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Topics - Subramanian.R

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151
General topics / Sri Achuthanantha Adigal:
« on: January 04, 2016, 12:58:53 PM »
(An article by K.Achudananda and translated by S.V. Venkataraman, in Mountain Path,  July-Sept.  2015.)

Sri Achuthanantha Adigal, the noted musician saint visited Bhagavan, or Brahmana Swamigal, as he
was then known, while Bhagavan was in Gurumoortham.  He was a well known spiritual teacher at the     
time and it was said that he had more than a thousand disciples in the Polur area, just north of Tiruvannamalai, when he came to offer his respects to Bhagavan.  Though an important and respected swami, he personally massaged Bhagavan's legs.  When the disciples accompanying him attempted to touch Bhagavan, he warned them not to: 'Beware this is a Hill of Fire (the fire of eternal wisdom)'.

Sampath Giri Brahma Peedam Saint Achuthanantha Adigal was born in a Balija Naidu family in Polur in
North Arcot District.  Abbaju Naidu was his childhood name. Although details of his birth or his parent's
name could not be traced, at the time of the Nirvana or Videha Kaivalyam of Swamigal in 1903, one of
his relatives reported his age to be 53.  We may therefore conclude that he was born around 1850.

Abbaju lost his revered father during his boyhood, and was brought up by his mother. When he was
put to school, he was older than the other boys in the class. He was a bright child and surprised his
teachers by learning two languages, Tamizh and Telugu, exceptionally well to the level of an expert.
He grew to be a young man of good conduct, upright behavior and uninterrupted devotion to Lord Rama.
On seeing the qualities of her son, his mother was very pleased but did not live to see him flower into
a blissful Saint.  She died when he was still fairly young.  Being deeply attached to his mother, Abbaju
found her loss unbearable.  However, time healed this loss, and he eventually became a school teacher
in Polur, living a frugal life on a meagre salary.

During this period he reached out to various poets and pundits learned about literature and grammar
and developed his poetic skills.  He also acquired some knowledge of Sanskrit.  He became an expert
in music too, and left his position as a school teacher to start a Bhajan Mandir where he installed a small
idol of Lord Rama, and started to worship the Lord. He wrote hundreds of keerthanas  and stotras on
Lord Rama.  He also wrote Prahladha Charithram, Dhruva Charithram, and Sakkubai Charithram;
and gave musical discourses that won the hearts of his listeners.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

 

152
General Discussion / Shadow and Substance -
« on: January 02, 2016, 11:14:30 AM »
(An article by I.S. Madugula in Oct. -Dec. 2015 issue of MShntain Path)

Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.

- Macbeth, V.v. 24-27.


Shadow is the opposite of substance.  The longest life is yet insubstantial.  It is but a hallucination.
It is just as Shakespeare says:

All the world is a stage
And all the men and women merely players
They have their exits and their entrances
And one man in his time plays many parts.

(As You Like It, II, viii.)

But where there is shadow, there has got to be a substance in  some way, shape, or form --
or even in a totally formless manner.

The Shadow:

A definition of shadow is 'something insubstantial or fleeting.  Insubstantial means that it lacks
substance, reality, though it looks real in some ways.  Shadow also refers to something that attaches
itself to something real.  No matter how you look at it, shadow is unreal, with no existence of its own.
Thus it is not worth paying attention to because, if you do, then you are losing track of the substance
and wasting your time on a useless pursuit. 

Examples in life are aplenty. Just about every activity we engage in seems futile in an ultimate sense,
though there might appear to be an immediate justification.  Not only that, some activities could be
disastrous even in the short run.  As humans, we tend to follow a routine from the time we are born.
Education, marriage, children, job, retirement, -- then the end.  Things are never uniformly nice.
There is failure, disease, desperation.  Even when all goes well, what do we have to show for our lives?
Have we found the 'meaning of life', whatever it means?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
           

153
General Discussion / Channels of Grace - A Tribute:
« on: January 02, 2016, 10:50:38 AM »
(This is an article by Neelam Dewan in Mountain Path,  April-June 2015.)

Introducing Baba and Amma:

I would like to pay tribute to my parents Air Marshall Gian Dev Sharma and Mrs.  Kamla Sharma, while
at least one of them is alive.  Amma passed on in 2012 at the age of 91.  In February 2012, we were
here at the Asramam as usual and by June she was gone.  Baba, my father completed 93 years in
September 2014  by His grace, and is still visiting the Asramam. 

