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Messages - atmavichar100

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General topics / Re: How prasadam is offered?
« on: July 30, 2013, 06:17:08 PM »
Dear Hari

Happy to know about the influence of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu devananda in your spiritual life .
Most of Swami Sivananda's books are available for free download at the Divine Life Society website .
Swami Krishnananda who took over the duties of Swami Sivananda after his demise has also many excellent books to his credit and they are also available for free download .
Some of the books are quite bulky ( as they are transcribed versions of his talks given at Rishikesh over a period of time ) but they are very excellent and practical and deals with the struggle any spiritual aspirant faces on the path and how to over come .
2 such books I can recommend for you and they are :
1) His talks on Patanjali Yoga Sutras ( 2 volumes )
2) His talks on Bhagavad Gita ( 1 big volume )
and both are available for free download at this site

General topics / Re: Uncontrollable shaking body and head
« on: July 30, 2013, 02:00:47 PM »
D: People practising meditation etc., are said to get new diseases; at any rate, I feel some pain in the back and front of the chest. This is stated to be a test by God. Will Bhagavan explain this and say if it is true?

B: There is no Bhagavan outside you and no test is therefore instituted. What you believe to be a test or a new disease resulting from spiritual practices is really the strain that is now brought to play upon your nerves and the five senses. The mind which was hitherto operating through the nadis to sense external objects and thus maintaining a link between itself and the organs of perception is now required to withdraw from the link and this action of withdrawal naturally causes a strain, a sprain or a snap attendant with pain, which people term disease and perhaps tests by God. All these would go, if you would but continue your meditation bestowing your thought solely on understanding your Self or on Self-realization. There is no greater remedy than this continuous yoga or union with God or Atman. There cannot but be pain as a result of your discarding your long acquired vasanas.

D: Hatha Yogic practices are said to banish diseases effectively and are therefore advocated as necessary preliminaries to Jnana Yoga.
B: Let those who advocate them use them. It has not been the experience here. All diseases would be effectively annihilated by continuous Self-enquiry.

~from ‘Crumbs from His Table’ by Ramanananda Swarnagiri

I asked him a question about the application of Who am I?.  He did not look at me but said very tenderly, 'Bhagavan's teaching is one of Heart.' At that moment, he closed his eyes, and a beautiful delicate silence filled the room. I too closed my eyesand we sat together in this stillness.  Time passed very quickly and after about an hour, he opened his eyes and gestured to me to leave.

That's the key .

General topics / Re: How prasadam is offered?
« on: July 29, 2013, 10:16:23 PM »
I didn't know that you follow Swami Shivananda. :) He was really great Sage. His strict following of Classical Vedanta is remarkable. :) It is great that you are doing your best to follow His teachings.


I was pulled in to Swami Sivananda quite unexpectedly on 14 July ( his Mahasamdhi day ) many years back and have been associated with the Organization found by one of his chief disciple Swami Vishnu devananda ( ) . All my basic training in Yoga and spirituality was through the teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu devananda and they were all very practical and had the Classical spirit . Right now I am not actively involved with the Sivananda Organizations as I prefer a contemplative life and doing my sadhana alone but their teachings are always in my heart . It is the pull of Swami Sivananda and Mother Ganga that makes me visit Rishikesh ( Swami Sivananda's samadhi is there )  very regularly and I consider Rishikesh to be my second home .

Some  people come to Bhagavan Ramana / Jnana Marga directly but for me I came to Bhagavan Ramana / Jana Marga only after immersing myself in the Yoga  teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu devananda .

General topics / Re: How prasadam is offered?
« on: July 29, 2013, 01:45:35 PM »

Offering Prasad is a symbolic act of showing our gratitude to the almighty for blessing us with our daily food . Also food once placed before God and consumed is no longer considered as food but as prasad as it has now the blessings of God . If you do not know any Mantras you can just chant the favorite mantra of your Ishta Deivam / Guru and consume the food .

Only yesterday while attending the Bhagavad Gita talk of Swami Paramarthananda he said the food should always be consumed after offering a prayer and if you do not know any prayer just chant "GOVINDA ,GOVINDA , GOVINDA " and consume the food .

