even reaches 100% today.

Is this surprising for a company that prides itself on its green credentials and advertises that it cares about its products. Being located in India the answer is unfortunately 'no'.

I have lodged complaints for the past six months with no response, let alone change and the problem continues to get worse. Bisleri clearly does not care about its products.

So my advice is to avoid Bisleri at all costs until such time as this company sorts its problems out and delivers what it promises rather than the pack of lies it is delivering at the moment.

Every commentary is coloured by the views of the author. We have only to look at the diverse translations of classic works to see how different authors have emphasised or changed the parts they prefer; some indeed have built their own religious dogma based upon a single verse.

I remember reading a quote somewhere (paraphrased here) "The amount of truth in any work cannot be greater than the amount of truth in the author".

Dear ksksat27 and Nagaraj,

The extract below is from the Srimad Bhagavatham. This should serve to remove your doubt.


The Lord’s Avataras

“When the Lord decided to create, He assumed a form and became the Purusha (the First Person). While the Purusha was reclining on the causal waters, immersed in Yoga samadhi, a lotus sprang from His navel which gave birth to Brahma, from whom all beings were born. The Purusha, known by the name of Narayana (stretched on the water), is perceived by the yogis as possessing thousands of heads, of eyes, of arms, of feet, etc., and is the seed of all avataras (divine incarnations).

“In His first incarnation Lord Narayana was the four Kumaras, the eternal celibates who remained actionless, immersed in the quest of their true Self. In His second He was the divine Boar, who lifted up the earth from the bottom of the sea to make it a dwelling place for all creatures. He was the celestial Rishi Narada in His third avatara to preach the Vaishnava Gospel (the Pancharatra), which shows the way of doing action without involving oneself into bondage. His fourth descent was the Rishis Nara and Narayana who practise penance in Badari (Badrinath).

“In His fifth He was Lord Kapila who founded the Sankhya philosophical system which preaches the twenty-five fundamental principles or categories in manifestation. When Atri, one of the seven ancient Rishis (saptarishis) who has transcended the gunas, prayed for a son, the Lord responded by, ‘I shall give Myself as a son to you,’ and was born as the famous Dattatreya, teacher of the science of the Self to King Alarka, Prahlada, Parasurama, and others in his sixth descent.

“In His seventh He held the office of Indra. In His eighth manifestation He was Lord Rishabha, and in His ninth Prithu who sprang from Vena’s arm. His tenth was Matsya (fish) avatara, and His eleventh Kurma (tortoise), when the devas and asuras churned the Ocean of Milk to extract nectar from it. Next He was Dhanvantari, who carried the jar of the nectar so extracted. In His thirteenth He appeared as the charming Mohini, who saved the nectar for the gods alone. His fourteenth avatara was the Man-lion (Narasimha), who killed Hiranyakasipu, and His fifteenth the dwarf Vamana. Next He took birth as Parasurama to subdue the arrogant Kshatriyas. He became the great Vyasa, son of Parasara and Satyavati, in His seventeenth descent. In His eighteenth He was Sri Rama, the hero of the great Ramayana epic, and in His nineteenth Sri Balarama, the elder brother of Sri Krishna, to work with Him as the twentieth full descent (Whose full story is the main theme of this Bhagavata as told by Sri Suka in Book Ten, q. v.)

“In the twenty-first the Lord will be born in this Kali age in Maghada as the Buddha, and in the twenty-second as Lord Kalki, towards the end of Kali, when kings will lose their royal dharma and rob the people whom they had vowed to protect from robbers.

As countless rivers flow from an ocean that never goes dry, so countless are the descents of the Lord, of which some are major, like Rama, Krishna, etc., but most are minor amsas (rays, so to say) from His supreme radiance. All these gross manifestations of the Lord, Who is by nature formless, bodiless consciousness, are the creation of Maya, from Mahat (the Cosmic Mind) downward, and superimposed on Him, their Witness. The ignorant take them as the Witness Himself. Beyond this material form there is the subtle body of the Lord, which is constituted of the undeveloped gunas, and which cannot be seen nor heard.

If you don't like the default theme for the forum (colours, layout, etc.) you can always change it for another theme.

To accomplish this - after login select 'Profile' from the menu above or to the left, then under 'Modify Profile' select 'Look and Layout'.

The first item in the list is 'Current Theme:' followed by a name and (Change) inside brackets. Click on 'change' and then scroll down the list of installed themes. You have two choices:

[Use this theme]
[Preview theme]

Preview the theme first as not all will work the same in every browser. When you are happy select 'Use this Theme'

If you prefer a menu to the left rather than the default horizontal menu, simply click on the the '<<' double arrows to the right of the top menu.

The default theme is called Headline and this has been modified for anyone to use.

The Grasslands theme has now been modified


Cautionary advice / Re: Rape and Robbery at Arunachala
« on: March 01, 2011, 06:54:14 PM »
Dear Adam,

In your quote it states: The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their prarabdhakarma ....

It does not say: The fate of souls 'is' in accordance with their prarabdhakarma ....

I recommend that you read Talk number 244 in "Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi"

I learned about this initiative for the first time today - a very welcome addition to the web.

Go to

Cautionary advice / Purchase of property by Foreign Nationals
« on: January 24, 2011, 07:39:04 AM »
Elsewhere on my sites I have dealt in depth with the rules governing the purchase of immovable property by Foreign Nationals.

