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Messages - Balaji

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286
Dear Mr Graham

I have no problem in connecting to arunachala ramana org since yesterday.  I connected several times.  I connect to this site  from Paris .
This is for your information pl.

287
Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 06, 2015, 12:39:16 PM »
Mother's shrine Arunachala Temple

288
Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 06, 2015, 12:31:40 PM »
Devotional songs

289
21. He who has taken off all duality, and who having pervaded the world and all bodies, shines forth with his glory, oh men! Salute that one, in the form of Guru, the brother of Ganapati!

22. He who removes the darkness from within and without, having obtained that eternal state of light, who uproots the ignorance of his devotees, who, though seeing and sporting in this universe, is beyond the universe, to him, Sri Ramana, the Guru of the world and destroyer of sorrow, salutations!

23. O Ramana, now, by flowing forth of your splendid gaze, may I once be bl-+essed!

24. O Ramana, you are the Guru of men. Infinite is your heart, in which there is no differentiation.

25. O Ramana, your words destroy the triad of ? ?world?, ?I? and ?the Supreme?, and there remains one reality without differentiation.

26. O Ramana, your teaching helps in dissolving the difference between the reality and the ego.

27. O Ramana, if your grace extends to us, we could experience the Supreme Self in the pure heart, hidden within the ego.

28. O Lord of the wise! Compassion is not just a quality of yours. It is natural to you.

29. O spotless one, your body blazes like lightning and your look is bright and pervasive.

30. Your mind has been dissolved by the heart, Oh Lord! You are eternally shining with bliss.

31. O Lord of the self-controlled, you are the universal Lord of mankind. 32. Slaying the ego of the humans steeped in ignorance, you are the supreme Siva for them.

33. I bow to guru Bhagavan Ramana, who destroys the darkness prevailing in my heart, not only by his words, but by his sidelong glances of grace and compassion.

34. O Bhagavan Ramana, diving again and again into the ocean of the world, we are extremely tired. Now at this moment we approach the island of your lotus feet for refuge. You are the abode of virtues; please protect us with the grace that pours out of your eyes to your devotees.

 35. If the mother will not give milk, alas, what will be the fate of the child? If the cowherd be angry, how will the cows be protected? If you, Teacher, do not dispel the doubts of those resorting to your feet, how will they cross over this worldly existence.

36. The peace reigns in your moon-like splendid smile. Your large broad eyes are steady and unequal in luster. You are eternally abiding in the lotus of the Heart with your splendour flowing outwardly. O Bhagavan Ramana! What sage on earth is possibly your equal?

37. In your eyes is the ignorance-destroying Devi Shakti. In your face of-a- thousandexpressions is Lakshmi, the wife of the lotus-eyed Vishnu. Concealed in your utterances is victory-causing Saraswati. O universal teacher Ramana! What an ordinary man can praise you?

38. Even though I am very far away from your holy feet, O Bhagavan Ramana, the knowledge that your power ? blazing as the sun, is not remote from me, has caused the sorrow of my mind to vanish.

39. The good fortune acquired by Arunachala by the dwelling of many sages, is now unequalled because Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi has chosen this dwelling from among other holy places.

40. For his extraordinary peace, supreme power, most extraordinary dispassion, intense compassion, for knowledge that has banished hypocrisy, and for his sweet conduct, Ramana Maharshi is the ideal for mankind.
Concluding verse: Vaishista Ganapati, son of Narasimha, has praised in forty measured verses the Rishi Guru Ramana, the incarnation of Skanda.

290
FORTY VERSES IN PRAISE OF SRI RAMANA By Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni

The great devotion of the seer-poet Ganapati Muni to his Guru Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi is well-known. The genesis of the ?Forty Verses? described by K. Natesan in the Mountain Path, Jayanti 2000, shows how these were edited and compiled by the Maharshi himself. The verses entitled ?Sri Ramana Chatvarimsat?, a heartfelt outpouring of devotion of the highest order from a disciple to his guru, are recited before Bhagavan?s Samadhi every day. The following literal translation is adapted from The Maharshi, journal of Ramana Maharshi Centre, New York.

Invocatory verse:
I bow to the lotus feet of the spiritual teacher, Rishi Sri Ramana, who showed me the Lord, shining, transcending darkness.

1. The story of his life removes impurities. He is an ocean of compassion, taking delight in the Arunachala.

2. He is the guru of an assembly of learned men, beginning with Ganapati. He is a great repository of a wealth of virtues. Just as the thousand-rayed sun is hidden by a cloud, his true greatness is hidden by the garb of the body.

