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Topics - atmavichar100

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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

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:

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 .

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
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

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

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


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.

Arunachala-Live Camera Page
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.

Posts from arunachala-live

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.

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 .

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 .

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

General topics / Ramana Maharshi and Mahatma Gandhi
« on: October 03, 2012, 07:02:27 AM »
Ramana Maharshi and Mahatma Gandhi

Saw this piece in Ramana Ashram Face Book Updates on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on 2 Oct 2012  and wanted to share with all of you .

Courtesy Karthik Venkatsubramanian On the night of January 30th, the news of Mahatma Gandhi’s death became known everywhere. I heard the news at home only, because women cannot be in the Ashram in the nights. I went at 7-30 next morning. A prayer was being broadcast over the radio. The news of the death was in the newspapers, and Bhagavan reading it and hearing the prayer,said, “This is the prayer of people who prayed like that throughout his life.” The song “Vaishnava Janato” was broadcast over the radio and Bhagavan listened to it sadly. At 9-45, Bhagavan was about to go out when a newspaper reporter came and requested him to give his views on the tragedy so that they might be published.Bhagavan, his voice choked with emotion, said, “For the Mahatma’s death in this tragic manner, every person’s heart is mourning. What is there in particular that I could say? Who is there who is not grieved? If I say anything, you will publish it and then, one after another, people will come and ask me. What is the good of it?” So saying, Bhagavan sent the reporter away and went for his walk. On his return, “Vaishnava Janato” was again being broadcast and tears fell from Bhagavan’s eyes.At 4-30 that afternoon, all the ladies began to sing “Raghupati Raghava Rajaram”.With tears in his eyes Bhagavan signed to us to continue. At 5 o’clock the conch shell blew and in view of the Mahatma’s death a special arati (waving of lights) was offered in the Mother’s temple. When the sacred ash and vermilion powder were brought,Bhagavan took them with great reverence.

General topics / Discussion on the Quotes of Shankaracharya's
« on: September 29, 2012, 11:46:53 AM »
Dear Friends

I opening a new thread that is maintained exclusively for discussion of quotes related to Shankarachara's right from Adi Shankaracharya till the present ones .

I had already opened another thread on the same where I have requested only the quotes to be posted for meditative reading and not for discussion .I thank Sri Ravi for giving me this suggestion .
Since doubts will definitely arise ,I have opened a separate thread for discussing the quotes related to the Shankaracharya's .

Now the reason why I chose Shankaracharaya's was that they are the formal un-broken lineage of Advaita and Sanathana Dharma as established by Sri Adi Shankara more than 1000 years back .
Though outwardly they may seem to stress the ritualistic way of life but their ultimate goal is only Atma Gnana which Bhagwan  Ramana took it up directly .
So in the end Adi Shankara and Bhagwan Ramana both meet and in fact Bhagwan Ramana has himself translated many works of Adi Shankara in to Tamil .
I am neither an authority on Adi Shankara's teachings and commentaries nor on Bhagwan Ramana's teachings and works and hence I will not be contributing much in these discussions and I leave it to other seniors here to clear the doubts of any quotes posted here .
Om Peace .

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.

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