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91
Conversation with Annamalai Swami
from: 'Living By The Words Of Bhagavan' by David Godman


Q.: What is the easiest way to be free of the 'little self'?

Annamalai Swami: Stop identifying with it. If you can convince yourself, 'This little self is not really me,' it will disappear.

Q.: But how to do that?


AS.: The little self is something that only appears to be real. If you understand that it has no real existence it will disappear, leaving behind it the experience of the real and only Self. Understand that it has no real existence and it will stop troubling you.
Consciousness is universal. There is no limitation or 'little self' in it. It is only when we identify with and limit ourselves to the body and the mind that this false sense of self is born. If, through enquiry, you go to the source of the 'little self', you find that it dissolves into nothingness.

Q.: But I am very accustomed to feel 'I am this 'little self' '. I cannot break this habit merely by thinking 'I am not this 'little self''.

AS.: This 'little self' will only give way to the real Self if you meditate constantly. You cannot wish it away with a few stray thoughts. Try to remember the analogy of the rope which looks like a snake in twilight. If you see the rope as snake the real nature of the rope is hidden from you. If you only see the rope the snake is not there. Not only that - you know that there never was a snake there. (Then) the question of how to kill the snake disappears... If you can understand that this 'little self' never at any time had any existence outside your imagination, you will not be concerned about ways and means of getting rid of it.

Q.: It is all very clear but I feel I need some help. I am not sure that i can generate this conviction by myself.

AS.: The desire for assistance is part of your problem. Don't make the mistake of imagining that there is a goal to be reached or attained. If you think like this you will start looking for methods to practice and people to help you. This just perpetuates the problem you are trying to end. Instead, cultivate the strong awareness, 'I am the Self. I am That. I am Brahman. I am everything.'.. The best way to (stop believing the wrong ideas about yourself) is to replace them with ideas which more accurately reflect the real state of affairs. ...
The Self is always attained, it is always realized; it is not something that you have to seek, reach or discover. Your vasanas and all the wrong ideas you have about yourself are blocking and hiding the experience of the real Self. If you don't identify with these wrong ideas, your Self-nature will not be hidden from you.

92
It was a summer evening, and we were all sitting outside in the open space by the well. Suddenly one of the visitors started weeping bitterly.

'I am a horrible sinner. For a long time I have been coming to you, but there is no change in me. Can I become pure at last? How long am I to wait? When I am here near you, I am good for a time. But when I leave this place, I become a beast again. You cann
ot imagine how bad I can be -- hardly a human being. Am I to remain a sinner forever?'

'Why do you come to me? What have I to do with you?' demanded Bhagavan. 'What is there between us that you should come here and weep and cry in front of me?'

The man started moaning and crying even more, as if his heart were breaking.

'All my hopes of salvation are gone. You were my last refuge and you say you have nothing to do with me! To whom shall I turn now? What am I to do? To whom am I to go?'

Bhagavan watched him for some time and said, 'Am I your Guru that I should be responsible for your salvation? Have I ever said that I am your Master?'

'If you are not my Master, then who is? And who are you, if not my Master? You are my Guru. You are my guardian angel. You must take pity me and release me from my sins!'

He started sobbing and crying again.

We all sat silent, overcome with pity. Only Bhagavan looked alert and matter-of-fact.

'If I am your Guru, what are my fees? Surely you should pay me for my services.'

'But you won't take anything,' cried the visitor. 'What can I give you?'

'Did I ever say that I don't take anything? And did you ever ask me what you can give me?'

'If you would take, then ask me. There is nothing I would not give you.'

'All right. Now I am asking. Give me. What will you give me?'

'Take anything. Everything I have is yours.'

'Then give me all the good you have done in this world.'

'What good could I have done? I have not a single virtue to my credit.'

'You have promised to give. Now give. Don't talk of your credit. Just give away all the good you have done in your past.'

'Yes, I shall give. But how does one give? Tell me how the giving is done and I shall give.'

'Say like this: "All the good I have done in the past I am giving away entirely to my Guru. Henceforth I have no merit from it nor have I any concern with it." Say it with your whole heart.'

'All right, Swami. "I am giving away to you all the good I have done so far, if I have done any, and all its good effects. I am giving it to you gladly, for you are my Master and you are asking me to give it all away to you.'

