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11656
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 06, 2016, 08:40:32 AM »
Verse  14:


அன்பரங் கிருப்ப நம்பர்
   அருளினால் அளகை வேந்தன்
தன்பெரு நிதியந் தூர்த்துத்
   தரணிமேல் நெருங்க எங்கும்
பொன்பயில் குவையும் நெல்லும்
    பொருவில்பல் வளனும் பொங்க
மன்பெரும் செல்வ மாக்கி
   வைத்தனன் மனையில் நீட.


While the devotee was at the temple, by the grace
Of the Lord, the Ruler of Alakapuri brought down
His wealth to the earth and filled his house
With heaps of gold, paddy and other grains also;
Interminable was the foison and ever-abiding.

Arunachala Siva.

11657
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 06, 2016, 08:38:03 AM »
Verse  13:


விடையவர் வீரட் டானம்
   விரைந்துசென் றெய்தி என்னை
உடையவர் எம்மை யாளும்
   ஒருவர்தம் பண்டா ரத்தில்
அடைவுற ஒடுக்கி யெல்லாம்
   அயர்த்தெழும் அன்பு பொங்கச்
சடையவர் மலர்த்தாள் போற்றி
   இருந்தனர் தமக்கொப் பில்லார்.


To Veerattanam where abides the Rider of the Bull,
He fared forth in speed, and deposited the package
In the promptuary of the temple; in soaring love
Which was oblivious of all other things, he stood
Hailing the flower-feet of the One of matted hair.


Arunachala Siva.

11658
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 06, 2016, 08:34:55 AM »
Verse  12:


பொன்தரத் தாரு மென்று
   புகன்றிட வணிகன் தானும்
என்தர விசைந்த தென்னத்
   தாலியைக் கலயர் ஈந்தார்
அன்றவன் அதனை வாங்கி
   அப்பொதி கொடுப்பக் கொண்டு
நின்றிலர் விரைந்து சென்றார்
   நிறைந்தெழு களிப்பி னோடும்.


"Give it to me; I'll give you gold." When he spake thus,
The hawker asked him: "What would you consent to give?"
Kalayanar gave him the tali; he received it
And passed on the bundle to him; he tarried not
But walked away swift with a heart full of delight.

Arunachala Siva.




11659
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 06, 2016, 08:32:14 AM »
Verse  11:



ஆறுசெஞ் சடைமேல் வைத்த
    அங்கணர் பூசைக் கான
நாறுகுங் குலியம் ஈதேல்
   நானின்று பெற்றேன் நல்ல
பேறுமற் றிதன்மே லுண்டோ
    பெறாப்பேறு பெற்று வைத்து
வேறினிக் கொள்வ தென்னென்
   றுரைத்தெழும் விருப்பின் மிக்கார்.


"If this fragrant Kungkuliyam fit to be used
In the pooja of the Lord whose ruddy hair sports the river,
Can I bargain for a better boon? Having come by
The well-nigh impossible boon, what else is there
For me to secure?" Thus he mused in love.

Arunachala Siva.

11660



Atma Gita of Sadhu Natananda:

Verses 66-68:  O mind!  When the Vedas declare that the rare Supreme Being abides as one's own
Self, how can one consider the Guru to be different from our Self?  It is ignorance to regard
the Guru as different from us.  So, without having the idea "I and God", merge in the Reality,
the non-dual Consciousness.

Verse 79-87:  O mind!  A householder's life also bestows true Jnana. However, it is rare for that
Jnana to shine as well as it does in sannyasa.  Ponder deeply over the fact the venerable old lady
Avvaiyar (Tamizh Saint Poetess), who said:  "There is no better dharma than the householder",
gave up that way and took to Sannyasa.*  The saying that liberation can be attained even by
staying at home - that is, as a householder, - is meant only for unqualified persons.  Those
working in the kitchen will not and cannot remain dirtied by dust and soot.  In the same way, those
who have a connection with a household, can rarely appear to be people without attachment. 
Even Yajnavalyaka who realized the Self as a householder later on became a Sannyasin, considering
(the householder's life) to be a pain.  He said that even living a householder's life with his Maitreyi,
who had not attachments herself, was not a beneficial life.**

* What Avvayaiyar said was different.  She said:  "In case your wife is not suitable to your
saintly temperament, you go out without even telling her and take up sannyasa."  I think this
should hold good even for housewives.  But, in the male chauvanistic society of ancient India,
this was not said very clearly.  Karaikal Amma continued her housewife's role, even after her
husband left her, after witnessing Siva's miracle.  However, she left home only when her husband got remarried, and even got a girl child which she had come to know much later in years.