When I eat in Hotels ( I do not eat outside as much as possible except when I travel or have some friends / Guests ) I always take care to offer my prayers and invoke the blessings of my Gurus before I consume the food . Since I come from the Sivananda School of Yoga we chant the famous "Bramarphanam Bramhahavir .. " Mantra from the Chapter 4( Shloka 24 )  of Bhagavad Gita as a short prayer followed by Invoking the names of our Gurus Swami Sivananda , Swami Vishnu devananda ( who was his disciple and my Yoga Guru ) .

Traditionally Vedic Mantras are chanted before the food is being offered and this is still followed in Sri  Ramana Ashram . In Other places like Chinmaya /Dayananda Organization the Chapter 15 of Bhagavad Gita is recited before food is being consumed .

General topics / Re: How prasadam is offered?
« on: July 29, 2013, 01:17:51 PM »
Dear Hari

Except for Mantras of ISKCON ,I feel the rest of the procedure is correct . You can remove ISKCON Mantras and add the mantras of your favorite deity .

Basically here is the simple way I offer Prasadam :

1) Have bath and be in clean clothes
2) Place the cooked rice ( Since rice is the basic staple dish we keep boiled rice  and on special days we keep some sweet dish / fruits ) in front of God with the covers open , add a few drops of Ghee in to it .
3) I chant the basic Annapoornai Mantra ( which comes at the last of Adi Shankara's Anaapoorna Stotram ) as an Offering to Goddess Annapoorani the Goddess of Food .
4) While Chanting I lite a camphor and wave the camphor aarti simulatneously ringing the bell .
5) Then I prostrate before all the deities in my Puja room
and the food is ready to be served .

You can replace the boiled rice with any  vegetarian dish that you prepare and you can also offer fruits ,sweets etc in case you are unable to prepare food .Only see to it that you do not keep already cooked food / stale food as Prasad .
Also you can chant your favorite deity / Guru Mantra while offering the prasad .

General topics / Re: How prasadam is offered?
« on: July 29, 2013, 12:57:39 PM »

The following link gives details of how Prasadam is offered in ISKCON Temples to Lord Krishna

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: July 28, 2013, 10:29:23 PM »
This link has a good collection of transcribed talks of Kanchi Mahaswamigal .Thanks to Nagaraj for sharing this link in another thread .

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: July 28, 2013, 09:32:13 PM »


Thanks for sharing the above link that has excellent transcribed talks of Kanchi Maha Periva .

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: July 28, 2013, 01:34:25 PM »
Sage of Kanchi
Of the four aims of life - dharma, material acquisitions, desire and
liberation - we seek gratification of kama alone (in the form of pleasure, love, etc.). And to have our desires satisfied we keep struggling to acquire material things. Our efforts must be directed towards obtaining liberation through the practice of dharma. All that we need to do for this ideal is to resolve to live a simple life. There should then be no compulsion to run after money and other material goods and other. It would naturally become easier for us to practice dharma and reap the ultimate fruit that is eternal bliss.

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: July 27, 2013, 06:37:44 PM »

Translated from an article in Kalki Deepavali Malar of 1990:

A memorable incident when Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati, Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt,gave a wonderful commentary on Muthuswami Dikshitar's kriti on
Subrahmanya to Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar.

The article appeared in Ariyakkudi's centenary year, when Paramacharya was in his 97th year.

Ashrams / Re: Sri Ramana Darshan - Guru Poornima - 22.07.2013.
« on: July 26, 2013, 04:04:48 PM »
Subramaniam Sir

Thanks for the info but I wanted to know the timing of evening Tamil Parayana i.e is it still from 6.45p.m - 7.30 p.m? or earlier ?

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: July 26, 2013, 11:54:51 AM »
Paramacharya's Shade of Mercy

An incident that happened many years ago.

It was the time when in the Satara town of Maharashtra, the construction works of Uttara Sri Nataraja temple were going on in accordance with AcharyaaL's orders. People thronged daily to have darshan of PeriyavaaL who was camping in the town.