'But this is not enough,' said Bhagavan sternly.

'I gave you all I have and all you asked me to give. I have nothing more to give.'

'No, you have. Give me all your sins.'

The man looked wildly at Bhagavan, terror stricken.

'You do not know, Swami, what you are asking for. If you knew, you would not ask me. If you take over my sins, your body will rot and burn. You do not know me, you do not know my sins. Please do not ask me for my sins.'

He wept bitterly.

'I shall look after myself. Don't you worry about me,' said Bhagavan. 'All I want from you is your sins.'

For a long time the bargain would not go through. The man refused to part with his sins. But Bhagavan was adamant.

'Either give me your sins along with your merits, or keep both and don't think of me as your Master."

In the end the visitor's scruples broke down and he declared, 'Whatever sins I have done, they are no longer mine. All of them and their results, too, belong to Ramana.'

Bhagavan seemed to be satisfied. 'From now on there is no good nor bad in you. You are just pure. Go and do nothing, either good or bad. Remain yourself. Remain what you are.'


A great peace fell over the man and over us all. No one knows what happened to the fortunate visitor, for he was never seen in the ashram again. He might have had no further need to come.

93
Friends
There is lot of conflict with regard to destruction of Vasanas . Some say Knowledge destroys it , some say practice destroys it , some say a combination of both .Some question the word "destroy" itself . There is lot of conflict in the language of experience school v/s language of understanding school .
I have presented below Bhagwan's short views of the same .

Those who want to elaborate on this can kindly do .
http://bhagavan-ramana.org/ramana_maharshi/books/mg/mg006.html

D: Since Realization is not possible without vasana- kshaya, how am I to realise that State in which the vasanas are effectively destroyed?

M: You are in that State now!

D: Does it mean that by holding on to the Self, the vasanas should be destroyed as and when they emerge?

M: They will themselves be destroyed if you remain as
you are.


94
11-1-46 Afternoon
A young man from Colombo asked Bhagavan, “J. Krishnamurti teaches the method of effortless and choiceless awareness as distinct from that of deliberate concentration. Would Sri Bhagavan be pleased to explain how best to practise meditation and what form the object of meditation should take?”

Bhagavan: Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we can attain it or
be in that state, it is all right. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age-long vasanas carry the mind outward and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward. For that, effort is necessary for most people. Of course everybody, every book says, “Summa iru” i.e., “Be quiet or still”. But it is not easy. That is why all this effort is necessary. Even if we find one who has at once achieved the mauna or Supreme state indicated by “Summa iru”, you may take it that the effort necessary has already been finished in a previous life. So that, effortless and choiceless awareness is reached only after deliberate meditation. That meditation can take any form which appeals to you best. See what helps you to keep away all other thoughts and adopt that method for your meditation.

Source : Exact source not known but I saw it in Ramana Ashram FaceBook page .and putting it as it is

95
Today i.e Thu 22 Nov 2012 is a Thanksgiving day .
Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States  .Thanksgiving Day is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have.Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal. In Indian Context we can say Pongal festival as equivalent to Thanksgiving day .


This is the story on ThanksGiving Day  that I read in 1996 from the book "Notes from a Friend" by Anthony Robbins that made a very positive impact on me ( I had never known about Thanks Giving day before )

One Man’s Story— Importance of Thanksgiving day 

On Thanksgiving many years ago, a young family awoke with a sense of foreboding. Instead of looking forward to a day filled with gratitude, they were preoccupied by thoughts of what they did not have. At best, they would scrape together a meager meal on this day of “feasting.” If they had contacted a local charity group, they would have had a turkey with all the trimmings, but they hadn’t. Why? Because they, like many other families, were proud people. Somehow they would make do with what they had.


The difficult situation led to frustration and hopelessness, then to irreparable, harsh words between the mother and father. The eldest son felt devastated and helpless as he watched the people he loved most become more and more angry and depressed.

Then destiny intervened…a loud and unexpected knock at the door! The boy opened it and was greeted by a tall man in rumpled clothing. He was grinning broadly, carrying a huge basket brimming with every conceivable Thanksgiving delight: a turkey, stuffing, pies, sweet potatoes, canned goods---everything for a holiday feast!

