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Messages - Subramanian.R

43606
General topics / Re: Sharing an experience of practice
« on: May 13, 2009, 10:28:09 AM »
Dear matthias, Paintbrush,

We are always Awareness, the evershining, the ever present Self.
Why we are saying that we are not aware, on many occasions, is
due to the operation of the ego.  The ego is like a cloud or smoke
or screen that covers the Awareness.  The removal of this screen,
or smoke or cloud confers us the Revelation, which is ever present.

Bhagavan Ramana says two similes in this connection.

1. One is the bird flying over the sea.  It gets tired.  But there is
no resting place for it.  It hovers around the sea for a long time
and then comes to the earth.  It perches on a tree and heaves a
sigh of relief.  It has found its resting place.  Now what is it, that
makes a bird to go over the sea?  Unless it can get some fish (only
fish pecker does it), it has no reason to go to the sea.  But it goes.

2. The second is river.  The river comes from the rain clouds, which
are again caused by the hot sun over the sea water.  The rain falls
and it becomes a river, due to heavy flow of rains.  The river's
birth place or cause is actually sea.  The river flows from west to
east or from east to west, gets tired.  Finally it goes back to sea.

Arunachala Siva.       

43607
Dear matthias,

Very much yes.  Freud and other psychotherapists attempt to
explore only the conscious mind.  Some times, they hypnotize
the patients and try to analyze the conscious mind in an unconscious state.  They do not know anything about Consciousness, or Super
Conscious mind.  There is a story in Freud called The Story of a
psychoanalyst.  Here the psychotherapist himself goes mad, because
he found certain shocking aspects of the conscious mind under
hypnotism. Sankara went beyond Freud.

Arunachala Siva.
 
 

43608
We can believe that the sages when they say: Our fate is simply a
bundle of habits.  If you want to change your fate, --- change your
habits.

We now understand that a guru is necessary.  But for many sincere
people longing for spiritual attainment, the dilemma of 'Where is my
guru, amongst so many who are not?'  still remains looming before
them.  Bhagavan Ramana spoke precisely to them by declaring that
one should first understand:

"What is a guru?  Guru is God or the Self.  First man prays to God
to fulfill his desires.  A time comes when he will not more pray for
the fulfillment of material desires but for God Himself.  God then
appears to him in some form or another, human or non-human to
guide him to Himself in answer to his prayer and according to his
needs."  [ S.S. Cohen, Guru Ramana].

A devotee inquired of Bhagavan Ramana.  "Is there any way to meet the appointed guru for each?"

Bhagavan:  "Intense meditation brings it about."  [Talks 135].

Therefore, the search for a guru is only to the search for God.  We
need not search in vain for the place to knock, for it is within.
Krishna said: "My glory is within."  Jesus also assures us of the
direction to find the guru as the 'pearl of great price' by saying, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God of Heaven and all else shall be added
unto you."

This kingdom is within our very Heart, and Bhagavan Ramana offers two ways of approach, and then clearly instructs us how to unite
with it.

"There are two ways.  'Ask yourself --- Who am I?' or 'Submit and
I will strike down the ego.'  [Arthur Osborne].

Seeking your true nature in your Heart, discovering it and rejoicing in it by bathing in the bliss of my jnana swarupa -- this is within."

"Only bhakti sadhana performed continuously with love facilitate easily, in a gradual way,  this union."

"Enter with love the temple that is in your own Heart and experience the bliss of being absorbed in my swarupa, becoming one with it."  "I myself will command and control a mind that has died by the sacrifice of the ego."    [Padamalai, Muruganar. Tr. David Godman ].

(Source: Swami Sadasivananda's article in MP 2008-2009)

Arunachala Siva.             

43609
Dear matthias,

Even Advaita or any Hindu philosophy says that ego is an enemy.
What is ego, it is contaminated Jiva?  It is always with you, like
I told a few days ago, like a nagging wife.  You cannot divorce
your wife just because she is nagging, because she does many
other useful work for you.  Better to ignore or turn a deaf ear to
her nagging!