A Sunday. Three o' clock in the afternoon. A 30-year-old youth prostrated to AcharyaaL, his eight limbs touching the ground, and got up. Tears were seen in his eyes. Noticing it, Periyavaa asked him with affection, "EmpA, who are you? Which place, why do your eyes go red?" Without replying, he started crying. People nearby assuaged him and made him sit before SwamigaL.

"Which place are you from appA?" SwamigaL asked him.

"Palakkad, Periyavaa."

"You are coming all the way from Palakkad?" asked AcharyaaL immediately.

"Yes Periyavaa. I am coming all the way from that place."

"Alright. What is your name?"

"Harihara Subramanian."

"besh* (well) a good name. Right, what's your thagappanAr (father) doing?"

"My father is not in jIva dashA (living condition) now, Periyavaa. He was practicing Ayurveda in Palakkad. His name was Dr. Harihara Narayanan--"

Before he finished, SwamigaL with kutUhala (interest) said, "ada (I see), you are the son of Palakkad Ayurvedic doctor Narayanan? Very glad. In that case, tell me, you are the grandson of doctor Harihara Raghavan! All of them earned very good name in Ayurveda!". SwamigaL looked at him keenly, raising his eyebrows.

The youth said, "Yes, Periyavaa."

Smiling, AcharyaaL said, "besh! A lofty vaidhya paramparA (medical lineage). It is alright. You have not added any doctor title before your name?"

"I did not study for that Periyavaa. My father did not prepare me in that way," said the youth, without interest.

"You should not say that way! Did your father not prepare you, or you did not have the shraddhA (strong wish) in getting prepared in that way?"

There was no reply. "Taking birth in that vaidhya paramparA, you missed the chance to know things? Right, up to which class you have studied?"

"Up to the ninth, Periyavaa."

"Why? You had no wish to study further?"

"Somehow I did not have the wish Periyavaa. I now feel for it!"

"Your vivAham (marriage) is done?"

"Done Periyavaa. I have a daughter who is seven years old."

"Right, what do you do now?"

Tears gushed from his eyes. "Since I had no education, I could not get any high jobs, Periyavaa. I am doing the work of a supervisor in a local rice mill. The salary is seven hundred rupees. My family is running only on that amount."

"Oho... Is that so? Right. You have your own gRuham left for you by the periyavaaLs (ancestors)?" SwamigaL asked him.

Wiping his tears, Harihara Subramanian said, "There is a house Periyavaa, built by my grandfather. The very purpose of my coming here is to supplicate to Periyavaa about it. Many years ago, since her husband passed away, my father's sister came over to Palakkad bringing her two daughters. During a Navaratri festival time, my father mortgaged the house to a local person, took twenty-fve thousand rupees from him, conducted the marriage of the two daughters of my aunt, and then suddenly passed away. My aunt too passed away.

"My grievance, Periyavaa, is that during the festival time of Navaratri my father mortgaged the house that was lakshmikaram (prosperous, Lakshmi-given) and passed away. The amount has now come to forty-five thousand rupees including the interest. It seems the house is going to sink!"

SwamigaL lapsed into contemplation for a while. His silence dissolved presently and he said as he smiled, "Alright, now you celebrate the Navaratri festival at home, raising a kolu (an assembly of divine dolls) every year?"

"No, Periyavaa. I stopped the custom of raising a kolu after my father passed away, doing what he did."

AcharyaaL promptly interrupted him and said, "You should never talk so disrespectfully of Atthup periyavaaL (family ancestors). They are all very lofty people. I know it well! They have all gone after doing only excellent things! Keeping something in mind, your stopping the custom of celebrating Navaratri every year with a prosperous kolu is wrong! The Navaratri starts in a week from now. You revive the custom of raising a kolu in Palakkad from this year. All your afflictions will be solved and your will get prosperity!" Blessing the youth and giving him prasAdam, SwamigaL bid him farewell.

Twenty days passed. It was a Sunday. A large crowd in Satara to have darshan of AcharyaaL.

