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8656
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 13, 2016, 08:46:24 AM »
Verse  7:


பொங்கரில் வண்டு புறம்பலை சோலைகள் மேலோடும்
வெங்கதிர் தங்க விளங்கிய மேன்மழ நன்னாடாம்
அங்கது மண்ணின் அருங்கல மாக அதற்கேயோர்
மங்கல மானது மங்கல மாகிய வாழ்மூதூர்.


There the bees wing through the clefts of trees in gardens;
Upper Mazhanadu is warmed by the rays of sun;
It is like a rare jewel unto this earth;
Thither flourishes the hoary town Tirumangkalam
As an auspicious town of foison.


Arunachala Siva.

8657
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 13, 2016, 08:43:51 AM »
Verse  6:

கண்மலர் காவிகள் பாய இருப்பன கார்முல்லைத்
தண்ணகை வெண்முகை மேவு சுரும்பு தடஞ்சாலிப்
பண்ணை எழுங்கயல் பாய விருப்பன காயாவின்
வண்ண நறுஞ்சினை மேவிய வன்சிறை வண்டானம்.

The bees that rest on cool blooms of jasmine
White as teeth, are about to pass on to dark lilies
Which are like eyes; the storks that had perched on
The beauteous and rich branches of Kaya tree
Are about to dart at the carps that leap from
The fields thick with huge paddy crops.   

Arunachala Siva.





8658
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 13, 2016, 08:41:28 AM »
Verse  5:

அல்லி மலர்ப்பழ னத்தயல் நாகிள ஆன்ஈனும்
ஒல்லை முழுப்பை உகைப்பின் உழக்கு குழக்கன்று
கொல்லை மடக்குல மான்மறி யோடு குதித்தோடும்
மல்கு வளத்தது முல்லை யுடுத்த மருங்கோர்பால்.


Near fields where thrive petaled flowers, is a stretch
Of Mullai land; thither a new-born calf
Of a young cow romps and jumps midst trees and plants,
And anon joins the herd of deer in the nearby garden
And there in joy jumps and leaps with them.
Such commodious tracks mark this land.   

Arunachala Siva.

8659
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 13, 2016, 08:38:44 AM »
Verse  4:


பொங்கிய மாநதி நீடலை உந்து புனற்சங்கம்
துங்க விலைக்கத லிப்புதல் மீது தொடக்கிப்போய்த்
தங்கிய பாசடை சூழ்கொடி யூடு தவழ்ந்தேறிப்
பைங்கமு கின்தலை முத்தம் உதிர்க்குவ பாளையென.


The chanks shored up by long billowy river
Crawl and ascend the clusters of long-leaved plantains;
They move along the creepers circling the green leaves
Of plantains, and reach the tops of areca trees;
Thence they pour their pearls which fall down
Like flowers from spathes.

Arunachala Siva.


8660
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 13, 2016, 08:36:04 AM »
Verse  3:


வன்னிலை மள்ளர் உகைப்ப வெழுந்த மரக்கோவைப்
பன்முறை வந்தெழும் ஓசை பயின்ற முழக்கத்தால்
அன்னம் மருங்குறை தண்டுறை வாவி யதன்பாலைக்
கன்னல் அடும்புகை யால்முகில் செய்வ கருப்பாலை.

Noise issues when farmers circling ply
The pair of rods of the sugarcane-press;
As smoke from ovens where cane juice is heated,
Spreads near the cool fields where swans teem,
As many, the wine-presses cause cloud-formations.

Arunachala Siva.


8661
General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 13, 2016, 08:33:25 AM »
Verse  2:


நீவி நிதம்ப உழத்தியர் நெய்க்குழல் மைச்சூழல்
மேவி யுறங்குவ மென்சிறை வண்டு விரைக்கஞ்சப்
பூவி லுறங்குவ நீள்கயல் பூமலி தேமாவின்
காவின் நறுங்குளிர் நீழ லுறங்குவ கார்மேதி.



On the dark well-oiled locks of the fair-waist farm-wives
Who are garmented in folds of tucked saris,
The soft-winged bees and beetles slumber;
On the petalled lotuses fragrant, long carps sleep;
In the fragrant shades of the cool mango-groves
Sleep dark buffaloes.   

