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General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 08, 2016, 08:16:59 AM »
Verse  32:

சிலபகல் கழிந்த பின்பு
    திருக்கட வூரில் நண்ணி
நிலவுதம் பணியில் தங்கி
    நிகழுநாள் நிகரில் காழித்
தலைவராம் பிள்ளை யாரும்
    தாண்டகச் சதுர ராகும்
அலர்புகழ் அரசும் கூட
   அங்கெழுந் தருளக் கண்டு.

A few days passed and he left for Tiruk-k-Kadavur
And there was he poised in his abiding service hallowed;
Thither came the peerless Lord of Seerkazhi non-pareil
-- The Godly Son --, together with the wondrous Bard
Of Thandaka hymns ? Tirunavukkarasar
Of universal renown.   

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 08, 2016, 08:15:10 AM »
Verse  31:

என்றுமெய்த் தொண்டர் தம்மை
   ஏத்தியங் கெம்பி ரானுக்
கொன்றிய பணிகள் மற்றும்
   உள்ளன பலவும் செய்து
நின்றவெண் கவிகை மன்னன்
   நீங்கவும் நிகரில் அன்பர்
மன்றிடை யாடல் செய்யும்
   மலர்க்கழல் வாழ்த்தி வைகி.

Thus hailed the king the true servitor;
He rendered many a fitting service to the Lord
And then, he of the abiding white parasol
To his city fared forth; the peerless devotee
Hailed the ankleted flower-feet of the Lord
That dance in the Ambalam, and thither sojourned.

Arunachala Siva.   

We are not following Bhagavan Ramana's path completely.  At the same time, Bhagavan Ramana
said that so far you are in a particular social cultural mode of times, you should follow the customs.
In the eclipse example, He only said that there is no problem for Him to eat during eclipse.  But at the
same time, He did not disapprove, rituals for forefathers and taking bath for some of the devotees,
during the eclipse.  He had told Jagadeeswara Sastri's son, not to have a long flowing hair but have 
a tuft of hair, since he was the son of J.Sastri and that too reading in a Vedapatasala.  At the same time,
when Muruganar wanted to do annual rituals for his mother, Bhagavan made fun of him saying:
Have you not left this even after coming to me?  When Sivaprakasam Pillai asked His permission to
have tonsure, He said:  "NO. You should have a tuft of hair. Do not leave the acharam."
(Those days even Saivite Pillais and Mudaliars had tuft of hair.)

1) For true seekers who are almost close to the Atma Jnana realization, He disapproved one by one
of these customs.

2) He also said in a Jnani's Presence these customs need not be pursued by the devotees. 

After reading Him and asking many devotees inside the Asramam, I have come to the above
conclusions.  As regards marriages, He approved marriage between a daughter and a son of
two devotees.The marriage was conducted even without seeing the horoscopes.
Because, a Jnani ever does the correct thing.  But at the same time, He also (though personally
against it) did not object to two separate rows for brahmins and non brahmins for lunch and dinner.
He used to sit diagonally at the midpoint and eat His dinner or lunch!

But we should also accept that the time has erased most of these old customs.  In today's house
hold with office going girls, where is the 'separation' for them during mensural cycle?  It is all gone.
Similarly marriages within the sub-castes are also conducted in a good measure among Hindus.

Post Script:-

When we went to T'malai recently, one of the days was Vaikunta Ekadasi.  My wife wanted to fast
full day.  She skipped lunch and dinner at the Asramam, on that day.  I told her:  Why all these
stupid habits in the Presence of the Power?  Today you have fasted. But where will you go for Parama Pada ?  Go and sit in the Samadhi Hall.  That is Parama Pada Vasal.

I am one who do not bother about Ekadasi or Sivaratri.  On those days, I will do more prayer
and meditation and that is all.

Bhagavan Ramana says when there is a pleasant (marutham) southern breeze, who will need
a hand-fan?  When you are near Ganga, who will cry for water due to thirst?  In Jnani's Presence,
all rules are suspended.

Arunachala Siva.     


