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166
General Discussion / The Unreal World
« on: December 14, 2015, 11:52:14 AM »
This is an article by Geetha Ravichandran, a devotee of Sri Bhagavan.  The article is from
Mountain Path, April-June 2015.

When I began reading the works of Ramana Bhagavan, I ran into certain difficulties.  The postulate
of the world as unreal, was a serious challenge to my cherished beliefs.  In my limited understanding,
a spiritual pursuit would ideally involve doing what was right and good which would contribute to
improving the world (which was therefore real), and the condition of its inhabitants, including myself
hopefully.  The self improvement industry which churns out books, workshops, messiahs, and promises
a package deal of success in all endeavours leading to personal power and happiness, had me firmly
in its grip. Therefore considering the world as unreal was beyond me.  Bhagavan has emphasized the
absolute necessity of understanding the unreality of the world.  The following instructions to Sivaprakasam
Pillai are found in the work Who am I?

Q: When will the realization of the Self be gained?

A. When the world which is what-is-seen has been removed, there will be realization of the Self 
     which is the seer.

Q:  Will there not be realization of the Self even while the world is there (taken as real)?

A:  There will not be.

Q.  Why?

A.  The seer and the object seen are like rope and the snake. Just as the knowledge of the rope
     which is substrate will not arise unless the false knowledge of the illusory serpent goes, so the
     realization of the Self which is the substrate will not be gained unless the belief that the world
      is real is removed.

Q:  When will the world which is the subject seen be removed?

A:   When the mind, which is the cause of all cognitions and of all actions, becomes quiescent,
       the world will disappear.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

167
General topics / Yoga - The Science of Liberation:
« on: December 07, 2015, 03:49:56 PM »
(An article by G. Sankararaman, in Mountain Path, July-Sept 2015.)

Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Hindu Philosophy, delineating the teleological purpose
of life, that is, the freedom from the thraldom of the material process of individual existence.
The yoga system us based on the epistemology of the famous Sankhya metaphysics, according
to which the whole of existence is reduced to two basic fundamentals, the impassive Purusha,
answering to the intelligent being of existence, and the impetuous Prakriti, the unmanifest,
undifferentiated objectivity, being the potentiality of all names and forms, the entire spectrum
of existence, sentient and the insentient, organic and inorganic.  This is termed as avyakta, akshara,
pradhana, being the primary substance, the prime mover of Aristotle, of which the variegated
existence of the phenomenal beings represents all possible configurations.  This is identifiable with
the, 'alayavijnana' or the 'tatagata-dhatu', of Buddhists.           

While Prakriti is only a material and mechanical force, void of intelligence, and Purusha is a passionless
non objective awareness unmediated by the externals, that is existing for itself, the question arises,
as to the why, how and whence of creation in which all beings are implicated. The metaphysical
solution of Samkhya, the father of Yoga, for this mind-boggling question, is that by the power of
the Purusha, the energy of intelligence, Prakriti, which is in a state of equipoise, all the three primary
qualities of light, action and dullness not being opposed to each other, is set into movement.  That is,
the light of energy of intelligence falling on undifferentiated matter, the Form of Plato, all the potentiatlies
of individual existence manifest from the Mahat, the first born Cosmic Intelligence.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

168
General topics / Guru
« on: December 07, 2015, 03:24:21 PM »
(An article by John Grimes, in Mountain Path, January - March 2015.)

The word Guru literally means 'weighty', 'large', 'heavy', 'great'.

In other words, a Guru is great.  A Guru is one who is extremely great within.  A Guru is one who
is large enough to contain the entire universe.   For this reason, such a one is called Mahan (great).
Interestingly, a Sanskrit word for the Absolute (Brahman) also means 'great' from the root 'br.'
This greatness refers to that which is inward and has little to do with the qualities or qualifications
that are outwardly discernible.       

The most oft quoted etymology of the word 'guru' derives from the two syllables 'gu' (meaning darkness)
and 'ru' (remover).  Thus the Guru is that one who removes the darkness of (the disciple's) ignorance.
Another etymology of the word says, 'The first syllable 'gu' represents the principles of illusion and the
second syllable 'ru' the supreme knowledge that destroys the illusion.

Other 'creative' etymologies include 'gu' (beyond the qualities) and 'ru' (devoid of form).  The Guru is
the one who bestows the formless state that transcends the qualities.  Or again 'gu' (to sound or speak)
and 'ru' (declaring the way to behave).  Thus, the Guru is the one who speaks the Truth. 

