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Messages - atmavichar100

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General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: July 10, 2014, 10:28:52 PM »

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: July 10, 2014, 09:53:20 PM »
(Guru Ramana Memories & Notes)



The influence of Sri Maharshi on genuine seekers, who leave the world behind and turn pilgrims on the path of the Absolute, is great indeed; for such aspirants touch a sympathetic chord in his soul, evoking spiritual responses of great magnitude.

A close friend of mine once related to me his experience when a brief talk with the Master made him stop his fruitless pursuit of the occult and take to the path of knowledge (Jnana), which Bhagavan propounds and which has proved of immense benefit to those who had followed it. I let him use his own words:-

On one of those happy days of July, I decided at last to acquaint the Maharshi with the disturbed state of my mind, after a number of months stay in the Ashram, during which I had listened, reflected and argued with Myself. Having been a keen student of Theosophy for twelve years, I had imbibed notions and theories which conflicted in almost every important respect with the Maharshi's teaching. Theosophy and Vedanta, I discovered, notwithstanding the claim of Theosophy to the country, run along parallels which never meet. Occult Theosophy speaks of spheres and planes, of journeys into planets, of invisible Masters, hierarchies, adepts, rays, supersensuous initiations and meetings, and hardly, if at all, of the Reality, with which the Vedanta and Maharshi exclusively deal, namely, the one Self, one Life, one Existence. In fact seekers are again and again reminded that occult powers are diametrically opposed to the truth they seek.

I was finally convinced that the Maharshi spoke from direct, valid experience, and on that day I made up my mind to speak alone with him, before the hall filled with devotees.

It was eight in the morning. Sri Bhagavan had just entered and had hardily settled in his usual place, when I drew near his sofa and squatted on the bare floor. The attendant alone was present, keeping alive the incense fire and fixing new incense sticks in their silver stand, but he didn't understand English. Nothing I knew gave greater pleasure to the Maharshi than to listen attentively to his devotees spiritual difficulties and give his advice. This knowledge encouraged me to explain to him slowly and briefly in clear, simple English the agitations of my mind. After I finished, he remained pensive for a few seconds and then, in the same language but with considerable deliberation said, Yes, you are right. All preconceptions must go. Practice alone will show you where the truth lies. Stick to only one form of sadhana.

That was a clear point. But apart from the words he uttered, I was suddenly gripped by an overwhelming urge to surrender unreservedly to him to guide me in my spiritual hunger, abandoning all the methods I had previously followed and all the beliefs on which I had built my hopes. My fate and all that I was, passed from that moment into the sacred hands of Sri Bhagavan for ever.

But this was not the only case of spontaneous surrender. Spiritual surrender, we are told, is not a mental, still less an oral act, but the result of Grace, which comes in its own time and of its own accord, to cause the automatic subsidence of that self asserting element in the sadhaka's nature, which stands in his way to ultimate realisation. Sometimes it is sudden, and sometimes so gradual, that the devotee himself may not became aware of it. Grace, though it comes from the Guru by his very presence, is not fortuitous, but fully earned by hard internal fight, by long periods of suffering, prayer, self purification, and intense yearning for release. Suffering turns the mind and eventually draws out the cry from the depths of the soul for the liberating light of Truth, and for the appearance of Divine Teacher, who alone can lead to it and, thus, to Redemption.


General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: July 10, 2014, 09:41:12 PM »

Q. How am I to know if I am making any progress in my meditation?

AS: Those who meditate a lot often develop a subtle form of ego.
They become pleased with the idea that they are making some progress; they become pleased with the states of peace and bliss that they enjoy; they become pleased that they have learned to exercise some control over their wayward minds; or they may derive some satisfaction from the fact that they have found a good guru or a good method of meditation.

All these feelings are ego feelings. When ego feelings are present, awareness of the Self is absent. The thought 'I am meditating? is an ego thought. If real meditation is taking place, this thought cannot arise.

Don't worry about whether you are making progress or not.
Just keep your attention on the Self twenty-four hours a day.
Meditation is not something that should be done in a particular position at a particular time. It is an awareness and an attitude that must persist throughout the day. To be effective, meditation must be continuous.

If you want to water a field you dig a channel to the field and send water continuously along it for a lengthy period of time.

If you send water for only ten seconds and then stop, the water sinks into the ground even before it reaches the field. You will not be able to reach the Self and stay there without a prolonged, continuous effort. Each time you give up trying, or get distracted, some of your previous effort goes to waste.