An assistant of the MaTham made way parting people in the queue and brought before SwamigaL a respectable man of 60 to 65 years of age, wearing a saffron jippa (tunic) over a pancakaccham (tucked in dhoti), and a number of tulasi, rudrAkSa garlands on his neck. He prostrated to AcharyaaL and started conversing in Hindi. SwamigaL also did his saMbhASaNaM (conversation) in Hindi and then asked the gentleman to go and sit on the stage opposite him.

At length, a small trunk box in hand, Palakkad Harihara Subramanian came and stood before Maha SwamigaL. He prostrated resting his eight limbs to the ground.

With artha puSTi (wealth of meaning) SwamigaL looked alternately at the youth and his trunk box. The youth opened the box slowly. Very ancient palm leaf scripts numbering 10 to 15 were kept inside the box, wrapped in a silk cloth. That Parabrahmam looked at him knowingly, yet as if it did not know.

The youth said innocently, "You gave me the orders to revive the custom of kolu from this year. When I climbed up the loft to retrieve the kolu dolls, I found this box there. I had not seen it until then Periyavaa! I checked its contents and found these scripts whose letters were unintelligible to me. So I brought it straight here."

AcharyaaL laughed and beckoned to the gentleman in saffron tunic who was sitting on the stage opposite him. To the gentleman he said in Hindi, "The apUrva vastu (rare article) you asked me about only a little while go has come here, look!"

The gentleman immediately sat down on the floor, took the palm leaves and started having a glance at their grantha letters using a lens he had with him. His face blossomed. Lifting those scripts and keeping them over his head, he grinned happily and said, "O Parama Acharya Purusha! I am searching for this apUrva ayurveda grantha for many years. You are the pratyakSa deivam (God present before the eyes)! Within half an hour you have brought before my eyes what I prayed to you for!" He prostrated to SwamigaL with wonder.

Harihara Subramanian stood amazed looking at all this. AcharyaaL called him near and said, "This gentleman is a great Ayurveda Siddha research scholar of Pandaripuram. Only half an hour back he told me about his searching for such an apUrva suvadi (rare palm leaves). Something struck my mind, I told him to sit and wait for sometime. And now you come and stand before me with this trunk box!" AcharyaaL ordered the youth, "All these will be very useful to him. Thinking of your father and grandfather, you submit with your own hands all these things to that gentleman."

The youth did as he was told. Tears of joy in the face of the gentleman who received the contents.

The gentleman looked at him and said, "I have come to possess an apUrva grantha by your grace! It would not be dharma to receive them without paying a kANikkai (an amount as a token of gratitude)." Then he placed five hundred-rupee-sections** (each having 100 bills in it) along with some fruits in a plate and held them politely to Harihara Subramanian. The youth looked at SwamigaL, who smiled and asked him to receive the money. Hands shaking, the youth received those fifty thousand rupees!

Calling him near, that walking God said, "What did I tell you when you spoke out your grievance about your family ancestors? I said they were all lofty people, they would have gone only after doing excellent things. It somehow struck in my mind. You saw the excellent thing your people had done, on the loft where the kolu dolls were kept? You said your house mortgage loan had swelled to forty-five thousand rupees in principal and interest! Now Sri ChandraMauleesvara has done his anugraham for it. Get back to Palakkad with happiness. Let the money be safe with you!" and bid him farewell after blessing him.

Ashrams / Re: Sri Ramana Darshan - Guru Poornima - 22.07.2013.
« on: July 26, 2013, 11:38:29 AM »
Subramaniam Sir

Happy to note that you visited Sri RamanaAashram on auspicious day of Guru Poornima and had a nice darshan and stay there .
Has the evening  Tamil parayana time changed ?  Whats is the time for Tamil Parayana these days ?

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: July 26, 2013, 07:41:13 AM »
Sage of Kanchi
How can we claim that a small group of people in this country (dedicated to maintaining the Vedic tradition) can create happiness throughout the world? Well, take the case of a powerhouse. Only four or five work in it but the entire town receives light. If these four or five people do not work, the whole town will be plunged in darkness. In the same way only a few people are required to keep the auspicious world lamp of the Vedas burning.

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