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Topics - atmavichar100

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General topics / Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: September 28, 2012, 11:23:29 AM »
I would like to open a new thread to share quotes from all Shankarachara's - Adi Shankaracharya , Kanchi Shankaracharaya's and Sringeri Shankaracharya's . The quotes will be primarily related to Advaita , Atma Jnana , Bhakti but sometimes also have inputs related to Dharma

Starting with the first quote from Sri Bharati Teertha Mahaswamigal : I suggest people to just read and reflect on the same and not engage in discussions about it .Those who have quotes from the above acharyas may feel free to share the same here .
By the way discussions on the quotes here can be carried in rough note book open forum.

An arrow set on the bow string, and ready to be discharged may well be withheld. Similarly, past actions (sanchita karma) that are ready to produce reactions, are rendered barren by the power of Atma Jnana of a Jnani. Hence when the body of the knower of Truth falls, there shall be no further births.
- Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal

The Swami Syndrome

The following article came after Nityananda was exposed on TV .But the message is important and warning for many people especially Urban Middle Class youth you get trapped in the programs and activities of many New Age Gurus .Note : I am not against many of the New Age Gurus or their programs mentioned in this article but want people to take what is essential and useful for them and handle their life which is in front of them instead of living in the myth that everything is rosy after attending few programs or courses offered by these new age Gurus .

Another day. Another Swami. Over the last few days, all television channels have been abuzz with news of the Nithyananda scandal, a sting operation which has captured the swami in a compromising position with a popular actress. As expected, this has incensed the general public who have damaged his ashrams and burnt his effigies. A swami getting exposed is not a new occurrence. In spite of this, why do people fall prey to these fraudsters time and again? To understand this, one needs to take an in depth look into this complex relationship.

A country like India has never been in dearth of religious gurus. From the usual street corner tantrik or fakir to high profile gurus such as Sai Baba, Amrita, DGS Dinakaran etc, the gurus are many. In fact, the gurus would probably outnumber the different gods of all religions put together. Traditionally, their roles were mostly restricted to performing gimmicks such as vomiting lingams and necklaces, giving out oracles (arul vaaku) and spewing out some Sanskrit mumbo jumbo which no one can make any sense of. People like DGS Dinakaran made their riches by organizing miracle gatherings where ‘acts of god’ were performed. This included things like people suffering from incurable diseases being cured instantly, the physically challenged being able to walk etc. In addition to making millions out of people’s misery, these people often wielded powerful political clouts which gave them elite status. Most often, the people who were followers of these gurus were poles apart. They were either the super rich or the very poor. But this trend took a change during the mid 90s. With the advent of globalisation, not only did the society in general begin to evolve, so did the gurus. With a burgeoning middle class, the swamis adopted new techniques to tap this new market.

Though globalisation has been a bane for many, it has also been a boon for some.
With more and more multinationals setting shop in various metros, the young and educated middle class benefited the most from the job opportunities created by these new ventures. Though their new careers helped them procure the material comforts which they have always dreamt of, the stressful work life left them burnt out with little time or energy to enjoy those riches. Instead of introspecting into the reasons and system which has led to such a situation, more of these ‘educated and knowledgeable’ people went in search of gurus who will be able to rid them of all these worries. The gurus capitalised on this need and came up with different fancy ideas to make money. Programs such as ‘The Art of Living’ by Ravishankar, ‘LifeBliss Foundation’ by Nithyananda, “Transcendental Meditation movement” by Mahesh Yogi claim to show us how to lead a better life through Yoga and meditation.

A closer look at all these programs and discourses will show all that these gurus preach are basic facts of life known by everyone. But each one claims that their program is the only means by which one can achieve happiness and peace. And these programs do not come cheap. They are specifically designed for the corporate world and cost thousands of dollars. Naturally, the participants feel rejuvenated at the end of the program. If someone is housed in a serene environment with all facilities for a few days and does nothing but relax and enjoy clean and fresh air, they are bound to feel good. There is nothing spiritual or magical about it. But this temporary escape will vanish when reality returns. When these gurus get exposed, it obviously aggravates the followers because all these days they were being fed with crap that ‘worldly pleasures’ are bad and one needs to rid themselves of such ‘pleasures’ in order to achieve ‘true happiness’. When they see the same guy who said such things indulging in those ‘pleasures’, they feel cheated. Their misery is analogous to that of people who lose money by investing heavily in chit funds. They are not angry that they have been foolish enough to let themselves be cheated by someone who only told them those things that they wanted to hear; they are just angry that they didn’t choose the ‘right’ guru.

Even when these swamis get defamed, no doubt some people will still continue to stand by them. Others will continue their quest to find a ‘more effective’ guru. Its almost as if they need one guru or the other to tell them how to lead their lives. Unless they realize that the real reason for their miseries is the capitalist fueled economies and that these gurus are actually encouraged and supported by the very same biggies who exploit them, there will be no reprieve from this syndrome. Today, it is Nithyananda. Tomorrow, it’ll be someone else.