Continuous inhalation and exhalation are necessary for the continuance of life. Continuous meditation is necessary for all
those who want to stay in the Self.

Living by the Words of Bhagavan

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: July 09, 2014, 10:39:42 PM »
Talks 197

Gul and Shirin Byramjee, two Parsi ladies of Ahmedabad, arrived
this day. They spoke at night to Maharshi: ?Bhagavan! We have been
spiritually inclined from our childhood. We have read several books on
philosophy, and are attracted by Vedanta. So we read the Upanishads,
Yoga Vasishtha, Bhagavad Gita, etc. We try to meditate, but there is
no progress in our meditation. We do not understand how to realise.

Can you kindly help us towards realisation??

M.: How do you meditate?

D.: I begin to ask myself ?Who am I??, eliminate body as not ?I?, the
breath as not ?I?, the mind as not ?I? and I am not able to proceed further.

M.: Well, that is so far as the intellect goes. Your process is only intellectual. Indeed, all the scriptures mention the process only to guide the seeker to know the Truth. The Truth cannot be directly pointed out. Hence this intellectual process. You see, the one who eliminates all the not I cannot eliminate the ?I?. To say ?I am not this? or ?I am that? there must be the ?I?. This
?I? is only the ego or the ?I-thought?. After the rising up of this ?I-thought?, all other thoughts arise. The ?I-thought? is therefore the root-thought. If the root is pulled out all others are at the same time uprooted. Therefore seek the root ?I?, question yourself ?Who am I??; find out its source. Then all these will vanish and the pure Self will remain ever.

D.: How to do it?

M.: The ?I? is always there - in deep sleep, in dream and in wakefulness.
The one in sleep is the same as that who now speaks. There is always the feeling of ?I?. Otherwise do you deny your existence? You do not. You say ?I am?. Find out who is.

D.: Even so, I do not understand. ?I?, you say, is the wrong ?I? now.
How to eliminate this wrong ?I??

M.: You need not eliminate the wrong ?I?. How can ?I? eliminate itself?
All that you need do is to find out its origin and abide there. Your
efforts can extend only thus far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach it.

D.: If ?I? am always - here and now, why do I not feel so?

M.: That is it. Who says it is not felt? Does the real ?I? say it or the false ?I?? Examine it. You will find it is the wrong ?I?. The wrong ?I? is the obstruction. It has to be removed in order that the true ?I? may not be hidden. The feeling that I have not realised is the obstruction to realisation. In fact it is already realised; there is nothing more to be realised. Otherwise, the realisation will be new; it has not existed so far, it must take place hereafter. What is born will also die. If realisation be not eternal it is not worth having. Therefore what we seek is not that which must happen afresh. It is only that which is eternal but not now known due to obstructions; it is that we seek. All that we need do is to remove the obstruction. That which is eternal is not known to be so because of ignorance. Ignorance is the obstruction. Get over this ignorance and all will be well. The ignorance is identical with the ?I-thought?. Find its source and it will vanish.The ?I-thought? is like a spirit which, although not palpable, rises up simultaneously with the body, flourishes and disappears with it. The body-consciousness is the wrong ?I?. Give up this body consciousness. It is done by seeking the source ?I?. The body does
not say ?I am?. It is you who say, ?I am the body!? Find out who this ?I? is. Seeking its source it will vanish.

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: July 08, 2014, 10:27:00 PM »

Q: So we only think that we have choices. The sense of choice is not real?

Annamalai Swami: Correct! All the difficulties that we experience in life have been given to us by Bhagavan in order to turn our minds towards the Self.

A man once asked Bhagavan, 'Why did God choose this way of giving grace only through misery? Why did He not choose some other way?'
Bhagavan replied, 'It is His way. Who are you to question

On another occasion a devotee asked, 'Why does God not appear before me?'
Bhagavan answered, 'If He appears before you in person you will not leave Him in peace. He is not appearing because He is afraid of you. He is afraid of manifesting in a form that you can see because He knows that if He does you will just give Him a long list of things that you want.'

Q: Is it desirable to want to see God?

AS: Manikkavachagar said in one of his songs: 'God is not a
person, nor is He any particular thing. Yet without God there is nothing because He alone is everything.'
To see one's Self and to see this same Self in all that is, that is seeing God.

Q: So it is better to want only the formless Self?

AS: I once heard Bhagavan say to Paul Brunton: lf you do upasana [meditation] on the all-pervading Self, you will get infinite energy.' All beings, all things, all people in the world are your own Self. They are all indivisibly part of you.If you can see all as your Self, how can you do harm to anyone else? When you have that clear vision, whatever you do to others, you know that it is done to your Self only.