** Most of the ancient Rishis of Upanisadic times were married people.  They all went by the
usual route of karma, vanaprasta and sannyasa.  In householder's life, one cannot do fire sacrifices
without a wife.  The wife had to bring the Agni to light the fire. After householder's life, even in
forest dwelling, Vanaprasta, the wife accompanied the husband.  Only at the Sannyasa state,
they got separated volunatrily, and continued their pursuit of liberation.         

David Godman adds in his translation and commentary, that Bhagavan Ramana compared true
sannyasa to a ripe fruit that had naturally fallen of a tree.  It is a process, which cannot
be forced by a decision to abandon one's life as a householder. He would often quote the advice
Jnanadeva gave to Vithoba, who wanted to take sannyasa in Bhakta Vijayam.

(Source:  Sri Ramana Darsanam, Tr. and Commentary by
David Godman.)

Arunachala Siva.

11661

Perumal Swami's life was a classic example as to how the undying ego finally wins.  He was a
great attendant to Bhagavan Ramana. Later, he became somewhat embroiled in the infatuations
to power etc.,  There were many contenders to the Asramam manager-ship. Brunton, Swami
Niranjananada Swami, why even Kavyakanta Ganapati Sastri and Perumal Swami.  They perhaps
believed that being a Manager or Sarvadikari, they could be 'close to Bhagavan' and will have the
chance of introducing themselves as Manager..etc., to important foreign visitors and local Maharajahs.  Definitely finance was not the attraction.  Even Muruganar was  asked to take over, which he politely
refused.  The final selection was shortlisted to Kavyakanta and Swami Niranjananda. Bhagavan did
not give any 'opinion' in the matter.  Devotees selected Niranjananda Swami.  Even Kavyakanta
had some heartburn in this issue.  But his faith in Bhagavan was unflinching.  He came out of the
Asramam for sometime.

Now, coming back to Perumal Swami's further deeds of ego, he had earlier made a metal image of
Bhagavan while they were in the Hill.  He wanted the image to be taken as procession into the
streets of T'malai with people spitting on the image!  This was not supported by townspeople and so
he left it.  On another occasion, he got an Iyengar rowdy fully drunk, and made him speak all foul
words at the gates of the Old Hall.  Bhagavan Ramana did not move, even though He was somewhat
angry.  Then Annamalai Swami came to the scene and gave that Iyengar a nice slap and sent him out
and he also cautioned Perumal Swami of such a treatment, if he did not behave well.  Finally,
Perumal Swami had given his savings to a person in T'mali and that person cheated him and
overnight he became a pauper.  He became sick.  He was lying on a stone bench on the
Chengam Road, asking for alms from people.  At that point of time, he came to Bhagavan Ramana
and sought His forgiveness saying that he would surely go to hell.  Bhagavan said: " I can forgive
you but I cannot forget you.  Even if you go to hell, I shall be there to support you."

Perumal Swami must have surely gone to hell.  But whether Bhagavan Ramana prayed to
Arunachleswara, to leave him back to a better birth quickly, is not known.  Bhagavan Ramana
surely might have done something to that effect.  Because, He never forsook anyone in life.
He Himself has said:  "I have come to grace people and not punish them.  If I start punishing
living beings, even a crow would not fly over the Asramam."       

His avatara as Skanda, is one of grace and not punishment even the villains. Skanda is said to
have converted the demons into his peacock and rooster so that they could always live beside
him to work out their way for liberation.

Now among the various contenders, destiny proved that Bhagavan's brother was the best choice.
Muruganar had no issues.  So the family trust might not have been created. Kavyakanta passed
away earlier than Bhagavan and his children, though spiritually oriented were not eager for the
trusteeship of the Asramam.  Perumal Swami, even if he had been good to Bhagavan throughout
his life, was a Sannyasi and thus there was no family tree after him.  Brunton himself had
not unflinching faith and his children were never heard about. Whereas, in case of Niranajananda,
he had a son, who had also moved with Bhagavan right from his childhood years and hence
proper orientation was there.  His son was married and he in turn had three male issues.
Hence, the family trust which was finalized later, had no problems in later years.

Arunachala Siva.

11662
(This article is by an 'Ashram Devotee', appearing Jan.- Mar. 2008 issue of Mountain Path):

One day at the Asramam noon time lunch we overheard a lady referring to Bhagavan saying, 'In
Forty Verses', Ramana tells us we should abide in the formless, but how do we actually go about
doing that?'  (This devotee was likely paraphrasing Verse 8 of Ulladu Narpadu.) Two of us inadvertently listening in chuckled to ourselves and pondered the imponderability of this statement.  What was
Bhagavan talking about?  And what could any of us say to this lady? Neither we nor she had any
idea what abiding in the formless would look like in practical terms. 