They have been regular visitors to Sri Ramanasramam since 1950, arriving just a few months after
Maharshi left His body.  Their introduction to Arunachala are stories themselves.  It was Mr. Bose
- 'Dadu' - (of Bose Compound opposite the Asramam) who made them aware in Bangalore of His
Divine Presence.  Baba was posted there at the time.  Mr. Bose was a dear friend and through him
they read a lot of Maharshi Ramana's teachings and were greatly influenced.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

154
General Discussion / The Law of Karma:
« on: December 31, 2015, 04:38:42 PM »
(The Editorial of Mountain Path, Jan. Mar.2015)


The law of karma should not be mistaken for retribution. The law in principle describes the impersonal
forces of action and their results.  Action is infinitely varied.  No two actions, no two moments in time
are the same.Each moment is unique.  What is consistent throughout each and every action is the indubitable
fact that there will be consequence, whether it is sooner or later is secondary to the primary act. The law is
meant to give us guidelines, not deliberately punish us.

The universe is a mixture of three catalysts called gunas, sattva, rajas and tamas which describe the
mechanics of karma.  Sattva uplifts our consciousness.

We have a choice between patterns of behavior and thought and feeling, between habits that lead to
happiness and understanding or misery and enslavement to the whims of an ignorant mind and heart.
Happiness is the result of a pure mind that cultivates peace and harmony, it lets go of negativity and
resentment.  Misery moves in the opposite direction. It nurtures antipathy and anger.  It corrupts the
mind and heart.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

155
General Discussion / The Written Word:
« on: December 31, 2015, 03:29:49 PM »
(Editorial - Mountain Path, April-June 2015)

Inevitably, over time, the initial impact and power of a written teaching in any tradition is diminished
by changes in the meaning of words.  Think of the Gospels about Jesus.  The hadiths attributed to
the prophet Mohammed.  Arthur Osborne once said that any religion starts to disintegrate from the
moment of its inception.  The high point is when the Master is there.

However, well meaning a commentator may be, there is still a diminution of the original content.
The situation is complex when enough without the added ingredient of translation into another language.
And there are the usual squabbles as to what the teacher really meant.  The history of the teachings
of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi is no different. 
 
Devotees  are faced with the challenge as to what Bhagavan meant and what are the implications and
consequences  of what He wrote and said.  Bhagavan was born and raised a south Indian  Tamizh
Brahmin. He grew up with all perspectives and persuasions that that involves.  Yet it would be a mistake
to think that if one acted like Tamizhian, spoke the language and wore a kaupina that one would understand
the teachings He gave.  Quite the contrary, it would be just as much an impediment as an advantage.
We are seeking the essence of what Bhagavan wrote and taught, not the package when it came.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
     

156
Invocation:

1.  I prostrate myself before Govinda*, the perfect teacher, who is absorbed always in the highest state
of bliss.  His true nature cannot be known by senses or the mind.  It is revealed only through knowledge
of the scriptures.

(*Govinda Bhagavadpata, Sri Sankara's Guru)


Greatness of Abiding in Brahman: 

2.  It is hard for any living creature to achieve birth in a human form.  Strength of body and will
are even harder to obtain.  Purity is even harder still.  Harder even than these is the desire to live
a spiritual life.  And an understanding of the scriptures is hardest of all.  As for discrimination between
the Atman and the non Atman, for direct perception of the Atman itself, for continuous union with
Brahman, and final liberation - these cannot be obtained except through the merits of a hundred
billion well lived lives.

3. Only through God's grace, may we obtain those three rarest advantages -- human birth, the longing
for liberation, and disciple-ship to an illumined teacher.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

157
Health & Welfare Issues / The Law of Karma:
« on: December 29, 2015, 05:05:42 PM »
(The editorial of Mountain Path, Jan.-March. 2015)


The law of karma should not be mistaken for retribution.  The law in principle describes the impersonal
forces of action and their results.  Acton is infinitely varied.  No two actions, no two moments in time
are the same.  Each moment is unique.  What is consistent throughout each and every action is the
indubitable fact there will be a consequence, whether it is sooner or later is secondary to the primary
act.  The law is meant to give us guidelines, not deliberately punish us. 