General topics / Muruganar Samadhi Day 2012 at Ramana Ashram
« on: September 13, 2012, 05:25:20 PM »
Following is the piece I found in Ramana Ashram Face Book Site :
Murugunar, one of the foremost devotees of Bhagavan, attained Samadhi on new moon day in the Tamil month of Avani. As there are two new moons in the month of Avani, Sri Ramanasramam will observe the function on September 15 following Hindu Panchangam. In honor of the divine poet Murugunar, devotees have organized a three day function at Sri Ramanasramam. Muttruodhal(complete narration) of Tiruvachakam and Ramana Sannidhi Murai. Today ( i.e Thu 13 Sept 2012 ) Tiruvachakam was narrated by a group of devotees. Tomorrow Oduvar from Kapaleeswarar temple Mylapore will sing selected songs from these works.

This is just to inform all interested people that there will be a complete Parayana of Thiruvachagam on Sun 2 Sept 2012 at Sri Kanchi Mahaswamy Anatha Mandapam , close to Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Adyar ,Gandhi Nagar

Timings : 9 a.m - 5 p.m
Swami Omkarananda who is observing his Chaturmasya Vrata there is conducting it and many other Thiruvachagam scholars and Parayana Groups will be participating in the same .

Just now found in Sri Ramanaashram Saranagati News Letter the Sept 2012 issue , a short clip about a similar effort taken by one Sri Damodaran in popularizing Thiruvachagam complete Parayana at many places in Tamil Nadu .
Here is the news clip:

Sri Damodharan of Tirukazhukundram, the town where Jnana Sambandar, Appar, Sundara,and Manikavachakar came and sang their hymns, began sponsoring biksha for 50 pilgrims
each day at the holy kshetra. Discovering the power of Manikavachakar’s great work, the
Tiruvachakam, Sri Damodharan began sponsoring all-day chanting programmes, first in Avudaiyar Kovil (for 1,000) in April, then Chidambaram (4,000) in June, and finally, a full-day programmei n Tiruvannamalai (very close to the Ashram) on the 29th July which hosted more than10,000 participants. The next programme is to take place in Kanchipuram in September

To my best knowledge I have never heard Bhagawan talking much about Ramalinga Swamigal or about Thiru Arutpa .Any inputs on the same ?
I found lot of similarities between Ramalinga Swamigal ( Vallalar ) and Bhagawan.
1) Both Never Had a formal Guru
2) Both never wore Saffron and wore white
3) Both addressed God as Father ( Bhagawan : Father Arunachala , Vallalar : Arutperum Jyothi Andavar )
4) Both are considered as Incarnations of Lord Subramanya
5) Both have similar Maha Mantra :
Bhagawan : Arunacaha Siva Arunachala Siva , Arunachala Siva , Arunachala
Vallalar : Arutperun Jyothi , Arutperum Jyoti , Thani Perum Karunai , Arutperum Jyothi
6) Both of them composed great works in Tamil
7) Both did not give importance to any ritualistic worship .

These are my own opinions . I love both Vallalar and Bhagwan and love the songs composed by both of them .

Welcome to Poornalayam

The Vedanta classes conducted by Swami Guruparananda( a disciple of Swami Paramarthananda ) , are now available in this site. The message given by Swamiji, guides the listeners to progress steadily, in their study of Vedanta.

All his classes have been classified under the following topics:( Complete free downloads as well as online listening )

   1. Introduction to Vedanta
   2. Bhagavad Gita
   3. Upanishads
   4. Brahma Sutra
   5. Meditation
   6. Vedantic Texts
   7. General Talks

This site enables listening to the classes directly, and also facilitates free downloads.

All are welcome to make use of this facility and be benefited.

Kindly make use of this site and pass on this information to other interested people . Entire Advaita Vedanta Philosophy is now available for free listening in Tamil at the Comfort of your home /IPOD etc .

Tripura Rahasya and other ancient works / Bhagawan and Thiruvachagam
« on: August 20, 2012, 11:52:33 AM »
Dear Friends

I read in one book of David Godman ( Power of Presence ,I suppose ) , that Bhagwan asked all of his devotees at Skandaashram to recite the entire Thiruvachagam on the nite his mother attained nirvana and in fact he was also correcting people when they were pronouncing it wrongly .
Bhagawan's fondness of Thiruvachagam and Thevarams is well known .
Though Bhagwan is a person free of any personal likes and dislikes ,I am interested in knowing if any of you have any information regarding which poems of Thiruvachagam , Bhagawan asked people to recite most .
For me I have got the complete set of Audio of Thiruvachagam sung by Dharmapuram Swaminathan and only know Sivapuranam by heart and interested in learning other poems also .But would be happy if Bhagawan selected any particular poems in Thiruvachagam for Parayana .
By  the way for those in Chennai on Sun 2 September 2012 there is a complete parayana of entire Thiruvachagam from 9 a.m - 5 p.m under Swami Omkarananda (and other great Tamil Scholars ) who is observing Chaturmasya Vrata at Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple ,Gandhi Nagar , Adyar ,Chennai - 600020
and the Venue is Kanchi Mahaswamy Mantapam ,adjacent to the Temple

This is just for people interested in participating in the same . In fact my interest in Thiruvachagam got re-kindled after seeing that notice and wanted to share with others here .
Om Peace .