3. Ingenious at defeating the roving senses, he is skillful in praising the merits of others. He delights in the peace of silence which is without deceit, and is the slayer of the strong, reviled, frightening passions.

4. He fills his stomach only at the proper time, undertakes inflexible vows, and lives on the slope of Arunachala. His heart is unable to be won over by the arrows of Cupid. He is leading his devotees, and giving them the method of atma-vichara.

5. He has crossed the fear-producing ocean of worldly life. He has hands as delicate as a lotus, which serve him as bowl. His own gaze is unsurpassed in calmness and brightness, and he removes the fear of those who resort to his lotus feet.

6. For adoring devotees, he is a storehouse of divine treasure. His presence destroys dense misery. He maintains the duties of the ascetic, and he is preventing darkness all around.

7. Flooded with virtues that only Sesha can describe, he speaks words that are pleasing beneficial and true. His happiness is not governed by respect and honour from others, nor does he have distress due to dishonour from others.

8. He is the Lord of ascetics. With his sharp and brilliant intellect, he has with firmness destroyed the ego. He is always bearing a wave of joy, and has killed the array of inner enemies ? the six passions.

9. Having transcended all by his own merits, he wins the supreme feet of the Lord, which are not easily accessible to others. He is free from the feeling of ?mine? and is the friend of the virtuous.

10. Abandoning the lap of his mother Paravati, he dwells on the earth for the removal of darkness. He is Skanda, having the appearance of a man. This world has found a Lord in Ramana!

11. He is an ascetic, wearing only a white piece of cloth adorning his buttocks. He is the Supreme guru, he is the peacock-mounted Skanda, wearing the guise of a man. In him the world has a Master!

12. Prostrations to him who has transcended the multitude of gunas and is the perfect brahamachari! He is beyond maya and is the enemy of Taraka.

13. O Bhagavan, here there is no peacock for riding, nor a celestial river for bathing, no divine vina-playing attendants to sing to thee! How is it then that you make your dwelling upon Arunachala?

14. You have one face, you are separated from Mother Uma?s lap! You do not have a spear in your hand. You are mortal, and there is no flag-bearing armies of gods on either side! This disguise is enough to cover the eyes of those unwary ones who delight in the world, but how will you, O Skanda, escape the notice of your brother Ganapati.

15. Some know you as ?the foremost of the knowers of yoga?, others as ?jnani?, some others as ?sadhu?, while some, thinking you as ?guru? worship your lotus feet. Ramana, born on earth for the peace of men, only two or three know you as Lord Skanda.

 16. The meaning of OM was explained by you to Lord Brahma. Opening your mouth, you had undertaken to explain something to your father Siva. O Subramanya, even though you are the youngest, by your merits you have become greater than all! By the weight of your wisdom, you have obtained the state of guru to your elder brother Ganapati.

17. That Lion?s seat of honour which was previously mounted by the wise Vyasa, who saw the fullest extent of the Vedas, was afterwards occupied by fear-destroying Sankara, who with a single portion of his knowledge dispelled the darkness of ignorance. Now that throne of Acharya, awaits thee, O Lord Skanda, embodied as man.

18. When dharma has been destroyed, when the three worlds are bewildered by wrong doing, when scholars everywhere declare words as true knowledge, when the existence of the supreme Lord, the Father, is doubted, who but you is the refuge of the good, O Skanda, disguised as man?

19. Dispassion (vairagyam) may be your wealth, but how can you forsake compassion (karunam)? Desire may be prohibited by you, but is protection denied to your devotees? O Skanda, masked as man, do you wait for a proper opportunity?

20. O detraction, go far away! Bull of Dharma, henceforth you will not be lame! Leave the world, O confusion. May association with the virtuous increase everywhere! In association with his brother (Ganapathi), this world has obtained the chief of gurus (Ramana). He is the destroyer of the demon Sura and the amorous passions, Lord, son of the Divine Mother Parvati. (To be continued)

291
Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 04, 2015, 04:40:20 PM »
Bhagavan with devotees

292
Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: February 04, 2015, 11:11:29 AM »
Today being Thai Pusham (also the Aradhana day of Niranjananda Swamigal) a solemn worship of Lord Skanda (Murugan) and the shrine of Niranjananda Swamigal was performed in addition to regular shrine worship.