The universe is a mixture of three catalysts called gunas, sattva, rajas, and tamas, which describe
the mechanics of karma.  Sattva uplifts our consciousness; rajas institutes actions per se and is neutral
while tamas invites ignorance and weakens our consciousness.

We have a choice between patterns of behavior and thought and feeling, between habits that lead to
happiness and understanding or misery and enslavement to the whims of an ignorant mind and heart.
Happiness is the result of a pure mind that cultivates peace and harmony, it lets go of negativity and
resentment.  Misery moves in the opposite direction; it nurtures antipathy and anger.  It corrupts
the mind and the heart.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

158
General Discussion / Bhagavan is everywhere.
« on: December 28, 2015, 11:41:50 AM »
(This is the editorial of Mountain Path, Oct-Dec.2015:)


*

The most wonderful consequence that comes from being aware of Bhagavan's presence is the realization
that He is accessible everywhere.  As we go through life like a trapeze artists at the whim of fate
it is reassuring to know that the safety net is always there to catch us if we fall. How else one can
explain the unmistakable experience of Bhagavan's Grace, regardless of wherever we may be in the
world?  Such incidents are so common, be it in the waking state or the dream world, that it no longer
surprises us but confirms His omnipresence.  The implication is that there are no barriers in time and
space to what we call the presence of Bhagvavan. That presence is ever available like the very air we
breathe.

There is an interesting discussion about Bhagavan's pervasiveness which gives us some idea of how
may boost the frequency of these surprising epiphanies:

contd.,


Arunachala Siva.         

159
Today is Sri Bhagavan's 136th Year Jayanti, birthday.  He was born in  the year 1880 at 2.15 am.
on 30th-31st December.  His birth star was Punarvasu.

There will be special abhishekam, alankaram and arti for Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam today.
This will be followed by a lunch with sweets and special dishes.  There will also be some special
programs.  Once when I had been at the Asramam, there was music performance by A.R. Natarajan's
daughters and also singing of Tevarams with qualified persons.     

There will be quite a crowd today in the Asramam.

Arunachala Siva.

160
General topics / The Self as a Gooseberry in the Palm of the Hand.
« on: December 25, 2015, 02:27:40 PM »
This article is from Jan-Mar.2015 by V.S.Krishnan:


Around the 8th century, when dark clouds of ignorance overshadowed this land, spiritual values
had declined and the people were looking for direction and guidance, a powerful spiritual leader
emerged from the South, like the sun radiating brilliant rays of knowledge. He was Lord Siva,
embodied as man, descended to earth in order to light the lamp of Jnana.  He manifested as a guru
to the whole universe (Jagad Guru) and a guru for all time. He revealed the truth as expounded
in the Vedas and Upanishads.  Renouncing the world as a young boy, he soon realized  his identity
with Brahman itself.  Being ever established in the non dual Self, he became the very embodiment
of Advaita, the philosophy that he expounded.  He dispelled the prevalent wrong notions of religion,
condemned various schools of spurious thought and brought about an unmistakable spiritual awakening
among the people of India.  This remarkable personage was Adi Sankara, the Acharya who lived a         
few short years but whose glory will be extolled as long as humanity lives.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

161
General topics / Vaikunta Ekadasi - 21.12.2015
« on: December 21, 2015, 10:56:37 AM »
Today is Vaikunta Ekadasi.  This Ekadasi is considered to be the most important one.

I have no right to write about it.  I am eating as usual because of my diabetic problem.

My wife fasts the whole day.


I request Atmavichar to write  about Vaikunta Ekadasi.


Arunachala Siva.

162
General Discussion / Sleep and Recuperation -
« on: December 17, 2015, 03:27:06 PM »
This is an article by M.R. Kothandaram, in April - June 2015 of Mountain Path.

*

Sleep is very important for the recovery of the body and mind which get tired due to the activities of
the day.  The various organs of the body function due to the life energy or prana shakti flowing
through them.  This life energy is very subtle unlike the energy coming from the intake of carbo-
hydrates which is the physical energy required for our activities.  When we are sick, the life energy
is low because all the energy is utilized for fighting the infection. That is why we feel weak and we need
to rest.  If we are active even during sickness, the life energy will not be sufficient to fight the infection
and thus the recovery will be slow.  That is why the doctor advises us to take rest during sickness.