General topics / What I learned in my spiritual quest so far
« on: August 19, 2012, 04:26:09 PM »
The last 15 years or so has been quite a fairly serious spiritual journey for me in the line of Yoga ( which continues to be my main Sadhana ) but at the same time I have been exposed to the teachings of other teachers , Gurus , Schools of thought like Classical Advaita , Bhagawan Ramana's teachings , Teachings of Osho , J.Krishnamurti , etc .
I still read traditional Vedic teachings of Kanchi Paramacharya , Sringeri Acharyas etc etc .
Kindly refer to my Introduction where I have given a bigger detail about myself .
In this column ,I want to share my spiritual experiences or insights in the form of certain statements as lessons learnt by me .
Note : These lessons are my own lessons and they may not be applicable to others and need not be taken as gospel truths . These lessons can be taken either as general life lessons or spiritual lessons and some of it , I experienced myself , some I learned it from others experience and some I learned it by studying  .If you find it useful take it , if not leave it .

Lesson 1 :

Life is too vast to accommodate all sort of contradictions .In Other words life is neither fully black or white and there is lot of shades of grey between them .So learn to live with these contradictions and adapt , adjust ,  accommodate to these contradictions without sacrificing your integrity .
In spiritual quest I  found this to be highly applicable as people come with lot of preconceived notions about how Ashrams should be , how Gurus and teachers must behave , how followers of Gurus must be etc etc and get disappointed .
Also some people go to extreme in following a particular Guru or Particular School of thought and ridicule others and belong to the category of my way or high way .
Example : Ganges is a very long river and it is very pure at Gangotri and very dirty and polluted in Varanasi and so one person in Varnasi will say it is dirty while another in Gangotri will say it is very pure and the river being the same .
So who is right ? Both are right from their respective positions but wrong from the other positions .
The same with regard to everything in life .
Conclusion : Next time when you feel you are getting in to an argument with another person , step back a little and look at the Ganges example to see both of you can be right as well as wrong .

Arunachala / Arunachala Ashtotra by Sri Laxmana Swamy
« on: August 19, 2012, 11:49:19 AM »
I recently  found in the following site :
in the Pooja Kalpamu section
Ashtottara on the holy mountain Arunachala as composed by Sri Lakshmana Swamy , a Living Jnani in Arunachala .
It is also available as free PDF download .
I do not know whether anyone has composed any other Ashtottra of Arunachala Hill ( not the Arunachala deity at the Temple ) .
I will be using this for my own personal chanting during my parayana  of Bhagawan Ramana's Akshara Mana Malai to invoke the grace of Holy Hill Arunachala .

Forum advice, news & etiquette / Introducing Myself
« on: August 19, 2012, 10:13:07 AM »
I am Krishna , a Yoga Teacher from Chennai ,India , trained in the Sivananda System of Classical Hatha Yoga  through Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres , founder Swami Vishnu devananda , who is no more alive in body but wrote 2 best sellers : Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga and Meditation and Mantras .
The Sivananda System of Yoga is a yoga of synthesis of Karma , Bhakthi , Raja , Hatha , Jnana Yoga and I had a taste of all of it but now spending time in solitude except for teaching Yoga to very specific students on a 1-1 basis and rest of the time doing my own sadhana .
I have been associated with the teachings of Bhagawan Ramana right from 1999 and have visited Arunachala , done Giri Valam and visited and stayed at  Ramana Ashram many times and have read lot of books related to Bhagawan Ramana.
My last visit to Arunachala was in Dec 2009 with my brother ( from USA ) and my mother and after that I have not visited Arunachala and do not have any serious intention to visit Again as I am very contended spending time in solitude and enjoy listening to Bhagawan Ramana's Tamil Chants : Akshara Mana Malai , Ulladhu Naarpadu etc at home itself .
I have been benefited by reading the works of Many great Saints and Masters and my favorites are :
Swami Sivananda's books , Bhagwan Ramana's teachings  and experience of devotees with him  , Kanci Paramacharya's Deivathin Kural ,Sringeri Acharya's teaching and dialogues , All books by Osho , J.Krishnamurti , Classical Advaita with Interpretations by Swami Dayananda , Swami Paramarthananda , Swami Omkarananda  etc .
Note : I am not an expert on the teachings of Bhagawan Ramana or in fact of any other Saint /Teacher and love reading any good works by any great saint / spiritual teacher  for my own self enrichment .
I have joined this forum to share my thoughts and experience plus also to understand other's experience and insights .I am not a very active person in forums as I prefer more solitude but would do love to share what best I can and enrich the content of this forum  whenever time permits.I do not want to get in to any debates in to the merits or demerits of a particular Guru , Particular Sadhana , Particular school of thought as I believe that just leads to un-necessary fights and loss of mental peace .My primary Sadhana is Yoga Sadhana but at other times I like to read works by Other great saints and contemplate those teachings in silence . I consider  my association with this forum is also an extension of my sadhana .
All the best . Om Peace .

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