Being a Sannyasi brother of a Mahatma, managing the ashram was an onerous responsibility. The ashram was a place where even a squirrel felt like the King of the Universe and in such an atmosphere it was not easy to manage devotees with diverse mind-sets. The job required immense determination, dedication and the courage to do what is right even if it lead to criticism. Swamiji lived the spirit of the Bhagavad Gita verse:
yasya sarve samrambh kmasakalpavarjit |
jngnidagdhakarma tamhu paita budh

One whose undertakings are all free from desire and whose activity has been purified in the flame of wisdom, is termed a sage by those who know.

Swamiji hardly talked to Bhagavan directly but he never did anything without Bhagavan's direct or indirect consent. The following is an instance where he incurred the displeasure of a famous man by doing what is right as narrated by Balarama Reddiar: Bhagavan's brother had to endure considerable criticism while managing the ashram. Even so, there was little doubt that Bhagavan used him as his instrument. When Swamiji felt an inner prompting from Bhagavan, he confidently acted on it. Paul Brunton's book, A Search in Secret India, made the world know that the Maharshi, a unique sage of this century, was living in Tiruvannamalai. Brunton was a professional writer. In later days he would sometimes adopt the Maharshi's teachings without giving due acknowledgment. When the ashram authorities realized this, they decided to stop him from taking notes in the Hall. One day in 1939, while Brunton was taking notes Swamiji boldly walked into the hall, stood next to Bhagavan and told Munagala Venkataramiah to tell Brunton in English that he was no longer permitted to take notes while sitting before Bhagavan. Brunton looked at Venkataramiah and asked, Is this also Bhagavan's view Venkataramiah did not reply and Bhagavan, who was quietly sitting there, didn't say a word either. A few tense moments passed. Then Brunton stood up and left the Hall. That was the last time he took notes. It was very unusual to see the Sarvadhikari appear so bold and authoritative before the Maharshi. He must have felt that this exploitation must stop and confident that Bhagavan was behind him

293
General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: February 01, 2015, 01:59:54 PM »
SATSANG AT RMCL

TUESDAY (6.30-8.00PM)

SELF ENQUIRY SESSION IN KANNADA
VENUE : RAMANA MAHARSHI HERITAGE CENTRE, SANJAY NAGAR, BANGALORE

FRIDAY (6.30-8.00PM)

SELF ENQUIRY SESSION IN ENGLISH,
VENUE : RAMANA MAHARSHI HERITAGE CENTRE, SANJAY NAGAR, BANGALORE

SATURDAY (11.00 AM-12-00PM)

CHANTING OF THE SANSKRIT WORKS OF BHAGAVAN
VENUE : RAMANA MAHARSHI SHRINE & MEDITATION CENTRE, MEKHRI CIRCLE, BANGALORE

SATRUDAY(4.00-5.30PM)

TALK IN KANNADA
VENUE : RAMANA MAHARSHI SHRINE & MEDITATION CENTRE,
MEKHRI CIRCLE, BANGALORE

SUNDAY(10.30-12.30PM)

BHAJANS, SELF ENQUIRY SESSION, & TALK IN ENGLISH
VENUE : RAMANA MAHARSHI SHRINE & MEDITATION CENTRE,
MEKHRI CIRCLE, BANGALORE

294
                                             .....என்னே --விச்சை
25.   உருப்பற்றி யுண்டா முருப்பற்றி நிற்கு
       முருப்பற்றி யுண்டுமிக வோங்கு -முருவிட்
       டுருப்பற்றுந் தேடினா லோட்டம் பிடிக்கு
       முருவற்ற பேயகந்தை யோர்வாய்..

What a  wonder !(This) ghostly ego, which is devoid of form ( that is, which has no form of  its own), comes into existence by grasping a form ( that is, by identifying the form of a body as I) ; it endures by grasping a form ( that is, by continuing to cling to that body as I) ;  it waxes more by grasping and feeding upon forms ( that is, by attending to second and third person objects, which it cognizes though the five senses) ; having left a form, it grasps a form ( that is, having given up one body, it grasps another body as I) ; (but) if one searches     ( for it by enquiring  Who am I, this formless ego ), it will take to flight ( being found to be non-existent); Know thus.

Note: The ego can seemingly come into existence and endure only by grasping forms, that is, by attending to second and third person objects.  The more it attends to such objects, the more it waxes and grows strong.  But since the ego has no form of its own, if it tries to attend to itself, the first person or subject, it will lose its strength, subside and disappear, because without any form to attend to, it cannot stand.