The family was stunned. The man at the door said, “This is from someone who knows you’re in need and wants you to know that you’re loved and cared for.” At first, the father of the family didn’t want to take the basket, but the man said, “Look, I’m just a delivery person.” Smiling, he set the basket in the boy’s arms, turned to leave, then called over his shoulder, “Have a great Thanksgiving!”

In that moment, this young man’s life was forever changed. With this simple act of kindness, he learned that hope is eternal, that people---even “strangers”---really do care. The sense of gratitude he felt moved him deeply, and he swore to himself that someday he’d do well enough to give something back to others in a similar way. And by the time he was eighteen years old, he had begun to fulfill that promise. With his scant earnings, he set out to purchase groceries, not for himself, but for two families he had learned were in dire need of food. He then drove to deliver them, dressed in an old pair of jeans and a T-shirt, intending to present the gift as if he were a delivery boy. When he arrived at the first dilapidated house, he was greeted by a Latina woman who looked at him suspiciously. She had six children, and her husband had abandoned the family only a few days before. They had no food.

The young man offered, “I have a delivery for you, ma’am.”He then went out to his car and began to carry in bags and boxes overflowing with food: a turkey, stuffing, pies, sweet potatoes, canned goods. The woman’s jaw dropped. The children, when they saw the food being brought into the house, let out shrieks of delight.

The young mother, who spoke only broken English, grabbed the young man by the arm and started to kiss him all over, saying, “You gift from God! You gift from God!”

“No, no,” the young man said. “I’m just the delivery boy. This is a gift from a friend.”
Then he handed her a note that said,

This is a note from a friend. Please have a wonderful Thanksgiving---you and your family deserve it. Know that you are loved. And someday, if you have the chance, please do well enough to do this for someone else and pass on the gift.


The young man continued to bring in bag after bag of groceries. The excitement, joy, and love reached a fever pitch. By the time he left, the sense of connection and contribution moved the young man to tears. As he drove away, looking back at the smiling faces of the family he’d had the privilege to help, he realized that that his story had come full circle, that the “horrible day” from his youth was actually a gift from God, guiding him, pointing him toward fulfillment through a life committed to contribution. With this one act he began a quest that continues to this day: to return the gift that was given to him and his family and to remind people that there is always a way to turn things around, that they are loved, and that---with simple steps, a little understanding, and massive action---whatever challenges exist now can be turned into valuable lessons and opportunities for personal growth and long-term happiness.

How do I know so much about this young man and his family, not only about what they did, but also how they felt? Because he is me.

Anthony Robbins

96
Dear Forum Members

I am starting a separate thread regarding the "Authenticity" of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues and thanks to Ravi for giving a link to David Godman's blpg regrading the same  in another thread .
There is an article by David Godman on the authenticity of sri Bhagavan's writings and dialogues.Those interested may visit:
http://sri-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.in/2008/05/authenticity-of-bhagavans-writings-and.html

The basic thing is that sometimes in the dialogues of Bhagwan there is a danger of misinterpretation ,wrong communication even when the intention was not that as Bhagwan's dialogues were never recorded  nor people were allowed to take notes in his presence .
So go through that thread to understand how Bhagwan's works came to be published .

97
General topics / Regarding Lakshmi Puja Significance , Online Lakashmi Puja
« on: November 12, 2012, 07:30:32 PM »
Dear Forum Members

While Deepavali is Celebrated all over India on Tue 13 Nov 2013 , the Lakshmi Puja is Celebrated mostly in Northern and Western India on the evening of Tue 13 Nov 2012  and in South India , mostly the North Indians only Celebrate the same . Last year during Deepavali I was in Rishikesh and had the blessings to witness Laxmi Puja being Celebrated at the Banks of Ganges and was highly impressed by it and felt Others must also get to know about the same .Though in spirituality Wealth is not Given importance but that is with respect for not hoarding wealth for selfish reasons but we need to be blessed with abundant wealth for doing Charity and noble deeds and hence must respect and welcome Goddess Laxmi in to our homes .Bhagwan Ramana himself took lot of Care of Lakshmi the Cow and who knows it can be even Godess Laxmi herself as even today Ramana ashram is providing free food and accomodation to thousands of devotees.
Here is a brief write up about Laxmi Puja and for those who cant do Laxmi Puja at home at the base I have given a link to an Online Simulation of Laxmi Puja which we can do it virtually following the simple instructions there .Kindly make use of it and receive the blessings of Goddess Laxmi .