In April 1943, an elderly gentleman rushed forward from the back of the Hall, produced a pencil,
wrote a question on a piece of paper and handed over it to the Maharshi.  Bhagavan read it and
smiled broadly.  It was a question on Time and Space.

Bhagavan:  May I know who is putting this question - Space, yourself, or Time?

Visitor:  Of course, I.

Bhagavan:  Do you know that I?

Visitor: (after a little hesitation), Leave the I-question to the philosophers and answer my question. 

Voice:  What?  Is Time or Space dearer to you than your self?

Bhagavan:  (seeing the visitor nonplussed)  All these questions are superflous.  One thing you
must bear in mind is that no question can be solved without Self Knowledge.  On the realization
of the Self,everything becomes clear and all problems are solved.

(Bhagavan in some other contexts had said:  Time and Space are mental creations. For a Jnani who
has over come the mind, the concepts which are mental creations, have no meaning whatsoever. 
The vastness of Space and Time and through this vastness, understand the Creator.  There is no
other purpose than this.)

Arunachala Siva.   


If "yawning" is to be taken to indicate boredom or sleep, I am told that Bhagavan Ramana was
never seen "yawning".  He was ever happy, ever satisfied, ever in limitless bliss.  Even anger, another
"mood", He showed very rarely in His entire life of 54 years in Arunachala. 

Arunachala Siva.

General Discussion / Re: Maha Sivratri - 7th March 2016.
« on: March 07, 2016, 04:51:01 PM »
Dear Atmavichar100,

Nice to read about Sivaratri in the Asramam and how Sri Bhagavan kept silent by making devotees
to understand the mounam is an important feature of Siva Ratri.

Arunachala Siva.

(The original of the Guru Ramana Vachana Mala is a Sanskrit rendering of selected verses from the Guru
Vachaka Kovai.  This is the English translation of that Sanskrit version.)


Introductory Verses:

1. Obeisance to the unique Being, the One Self in all, namely the serene and unfathomable Bhagavan
Ramana, who has no ego and possessiveness.

2. The compilation of the oral teachings of  Bhagavan Ramana, made by the saintly Muruganar, is here
rendered into Sanskrit.

3.  This work, named Paramartha Deepam, is the essence of Vedanta and is hence worthy to to be
studied many times over by the seekers of the State of Liberation.



4.  To become aware of the Real Self, since Hem is ever present within the Heart of everyone, would
be very easy if the notion that the body and the world are real should become utterly extinct.

5.  Oh man who, believing the world to be real, has been cheated of happiness, like the parrot that
expected to eat the ripe fruit of the silk cotton tree, what proof have you that the world really exists?

6.  If you think that this world is real because it appears, then conclude that the mirage water also
is real, because it also appears.  What material difference is there between the two?

7.  How can the world, which is diversified by space and time, mutable and transient, be real?
That alone is real, which is eternal, unchanging and beyond space and time.

8. All this appears whenever there is mental activity, that is, in the dream and waking states; not
only does it not appear in deep sleep, but it does not appear in the Transcendental State, where the
Self is alone, and the mind is at rest; therefore it is unreal.

9,  Revelation does describe creation in diverse ways (in different places); this must not be understood
literally;  the purpose of these passages is to indicate that which is the Source of the world and the individual
soul, not to enjoin a belief in he fact of creation. 

10. If the individual soul and the world be taken as real, then how can the Supreme Being be infinite
as He is declared to be by Revelation?  Unless His infiniteness be given up, how can this contention
that the soul and the world are real, be right?


Arunachala Siva.         

General Discussion / Maha Sivratri - 7th March 2016.
« on: March 07, 2016, 12:50:14 PM »
Today is Maha Sivaratri.  The day is celebrated in all Siva temples with abhishekam, alanakram, and prayers
to Siva Linga.  People bring curds, milk, oil, ghee, flowers, coconut water to the temple for abhishekam.

In Asramam they do elaborate abhishekam and alankaram and puja to Sri Ramaneswara Maha Linga.
Alankaram is done with flowers along with bhilva leaves, which are so dear to Siva.