Arunachala Siva.

8662



Rajapalayam Ramani Amma, a young widow, from an orthodox non-Brahmin family was a timid
lady right from young age, not even coming to the outer portals of the house, due to her
widowhood as well as timidity.  She was reading Srimad Bhagavad Gita but without understanding
anything.  One day a friend of her gave the Tamizh biography of Bhagavan Ramana, Sri Ramana
Vijayam (Sri Suddhanda Bharati).   As soon as she touched the book, she lost all body consciousness!
With some difficulty, she returned to the house from the gates, after receiving the book.  She sat on the
cot and started opening the book, saw Bhagavan Ramana's picture inside and again had a loss of body
consciousness.

With the help of an old widow, she came to Bhagavan Ramana, to Tiruvannamalai.  She went
into the outer meadow, near the Iluppai Tree, and asked someone where was Bhagavan
Ramana.  Bhagavan Ramana came but she saw only a thick column of light.  Jyoti Darsanam! 
A few seconds later, she saw His form, in body.  She remembered the dream of Siva Linga, that
she had many times in the recent past.

She knew that she had finally arrived!

Arunachala Siva.   

8663


Kunju Swami hails from Palakkad, Kerala.  He came to Bhagavan Ramana, when He was on the
Hill.  He had good omens.  Mother Azhagamma was also there at that time.  Bhagavan Ramana
made Kunju Swami feel the peace in His presence.  A couple of weeks passed.  Kunju Swami
felt that the Samadhi anbuhava, the peace, that he had with Bhagavan Ramana can be attained
even at his house in Kerala.  He returned to Kerala.  Within a few days, all the Samadhi anubhava
evaporated.  He became full of wrong emotions and 'normal' life tendencies.  He rushed to
Bhagavan Ramana back.  Bhagavan Ramana smiled at him and said:  Be here.  This Place
(Tiruvannamalai) will only give you permanent abidance.  You do not go elsewhere.  From that day,
Kunju Swami never left Bhagavan Ramana and he used to go out of Tiruvannamalai only when
Bhagavan Ramana told him to go.

Kunju Swami recalled years later:  If Samadhi can be obtained in any place, permanently (even
without adequate sadhana), then why should Bhagavan Ramana, have come from Madurai to
Tiruvannamalai?  Bhagavan Ramana Himself says in Sri Arunachala Ashtakam, Verse 1: 
"When there was some "maruL" 'trace of confusion' came and when the Hill drew me near..."

Arunachala Siva.

8664
General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 13, 2016, 06:23:11 AM »




From Bhagavan Ramana, certain great devotees had only one word or one sentence and this
gave them enough faith to proceed further with inquiry or surrender.  This may be a
"mantra" or a simple word or sentence.  He said:  Siva, Siva as mantra and Summa Iru or even
Iru (Stay) as the one word or one sentence for proceeding further.

This gave me some thoughts about Saint Pattinathar.  He is from Kaveri Poompattinam, near
Thanjavur, a coastal town. He was a great Siva bhakta but steeped in worldly pleasure of earning
huge money.  He was in shipping trade, selling goods at Malaya (Malaysia) and Burma (Myanamar). 
He had a good wife and got a son.  The son became 18 years old.  He sent his son to Malaysia in a
ship full of pearls and spices to sell and bring back rubies and gold.  The son came after three months.
In the ship, he brought a shipload of cow-dung!  When the father got angry and shouted, he came
to the house, prayed to Siva, and applied vibhuti on his forehead.  He then left a small box
with his father and asked him to open it after he left.  He left the home again.  The curious father,
opened the box and found an eyeless needle, with a palmyra leaf on which was written:

Even the eye-less needle* will not come with you in your last path (journey)**

*  - Eyeless needle or earless needle is the one in which the small hole is broken and the needle
has lost all its utility.

** - Last path or Journey - The path of the corpse to the burial or cremation ground!

Kaadharunatha oosiym kadai vashikku vaaraathu kaaN.