Jiva + contamination =  Egoistic Jiva.  (like Ravana in Ramayana)

Jiva - minus contamination =  Pure Jiva = Suddha Tattvam = Brahman.  (like Rama in Ramayana)

Like Marx and Lenin said in post World War:  "Workers of the world,
unite, you shall lose nothing but your chains!"  Brahman says to Jiva:  " Unite with me after losing your chains!"

Arunachala Siva.   


43610
Sri Swami Sadasivananda continues...

We cannot manoeurve and progress towards victory over an enemy
that outnumber us, in such an inimical battlefield, called the human
mind, without soliciting real help.  Without an expereinced guide as
the General of our forces, we may even court a fatal consequence.
By legitimizing and even deifying our ego's habitual heedless
indifference to God, and by labelling its urges as 'inner guru' or
'voice of our Spirit', we inevitably fall into the death trap of pramada.

In the Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata epic, the blind king Dhritarshtra, who symblizes the blindness of the ego, cynically asks
Sage Sanatsujata:  "What is death?"  The Sage replies:  "Pramada is death!"   [Saint Poet Arungiri Natha uses the word  marana-pramada].  It should be understood that the definitions of Sanskrit words are subject to philosophical intentions, and thus are prey to individual bias.  Therefore disagreement and even argument concerning proper meaning and usage are commonplace.   Neverthelss, the most learned scholars agree that the ancient definition of the word 'pramada' comes from its usage in this scripture.  The word 'mada' means intoxication and when prefixed
by 'pra' it becomes intense intoxication to the degree of madness.

Sage Sanatsujata is indicating the presence of 'pramada' brings about a spiritual death.  Thus, the spiritual madness that at first manifests
as indifference, inattention, and negligence becomes deadly because it is directed towards God.  This is not to be defined as forgetfulness of the Self, unless one admits to a wilful and bellligerent forgetfulness.

The offspring of pramada is 'duragraha', adamant determination to do that which you know you should never do.

The compound spiritual fracture of being indifferent to God and habitually partaking in negative action with utter disregard for the negative cansequences, creates a karmic blood-letting, fatal even to
the strongest constitution.

(Source: As indicated earlier.)

Arunachala Siva.   

43611
Krishna has said:

"O Son of Kunti, wisdom is clouded by desire. This constant enemy
of the wise is as insatiable as fire. (Ch. 3, v 39.)

Admittedly there is an entire school of religious thoughts that refute
this position a sbeing of the less mature path of bhakti.  They have
voluminous advaitic scriptures of the jnana marga, that can be interpreted to support their claims.  Regardless of this, there is
universal agreement amongst all sects that due to adharma, and
the spiritual blindness ensuing from it, an embodiment of divine state
of perfection, appears amongst humankind from time to time, to
establish dharma in the world.

In our times, Bhagavan Ramana came forth as an embodiment of that Perfection.  His teaching is recognized and accepted as the Maha Yoga, great path to union with godhead, though primarily the jnana
marga.  Although, He did say that to be true jnani one would simultaneously become a true bhakta and vice versa.

To know the truth regarding the need for a guru, to lead one through the perils of engagement with an enemy that roams freel in a world
ablaze with its desires of unappeasable fire, let us listen to the voice
of the Maharshi, and the comments of one who lived by His side.  Bhagavan Ramana said:

"The guru is the formless Self within each one of us.  He may appear as a body to guide us, but that is only his disguise......the function of the outer guru is to awaken the inner guru in the heart."  [Arthur
Osborne, Be Still, It is the Wind that sings.  p.80.]  The guru realizes the ultimate truth that: "There is no being of the unreal and no not-being of the Real."..."And yet, paradoxically, it is also an impediment to assert that no effort need be made, on the pretext that, as 'there is no being of the unreal and no not-being of the Real', one is that now and has therefore no need to arrive to become That.  It sounds plausible, but it is an impediment because, it is the pseudo-self, the illusory unreal, that is saying it.  The Master can say that there is nothing to achieve because one is That already.  The disciple cannot...... Bhagavan expected the devotee to make effort, even while appreciating the paradox that there is no effort to make.  In the same way, He would say that for the Realized Man there is no guru-disciple relationship but added that for the disciple the relationship is a reality, and is of impoortance."  [ULLadu Narpadu, Anubandham].
[Also Arthur Osborne. op.cit. p.76]
       
(Source:  As indicated earlier.)

