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General topics / The Unexpected Feast- Smt. T. R. Kanammal
« on: March 02, 2016, 02:21:25 PM »
(The above article appeared in Mountain Path, April - June 2007.)


One day two destitute-looking Brahmins entered the Hall.  It was known that they earned their livelihood
by the wretched and socially demeaning occupation of bearing the dead to the cremation grounds.
Both were extremely hungry after having discharged their duties.

Custom demand that anyone entering a house recently visited by death should take a bath immediately
upon leaving.  This stricture applies particularly if one steps into the cremation ground, and more particularly
if one is involved in removing and physically transporting the departed to this place.

A heated argument had ensued between the two men about the propriety of coming to the Asramam to have
a meal without having bathed.  While one of them keenly felt the unseemliness of transgressing this hallowed
custom, the other dismissed it as impracticable in view of their acute hunger.  Assured of a meal in the
Asramam, which was on their way home, they thought they might appease their appetite.  They came to the
Hall and sat down.  One of them excitedly and abruptly said to Bhagavan:

'Swami,  I have been insisting on the customary bath before we sit for our meal.  Is that not but and prosper?'

Bhagavan responded in a very soft tone,'No one can say you are unjust.'  The other at once, is a greatly
agitated voice, burst forth:

'The pangs of hunger are so intense and our entrails are being devoured.  Is it wrong to eat when hunger
is so gnawing?'

Bhagavan quietly replied, 'Who says it is wrong? Not at all.'

Shocked, looking at one another, they asked in one voice, 'But then  who is wrong?'


Arunachala Siva.   

General topics / A Divine Hospital of Medication through Meditation.
« on: March 02, 2016, 01:02:06 PM »
(The above article is by Shilpi Virupakshi Davangere, a civil engineer, who gained solace at the
feet of his Master, Sri Ramana Maharshi.  The article appeared in Mountain Path, Jan - Mar. 2016)


It is now way back - twenty five years ago - than an intimate spiritual bond got established between us
and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.  We visited Sri Ramanasramam in the year 1990.  Fifteen of us
reached Tiruvannamalai from Davangere, Karnataka, by bus to have Bhagavan's darshan.  It was as if
Bhagavan Himself had invited us to His abode.

I had had many divine experiences by then, and at the time my mind was always in an ethereal state.
These cosmic experiences were so new and strange that I felt like exclaiming 'What, what is it...?,
just as Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa did when he first had divine experiences.  The differentiation
between the real and the unreal (Ishvara and Nashwara) was vivid in my being.  The quintessence of
Sri Ramana Maharshi's sayings  -- the 'I' manifested everywhere; and there nothing existing other than
the divine 'I' - became part of my consciousness, leaving me in a permanent state of joyousness (ananda)

My Sadguru, Sri Shishunaala Sherief, was a mystic and divine master from a small village in Haveri
district. Through his spiritual songs and divinity, he made it well known place in India. His songs are
always very dear to me and ever hover on my tongue.  Sri Shishunaala Sherief says, 'Know yourself'
(Ninda nee thiluko).

Guru Ramana's philosophy begins with the same thought  - Who am I?


Arunachala Siva.             


Sanskrit - union of jivatma with paramatma, jiva-brahma aikya;  recognition of the oneness of the Self;
absorption of the mind in the Self;  self mastery; integration of personality; aligning of body, mind and
speech in purity and truthfulness.


Yoga is a most popular word these days but not necessarily completely understood in its full scope
and depth, partly because of its multiple limbs and partly because it carries many layers of meaning,
unlike Jnana, which has a single meaning, namely enlightenment.  At its highest level, Yoga has the
same connotation as Jnana because the the 'union of jivatma with paramatma' can be only in the form
of seeing the falsehood of individuality (Jiva bodha) in the wake of Self Knowledge, (Siva bodha).  For there are NO two selves to begin with and there is  really no lower self (jivatma) that exists independently, in order
to merge with the higher self (paramatma).   Jiva bodha is merely a spurious notion that has arisen mysteriously from causal ignorance (avidya), and it evaporates in the light of knowledge of one's true
identity following self inquiry.