The Mundaka Upanishad says, 'A teacher who is established in Brahman is the true Guru.  Adi Sankara's
Vivekachudamani describes the true Guru, as '.....a knower of the Self, who confers freedom from bondage...
...one who is well versed in the scriptures, taint-less, desire-less, a perfect knower, of the Absolute,
continually established in the Absolute."     

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
   

169
General Discussion / Paralleism between Scientific and Spiritual Reality:
« on: November 10, 2015, 03:58:05 PM »
An article by N.A. Mohan Rao & D. Samarender Reddy:

Mountain Path : April - June 2015:

Part I : Characteristics of Scientific Realty:   

Science and spirituality differ in what they construe as 'reality' and adopt divergent approaches
in unraveling it. Science attempts to investigate the reality of the empirical world by objective
observation and intellectual analysis.  Spirituality, by which we shall mean advaita, considers
the reality of the world to be no different from that of God and the individual, the other two
entities of the 'grand trinity' posited by it. It finds it opportune to arrive that one Reality by delving
into the reality of the individual through a kind of introversion in which the mind plays a progressively
diminishing part.  What spirituality offers to give us in the end is thus an all inclusive reality transcendent
to the mind while what science offers is an 'empirical' reality accessible to the mind.

Technology, the practical arm of science, governs very largely the way we live in today's world.
Our faith in science, therefore, takes root much before our faith in spirituality secures a foothold.
In our spiritual pursuit, we often wish to convince ourselves about some of the arguments and dogmas
that go into the postulation of spiritual reality.  In such cases, we instinctively like to see if the logicality
of these spiritual constructs stands analogous to, if not on the same footing as, that we admit in science,
which had already won our trust. If we find some such correspondence, we feel better disposed towards
the accepting the spiritual constructs.  Not all of us may be in adequate touch with science. So, we trace
below the key features of scientific reality for quick refresher.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

170
General Discussion / Laghu Vasudeva Mananam:
« on: November 04, 2015, 04:48:01 PM »
As the name implies, Laghu Vasudeva Mananam, is the condensation of a larger treatise
Vasudeva Mananam, attributed to one Vasudeva Yati who is said to have lived some three\
centuries back on the banks of the Narmada. 

Laghu Vasudeva Mananam is indeed a 'vade mecum' of Advaitic metaphysics.

The analysis is thorough, neat, precise.  The cause of all human sufferings and misery is traced,
stage by stage, to ajnana or ignorance.  And it is underlined that no word or deed can exorcise
ajnana which vanishes in toto only when the supreme knowledge dawns.


Bhagavan Ramana used to mention this book on a few occasions when the seekers ask questions.

I have therefore decided to give the important points from the book.

The contents of the book (abridged version) will appear from tomorrow.

Arunachala Siva.

171
Today is the Punarvasu star day of the month of Purattasi.  Sri Bhagavan was born on a Punarvasu
star day in the month of Margazhi.

Every Punarvasu star day is celebrated in the Asramam as a special day, with special alankaram,
pujas and arti is shown at the end for Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam.  This is followed by a good
lunch with sweets.

To remember this auspicious day, I give below the verse from Tiruch Chazhal of Muruganar's
Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai:


மற்றுவமை இல்லாத மாதவத்தான் வேங்கடவன்
அற்றவரை ஆதரிக்கும் மந்தநிறை காணேடி
அற்றவரை ஆதரிக்கும் மந்தணிறை ஆயிடில் என்
குற்றுயிரா என் நெஞ்சைக் கொன்றான் காண் சாழலோ. (Verse 1541)

The English translation of Prof. K. Swaminathan is as under:

Unique, unequaled, mighty Master,
Venkata, they say, sustains
The poor and helpless. So they  say.
But look, my heart he has pierced
And left me half dead, What is the game?


Arunachala Siva.
     
 

172
General topics / Stories about Sri Bhagavan's devotees:
« on: September 08, 2015, 07:20:49 AM »


The following are three false ideas that should be conquered before one gets into the path of Jnana.

1. I am the body.

This everyone knows. 

2. The body is mine.

The body is not mine.  It is Prakruti, Nature's property.
It can be taken away be Nature either in installments
or fully!  People lose their eyes, their limbs.  Their Heart
is transplanted.  They lose their hair and teeth at regular
intervals in parts.  This body is not ours and one should
strongly develop this conviction right from the beginning.
Once there was a brahmin priest of the Asramam.  He had
serious problems in his legs and was bed ridden.  Sri Ganesan
(eldest son of Sarvadikari) came to him and said in pity:
Sastri!  "Your leg, in Tamil, Kaal, has become like this!"
Sastri said:  "Ganesa, no problem. Mukkaal is okay, you know,
by Bhagavan's Grace!"   Kaal also means in Tamil 1/4.  Mukkaal
also means 3/4.  Sastri meant even though 1/4th was gone,
3/4/ was fine due to Bhagavan's grace!  This is the essence of
"The body is not mine - concept."