Arunachala Siva.   

43612
Technically we are speaking of the Vijnanamaya Kosa, which is also
the abode of our intuitional intellect.  The scriptures speak of this
Kosa as being the dwelling place of the Goddess Saraswati, the deity
of our consciousness.  This fact is for us the wonder of wonders and
at once our very dilemma.  For though, the goddess is our our very
own Divine Mother and greatest friend, caring only for her children's
upliftment and highest Realization, we have permitted our greatest
enemy, the ego, to co-exist in her dwelling place --- and these two are not  friends.  Though our divine mother directs us upon a seemingly rugged path of discipline, vigilance and patient endurance, her promised reward is eternal happiness and pure unselfish love.  The ego, on the other hand, impels us towards the instant [though
fleeting and illusory] satisfaction of craving.  The choice between the two is onot upto to fate, but rather ours to decide.

Krishna further declares in the Gita, that the odds of victory for right discernement and effrot by Arjuna [symbolizing each one of us], even with such a one as Krishna himself as mentor and guide, were against Arjuna by a ratio of eleven to seven.  The foot soldiers of the ego
simply outnumber our virtues and tendencies.

As we are against bad odds and are creatures of bad habit, our ego
can impel us even against our own will, to make bad choices.  In all
honesty, such bad choices cause us critical damage, resulting in lives of sorrow and misery.  All our suffering comes from vainly seeking
to appease the ego, an ememy whose appetite is insatiable.

(Source: Swami Sadasivananda's articles in Mountain Path, 2008/09.)

Arunachala Siva.     

43613
Swami Sadasivananda further writes:

The authenticity of spiritua teachers is not a decades old problem,
as was noted by one of the close disciples living with Bhagavan
Ramana.

"The rise of a new political idealogy in the West after the first World War made men intolerant of all authority.  The forces it released and he spirit of rebellion is disseminated everywhere had such a extremely wide repercussions that its influence stamped itself on most of the new world literature.  It invaded, unfortunately, the spiritual sphere and coloured the views of the preachers, who became Messiahs of the New Age.  The truly-seeking minds were thus caught between the spirit of the new age and that of the venerable traditions and scriptures, which had, throughout the centuries produced spiritual giants who led millions from "the unreal to the Real, and from death to Immortality."

It is  small wonder then that bewildered, earnest, truth-hungry men should anxiously visit Bhagavan Ramana and seek His advice on the need or otherwise of a guru.  [S.S. Cohen, Guru Ramana, 2006].

Historically, the guidance of a Master and the disciples of the disciple were to all religions essentially fundamental.  Bhagavan Ramana could not have more clearly emphasized this truth when He was once asked:  "Is it necessary to have a physical Guru?"  The Master replied:  "Is it necessary for a new born child to have a mother?"

Nevertheless, in our modern age our moods and suspicions concerning the authenticity of a guru's teachings automatically come into question. In order to correctly resolve this question, the seeker must possess the valuable quality of discrimination, strengthened by vigilant prayer for guidance. The spiritual market place has been for decades now, overstocked with self made masters who seek worldly benefits for themselves rather than spritual benefits for their followers.  If followers take these persons as their gurus, they are sure to be waylaid.   There is brand power.  New brands, new packaging, new publicity, new names like Neo Advaita, Advaita in
Twenty Days etc., etc.,

Though many take directions from their now so-called inner guru
with faith, hope and reliance, they are simply unaware of a great
danger -- a powerful destructive enemy within.  Krishna warns Arjuna of this great foe to realization of the Self in the beginning chapters of the Bhagavad Gita, (Chapter III).