Yoga comes from the root 'yuj' which means 'to unite'. The English word 'yoke' also derives from Yoga
meaning 'union';  therefore the word 'union' is a metaphor (aupachaarikam)  to represent that enlightenment
which bestows liberation from Samasara (transmigratory existence).


Arunachala Siva.         

Like the magician's trick, the glitter of fool's gold often distracts one from seeing the truth.
Although it does not sparkle with the depth of true light, it distracts one from seeing the value of
what is really there.  We ask how then can we not be deceived by fool's gold?  We wish to be happy
so how can we avoid all the pain and suffering that seems to be our prarabdha?  Like the thirsty
person lost in a desert we succumb to the mirage of water simmering on the horizon.  We think that
this time it will be water because we want it to be true.

We have five so called bodies or kosas. The physical (annamaya), the vital (pranamaya), mental (manomaya),
consciousness (vijnanamaya) and bliss (anandamaya) that require cultivation, but for the purposes of
this editorial we can say there are three 'bodies', we need to to feed, and maintain: the stomach, the mind
and the heart. If we give all three the right food, that is sattvic food, we could say that half the battle is
won.  Whatever we focus our minds, hearts and stomachs on will give us instant feedback.  We all know
that if we get greasy, rancid food our stomachs will immediately tell us that us that we made a mistake.
Similarly we should be more perceptive when tempted by feast food that offers instant satisfaction.
It may give pleasure but the nutritional value is minimal. So too, with the thoughts or emotions.
Depression is a result of wrong thinking.                 

It is one of the certainties of this world that we do to others, is done to us.  What we eat, we  become;
what we think, we become; what we feel, we become.  We do have a choice and with this freedom,
if we exercise discrimination and dispassion, the way will become clear, for no one in their right mind
wishes themselves harm.


Arunachala Siva.         

The other incident which occurred a week before Sri Bhagavan's Maha Nirvana is deeply moving,  The
cancerous growth near Bhagavan's left elbow had swollen to a big size and there was a bandage around
it. A number of doctors were in attendance on Bhagavan and there were many important people in the large
gathering. Aunt Alamelu  took my last child Sarasvati, who was barely 11 months old, near Bhagavan and
the child started prattling 'Inga, inga' as usual but unusually loudly this time. Aunt took the child far from
Bhagavan but her prattle was audible to Sri Bhagavan.  Those were the days when the smallest movement
of any part of His body would entail excruciating pain for Him. But He turned His face in all directions and
said, " I hear the voice of 'Inga' baby.  Is she here?  Poor child if she raises her voice, she is carried far away!"

Some one ran to Aunt Alamelu and brought her and the child to Bhagavan who looked at her with compassion
saying, 'inga'.  The child shouted 'inga' and Bhagavan's face wreathed in smiles.

I have no words to describe Bhagavan's love for me.  He graced me in many, many ways.  Could I have
run His Asramam for nearly 40 years but for His Grace?  Even in the years before 1938, when I finally
moved to Tiruvannamalai with my family and started performing Asramam duties assigned by my father,
who was the Asramam Sarvadhikari, Bhagavan was sending me spiritual nourishment, directly and

I worked with the Bank of Chettinad from 1932 to 1937. My flair for accountancy was acknowledged and
appreciated. It was to my Bank address that Sri Ramanasramam was regularly sending me clippings
from the Tamizh paper Swadesamitran.  What was special about those clippings?


Arunachala Siva.   