After is the devotees go for food. Some devotees take up fasting through out the day.  And eat breakfast
only in the morning.  Some others take some fruits and milk and they eat some dosas or idlis at night   

What is more important is keeping awake throughout the night and they chant Siva namas, etc.
They take breakfast only in the morning after bath and puja to Siva.

Arunachala Siva.

General Discussion / Re: What is Neo Advaita? James Swartz.
« on: March 07, 2016, 11:18:55 AM »
The Neo Advaitic saying, 'No method, no path, no guru, no ego' seems to echo the 'not this, not this'
approach found in traditional Vedanta. Negate everything and the ever free Self is realized by default/
But here the apparent similarity ends.

Perhaps the best way to approach Neo Advaita is not so much by what it teaches as by what it does not.
Probably the most obvious omission from the standpoint of traditional Vedanta is the notion of Adhikara,
the qualifications necessary for enlightenment.  Neo Advaita is burdened with a democratic ethos,
the idea being that anyone fresh off the street, can gain instant enlightenment.  Traditional Vedanta
disagrees, insisting instead that a seeker be discriminating, dispassionate,calm of mind, and endowed
with a 'burning' desire for liberation along with secondary qualifications like devotion, faith, perseverance
and so on.  In other words, it requires a mature adult not under the spell of his or her likes and dislikes,
with a one pointed desire to know the truth.


Arunachala Siva.       

General topics / Re: Mind and Consciousness - David Frawley:
« on: March 07, 2016, 11:07:30 AM »
The Yoga tradition also classifies the mind in a different manner.  It defines mind in the broadest sense,
what is called Chitta in Sanskrit, as all aspects of conditioned consciousness.  Under the concept of Chitta
is included reason, emotion, sensation, memory, the instinctual part of the mind, and the ego;  all that
we ordinarily consider to possess some degree of consciousness within us.  Yet under the concept of
Chitta is also a higher creativity and intuition beyond the ordinary mind and physical consciousness,
which a few people may develop in a significant manner. Chitta moreover extends beyond the personal
mind, to collective and cosmic aspects of mind. Chitta is mind as a cosmic principle, not simply the human mind.

Mind and Consciousness - Two Different Powers:

Even more significantly, Yoga radically distinguishes between mind and consciousness, which it regards
as two separate but related powers. Yoga regards consciousness, called Chit as something other than
the mind or Chitta.  This is very different from modern science but also from most of the world's
philosophies, which generally identify mind and consciousness.

The mind is an instrument of thinking and sensing  on various levels.  Mind is called the 'inner instrument'
or 'anatahkarana' in Sanskrit, related to the body which is our outer instrument. The mind is looked upon
as the sixth sense after the five bodily senses and is regarded as an organ, not our true being or the
basis of our sense of self.


Arunachala Siva.       

We truly forget the presence of the overcrowded, ego driven ignorant and messed up world outside us.
It is a wonderful surprise that such a secluded place exists on this earth, that can enlighten and elevate
us above all vasanas.  Sri Ramanasramam is not abode for worldly people.  One must have practiced intense
penance in previous lives in order to step into such an Asramam and have spiritual  experiences.

Sri Ramanasramam is the ultimate destination for a true seeker of the Self.  I see the devotees in the
Asramam, and I can in no way think that there are ordinary people.  I feel the presence of great rishis,
sadhus, and Jnanis among them.  The devotees who have come from far off lands in search of such a
destination, dedicating their lives at His feet, truly belong to this place. I feel inferior to them when I
see them chanting Sri Rudram and singing Tamizh parayana.  Guru Ramana shows no discrimination
between the rich and poor, black and white, literate and illiterate.  East and West and showers His grace
through His divine look according to each person's inner capacity and yearning.

I bow in thanks to Lord Guru Ramana Mahadeva for having created this divine temple of self knowledge
for His devotees on this earth.


Arunachala Siva.       

General topics / Re: Kaivalya -
« on: March 07, 2016, 10:02:35 AM »
Bhagavan tries to describe, for our sake, what really cannot be described"  'The Sage established in the Heart
does not know anything as the substratum for the entire universe except the Self.  Like the screen which
supports the manifestation of the images in a film show, the Self allows the appearance of manifestation and
the existence of the entire universe comprising sentient beings and insentient matter in It. (Guru Vachaka
Kovai, Verse  450.)