Despite the cautionary advice requesting people to obey the laws of India, there are those who feel that their desire to own property in Tiruvannamalai somehow nullifies the law. They of course find out differently.

However, I am now informed that the registration offices in Tiruvannamalai district have employed people whose sole job is to investigate foreign nationals and NRI's who try to register property in their name - it is about time that this happened, far too many people have been coerced into breaking the law by unscrupulous people, helped in no short measure by equally unscrupulous lawyers. Most lose both their money and property.

For those who want to do it legally, the RBI website answers most of the questions - go here

What it does not tell you, is that you CANNOT purchase property even if you hold a resident's permit which is based upon a TOURIST VISA. You have to have applied for and been granted an 'X' visa, plus Resident's Permit and Visa Extension approved by the Central Government. You have to reside in India for at least 182 consecutive days in the tax year prior to the year of purchase and be classed as a resident at the time of purchase.

There are provsions for Business Visa holders, but the majority of those who come to Tiruvannamalai do not come here on business.

Please obey the laws of India and be safe. You are far better off renting property.

Graham (Admin)

General topics / Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« on: December 10, 2010, 04:56:54 AM »
When I was 16 or 17 years old, an Indian friend of my mother travelled to India to collect some herbs to cure my mother of cancer which was ravaging her body. He told her that they came from a holy mountain and would therefore cure her, but never mentioned the name (my mother could not take the bitter herbs so they were never put to the test). I was intrigued and dismissive that anyone could think of a mountain as holy.

This event stirred something in me, a fascination for India began to develop, but I still did not believe that a lump of rock could be considered holy and that attitude continued even after I read about and became a devotee of Bhagavan years later.

Slowly that attitude mellowed over time, but the uncertainty remained, until I actually came here in 1997 for the first time and experienced the power of this place. It is very real and very subtle at the same time, something that words cannot convey.

It is difficult for most people in the West to be passionate (in the sense of devotion/worship) about a hill of rock ... though I must say that Indians, being a more emotional and sensitive people have no such difficulties.

So my suggestion is to just sit quietly and look at a photo of the hill and you will notice something happening, though you cannot put your finger on it. There is a fascination that slowly grows deep within. Photos of other mountains may evoke the idea of majesty in your mind, but this is something quite different.


Dear Members,

I am a little dismayed by the direction this thread has taken.

Bhagavan's statement about seminal emissions should be presented in its correct context.

If I remember correctly it relates to a devotee's query concerning involuntary night emissions. The devotee who was trying to be celibate was totally distraught at the occurrence, feeling that he was unworthy to pursue sadhana and he asked Bhagavan about it.

Bhagavan responded that it had happened to Him also and that it was caused by certain foods. The devotee was completely relieved of his feelings of guilt and returned to his sadhana.

I too was suffering from the same problem at the time I came across this passage. It served to remove my own doubts also.

Whether it ever happened to Bhagavan or not is actually irrelevant, what is relevant is the power His statement has on those who suffer from this problem.

The passage containing this advice was removed from ashram publications because it was considered to be disgusting and controversial. This was a very short-sighted decision.

The statements of other great people should be considered in the same light. If Ghandi ever admitted to sleeping in the same bed with other women, then I am sure that it will have had a deeper meaning and purpose.


General topics / Re: Question on free will
« on: June 07, 2010, 08:53:33 PM »
Without free-will there could be no spiritual progress. Free-will is essential. Free-will relates to mind and not to the body.

It is said that karma/destiny is decided at the moment of birth and that what the ego/mind/body complex has to endure, it will endure, no matter how much you try to avoid it. However, we are free to identify with it or not.

In the Uddahava Gita, Lord Krishna states:


Extinction of the ‘I’-sense

“Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are the qualities of prakriti (phenomena), and not of the Self. By Sattva the other two are subdued, and Sattva by Sattva itself. From Sattva arises righteousness which inevitably leads to devotion and culminates in the realisation of the Self. Righteousness curbs unrighteousness which rises from Rajas and Tamas.”

Uddhava remarked that most men know that the sensuous pleasures are baneful in their results, inviting endless trouble, yet like dogs, donkeys and goats they heartily plunge into them, and asked why it is so. The Lord answered:

“It all begins with the perverse sense of ‘I’ rising in the heart, which causes the formidable, misery-ridden rajas to invade the mind and induce it to conceive notions of enjoyable objects and the means of enjoying them. Long brooding on the attractive features of a particular object creates an uncontrollable passion for it, which overwhelms the mind and impels irrevocable actions. Although the perception of the evil consequences of such actions is present, the impetuosity of the passion is too strong to arrest them. But the man of discrimination exerts hard to control his infatuation, and, thus, spares himself future suffering. Such a man will turn his mind to Me, away from everything else, and will be finally established in Me. This is the Yoga which I taught to Brahma in the presence of My disciples, the four Kumaras, Sanaka and his brothers.”


This clearly indicates free-will at work and the fruit of desire.

As I have said elsewhere on this forum, everyone would do well to read the Srimad Bhagavatham, which dispels all doubts about creation and Self.

That which can be objectified can be watched - awareness watches the object.

How can Awareness/Self be watched? Who is watching? It just IS.

These explanations are at the root of all errors .... 'are there two, one to watch the other'.

Self-enquiry is NOT this method. Self-enquiry is holding onto and remaining as Self/Awareness of Being. A subtle but profound difference.

Whatever can be objectified is not Self, it is just another thought, another figment of the imagination.

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