Date : Tue 13 Nov 2012
Lakshmi Puja Muhurta = 17:47:13 to 19:45:15


http://www.shubhdeepawali.com/diwali.htm
About Laksmi Puja :
Lakshmi Puja or the worship of Goddess of Wealth is the major event of Diwali celebrations especially in the Northern and Western India. Lakshmi Puja takes place on the third and the main day of Diwali. On this day traditional worship of Goddess Lakshmi is sincerely performed in all households and business establishments after sunset. People believe that Goddess Lakshmi visits every house during Diwali and gives blessings of peace and prosperity. People light up rows of lamps in the house to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity and also to light up her path. There is a tradition to keep the house spotlessly clean on Diwali as it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi loves cleanliness and visits the cleanest house first. This also explains why broom is worshiped with an offering of haldi (turmeric) and kumkum (vermilion) on Diwali.


Legend of Lakshmi Puja

Hindu mythology regards Goddess Lakshmi as the Goddess of light, beauty, wealth and good fortune. She is said to be the daughter of sage Bhrigu who took refuge in the ocean of milk and was reborn during the famous ocean churning process carried out by Gods and demons. Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the birth of the Goddess of Wealth and hence Lakshmi Puja is a very important part of the celebrations. Goddess Lakshmi chose Lord Vishnu as her consort. People worship Goddess Lakshmi to gain riches but Goddess resides only with those who work hard and avoids the company of lazy or those who regard money as everything in life. It may be noted that Lakshmi Puja is actually a combined puja of five deities. Lord Ganesha is worshipped at the beginning of every auspicious act as Vighnaharta. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in her three forms - Mahalakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth and Money), Mahasaraswati (the Goddess of Books and Learning), and Mahakali. Worshipping of Kuber (the Treasurer of the Gods) is also an integral part of Lakshmi Puja.


Link to Online Virtual Laxmi Puja
http://www.shubhdeepawali.com/Laxmi_poojan.htm

98
We all know Bhagwan Ramana has sung Arunachala Stuti Panchakam honoring Arunachala at Thiruvanamalai .
I would like to know which other saints have sung songs in praise of Arunachala preferably the famous Saivite Saints - Jnana Sambandhar , Manicka Vachagar , Thirunavukarassar , SundaraMorrthy Nayanar  etc

99
General topics / Happy Deepavali 2012 Greetings to Everyone
« on: November 11, 2012, 04:27:02 PM »


Dear Friends
Wish you and your family a Happy Deepavali 2012 .


On the occasion of Deepavali, I am giving below the message of Swami Sivanada

Many Deepavali festivals have come and gone. Yet the hearts of the vast majority are as dark as the night of the new moon. The house is lit with lamps, but the heart is full of the darkness of ignorance.

O man! Wake up from the slumber of ignorance. Realise the constant and eternal light of the Soul, which neither rises nor sets, through meditation and deep enquiry.

May you all attain full inner illumination! May the supreme light of lights enlighten your understanding! May you all attain the inexhaustible spiritual wealth of the Self! May you all prosper gloriously on the material as well as spiritual planes!

- Swami Sivananda's Deepavali Message

100

Annamalai Swami rememberance day
Annamalai Swami, a lifelong devotee of Sri Ramana Maharshi, was absorbed in his Master on November 9, 1995. He was 89-years-old.