Living by the Words of Bhagavan

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: July 08, 2014, 10:02:22 PM »

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: July 07, 2014, 09:41:14 PM »
Muruganar and Aksharamanamalai.

Ramana Maharshi composed Aksharamanamalai in 1914. Muruganar came to Bhagavan many years later. He came to know about Aksharamanamalai by reading a book presented to him by his father-in-law. Being a scholar-poet Muruganar he was deeply impressed by the high quality of thought and the divine fervor of the poems. Intuitively he felt the greatness of the author of these poems but the pressures of work made it impossible for him to go at once.

On June 4th 1944 Muruganar reverentially offered the hand-written manuscript of the commentary on Aksharamanamalai at the feet of Lord on the day of Maha Kumbhabhisekham of Arunachala temple. The commentary was later published in 1952 that is after Bhagavan?s Maha Samadhi.

We reproduce a passage from an article written by Sadhu Om in the March 1983 issue of ?Arunachala Ramana? to illustrate how closely Muruganar interacted with Bhagavan before writing the commentary on Aksharamanamalai.
?The poetic genius of Sri Ramana Maharshi was not due to His education or learning. It came only through the inspiration of Grace. But in Sri Muruganar, divine inspiration was combined with great learning. That is why Sri Bhagavan used to consult Sri Muruganar whenever He had to decide about some very subtle points in Tamil literary grammar.
Sri Arunachala Aksharamanamalai, the earliest of Sri Bhagavan's major poetic works, was composed when He was quite young. In those days there was no chance for Him to check His verses with grammatical knowledge learnt from outside. But when Sri Murugannar went through his work in 1923 he was taken aback with awe and wonder, so great was the richness of its meaning and the grandeur of its Tamil style. Such verses could never be written by an ordinary poet, no matter how learned he might be.
?When Sri Muruganar was requested by some devotees to write a commentary on Sri Arunachala Aksharamanamalai, he began to ask Sri Bhagavan about the precise meaning of some stanzas, which he found to be ambiguous."Someone has sung it. Who knows who he was and where he has gone? Ask him. If you ask me, what can I do? Even I will have to break my head to give a meaning. You may bear the burden and give the meaning just as well as I", answered Sri Bhagavan, thus lovingly giving his blessings to Sri Muruganar and allowing him full rights to give the meaning.

When Sri Muruganar came to verse 46, "Tupparivilla Vippirap penpayan, Oppida vayen Arunchala", he wished to know from Sri Bhagavan the exact idea He had meant by the word 'vayen'. Sri Bhagavan said, "It is a simple imperative, as we colloquially use the verbs va, po and sey, saying vayen, poyen, and seyyen. So vayen is a request, asking Sri Arunachala to come". Sri Muruganar was hesitating, because if the verb 'va' is used as an imperative in the sense 'come', the correct grammatical form should be vaven not vayen. To write vayen is truly a grammatical mistake according to the Tamil rules of conjunction. Pointing this out to Sri Bhagavan, Sri Muruganar stood hesitating, but Sri Bhagavan said "Then correct it accordingly. Since the word I used colloquially is not grammatically correct, it is to be changed." Sri Muruganar was stunned with fear. "O Bhagavan", he said with respect and humility, "it is a great offence to find mistakes in the divinely inspired works of Sages. Truly, no mistakes will creep into their words. When it is so, who am I to find a petty grammatical mistake and to correct Your divine words of Grace?". But Sri Bhagavan kindly said, "It is not a wrong to correct a word if it is grammatically at fault". Even though Sri Bhagavan consented thus, Sri Muruganar's heart was unwilling to correct it. Although the word was indeed fit to be corrected and although Sri Bhagavan Himself gave his consent for him to correct it, the completely surrendered and egoless mind of Muruganar did not at all agree to do so. He prayerfully said, "O Bhagavan, I cannot find room in my heart to correct Your gracious words. Words coming from a divine source can never be wrong. Let the word 'vayen' remain as it is. Be gracious to enable me to find a suitable meaning for it, without changing its form".

Finally while writing the meaning for this verse, Sri Muruganar split the word as vay plus en which means 'Why a mouth ?'. Thus the meaning he gave for the verse was, "O Arunachala, of what use is this birth to me without vichara-jnana - knowledge born of enquiry? Since it is useless, why should
I open my mouth to compare it (this birth of mine) with anything - with even the birth of the lowest creatures such as dogs?"