In order to illustrate the properties of the ego-described in this and the previous verse, Sri Bhagavan used to tell the story   of a way farer who played a prominent part in a marriage celebration.   Though he belonged neither to the bride's party nor to the bridegroom's party, he pretended to each party that he was an important member of the other.  So long as every one believed him, he thrived happily bossing over both parties and feasting sumptuously.   But as soon as people began to doubt his identity and to enquire who he was, he took to flight and disappeared.  Similar is the case with the go.  Though it is neither the body nor the real Self, it pretends to be both.  So long as no enquiry is made about its reality, it seems to exist.  But as soon as it is scrutinized to find out who it is, it will disappear, being found to be non-existent.


295
Vilacheri Ranga Iyer

Once when I was visiting Bhagavan, a bhakta was copying out slokas from a notebook, sitting at
a distance of about 100 feet from Bhagavan. Coming to a sloka, which he could not make out, he
came to a halt. When Bhagavan gave out the sloka in question, the bhakta was greatly surprised
and asked as to how Bhagavan could know which sloka he was trying to decipher. Someone in
the pandal remarked that Bhagavan saw your pen stopped and guessed. Bhagavan said, Yes.
In answer to my question whether jnanis have dreams, Bhagavan said, In the same way in
which they have the waking world, they have the dream world. Thereupon I asked Bhagavan
what sort of dreams he gets, He said, I dream about temples, sacred water, etc.

One day I noticed Bhagavan's gums had receded. I asked him, You are younger than me. How
is it your gums are already like this He replied, One person gave me poison to test me. I took
it. It did not take away my life. But it ate up my gums.

296
JNANA AND BHAKTI MARGA
 
By T.P. Ramachandra Iyer

One afternoon when I entered the Hall I sat down by the side of a well-built man wearing a lot of
vibhuti and strings of rudraksha mala. Suddenly, Bhagavan turned to me and said, Don't you
know him He is Kannappa. He sings beautifully. You should hear him. He brings tears to one's
eyes. Bhagavan went on praising Kannappa, which was something quite unusual, so a real urge
to hear him sing came over me and I begged him to sing. He began to sing Tiruppugazh. I have
never heard such a vibrant voice. It even brought tears to my eyes. It was a really thrilling
experience. For an hour and more we all listened spellbound. Then the gong went for lunch and
we got up reluctantly.

I went out of the Hall behind Bhagavan and he suddenly turned round and said to me,All this is
unnecessary. If you give your mind to it, it will lead you astray no use. This was a shock to
me, as he has been praising Kannappa sky high. I said nothing in reply but I took it to mean that
he did not want me to follow this path.
On another occasion the famous singer Dilip Kumar Roy was in the Hall and after prostrating a
number of times before Bhagavan, he spoke as follows, I know no meditation or samadhi and
no sadhana to attain it. I follow the devotional approach of bhakti. I worship God through my
songs. By crying to Him I seek to attain Him. Bhagavan, is this way right? Please guide me
Master.

Bhagavan looked graciously to him and said with immense love and compassion, Yes, what
you are doing is just what you have to do. Carry on and it would certainly lead you to your goal.
Through devotion to God we discharge our emotions and this is a sure way to reach Him. Dilip
prostrated several times on hearing this.
Again I went out to lunch just behind Bhagavan and again he turned to me. This time he said,
Tell Dilip that our Tamil saints have said that bhakti is the mother of jnana. So bhakti marg is
supreme. The essence of bhakti is merging with the Universal Being through emotional
devotion.

I was perplexed. The other day he had praised the signing of Kannappa but then advised me not
to follow that way; now again he was saying that the devotional and emotional way of bhakti
was the supreme and almost the only was to reach God. I pondered over it for a long time, and
then it flashed to me that he praised this way to Kannappa who was already following it, buy
cautioned me against it and the caution applied to me personally. And he alone can judge what
path is right for me. Now again he was commending the bhakti path because for Dilip it was
supreme. (Mountain Path, Jan. 1968)

(One could always integrate the two paths. One can sing profusely in praise of Sri Ramana,
worship his photo/idol as devoutly as possible and also follow his path of self enquiry. The
confluence and convergence of the two routes is not only possible but necessary to achieve faster
results.  Editor)

297
Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: January 29, 2015, 08:10:43 PM »
 

Today being the day of Thai Krittikai Ramana Puranam was recited by devotees in the New Hall from 7 AM to 5 PM with breaks. Poet-saint Muruganar wrote Ramana Sannadi Murai in the style of the sacred Tamil epic Tiruvachakam by the great saint Manickavachagar in praise of Lord Siva. However the first edition of Ramana Sannadi Murai did not have a poem similar to Siva Puranam of Tiruvachakam. Five years later on Thai Krittika day of 1938 Muruganar completed Ramana Puranam following the style of Siva Puranam.
Ramana Puranam contains 540 verses compared to 95 verses of Siva Puranam. After writing the first 200 or so verses Muruganar left the manuscript with Ramana Maharshi who graciously wrote more than 300 verses and gave the title Ramana Puranam to the work. It is comforting to know that this great work shows the way to overcome destiny by loving Him who enforces the destiny!