3. The body is for me.

The body is not for me. It is for the consumption of a million
viruses and bacteria.  They slowly consume the body.  I can never
claim ownership for the body.  It is for the diseases and infections.
They can take the body as and when they want.

Arunachala Siva.

173
Translations and Commentaries by Forum Members / Kaivalya Navaneetam
« on: August 16, 2015, 06:38:26 PM »
Preface:

பொன்னில மாதர் ஆசை
 பொருந்தினர் பொருந்தார் உள்ளம்
தன்னிலம் தரத்தில் ஜீவ
  சாட்சி  மாத்திரமாய் நிற்கும்
எந்  நிலங் களினும் மிக்க
 எழுநிலம் அவற்றின் மேலா
நன்னிலம் மருவும் ஏக
  நாயகன் பதங்கள் போற்றி.  (1)
   

1. Prostrations to the holy feet of the unique Lord who
like ether remains as the sole witness in the hearts of all
beings, whether they are swayed by desire for wealth, lands,
and women, or are free from such desire; and who shines as
the towering peak over the seven successive spiritual
heights,1 which are in themselves exalted over all other
planes (of mind), or in Nannilam, the holiest of the seven
holy places!



Arunachala Siva.

174
General topics / Punar vasu VaNNam - 12.08.2015.
« on: August 12, 2015, 10:20:04 AM »
Today is the Punarvasu VaNNam star day of Aadi (Ashada) month.  Sri Bhagavan was born on a punarvasu star day,
in the month of Margazhi (Dhanur) month.

This punarvasu star day is celebrated in the Asramam every month with special pujas for Sri Ramaneswara
Maha Lingam.  Arti is shown around 11 am and then a feast with delicacies follows.  The Lingam is adorned
with a golden casket, since the punarvasu star is golden in color.

I am giving a verse from Yaathirai Pathu of Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai, of Muruganar to observe this day.           

படியும் படி பார்ப்பானும் அவன்
  பார்க்கும் பார்வை தன்னோடு முப்
புடியும் தன்னுள் புலப்படுமோர்
  படிமக் கலனாப் புரிந்தெம்மை
விடியச் செய்த வேங்கடவன்
  விளங்கும் இளம் செஞ்ஞாயிற்றைக்
கடியும் கனகக் கருங்கழல்வாய்க் 
  கலக்கக் கடவீர் கடுகுமினே (Verse 751 of Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai.)



This Venkata has renewed our life
And transmuted us into a mirror reflecting
The body, the seer, the seeing, all three.
This bright sun we are bound to merge in
Through His mighty golden Feet.
Hurry up, walk faster, come.  (Verse 751 of Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai)

(Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan)

Arunachala Siva.


175
General topics / punar vasu vaNNam - 16.07.2015.
« on: July 16, 2015, 09:05:18 AM »
Today is the punarvasu day of the month of Jyeshta (Aani). 16.07.2015.  Sri Bhagavan was born on a punarvasu
day in the month of Dhanur (Margazhi). Every punarvasu day is observed as a day of celebration by the Asramam.
There will be special pujas, abhishekam, alankaram and arti for Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam in the Samadhi Hall.
This will be followed by a dinner, with delicacies., The Lingam, Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam is adorned on this
day with a golden casket, since the punarvasu star is golden in color.

I am giving a song from Yaathirai Pathu from  Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai, by Muruganar on this day.   
This is modeled on Manikkavachagar's Yathirai Pathu, of Manikkavachagar.

Verse 746 of Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai:- (Pilgrimage to Siva's Abode.)

படுமாயப் பாழ்ம் பொய்யுலகைப்
 பண்டமாக்கிப் பல புரிந்து
கொடுமா நிரயக் குழி வீழ்ந்து
 கொடியோங் களைத்தான் குறிக் கொண்டான்
அடுமாரெண்ணி அருள் வாளால்
 அவிச்சை தன்னை அரவடர்த்து
நடுவே எழுவோ நமை ஆண்ட
 ரமணன் திரு நன் நாட்டுக்கே.