This is why anything that makes itself clear, such as a light, a sound, a throbbing, a pulsation, a vibration,
an explosion or anything else that appears, manifests, springs into view or strikes the mind, can be
described as a Sphurana.  However, no such things can be Aham Sphurana, because Aham Sphurana
is the shining of 'I' alone.  Moreover, there is a fundamental difference between Aham Spurana and
every other type of Sphurana,  because any other type of sphurana is conditional, since it depends on
'I', whereas Aham Sphurana is unconditional, since it depends upon nothing but other than itself.

That is, a light, a sound, a throbbing or anything else other than 'I' can make itself known or clear,
so there can be no sphurana of any such thing unless it is experienced by 'I'.  In the case of Aham Sphurana,
on the other hand, what experiences the 'I' that makes itself clear is only that very same 'I' itself.
Therefore Aham Sphurana is the only self shining Sphurana   -- the only Sphurana that experiences itself.


Arunachala Siva.       

11. vayu rodhanaal liyate manah
      jaala paksivat rodha saadhanam.

The mind may be subdued by regulating the breath, just as the bird is restrained when caught in a net.
This practice controls the mind.

Breath restraint (vayurodhana) is effected in rather violent ways by hatha yogis, resulting in complete
stoppage or kumbhaka.  The Maharshi did not recommend such extremes and used the word kumbhaka
in the sense of 'regulation', to be accomplished by watching the intake and outflow of breath.  This causes
the rate of respiration to slow down and in turn to quiet the mind, which is then able to keep its attention
on the 'I' or the Self.  In any case, the Maharshi did not give breath control a high priority.  He said, 'One
need not attempt breath control; mind control is enough.  Breath control is recommended for the man who
cannot control his mind straight away.....  It may do as an aid but can never lead to the goal itself.....
A more advanced man will naturally go direct to control of mind without wasting his time in practicing
control of breath.  (Talks p. 418, 313, 134)


Arunachala Siva. 

Verse  310:

Therefore, after subduing this enemy of the ego, you should not give it any respite at all, by
thinking of the objects of senses, because that is the cause of its revival,  as water is the cause
of the revival of the lemon tree.

Verse 311:

He that remains in the body (as we are now - full of desires), how can he be purified of all desires?
Therefore, without seeking after the pleasures of senses  -- one must give that up. The seeking after
pleasure arises from the sense of separation from the Self.

Verse 312:

By selfish work, we increase the seed of desire and if we stop selfish actions, we stop the seed.
Therefore, one should stop all selfish action.

Verse  313:

By the increase of selfish work, one increases desires; and by the increase of desires, one increases
selfish work.  And that way the world by entanglement goes on.  It never ceases.

Verse 314:

Therefore, one who would like to do away with the bondage of the world must burn these two fully.
How?  By giving up internal thought and external work that are selfish in nature.


Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 02, 2016, 08:20:12 AM »
Verse 140:

பணிந்தெழுந்து தனிமுதலாம் 
   பரனென்று பன்முறையால்
துணிந்தமறை மொழியாலே
   துதிசெய்து சுடர்த்திங்கள்
அணிந்தசடை முடிக்கற்றை 
   அங்கணரை விடைகொண்டு
தணிந்தமனத் திருமுனிவர்
    தபோவனத்தி னிடைச்சார்ந்தார்.

He hailed the Lord with the mantras of the Vedas
That affirm thus: "Lord Siva is the Ens Entium!"
He then took leave of the Lord whose matted hair
Sports the splendorous moon, and with a mind pacified
He repaired to the woods where he performed askesis.   

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 02, 2016, 08:18:13 AM »
Verse  139:

பழுதுபுகுந் ததுதீரப்
   பவித்திரமாம் செயல்புரிந்து
தொழுதுபெறு வனகொண்டு
    தூயபூ சனைதொடங்கி
வழுவில்திரு மஞ்சனமே 
   முதலாக வரும்பூசை
முழுதுமுறை மையின்முடித்து
    முதல்வனார் கழல்பணிந்தார்.