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: July 06, 2014, 06:57:20 AM »
We sin in four different ways. With our body we do evil; with our tongue we speak untruth; with our mind we think evil; and with our money we do so much that is wicked. We must learn to turn these very four means of evil into instruments of virtue.

We must serve others with our body and circumambulate the Lord and prostrate ourselves before him. In this way we earn merit. How do we use our tongue to add our stock of virtue? By muttering, by repeating, the names of the Lord. You will perhaps excuse yourself saying: "All our time is spent in earning our livelihood. How can we think of God or repeat his names? " A householder has a family to maintain; but is he all the time working for it? How much time does he waste in gossip, in amusements, in speaking ill of others, in reading the papers? Can't he spare a few moments to remember the Lord? He need not set apart a particular hour of the day for his japa. He may think of God even on the bus or the train as he goes to his office or any other place. Not a paisa is he going to take with him finally after his lifelong pursuit of money. The Lord's name (Bhagavannama) is the only current coin in the other world.

The mind is the abode of Isvara but we make a rubbish can of it. We must cleanse it, install the Lord in it and be at peace with ourselves. We must devote atleast five minutes every day to meditation and resolve to do so even if the world crashes around us. There is nothing else that will give us a helping hand when the world cosmos is dissolved.

It is by helping the poor and by spreading the glory of the Lord that we will earn merit.

Kanchi Paramacharya

Tripura Rahasya and other ancient works / Re: The Vedas
« on: July 02, 2014, 05:30:30 PM »
Most Indians are totally ignorant of this Most Ancient Science and discipline.Atleast a rudimentray acquaintance with these aspects of the Vedas will help us suspect deeper treasures hidden herein and encourage us to foster what little remains in practice.
The talks of mahaswami on the Vedas cover all these aspects.Later,we will also see what Sri Aurobindo has to say on many of these aspects.It is in this spirit that this thread was launched.

Dear Sri Ravi

What you said is very true . Few years back there was a program on TV in which many people assembled there claimed how they were fooled by various Godmen /astrologers /sooth sayers etc .  One Swami from some Hindu spiritual institution who had come as the Chief Guest of that program asked the audience how many of you have studied the Bhagavad Gita Completely ( any one version / any author ) and no one raised the hands .Next he asked how many of you at least attempted to study the same thoroughly ( not just browsing it through here and there ) and again no one raised the hands . Then he asked how many of you have at least the Bhagavad Gita book  ( any version ) in your house then few hands rose up . He smiled and told that he is not surprised that these people got fooled by Godmen , astrologers , soothsayers etc etc . He told it is the duty of every Hindu to at least make an attempt to study one version of the Bhagavad Gita thoroughly so that they have answers to most of the problems they face in their day to day life and do not run to astrologers /Godmen / sooth sayers to find answers to the same .
I would modify the above reply to say that every Hindu must first thoroughly study the 7 Volumes of the Voice of God ( Deivathin Kural ) of Kanchi Mahaswamigal and at least 1 version of the Bhagavad Gita thoroughly so that most of the answers that they are seeking are already available there without the need to run to astrologers .Godmen /sooth sayers etc . Today with the advancement in technology both the above resources are available for free on the net and people can download the same and read it on their desktops / laptops/tablets /Iphones etc .
Sringeri Acharya Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati said that for acquiring worldly riches  we are willing to cross the seas and willing to endure various hardships in foreign lands but for spiritual wealth we want it to be delivered to our homes on a plate and enjoy  the same with least effort . Spiritual laziness is responsible for the mushrooming of many pseudo spiritual organizations and half baked spiritual teachers in India and abroad who exploit / misguide the people and after getting fooled by them people end up crying later as it happened in that TV Program where many wept as to how they were exploited by various teachers /Godmen /astrologers etc .

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: July 01, 2014, 01:56:38 PM »
Self-surrender does not mean retirement into the forests. It does not mean giving up of all activities. Tamas or inertia is mistaken for self-surrender. This is a sad mistake. What is wanted is internal surrender. The ego and desire must be annihilated. This will constitute real surrender~Swami Sivananda

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: July 01, 2014, 11:01:08 AM »

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: June 30, 2014, 07:57:47 PM »

1. Get up at 4. a.m. daily. This is Brahmamuhurta which is extremely favourable for meditation on God.

If one is able to implement the first instruction successfully then all other remaining 19 instructions will be able to implement fairly easy .

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: June 27, 2014, 11:07:09 AM »

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: June 26, 2014, 01:28:44 PM »

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: June 25, 2014, 10:08:54 AM »

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