Bhagavan made statements like these with such casual certitude that one instinctively senses the truth
in them.  And yet, how extraordinary they are. To abide in the formless - What can that mean?  How can
one even begin to understand, much less implement, such a notion?

I took myself to task, perceiving there was something important here.  What could dwelling in formlessness
ever be?  For that matter, what is formlessness?  I bemoaned my ignorance and spoke to myself in this vein:
'All these years at Bhagavan's feet and I have yet to understand even basic, oft repeated pronouncements,
not to mention putting them into practice.  - how disheartening?     

In the days that followed, I took this phrase in the Old Hall and searched for the clues in Talks, Who am I?
Forty Verses and other of Bhagavan's works.  Almost immediately my search yielded fruit in the following
line from Self Inquiry:  The distinction between inner and outer is only with reference to the body; in
truth, there is neither inner nor outer.  (Vichara Sangraham of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi # 8)     

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

11663
General topics / Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« on: March 05, 2016, 12:54:03 PM »
(The above article appeared in Mountain Path, Jan.-March 2008)

*

What is the nature of the mind?  How is it related to our deeper consciousness?  And, above all, who are
in our real being?  What is our true identity or true Self behind the endless stream of thoughts going on
inside us?

These have always been the primary questions that we must ask in order to discover the ultimate
meaning and purpose of our existence. They are the basis of the seeking of liberation and Self Realization
in the Yoga tradition.  In Yoga, the Divine is defined mainly as the essence of consciousness.   The Yogic
spiritual quest is a practice of meditation in order to discover that.

LOOKING AT THE MIND:

Today, we usually look at the mind according to the approaches of modern psychology.  We focus 
on the subconscious mind, memory and past experiences as the measure of our mental state,
the ground out which our thought and emotion develops.  Examination of the mind usually consists
of trying to understand our personal history, including uncovering hidden or repressed traumatic
experiences that may inhibit our functioning in life.  In most current psychology, the personal mind
is our real consciousness and somewhere in it our true Self or identity can be found.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

11664
General topics / Kaivalya -
« on: March 05, 2016, 12:40:22 PM »
Kaivalya:

(This article is from Mountain Path,  Aradhana 2005 issue.)

*
Kaivalya:

Sanskrit - aloofness; aloneness; isolation.
*

In the context of Bhagavan's teachings this means 'solitude' or the state of Self Realization where
nothing exists apart from the Self. According to the scriptures, it means complete detachment from
the material world.

The Yoga Darshana defines it thus:  'When the purity of contemplation equals the purity of the indivdual,
there is isolation'  The Sankhya Darshana sees it as an aloofness from primal Nature (Prakruti) and
all its transformations. There is no pain or pleasure in this state.  The immediate cause for this absolute
detachment is discriminating knowledge (Viveka).

When the Jeeva (the individual soul), merges in its source, Atman (Absolute Unconditioned Awareness,
the Self) in the Heart, and loses itself to become one with It, then That Alone Exists.  This state of
subtle experience is Kaivalya.  (See Preface to Ramana Jnana Bodham, by Muruganar, Volume 2).

In the classical example of a pot existing in Space, the pot-space is defined by the pot shell.  When the
pot is moved, the pot space appears to move. But is this the case?  Space is all pervasive and thus
exists everywhere, in and through the pot shell also.  The pot is a limited form. Therefore it can be
moved away from here to there.  But space is everywhere.  So how can space move and to where?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

11665
General Discussion / What is Neo Advaita? James Swartz.
« on: March 05, 2016, 10:13:37 AM »
(This article appeared in Mountain Path, April - June 2007)

*

In Eighties, the Western spiritual world became reacquainted with Sri Ramana Maharshi, a great
Sage in Vedic tradition who had achieved international recognition, around the middle of the
20th century but, though greatly respected, did not have a significant following since His death
in the Fifties.  The rediscovery of Sri Ramana roughly coincided with the rise of  'Neo-Advaita',
a Satsangh based 'movement'  that has little in common with Sri Ramana except the idea of moksha,
freedom from the problems of Samsara.