Therefore, He can declare, 'I am all that exists'.  He can also say that 'I am' is all alone (the state of kaivalya),
since nothing exists apart from from Him.

Bhagavan expresses these ideas in this verse:  'Immaculate Arunachala!  The entire cosmos comprising
the five elements and the manifestations of sentient beings and insentient matter is not apart from You,
the Chitakasa, (absolute unlimited awareness).  Then how can 'I' exist as an individual self apart from you?
When You shine as Chitakasa in the Heart, swallowing up every thing, how can this 'I' emerge as an individual
self?  Make me merge into my source and thus reveal Your real nature (to me).  (Eleven Stanzas, Verse 7).
When the rising wave identifies with its form it forgets the identity with the ocean.  This is regained only
when it dissolves back into the source, the ocean.

Confirmation of this comes from Sri Muruganar speaking of his own experience: 'Omnipresent Being
and omniscient Knowing, all pervasive state of Siva, (where nothing exists apart), is alone Kaivalya.
Praised be Bhagavan who bestowed this state on this undeserving person.  (Ramana Jnana Bodham,
Volume 2, Verse 1026).


Arunachala Siva.             

16.  drsya vaaritam chittah maatmanah
       chittva darsanam tattva darsanam.

If one's attention is turned away from external objects of sense and focused on the light of the Self,
that is the true vision of Reality.

To realize the Self, it is necessary to give one's attention solely to the 'I', the first person.  This is possible
only if one turns his attention away from otherness, from other things and other persons that make up
the objective world  -- and away from images and ideas that relate to the world.  This process is what
the Maharshi has termed as Atma Vichara or self inquiry.  'If one leaves aside Vichara, the most efficacious
Sadhana, there are no other adequate means whatsoever to make the mind subside.  If made to subside
by other means, it will remain as if subsided but will rise again.' (David Godman, Be As  You Are.)

On 'external' and 'internal' the Maharshi has said, 'Because your outlook is externally directed, you speak
of a 'without'.  In that state, you are advised to look within.  In fact, the Self is neither within nor without.'             
(Venkataramanan Atma Bodha, Verse 34)


Arunachala Siva.

But how is one to put inquiry into practice?  How is one to make it come alive on a day to day basis?
How does one avoid making it just another technique?  These are the questions that will occupy us

The following is not definitive but merely an introduction for those who, like the author, want to learn
to practice self inquiry.  In the absence of Bhagavan's physical teaching presence, we who are struggling
to get a handle on inquiry find ourselves searching for clues as to how to proceed. What follows is a look
at Bhagavan's works and other inquiry traditions to see what advice they offer us in taking up the practice
of Vichara.

The First Steps:

After Bhagavan's Maha Nirvana, devotees found themselves without the benefit of Bhagavan's physical
presence and some may have imagined the making genuine use of Vichara would no longer be possible.
Compelled to seek Bhagavan's intervention through His silent presence in the context of devotion, those
of us practicing Vichara will want to regularly pray for Bhagavan's grace.  This is a worthwhile first step.


Arunachala Siva.     

Verse 334:

Therefore, do not take much notice of external things, because they increase desires that lead on and
on to bondage.  Therefore, know by discrimination what is the world. Give up the external and seek
the real Self always.

Verse 335:

If you stop the search after external things, the mind  becomes cheerful, and the cheerful mind can
see the Atman, the Supreme.  When you have seen the Supreme, then comes the destruction of all
bondage of birth and death.

Verse  336:

Who is such a child that shall follow after unreal things (even while knowing what is real and unreal
and being well versed in the scriptures) to bring his own fall?  No one desirous of liberation can do this.

Verse  337:

There is no liberation for one who is attached to his body.  One who is asleep cannot have wakefulness,
and he who is awake can have no sleep, because these actions (wakefulness and sleep) are contradictory. 


Arunachala Siva.       

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