(Source: As indicated above)

Arunachala Siva.

43614
The following is an abridged version of Swami Sadasivananda's
article on Practical Sadhana, that is appearing in 2008 and 2009 issues of Mountain Path.

Question:  I now understand that the need for abhyasa and vichara.
But a larger question has now arisen which is the need for a guru
to guide my efforts towards attainment.  Is a guru necessary, what
does a guru really do, and where can I find one whom I can whole
heartedly believe and trust?

The heart and soul of Sanatana Dharma, or the eternal religion, found its origination and essence in the oral transmission of its Truths.  Since abiding nature of this dharma is Eternal, the foundation for those who today seek to cultivate these Truths must rely primarily
on the oral tradition thorugh the guru-disciple relationship, or through satsangh, which will lead one towards that relationship.

The tradition that were a Truth of old, remain Truth of today.  The primary difficulty universally faced by all who seek to cultivate the
inner Life of the Spirit is the question of authenticity.

The primary choice to make in the beginning of spiritual pursuit is whether to seek the outward guidance of guru, or find the path to the Eternal through prompting of the inner intuitive voice of the Self.

The question of whether or not to trust the voice of the conscience depends solely on the quality of sattva [purity of vision and habits]
of the intellect. 

The essential quality of intellect, in regard to the need for a guru rests primarily upon a clear vision and understanding of exactly what a guru does.  Therefore, Bhagavan Ramana, who left no stone unturned in the ongoing guidance of all who came before Him, gave practical clarification on this essential aspect of spiritual life to one of His
close disciple, Arthur Osborne, who summarized Bhagavan's teaching in his collected essays.

"The guru is the Spirit of Guidance.  Ultimately, this is to be focussed within oneself?  Whatever awakens it is acting as guru.  'The purpose of the outer guru', the Maharshi said, 'is to turn you inwards to the inner guru.'   And yet in this regard there is no easy formula, no guarantee against error, for just as the aspirant may be misled by the false outer guru reflecting undesirable qualities in himself, so he may dignify various inner urges with the same name 'guru'.  Constant vigilance and intelligent purity are necessary."  [ Be Still, It is the Wind that sings.  Arthur Osborne, 2000, p.62.]

(Source: as indicated above)

Arunachala Siva.           

43615
General topics / Re: How does one go beyond the mind?
« on: May 12, 2009, 11:04:15 AM »
Dear Nagaraj,

The same idea has been conveyed by Bhagavan Ramana in Who am I?

Sivaprakasam Pillai asked Him:  What is the difference between non-
attachment and jnana?

Bhagavan replied:  "Non attachment and Jnana are not different. Both
are the same.  Non attachment is where the mind does not go after
any objects/persons.  Jnana is where no object/person appears.

Arunachala Siva.

43616
General topics / Re: Shortest road to Self Realisation
« on: May 12, 2009, 10:59:41 AM »
Dear Nagaraj,

Everyway , whether it is short or long, needs a conviction and
steadfast faith in Guru's words.  Many devotees used to ask
Bhagavan Ramana whether they could  take up surrender instead
of self enquiry, presuming that the former was easy.  Bhagavan
Ramana smiled and told them:  "Do not think surrender is easy,
it is as difficult as self enquiry."  Both the ways need conviction
and faith in Guru's teachings and guidance.

Arunachala Siva.

43617
Further says the article, Practical Sadhana, in Mountain Path, October-
December 2008:

Perhaps even more assuring will be that through "the crown of
our achievement", Bhagavan will declare to us when we come
away from His Asramam and Arunachala, the very same words
He spoke to Arthur Osborne when he once left for Madras.

"He is taking the Swami with him!"
[Be Still, It is the Wind that sings, Arthur Osborne, p.78-79, Edition,
of 2000]

For through our seeking with patient perseverance in transformative
abhyasa and vichara and our heeding Bhagavan Ramana's call, "think
of the feet of the Lord", we will discover the abode of those divine
feet.  Even though physically for us, there is:

"No more the beloved face, no more the sound of His voice, but
henceforth the Lingam of polished black stone, the symbol of Siva,
over the samadhi as our outer sign, inwardly there will be His footprints in the Heart."  [ Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self
Knowledge, Arthur Osborne, p. 225. Ed. 2006].