As His target He has chosen
Sinners like us who trusted as true
This wholly false and empty world
And were busily active, ready to fall
Into the gaping pit of hell.
Now let us think of the way of life
Slay ignorance with sword
Of His grace and rise straight
To the zenith, to the sacred land
Of Ramana who governs us.

(Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan)

This is Verse 950 of Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai - Yathiraip Pathu:


அடியார்க்கு எளியான் அம்பலத்தான்
 அவுணர் புரம் போல் என் புரமும்
பொடியாப் பொரிந்து புன்முறுவல்
 பொங்கு முகத்தான் வேங்கடவன்
விடியா இருள் சேர் இரு வினையை
 வீட்டும் கதிர்வாள் விழி நோக்கம்
படியா நின்றார் பரந்தாமப்
 பவிசு கண்டார் படியிடத்தே.



To devotees easy of access
Is Venkata, Lord of the open space,
Whose face lights up with a smile
Because He has razed my mind as once
Hr razed the Asura's fort.  Those on whom
Has fallen His grace, the shining sword
Destroying the dense dark, two fold karma,
Have in this very body beheld
All heaven's splendor.

(Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan)

Arunachala Siva.

176
I have given the translation of Ozhivil Odukkam (Repose in the Remainder) of KaNNiudaiya VaLLalar, 
by Robert Butler with commentary of S. Ram Mohan and Robert Butler - up to Verse 77 in my serial
post titled, 'Ozhivil Odukkam - A Second Serial Post', from 2013 onward, under the 'Teachings of
Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.'  I am giving in this the translation and commentary from Verse 78 onward,
from the issues of Mountain Path, Jan. 2015 onward.

***

Verse 78:

The  way in which the disciple is killed (by the word of the master),yet still lives, may be compared to a wife
dying on merely hearing the death of her husband; to milk (which boils over in an instant); to a deeply devoted
wife, immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre; to a loving widow (who remains faithful to her husband
even after he dies), or to the generosity of Karna at the time of his death.

In this verse, the woman who has lost her husband is used three times as a term of comparison.  In the first
two instances, the widow stands for the ego, the personal self, which is annihilated immediately on the mature
disciple hearing the words of the guru. In the third, the widow stands for the disciple himself, who on hearing
the word of the guru abandons all ideas of 'I' and 'mine', just as the faithful widow gives up her previous worldly
existence on the death of her husband.

In the reference to milk, it is not clear which property of milk is being referred to.  One possibility is that it is a
reference to the way in which a tiny amount of curd is sufficient to 'seed' a whole dish of milk, leaving nothing
of the original milk, just as a word from the guru is sufficient to entirely transform the consciousness of the ripe
disciple in an absolute and and irreversible fashion.

The reference to Karna at the end of the verse requires some explanation.  Karna is a major character in the
Mahabharata who fought on the side of Dhritarstra against the sons of Pandu.  Karna had been born to Kunti
by the sun god Soorya, before her marriage to Pandu. Abandoned at birth, he had been adopted by Adhirata,
a great comrade of Dhritarastra, and thus came to fight against his own half brothers,the sons of Pandu, in the
Kurukshetra battle.                           

Different accounts of Karna's act of generosity at the time of his death, are given in the Sanskrit Mahabharata of
Vyasa and in the Tamizh Villibharatam of Villiputturar.  In the latter, Krishna approaches Karna in the guise of
a brahmin, asking for alms. Being on the battlefield Karna has nothing to offer.  The brahmin reminds him that
he can give him the mountain-like Punya which he has accumulated throughout his life with his matchless
generosity. Karna agrees. Krishna then reveals his true identity and leaves, having rendered Karna capable
of being killed by Arjuna  through the loss of merit which had previously protected him. In the Sanskrit
Mahabharata, in which Karna's vulnerability to Arjuna is established very early in his life, a much lesser degree
of generosity is involved. In order to resolve a dispute over whose son is greater, Karna's father, Soorya and
Arjuna's father Indra appear as brahmins on the battlefield.  Karna, having nothing to offer, breaks of his gold
teeth and gives them to the brahmins, thus establishing his superiority. 

Chidambara Swamigal assumes that the former account is being referred to here, as he glosses; "like the
generosity of Karna, through which, at the time of death, being mindful of his next birth, he gave up to a
brahmin all the merit he had accumulated.         

contd.

Arunachala Siva.

177
General topics / Poems from Mountain Path - 2015 onwards.
« on: June 21, 2015, 09:30:56 AM »

SWAN -  By Chris Roe: Mountain Path - Jan - March 2015.