What accounts for the popular of the Neo Advaita movement?  I think it would be fair to say that
the secret lies more in the Sang than the Sat.  The Sanskrit word Sat means 'what is', in other words
the non dual Self.  The word Sang from Sanga means an association or a company of like minded
people.  When Sat and Sanga are combined it means 'keeping the company of truth', the Self,
in other words an inquiring mind fixed on the Self.  Since only a mind that is properly prepared is
capable of achieving this condition and Neo Advaita has no techniques for producing this kind
of mind, we have to look elsewhere to understand its appeal.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

11666
We have been to several Ashrams all over India.  But Sri Ramanasramam stands unique and is the true
Asramam for sadhana towards liberation or self realization.  There is no place for ego, money, worldly
matters or other mundane activities.  The Asramam can aptly be called Kalpatharu, as it satisfies the
yearning of seekers in search of true silence,  meditation, peace and self realization. 

Though Sri Ramana Maharshi is not in His mortal body, He still is regarded as the monarch of the
place and the Asramam is run as per His wish and guidance.  People from various corners of the world,
who are His devotees and true seekers of knowledge come here to stay and have His darshan. They
relish the love and grace of the Master and experience the joy and bliss found nowhere else.  Devotees
stay in the Asramam for three to four days and return to their homes.  Some are fortunate enough
to stay there permanently.  Parayana (chanting of the Vedas), Narayana Seva ( feeding the poor and
the needy), meditation, Prasadam for devotees,  circumambulating the Hill and the Guru's Samadhi
are some of the regular routines in Sri Ramanasramam.   And Bhagavan's Presence is experienced
in all these activities.  His presence is also seen in the acts and deeds of all who serve in the Asramam -
the cooks, laborers, Ashramites running the library and the management personnel.  It is His discipline,
philosophy, simplicity and perfection in every act that is reflected in everyone, and it assures us of His
continuing presence. Silence speaks more than words and there resides a deep calm and peace everywhere.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

11667


14.  praana bandhanaal lina maanasam
       eka chintanam naasam etyadah.

When the mind has been suspended by breath restraint, it may then be annihilated by single-
minded attention to the Self.

Once the mind has been calmed by the regulation of breath, one should hold one's attention
on the Self, seeking the identity of the 'I'.  If this practice persists, eventually all other mental
activity will dry up and the stream of thoughts will disappear.  Then, in the absence of separateness
from the Lord and from the world, -- a sense of thought has sustained -- one arrives at the knowledge
that there is only one Consciousness, and the individual is only That.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

11668
Verse 325:

If the mind once forgets its own object, it goes out and out;  just as a ball if it falls, rolls down
and down (the stairs) and does not stop until it reaches the lowest step.

Verse 326:

When once you think of the objects of senses, you want to enjoy them;  and from that comes desire.
That desire engages you to possess, and that engagement takes you away from your real Self.

Verse 327:

Therefore, with all care, one should try to keep himself recollected and should not be negligent.
For the knower of Brahman, there is no greater death than negligence.  One who is careful in
remaining in Brahman becomes successful very soon.  Therefore, be careful and stay in Brahman
all the time.

Verse 328:

Once you fall back from your real Self, you have fallen down.  When one has fallen down, there is no
hope for him.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

11669
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 05, 2016, 08:43:54 AM »
Verse  10:


அப்பொழு ததனைக் கொண்டு
   நெற்கொள்வான் அவரும் போக
ஒப்பில்குங் குலியங் கொண்டோர்
    வணிகனும் எதிர்வந் துற்றான்
இப்பொதி யென்கொல் என்றார்
   உள்ளவா றியம்பக் கேட்டு
முப்புரி வெண்ணூல் மார்பர்
    முகமலர்ந் திதனைச் சொன்னார்.



He received it and moved out to buy paddy;
On his way a vendor of Kungkuliyam came in front of him;
He asked him: "What do you carry in the bundle?"
The vendor truly told him what it contained;
Then the wearer of the threefold sacred thread
Spake thus with a beaming face:

Arunachala Siva.

11670
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 05, 2016, 08:41:47 AM »
Verse  9:


யாதொன்றும் இல்லை யாகி
   இருபக லுணவு மாறிப்
பேதுறும் மைந்த ரோடும்
   பெருகுசுற் றத்தை நோக்கிக்
காதல்செய் மனைவி யார்தங்
    கணவனார் கலய னார்கைக்
கோதில்மங் கலநூல் தாலி
   கொடுத்துநெற் கொள்ளு மென்றார்.



There was nothing left in his house; two days   
Passed without their having any food;
Grieving for the plight of the sorrowing children
And the great kin, his beloved wife removed
Her flawless tali from the auspicious cord and gave it
To her husband saying: "Get paddy for this."   

Arunachala Siva.

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