[ "Why do you pointlessly find fault with me, saying that I no
   longer looke at you?"

    "If you would only fix your gaze upon me, you would know
    that, established in the Heart, my gaze is ever fixed upon you."

    "Looking at you from within the Self, I never leave you.  How
     can this fact be known to your externalized vision?"

                       - Padamalai, Muruganar, Verses 598-600.]

( Source: As indicated in above.)

Arunachala Siva.
 

43618
The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Effort and Grace
« on: May 11, 2009, 02:17:31 PM »
Further from the article on Practical Sadhana, MP, Oct Dec 2008:

Bhagavan Ramana's close disciple, Arthur Osborne, clarified the
meaning and tradition of this statement by saying:

"To do this constitutes the effort of which the teachers and
scriptures speak.  The mind has created the obstruction.  The
mind has to remove it.  But merely to recognize this, to recognize,
that is to say, that the ego is (according to the Advaitin or nondualist) an illusory self  or {according to dualist} a creation of the Spirit,
to which it should be totally submissive and passive, is far from
constituting the full effort and therefore, so to speak, the guilt
in not making the effort."  [ Be Still, It is the Wind that sings. 
Arthur Osborne, p.74. Ed. 2000 ].

Though the grace is always there, it is natural and simply human
to pray to Bhagavan for a physical support of grace. We know that
in Bhagavan's physical presence, a glance was enough.  Though
many have come to love Him, there are those who feel 'born out
of time', lacking that heartfelt devotion produced by the Power of
His Presence, even though He assured us that:

"They say that I am dying but I am not going away.  Where could
I go?  I am here."  [Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge
by Arthur Osborne, p.222, Ed. 2000].

Through our abhyasa, vichara [enquiry into one's true Nature] and
devotion, we will experience Him and thus know that He is eternally
with us.  He is for all a Jagat Guru who even today for many, through their love of Him, is still a physical support of grace.  He declared that if we 'put His teaching into practice' our qualifying ripeness would
be even His very embrace!  For those of us, whose love for Him is
still ripening we will live with the assurance He gave:

"Mount Kailas is the Abode of Siva but Arunachala is Siva Himself." 

"He saw the sacred hill as the form asssumed by Pure Spirit for the
support of guidance of men.  Now that the physical body of Bhagavan --- the most precious of all supports of Grace  --- has been withdrawn from us, the Hill emits Power and Grace for His devotees even more
than before."  [ Be Still, It is the Wind that sings by Arthur Osborne,
p.78-79, Ed. 2000 ].

(Source:  As indicated above.)

Arunachala Siva.   

 

43619
Further from the article on Practical Sadhana, Oct Nov 2008, of MP:

Here Bhagavan Ramana is stressing the graded practice of concentration that ultimately produces a one-pointed intellect.
Every learned devotee of Bhagavan knows that this takes time
because of the very fact that it is not theory.  For God is not a
theory, and thus it takes effort to think of Him with concentration
at least equal to the effort we put forth in forgetting Him.

Though we forget God with apparent ease, the devotion required
to attract the grace of remembrance of Him develops slowly, and
deepens only with our ardent perseverence in concentration,
meditation and prayer.