The father got a light flash in his mind and went out of the house.  He did not return.


Some great devotees were given one mantra or one word or one sentence by Bhagavan
Ramana and they took it in great faith and continued their spiritual pursuits successfully.
Bhagavan Ramana said: Siva, Siva or Summa Iru or even Iru (Stay) to Thinnai Swamigal.

Pattinathar was given a great sentence by his son, (the story later) which means:

Even the eye-less needle* will not come with you in your last path (journey)!**

* - The hole which is broken, after which the needle becomes
totally useless.

** The last path - The Journey of the corpse to the burial
or cremation ground.

This one sentence made the father to become a great Siva Yogi or Siva Jnani who wrote many
verses.  He is one of the 18 great Tamizh Siddhas.

Arunachala Siva. 

8665
True Vichara:

'Who am I?', you discover, is the pre-eminent question, the starting point and ending point.  It is abiding
in the formless by virtue of not allowing the mind a place to abide.  It is the shining ground of awareness
whose light penetrates and illumines all dualities and discriminations.  If you ask by what route you can free
yourself of the mind's current turmoil, Bhagavan is emphatic:  Vichara is the ultimate route.  (Talks $ 251)

True Vichara does not consist in asking an endless variety of questions but in asking only one question,
even a one word question,  like 'what?' or 'who?'; even a no word question :  It is the silent perplexity that
undergirds questioning that is essential.  This is true Vichara.  Ideally you would keep it, whatever the formulation, for long months, or even years!

Conclusion:

Taking the path of Vichara does not mean waiting until we have renounced:  eliminating thoughts in the mind
is the greatest renunciation. It does it mean waiting until our minds are pure: we come to Vichara as we are,
trusting in its vast potential to steadily scour and eventually do away with whatever demon or defilement may
lurk within.  It does not mean waiting for until we have extra time in the meditation hall or get caught up in our domestic and professional duties:  that time may never come.  If obligations to family, friends and career
seem to preclude setting our minds on inquiry, let us remind ourselves how preoccupied our minds any way,
all the time, with idle chatter and aimless mental static.  It is not time to win back a share of time spent on
mental fretting, chronic anxiety and perpetual worry, and put forward doing the practice Sri Bhagavan
Ramana gave us?

If our determination is strong, we can question right in the midst of ordinary daily activities  - while  brushing
our teeth, while taking a bath, while getting dressed, while sitting down for a meal, or while at work.
All these instances provide opportunities to turn the mundane into the sublime and bring our attention to
questioning.

Truly, Bhagavan tells us,  Vichara is the royal road. Even if, as beginners,  we don't know where that road 
will lead, it does not matter,  the Master stands at its head, beckoning us, 'This way!  This way!'

What more could we ask for?  He is showing the way out. 

Now it is up to us.

concluded.

Arunachala  Siva.               

8666
Inner, Outer, Formlessness and Form:

Thus far we have described the mechanism of Vichara.  But how does all this relate to our starting point,
'formlessness and abiding in it'?  What can formlessness teach us about inquiry?

Actually the direction is clear.  Inquiry is the road to formlessness.  In fact, 'is inquiry itself' formlessness,
the counter-force that dissolves all forms in the mind.  But if it dissolves all forms in the mind, then all forms
are dissolved because in reality, Bhagavan tells us, forms arise nowhere else.

And so, we might ask, is there really such a thing as form?  Could it be that, while having the appearance   
of form, at root, all forms are actually formless?  Could this be what Bhagavan meant when He referred
to the 'dream like' nature of the world?

If 'all that appears outside are in reality inside'

(Self Inquiry $ 8), then all forms are mental and have no
enduring substance.  This seems clear enough but now we are confronted with the following Vichara
conundrum:  If 'all that appears outside is really inside',  then where and what is this thing we call 'inside'?
If within and without have no boundary separating them, then -- right now - where is this written page   
appearing?  If all that appears outside is actually inside, then 'outsideness' must also be inside.  If this
be so, then how can we even talk about an 'inside'?  ('All mountains and rivers, grasses, trees, and forest
grove, all phenomena in creation, and all things tainted and pure, appear from within It' (Master Heze from
Chinul.) See also Who am I? $ 16,  'The whole world, the individual soul and God are appearances in It'.)           


