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Messages - atmavichar100

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General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 11, 2015, 09:23:42 AM »

Plunge the Pure Mind Into the Heart

ONE day it was suggested to Sri Maharshi that no spiritual progress could ever be made without sadhana, or discipline. After a pause he made these observations: "Mind it is that binds man, and the same mind it is that liberates him. Mind is constituted of sankalpa and vikalpa desire and disposition. Desire is of two kinds the noble and the base. The base desires are lust and greed. Noble desire is directed towards enlightenment and emancipation. Base desire contaminates and clouds the understanding. Sadhana is easy for the aspirant who is endowed with noble desires. Calmness is the criterion of spiritual progress. Plunge the purified mind into the Heart. Then the work is over. This is the essence of all spiritual discipline!"
During one of my visits I was seated at some distance from the Maharshi. There were many devotees in the hall and the usual silence prevailed. I remembered his injunction: "Plunge the pure mind into the Heart." And decided to practice it then. I gazed at him and he gazed back at me. What followed was indescribable. His body seemed a glass case from which a blissful brilliance streamed out. More than half an hour passed this way. It was an experience unique and unforgettable. It confirmed Sri Ramakrishna's statement that spiritual experience can be transmitted from one person to another in the manner in which material things are handed over.
? Ramana Smrti, Recorded by Swami Chidbhavananda
of the Sri Ramakrishna Mission

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 11, 2015, 06:11:24 AM »

Dear Sri Ravi

I am not surprised that Sri Annamalasiswami quotes a lot from Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa . When I first met Sri David Godman at Thiruvanamalai after being highly impressed by his book ?Living by the Words of Bhagavan? and asked him about his personal experiences with Sri Annamalai Swami , David Godman told me that Sri Annamalai Swami was a great story teller and always used to explain things using a short story or an anecdote from Bhagavans life and it was always a treat to listen to him and this was the method Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had .He explained complicated Philosophical truths using simple stories . Ir-respective of one's later spiritual direction many peoples first initiation to the spiritual path in the last 100 years or so was due to reading the works of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda . I had the wonderful opportunity to meet one direct disciple of Swami Sivananda called Swami Chaitanyananda ( popularly called as UttarKashi Swami as he maintained solitude there and avoided much outside contact ) and he told that first he was interested in spirituality after reading a book of Swami Vivekananda and when he sat for meditation , a huge saintly figure clad in Orange robes used to come in front of him and he took it to be Swami Vivekananda but later  when his friend gave him a book of Swami Sivananda he understood  from the picture in that book that it was Swami Sivananda and he immediately went to Rishikesh when Swami Sivananda smiled and welcomed him saying ,I was waiting for you .  Though he received his initiation from Swami Sivananda , he used to always quote from Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda during his talks .

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 10, 2015, 12:50:04 PM »
Q: Bhagavan's body has gone now. I know intellectually that he is the Self and that he is everywhere but I still sometimes wish that could have the good fortune of sitting in his physical presence. I know that the body is ultimately not important but I would feel so happy and secure if I knew that I could go and talk or just sit with .
AS: Everything you see is Bhagavan's body. The guiding presence that you desire is shining through all these forms and animating them. Don't be attached to Bhagavan's form or body. The real Bhagavan is beyond form and beyond death.
Though water flows through the mouth of a stone tiger statue, everyone knows that it is not coming from the tiger; we all know that it is coming from the reservoir. Similarly, Bhagavan now speaks through everyone who knows and experiences him as he really is.
Living by the Words of Bhagavan

General Discussion / Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« on: March 10, 2015, 10:36:35 AM »
Be good. Do good. Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realise. This is the religion of Siva. This is the religion of the members of the Divine Life Society.
-- Sri Swami Sivananda

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 10, 2015, 06:23:10 AM »
Mr.Cohen, a resident disciple, was speaking of yoga methods.
Maharshi remarked: Patanjali's first sutra is applicable to all systems of yoga. The aim is the cessation of mental activities. The methods differ. So long as there is effort made towards that goal it is called yoga. The effort is the yoga.
The cessation can be brought about in so many ways:
By examining the mind itself. When the mind is examined, its activities cease automatically. This is the method of jnana. The pure mind is the Self.
Looking for the source of the mind is another method. The source may be said to be God or Self or consciousness.
Concentrating upon one thought to make all other thoughts disappear. Finally that thought also disappears; and Hatha Yoga.
All methods are one and the same inasmuch as they all tend to the same goal.
It is necessary to be aware while controlling thoughts. Otherwise it will lead to sleep. That awareness, the chief factor, is indicated by the fact of Patanjali emphasising pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi even after pranayama. Pranayama makes the mind steady and suppresses thoughts. Then why develop further? Because awareness then is the one necessary factor. Such states can be imitated by taking morphia, chloroform, etc. They do not lead to Moksha because they lack awareness.
? Talks No.191

General Discussion / Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« on: March 09, 2015, 08:50:30 PM »

"Solve first the, "Who am I?" problem. All other problems will be automatically solved." - Swami Sivananda

General Discussion / Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« on: March 09, 2015, 11:31:26 AM »
Swami Sivananda's simple sadhana

If you study one chapter of the Gita and do two malas of Japa daily, if you observe two fasts in a month and spend the time in prayer, within a single year you can cover a long distance oil the path of Yoga. The spiritual impressions will be present in the subconscious mind. They are indestructible and will coalesce and form a spiritual bridge over which you can cross to the other shore of immortality.
Keep company with evolved souls who tread the path of Truth. Always mark carefully what is going on in the inner mental factory.