A major portion of the life energy (about 75%) is taken up by the body for the purpose of maintaining
the metabolic routine like digestion, respiration, transporting nutrients to where they are needed,
elimination of waste products, cell building and conversion of food into juice, blood, tissues, bone,
marrow and vital fluid  -- in that order. In this manner continuous conversion and manufacture are
constantly going on within the body which requires a lot of life energy.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

163
Verse 1:


ஆதியும் அந்தமும் இல்லா அரும்பெருஞ்
    சோதியை யாம்பாடக் கேட்டேயும் வாட்டடங்கண்
மாதே வளருதியோ வன்செவியோ நின்செவிதான்
    மாதேவன் வார்கழல்கள் வாழ்த்திய வாழ்த்தொலிபோய்
வீதிவாய்க் கேட்டலுமே விம்மிவிம்மி மெய்ம்மறந்து
    போதா ரமளியின்மேல் நின்றும் புரண்டிங்ஙன்
ஏதேனு மாகாள் கிடந்தாள்என் னேயென்னே
    ஈதேஎந் தோழி பரிசேலோ ரெம்பாவாய்.(1)


O lass with bright and long eyes !
Having hearkened To our hymning the rare and immense Flame That is without beginning or end,
will you slumber on?
Are your ears so hard of hearing?
As the sound Of the benedictory words in praise of the God of gods Who wears long anklets,
wafted over the street,
She sobbed and sobbed,
rolled down from her Flower-bestrewn bed and lay hapless on the floor,
In a trance.
What may this be?
Aye,
what may this be?
Lo,
this indeed is her true nature;
Empaavaai !

( I request Mr. Ravi to write about Tiruppavai.)
 
Arunachala Siva.

164
General Discussion / Bhagavan, Now and to Come
« on: December 16, 2015, 01:07:47 PM »
(Editorial of Mountain Path, July - Sept. 2015)

One of the challenges those of us who are devotees of Sri Ramana Maharshi will face in the years to come,
is the inevitable evolution of the accepted history of Bhagavan and the question of what is true and what is
patently false.  As the years pass through who were witness to Bhagavan's life during His physical sojourn
on this earth, are disappearing.  One day there will be no one with direct experience of what it was like to
be in Bhagavan's physical presence and therefore there will inevitably be no one with direct authority to
refute false impressions and stories, which inevitably circulate as people, for their own reasons, conjure
up images of Bhagavan by creatively reworking stories about Him according to their own bias or, however
well meaning, explain what Bhagavan really meant. 

In the previous  editorial we discussed Bhagavan's written words as the final authority.  In this editorial
we deliberate on Sri Ramana Mharshi the physical man and His spiritual legacy and what history
will make of it, for it will more than likely change and probably be misrepresented. The future will
alter it and appropriate what is convenient for its own purposes.  It will also give well meaning future,
commentators the chance to degrade the purity of the teaching and the person of Sri Ramana Maharshi,
not out of malice but because they do not any better and cannot see beyond their own limited
horizon.  The perception of Bhagavan will change with time according to the needs of the zeitgeist.
There is the danger that Bhagavan will become superhuman that it will make us feel it is impossible
to walk in His footsteps.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

165
General Discussion / The Alchemy of Sri Bhagavan:
« on: December 14, 2015, 03:53:08 PM »
This is an article by Pingali Surya Sundaram,  in Mountain Path, Jan-Mar. 2015.

The year was 1984.  Two very significant events of my life occurred that year.

The first was some time in the month of February, I was at Madras, where I spent a little over
two decades by then).  And I used to regularly attend the weekend talks of Sri J. Krishnmurti,
who usually visited Madras during the winter months. One evening (when there was no talk),
Krishnaji was about to go by car to the nearby beach.  The car was waiting for him in the portico.
At a distance of about 15 yards, some twenty five of us stood in a semi circle to have the darshan
of the seer. Krishnaji came down the steps and was about to step into the car but he looked in our
general direction and instead of getting into the car, walked towards us.  He stopped just in front
of me.  I reverentially joined my palms in a namaskaram while my eyes closed involuntarily. He
clasped my hands at which I opened my eyes.  He said gently. 'Don't  have so much respect for me.
Sir, I am nobody.'  Saying  that he let go his clasp and after casting a  deep, penetrating look at me
walked back to the car.  Needless to say, all of us assembled there was so astonished at his modesty
and courtesy.           

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

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