Two ways of life is seen in Bhagavan devotees. One based on service to the ashram and the other a deeply contemplative life according to the teachings of Bhagavan. Annamalai Swami’s life is unique in that he combined serving the ashram with living spiritually according to the teachings of Bhagavan. Annamalai Swami had the rare experience of becoming blissful by the touch of Bhagavan though the conversation was about drugs. We read in Talks: When Sri Bhagavan was taking His bath a few bhaktas were around Him, speaking to themselves. Then they asked Him about the use of ganja (hashish). Sri Bhagavan had finished His bath by that time. He said: “Oh ganja! The users feel immensely happy when they are under its influence. How shall I describe their happiness! They simply shout ananda! ananda. . .” Saying so, He walked as if tipsy. The bhaktas laughed. He appeared as if He stumbled, placed His hands round ‘Annamalai Swami’ and cried “ananda! ananda!”‘A’ records that his very being was transformed from that time. He had remained an inmate for the past eight years. He further says that his mind now remains at peace.
Talks 530. The following is taken from the diary of Annamalai Swami, a good devotee of Sri Bhagavan and resident of Sri Ramanasramam:The Teachings of Sri Ramana Bhagavan. (1) That man who is active in the world and yet remains desireless, without losing sight of his own essential nature, is alone a true man. This was in answer to the Swami who wanted to retire into a cave for practising meditation. (2) He asked about sannyas. Should not a man renounce everything in order that he might get Liberation? M.: Even better than the man who thinks “I have renounced everything” is the one who does his duty but does not think “I do this” or “I am the doer”. Even a sannyasi who thinks “I am a sannyasi” cannot be a true sannyasi, whereas a householder who does not think “I am a householder” is truly a sannyasi.

101
Arunachala-Live Camera Page
http://www.arunachala-live.com/
The web site is dedicated to the service of devotees and followers of Arunachala.On the main camera page we hope to provide the opportunity, wherever one lives, to experience the presence of the hill. There are many moods of Arunachala, we hope to show you some of them.

Recently several new features have been added. The daily chanting of the Tamil Parayana from Sri Ramanashram and a new photo gallery to display our collection of photographs and contributions from other devotees.
http://www.arunachala-live.com/gallery/



Posts from arunachala-live

http://arunachala-live.com/wordpress/

102
Mountain Path Editorial - Power of the Bhagwan's Photograph
There have been some questions recently on why we have been sharing photos of Bhagavan on this page( i.e FaceBook) , when He always said He was not the body.

The attached editorial that appeared in the July-Sept 2011 edition of the Mountain Path journal, is an excellent response. We encourage everyone to read this well-written article on the potency of Bhagavan's photographs to the spiritual aspirant.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1E4DhA8Q4MrRmNYTmtDNUhYMzQ/edit?pli=1

103
General Discussion / How many days makes one mandalam?
« on: October 08, 2012, 12:13:43 PM »
I want to get clarified How Many days make one Mandalam . When do some stotra chanting ( like Vshnu Sahasranama etc ) for 1 Mandalam then does it mean we chant it for 40 days or 42 or 45 or 48 days ?
Some say it is 40 but others give different nos . I know it does not matter much if we chant for few more days the names of God but just for technical purpose I want to know  whether it is 40 days or more than 40 days so that when I finish exactly 1 Mandalam of Parayanam of any stotra then I can make some special dish as Prasadam and do a special Pooja for almighty after I complete 1 Mandalam and restart the next Parayana .
So hoping for inputs from members here .
Om Peace .

104
The Srimad Bhagavata / Eknath's Bhagavatha
« on: October 06, 2012, 01:21:58 PM »
Dear Friends

I read in David Godman's book on Papaji ( Nothing Ever Happened ) that Papaji used to read Eknath's Bhagavatha and once in Haridwar he spent nearly a week reading it on the banks of the Ganges .

Can anyone share what is so special about Eknath's Bhagavatha ?

I have the Bhagavatha of Gita Press and also the one published by Ramana Ashram by S.S.Cohen but yet to read seriously both these texts .

105
Dear Friends

It is well known that Arunagiri Nathar got his enlightenment at Arunachaleshwara Temple in Thriuvanamalai with Lord Subramanya giving him the Upadesa and Darshan after which he started composing many beautiful songs on Lord Subramanya .
Except Kandhar Anubuthi ,I am not aware of any songs in Thirupuggazh .

The following are my questions :
1) Did Arunagiri Nathar sing any song in praise of Aruncahala ( either deity or hill ) apart from Lord Subramanya  ?
2) What was Bhagwan's opinion of Thirupugazh / Arunagiri Nathar ? Did he ask people to read Thirupugazh ?
3) Any useful details regarding Thirupugazh i.e its basic contents , philosophy , etc

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