Preening,
Soft, virgin, white feathers,
Aware of my presence
But not of my world.
Before me, another world,
No analytic philosophy,
No targets, budgets, or schedules.
Mo self appraisal,
Or attempt to be
Something other than
Just part of.
Now she rests,
Head tucked under wing,
Slowly drifting down stream,
Among the reeds and dragonflies
And the trees on either bank.
I stayed awhile,
Until the moment was lost
But not forgotten,
A picture to place
Upon this page.

Arunachala Siva.   

178
General topics / punar vasu vaNNam - 18.01.12015
« on: June 18, 2015, 09:20:46 AM »
Today is the punar vasu star day of the month Jyeshta (Ani), the birth star of Sri Bhagavan, who was
born on punar vasu day of the month of Margazhi (Dhanur) month.  The Asramam will observe this day
with special pujas to Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam.  There will be abhishekam, alankaram, and arti
for the Lingam starting from 9.00 am.  A golden casket will be adorned on the Lingam, since the punar
vasu star is golden yellow in color.

Muruganar has composed a song titled Punar vasu vaNNam, celebrating the birth star of Sri Bhagavan.
I give below the Verse 4 of the same song below:


Punar vasu vaNNam - Verse 4:

This is the color of all substances of this universe.
This is the color of all glories of this universe.
This is the brilliance of all shining of this universe.
This is the color of brilliance of realization.
This is the color of all riches.
This is the color of brilliance of all achievements.
This is not the color of delusive darkness.
This is the brilliance of the gaze of Grace of Guru Ramana.
This is the the color of this day, Punavasu, the brilliance.

Sri Rama was also born on the punar vasu star day in the month of Chaitra (Chittirai).

Arunachala Siva.

179
General topics / Mother's Day - Mahapuja -10.06.2015
« on: June 10, 2015, 07:08:36 AM »
Today, Vaikasi, Krishna Paksha, Ashtami, is Mother Azhagamma's Liberation Day. Like Sri Sankara conferred Vishnu Padam to
Aryamba, Sri Bhagavan conferred Mukti to Mother Azhagamma.

.... Mother Azhagamma, the meritorious person who begot Sri Bhagavan, was absorbed into the Self at 8pm. that evening.
Sri Bhagavan sat their in silence for some time before getting up. After He had moved, we covered the body with a new ochre
sari, applied Vibhuti to her forehead, garlanded her and placed her on a seat on the outer veranda....

...How can there be pollution or sorrow for a perfect Jnani who has renounced everything?..

...After eating, during the night Sri Bhagavan sat near the place where we had put the Mother's body..Sri Bhagavan then
announced that the Tiruvachakam should be chanted.  Sri Bhagavan and the devotees took it in turn to read from the book.
In this way we went through the entire Tiruvachakam before 4.00 am...

... Next day at the suggestion of some devotees, it was decided that on the tenth day a samadhi puja should be performed
and till then each day food offerings should be made...Accordingly Sarvadhikari and Ramanathan brought cooked food
from Skandasramam and performed Puja....


(Kunju Swami)

Arunachala Siva.
     

180
General topics / punarvasu vaNNam - 22.05.2015.
« on: May 22, 2015, 09:00:39 AM »
Today is the punarvasu star day of the month of Vaikasi.  Bhagavan was born on
a punarvasu star day on the month of Margazhi. The Asramam observes the
punarvasu star day every month, with special pujas to Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam,
followed by special lunch, with delicacies.

Muruganar in his Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai has a poem titled Punarvasu vannam,
describing the glory of that star and also Sri Bhagavan.

I am posting the following verse from Sri Muruganar's Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai,
'iRai paNi niRRal' - (being in ervice to God), to remember Sri Muruganar along with
Sri Bhagavan on this punarvasu day.


பெய்யும் கருணைப் பெரு முகிலே
  பிறவிப் பெருநீர்க் கரையேறி
உய்யும் படிக்கோர் உபாயம் எனக்கு
  உள்ள படிக்கே உரைக் கென்றேன்
மெய்யும் பொய்யும் விழையாதே
  வெறாதே நாடு நின்று இறைவன் அருள்
செய்யும் படிக்கே செய்க என்றான்
  சேம ரமணச் சின்மயனே.


I cried:
'O rain cloud with compassion big!
Teach me truly the trick
Of escaping alive from the flood of births.'
Said Ramana, Lord of Wisdom and Welfare:
'Loath not, like not true nor false.
Stand in the center and be
Impelled by the grace of the Lord.'

(Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan)

 

Arunachala Siva.

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