Bhagavan Ramana affirmed this by saying:

"If bhakti is sufficiently developed, vairagya [dispassion for objects of the senses] and concentration follows as a matter of course.
If devotion to an Ideal is also lacking, the seeker may resort to Japa or Pranayam, to arrest the restlessness of the mind.  All these
practices specifically aim at stopping the vritti, the ceaseless
modification, the wanderings of the mind, so that the latter may be
nailed to itself and may eventually cognize its own native state.
Mental diffusiveness resembles a mixture of gold dust and sand, earth, ashes, and dirt of all sorts.  Dharana, concentration, and
meditation, dhyana, are the sieve, which sift the gold dust from
others.  They churn the nadis, nerves, along which consciousness
flows to the whole body and tracks them down to their Source,
the Heart.  The ebbs and flows of the consciousness, which constant
pratice renders increasingly perceptible to the meditator, gradually
loosen the consciousness  from the body and end by end by separating them in samadhi, so that the sadhaka is enabled to
perceive the consciousness alone and pure.  This is the Self, God
the  Absolute.  [Reflections on Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, S.S.
Cohen, Notes on $ 27 ].

Our constancy in sadhana involves both a persistent development
of focus and a deepening of devotion.  The Lord is attracted not by
the thoughts of the mind, but rather by the movement of our heart.
We are reminded that we also have a skillful part to play in this act
of grace when Bhagavan said:

"Grace is always there, it is only you who have to make yourself
receptive to it."  [ Be Still, It is the Wind that sings, by Arthur
Osborne, p.74. Ed. 2000.]

(Source:  As indicated above)

Arunachala Siva.   

43620
Further from the article on Practical Sadhana, Oct Dec 2008 of MP.

Before the revelation, there must come a confrontation and a
conquering, then finally sublimation through the rising of our
self by our own effort [svadharama].

"One should uplift oneself by one's own Self and not lower oneself.
Truly, it is the Self which is one's frined, and it is the self which is
one's enemy."  (BG 6.5)

Bhagavan Ramana gives us a choice of two means of practice.  He
frequently said: 

"There are two ways.  'Ask yourself Who am I?' or 'Submit and I
will strike down the ego."  [ Be Still, It is the Wind that sings.  Arthur
Osborne, p. 64, Ed. 2000].

For those who have set their hands to the plough of, "Effort, which
is itself yoga," (Guru Ramana S.S. Cohen. p.74 74, Ed. 2006).

It seems safe to assume that both of the means employ similar methods.  Bhagavan Ramana's statements concerning the success
of either path exemplify this. 

A devotee who received diecet instruction for a long period of time from Bhagavan asks:

"Although I have listened to the explanation of the characteristics
of enquiry in such great detail, my mind has not gained even a little
peace.  What is the reason for this?"

Bhagavan replied:  "The reason is the absence of strength or
one-pointedness of the mind."

Devotee:  " What is the reason for the absence of mental strength?"

Bhagavan:  "The means that make one qualified for enquiry are meditation, yoga, etc.,  One should gain proficiency in these through
practice and thus secure a stream of mental modes that are natural
and helpful.  When the mind that has in this manner become ripe,
listens to the present enquiry, it will at once realize its true nature,
which is the Self, and remain in perfect peace, without deviating
from the means for mind-control for some time, peace of mind  can
be obtained eventually."  [Self Enquiry, Vichara Sangraham].

Once a devotee of Bhagavan asked:

Devotee:  "What is the meaning of strength of mind?"

Bhagavan:  "Its ability to concentrate on one thought without
being distracted."

Devotee:  "How is that achieved?"

Bhagavan:  "By practice.  A devotee concentrates on God, a seeker,
follower of the Jnana-marga, seeks the Self.  The practice is equally
difficult for both."  [Talks No. 91, Ed. 2006].

Devotee:  "What ae the steps in practical sadhana?"

Bhagavan:  "They depend on the qualifications and the nature of
the seeker.  If you are doing idol worship, you should go on with it.
It will lead you to concentration.  Get one-pointed, and all will come
out right.  People think that Liberation is far away and should be
sought out.  They are wrong.  It is only knowing (by direct experience) the Self within oneself.  Concentrate and you will
get it.  The mind is the cycle of births and deaths.  Go on practising
and concentration will be as easy ass breathing.  That will be the
crown of your achievement."  [ Reflections on Talks with Sri Ramana
Maharshi, S.S. Cohen. p.134-135, Ed. 2007].

(Source:  As indicated above)

Arunachala Siva.