He performed the expiatory rites of cleansing,
And bowed before the Lord; then with the articles of pooja
He commenced his holy ritual-worship as is his wont;
He completed in order the flawless ablutions of the Lord,
The recitation of mantras and the other rites of pooja.
At the end he hailed the feet of the First One.   

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 02, 2016, 08:15:25 AM »
Verse  138:

பொருப்பிலெழுஞ் சுடர்க்கொழுந்தின் 
   பூசனையும் தாழ்க்கநான்
இருப்பதினி என்என்றவ் 
   இறைச்சியெலும் புடன்இலையும்
செருப்படியும் நாயடியும் 
   திருவலகால் மாற்றியபின்
விருப்பினொடுந் திருமுகலிப் 
   புனல்மூழ்கி விரைந்தணைந்தார்.

"What is it that I do here delaying the pooja
Of the Lord, the shoot of luster on the crest of this hill"?
Thus spake he, and swept away with the holy broom
The pieces of flesh, bones, leaves, prints of slippers,
And the foot-prints of a dog; then in love he hied
To the divine Mukali, performed his ablutions
And hastened back to the temple.   

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 02, 2016, 08:12:56 AM »
Verse  137:

மேவநேர் வரஅஞ்சா
   வேடுவரே இதுசெய்தார்
தேவதே வேசனே 
   திருமுன்பே இதுசெய்து
போவதே இவ்வண்ணம்
   புகுதநீர் திருவுள்ளம்
ஆவதே எனப்பதறி 
   அழுதுவிழுந் தலமந்தார்.

"The dare-devil hunters have wrought this;
O Lord of gods, could You suffer their trespass?
How could You permit this contamination"?
He cried and quaked and fell down grief-struck.   

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 02, 2016, 08:10:35 AM »
Verse  136:

வந்துதிரு மலையின்கண்
   வானவர்நா யகர்மருங்கு
சிந்தைநிய மத்தோடும் 
   செல்கின்றார் திருமுன்பு
வெந்தஇறைச் சியும்எலும்பும்
   கண்டகல மிதித்தோடி
இந்தஅனு சிதங்கெட்டேன்
   யார்செய்தார் என்றழிவார்.

Having arrived at the Hill, as he neared
Poised in spiritual discipline, the Lord of gods,
He saw scattered pieces of bones and cooked flesh.
He jumped and leaped, and bounced
Away from them, and cried: "Woe is me!
What rank pollution! Who did this"? He wilted.   

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 02, 2016, 08:08:29 AM »
Verse 135:

எய்தியசீர் ஆகமத்தில் 
   இயம்பியபூ சனைக்கேற்பக்
கொய்தமல ரும்புனலும் 
   முதலான கொண்டணைந்தார்
மைதழையுங் கண்டத்து 
   மலைமருந்தை வழிபாடு
செய்துவருந் தவமுடைய 
   முனிவர்சிவ கோசரியார்.

In unison with the laws expounded in the Agamas,
To perform his regular ritual worship,
With duly gathered flowers, holy water and other
Articles of pooja, thither came Sivagochariar,
The Muni of sacerdocy, blessed with the askesis
To adore the dark-throated Lord of the Hill
-- The Panacea great of all ills.   

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 02, 2016, 08:06:38 AM »
Verse  134:

மொய்காட்டும் இருள்வாங்கி
   முகங்காட்டுந் தேர்இரவி
மெய்காட்டும் அன்புடைய
    வில்லியார் தனிவேட்டை
எய்காட்டின் மாவளைக்க
   இட்டகருந் திரையெடுத்துக்
கைகாட்டு வான்போலக்
    கதிர்காட்டி யெழும்பொழுதில்.

Chasing away the dense darkness, the sun
Rode his chariot revealing his visage;
As Thinnan whose form was that of true love
Was bent on his hunt unique, in the jungle,
As if to reveal the woodland beasts, he drew away
The black curtain and rose on high with his rays;
It looked as though he waved his hand to Thinnan.   

Arunachala Siva.

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