Fundamentally, there can only be THIS.  But what is THIS?  And to whom does It appear?

Bhagavan's Pure Light of Awareness:

Now questioning in this way starts to sound like inquiry. But we are still at the level of theory.
What would spontaneous questioning on a more personal level look like?  What might be deeply
engaged questioning be like?

Suppose you are sitting at the Sri Chrkra Puja in the Asramam just before final arti. Suppose you
are sitting opposite the icon of Dakshinamurti in the Mother's Shrine, say, at the garland making station.
Echoing at a distance you can hear the ceremony's concluding litany of prayers:  ya devi sarva bhutesu
santirupena samsthita namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namah... You might look up and
see Dakshinamurti gazing down at you only a few meters away.  You might stretch your hand and lighly
the iron grill in front of you noticing how solid it feels, noticing how solid your own hand feels, and how
tangible your surroundings are.  You might ask yourself:  What are these impressions appearing?
Where is this feeling of solidity taking place?  Where are the sensations of the grill and the hand arising?

In the spirit of inquiry, you might probe more closely.  After a time, you might find that your questioning
begins to be in earnest;  doubt arises within you and wily-nilly a sense of not knowing the nature of source
of what you are experiencing grips you.  in time, you are no longer self conscious about your probing;
you are just probing. As your investigation intensifies, you might be startled by the feeling that all sensations
-- the multiple sights and sounds around you -- are actually only impressions on the 'screen' of you own mind.
You might be further caught off guard when, spontaneously inquiring into the nature of this 'screen', you
have the bizarre suspicion that the 'screen' and the 'viewer' are not two separate things.  What if the viewer,
you ask, were not a person or thing but the container of things, giving them their form?  What if 'things' were
the necessary backdrop against which It comes to know Itself, the 'two' are but a single Reality?
(Even the walls, tiles, and pebbles expound the true teaching'.  Cha'n Proverb).

As you notice seer and seen meld into just seeing,  ('The whole universe is but a pointer' - Famous
saying of Chinese Master Hsuan-tse.). you might wonder what just seeing is and where It takes place.
Absorbed in doubt, you study more closely.  The question is not obvious anymore, but rather, implicit,
diffuse and silent, and you find yourself astonished, though at ease.  Periodic questions and key phrases
arise, punctuating and refreshing your wordless wonderment. (When there is proper and persistent inquiry,
the 'I-thought' also ceases and there is the wordless illumination of the form 'I-I' which is Pure Consciousness.
(SE).   Bhagavan's apt words echo in your mind:  'Before knowing the far-off God, let me know the more
immediate and intimate 'I'.  (Talks $ 154).  You then recognize that all your questions till now have a root
been one question -- and a mere preparation of for -- the very same question He had urged you to all along.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                                     
   

8667
Ordinary ways of knowing become refined and we get a growing sense that knowledge does not consist in
'content' but is rather rooted in 'function'.  It is not static or formulaic but dynamic and organic; it is not a
thing but a process.  As questioning continues to loosen the reifying tendencies of the mind, making it supple,
pliant and receptive, the vast potential of the mind's authentic functioning  -- a formless awareness beyond
fixed notions and labels -- is made available to us.

Once in Vichara-land,  we become saturated with questioning:  'What is the inside and outside of clear empty
space?  'What is the sound of a single hand?'   'Where do seeing and hearing come from?'

Each of these classic queries (From Masters Keizan Jokin, Hakuin Zenji and Yuvan Wu, respectively)
points to It.  Even a simple phrase question like 'What is the Self? abounds with the double  bind:
the Self cannot be imaged, it is not a 'thing', has no form, shape or color.  If we say it is vast formlessness,then the question follows:  'What is this formlessness?'  Automatically the mind is thrown
into doubt, turned back on itself.  In its effort to formulate a picture, it becomes further confused and frustrated.   And so much the better:  THIS IS VICHARA'S CENTRIFUGAL, TRANSFORMATIVE ACTION
AT WORK WITHIN US.

Contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

8668
Vichara's Double Bind:

Now let us go a little further, into what may look to some like the realm of the absurd.  Indeed, Vichara is
a strange world.

After only a little probing in this vibrant way we come to see that our house is not in order: this 'I' we have
been speaking of all our lives is not what we took it to be.  When we look closely and honestly, we see
that we have no idea who are what we are.  An increasing desperation compels us to follow the questioning
further, to seek with ever renewed vigor that which eludes us.  But here is the thing: the further we pursue it,
the more ground we seem to forfeit. As inquiry chews up old assumptions, our quandary becomes more and more precipitous and we find ourselves straddling two worlds.  This is what ancient Ch'an masters called
'balancing atop a hundred foot pole.'.  (In ancient Chinese and Japanese texts, Vichara is likened to a mosquito boring into an iron bull  or climbing a mile high wall.  These and other similar phrases emphasizing
Vichara's dead lock effect on the mind are sprinkled throughout the literature.)

One is neither able to go forward nor backward. The predicament is unsettling and engenders further uncertainty within us.  While this is aimed for in inquiry, at such moments we would be happy simply to forget
the whole thing and go back to doing whatever we were doing before we started.  But that may not be possible.  As former identification begin to dissipate, efforts at filling the gap prove futile in the face of inquiry's
laser-like power. At a loss, we find ourselves bewildered by the not knowingness that questioning faces us with. While this is true, something very unexpected happens now;  an accompanying peacefulness emerges
within us. As the mind begins to let go a little, old patterns  begin to give way and the mind accustoms itself
to a new way working.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 
                 

8669
21. idam aham padaa bhikhyanam anvaham
      ahami linake pyalaya sattyaa.

And this uninterrupted 'I-I' is the true meaning of the term 'I' because when the waking 'ego-I'  daily
disappears in deep sleep, the real 'i' remains.

Each day, the Jiva undergoes the equivalent of death when overtaken by sleep. Yet, as in the physical
death of the body, his true identity remains.  Therefore, Jnani has no more fear of death than of sleep,
knowing that his Pure Being and Consciousness are unaffected thereby.  The same survival is true
of all Jivas, yet the ignorant know it is not and live in a state of fear and desire -- desire for a state of peace,
security and happiness, which is already his true nature.   

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

8670
So how can one makes this critical step?  One tip given by adepts is landing on a question that grips one's
interest, a question that one finds captivating. To do this, we might go on a search, consult the scriptures,
pursue 'Talks' or Bhagavan's other works, and look for an ineffable word or phrase, whose meaning is unclear,that strikes us as  important, but baffles us, while simultaneously beckoning us to the seemingly
impossible task of plunging into depths.

'Who am I?' is a time honored question, reliably stimulating perplexity in its user. 'I' is the ultimate
mystery.  Its secret power is owing in part to the fact that all our lives we have regularly used the word,
without having any real idea what it refers to.  However, some who have made sincere attempts at 'Who am I?' feel stonewalled by their past 'failures'.  For such persons, jump starting questioning may involve seeking fresh formulations.

A classical variant from the Korean and Japanese koan tradition is - ' What is It?'  Immediately,
one can see that this question  is simply 'Who am I?' in different words.  'It' is nothing other than the Self.
But 'what is' this Self?  Paraphrasing Bhagavan, we could say that the Self is simply Pure Awareness.  (See
also Verses 22 and 40 of Ulladu Narpadu Supplement). But what is this Pure Awareness?  If we say 'It is
the vast formless field of subjectivity in which all things appear', then we can ask: What is this field of
subjectivity in which all things appear?', then we can ask: What is this field in which all things appear?

Here we have a beautiful entry into Vichara.  Now we simply meditate upon it in a thoroughgoing manner
and, at every available opportunity, activate it and relish in its ineffability.  We avoid despairing that ordinary
'answers' are not forthcoming; rather we simply inundate ourselves with Vichara's probing action and allow
ourselves to be engulfed in uncertainty, making a truce for the first time with not knowing.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   

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