Swami Sivananda

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 08, 2015, 01:13:33 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: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« on: March 08, 2015, 06:39:36 AM »
Swami Krishnananda on real learning

The effect of one?s reading and learning can be seen in one?s behaviour. If the behaviour has not changed, it means the learning acquired is like water poured over a rock, which gets wet only on the surface without allowing the water to seep into it.- Swami Krishnananda

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 05, 2015, 01:53:21 PM »

Q: How long should we stay with the Guru?

AS: Until the 'eye of wisdom' is open one needs association with sadhus who have realized the Self so that one can become aware of one's own Self. One should also study and practice the teachings of the Guru.

If you associate with bad or worldly people your meditation will be disturbed by their thought currents. It is best to avoid their company. One should not hate or dislike them, one should just stay out of their way.

Q: Should one avoid worldly things until one has attained some of mind control?

AS: As long as the body is alive it needs food clothing and shelter. It is not a hindrance to jnana to earn money to meet one?s basic needs.

Q: Some people have the freedom to give up worldly things. Others do not. They have to live and work with worldly people all the time.

AS: Before we came into this world all the incidents of our life were predestined: where we have to live, what acts we have to perform, etc. If we desire anything other than our prarabdha, that which was already destined for us, we cannot attain it. ?

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

- Living by the Words of Bhagavan

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 04, 2015, 05:01:55 PM »

AS: Bhagavan once said, To correct oneself is to correct the whole world'. When one has corrected oneself completely one
finds that there is no one other than oneself to correct. One
becomes quiet and peaceful within and one spontaneously radiates
happiness to all beings.
If a powerful light is shining it need not say to the darkness 'Please go away'. In the presence of such a powerful light all
darkness immediately vanishes. Similarly, the jnani spontaneously radiates a spiritual light which automatically dispels the darkness of spiritual ignorance.
Q: Why did God make this world so imperfectly? What is the
purpose of a world in which everyone is continually suffering? Why
is there darkness for the jnani to dispel?
AS: The ultimate purpose of life is to enquire about the nature of
the Self and to stabilize firmly there.
Of all births this human birth is the most precious because in
this birth we have been given the faculty of enquiry. Through this
faculty we are able to enquire about the true nature of the Self.
This precious birth is not given to us to be wasted in sensual
pleasures. It is given to us only to know our true Self.
Saint Tayumanuvar sang in one verse:
I came to this world just to realize myself
but I forgot the purpose for which I came.
My mind became deluded
by accumulating riches and by indulging in sensual pleasures.
I was deluded, lost in this maya, searching for the transient pleasures of wealth and women.
To kill this delusion
my Guru gave me the beautiful sword of jnana.
Living by the Words of Bhagavan

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 03, 2015, 06:00:50 PM »

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: March 03, 2015, 01:22:58 PM »
Q: Is it good to devote some time to staying healthy? Should we do hatha yoga, for example, to keep the body in good condition?
AS: It is difficult to do sadhana if the body is not in good condition. Hatha yoga is one way of staying healthy.
Bhagavan used to say, however, that out of all the different asanas, nididhyasana is the best. He would then add that nididhyasana means abidance in the Self.
Don't pay too much attention to the body. If you worry about
the well-being of your body, you identify with it more and more.
Look on it as a useful vehicle: maintain it, fuel it properly and repair it if it breaks down, but don't become attached to it.
If you can keep your attention on the Self without being distracted by unpleasant bodily sensations, you are healthy enough to do sadhana. If you do your meditation earnestly and continuously you will begin to find that health problems will not distract you. When your abidance in the Self is firm and strong, you cease to be aware of the body and its pains.
- Living by the Words of Bhagavan

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: February 27, 2015, 01:29:41 PM »

Q: What is the correct way to pursue self-enquiry?

AS: Bhagavan has said: 'When thoughts arise stop them from
developing by enquiring: "To whom is this thought coming?" as soon as soon as the thought appears. What does it matter if many thoughts keep coming up? Enquire into their origin or find out who has the thoughts and sooner or later the flow of thoughts will stop.'
This is how self-enquiry should be practiced.

When Bhagavan spoke like this he sometimes used the analogy of a besieged fort. If one systematically closes off all the entrances to such a fort and then picks off the occupants one by one as they try to come out, sooner or later the fort will be empty. Bhagavan said that we should apply these same tactics to the mind.

How to go about doing this? Seal off the entrances and exits to the mind by not reacting to rising thoughts or sense impressions. Don't let new ideas, judgments, likes, dislikes, etc. enter the mind, and don't let rising thoughts flourish and escape your attention.

When you have sealed off the mind in this way, challenge each emerging thought as it appears by asking, 'Where have you come from?' or 'Who is the person who is having this thought?9 If you can do this continuously, with full attention, new thoughts will appear momentarily and then disappear. If you can maintain the siege for long enough, a time will come when no more thoughts arise; or if they do, they will only be fleeting, undistracting images on the periphery of consciousness. In that thought-free state you will begin to experience yourself as consciousness, not as mind or

However, if you relax your vigilance even for a few seconds and allow new thoughts to escape and develop unchallenged, the siege will be lifted and the mind will regain some or all of it former strength.

Living by the Words of Bhagavan

General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: February 27, 2015, 06:26:06 AM »
Talking of the `witness' should not lead to the idea that there is a witness and something else apart from him that he is witnessing. The `witness' really means the light that illumines the seer, the seen and the process of seeing. Before, during and after the triads of seer, seen and seeing, the illumination exists. It alone exists always.
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
...from 'Day by Day with Bhagavan', 18-7-46

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