Victory to the golden feet of him
who distils a rare nectar
in the hearts of the devotees
who seek his company,
to ease the triple torment,
of destiny so hard to allay!
Those who do not know
how to dispel their suffering
by putting down their luggage,
[as they travel] in the train
that is the great refuge
which supports them all,
will, out of egoism,
keep that burden upon their heads,
convinced it is they who support it,
and in vain endure eternal suffering.
Sun of dharma who scorches those ghost-like ones
who show no loving conduct
so that they suffer unbearable misery!
It is not the fault of dharma
that those in whom there is no love
perish, quaking with agony
like boneless worms
exposed to the mid-day sun.
The ripe crop of destiny,
like a shadow, never goes away,
but follows and clings to those
who commit sinful deeds,
as if unable to control themselves.
By meditating upon the twin feet
of The Lord who knows what is written,
he who destroys and reduces to nothing
the burden of fate, written [upon the heads]
of the most excellent of his devotees,
the saint Markandeya overcame,
through the intensity of his love
for the one who ordained his destiny,

298
SUBTLE HUMOUR OF SRI RAMANA

By Suri Nagamma

One day in 1947, in the afternoon, Bhagavan was explaining something to a devotee who had
come from the north. The attendants were standing with Bhagavan's walking stick and
Kamandal indicating that it was getting late for Bhagavan's evening walk. Massaging his legs,
Bhagavan said, Wait, wait, Rama bhakta Hanuman's father [the wind god] is holding on to my
legs firmly. He is not an ordinary person. He will not loosen his hold in a hurry. He will do it
leisurely. Wait a little. Then Bhagavan rubbed a little oil on his knee caps and got up. Some of
those present, who could understand the way Bhagavan punned on his stiff joints which were
supposed to be due to vayu, laughed at the jocular remarks.

As soon as Bhagavan returned to the hall and sat on the couch, one of the devotees put some
incense into the burner nearby. The fumes were a little too intense and as they spread around
Bhagavan's face, he felt almost suffocated. Shall we open the windows suggested a devotee.
Bhagavan said, Let it be. Leave it alone. In the temples, we burn the incense and fan the fumes
towards the deity so that the idol is completely enveloped in the fumes. Your idea in burning the
incense here also is to see that the Swami should enjoy the fumes. Just as Bhagavan was saying
this, a devotee fanned the embers in the burner with his hand. Suddenly the whole thing burst
into a flame. Bhagavan said with a smile, Yes, now it is alright. The incense has been burnt and
the lights have been waved, the process of puja is now complete. Then Bhagavan resumed
silence.  Letters and Recollections of Sri Ramansramam

299
After lunch, Bhagavan left for the hall where he normally sat on his sofa and gave darshan. I followed him. I offered my pranamas and asked him to let me know the easiest path. He looked 6 at me and gestured with his hand for me to sit down. In the mean time, many other devotees had arrived and the hall was full. Disappointed that he had not answered my question, I closed my eyes and began doing mental japa. After a while I heard him say to a devotee, This boy wants to know a shortcut! Then he continued, A shortcut to where One of my friends who was next to me nudged my leg and indicated that Bhagavan was talking to me. I opened my eyes and saw that he was smiling at me: he had only been waiting for other devotees to arrive so that they too could benefit form his answer to my question! Of course, I told him that I wanted a shortcut to atma-darshan  the revelation of the Self. He asked me what method I was presently practising. I replied that in my own humble way I was practising japasadhana. Hearing this, Bhagavan responded that japa was not only simple and direct, but the best method for progress in spiritual life. He quoted from the Gita  10.25: Yajnanam japayanosmi (Among the sacrifices, I am the sacrifice of japa).

Further elaborating, he said that of all the ways to offer oneself to paramatman, the easiest and the best method was the repetition of the mantra of one's own chosen deity. Japa promotes a constant flow of loving prayer from within for inner illumination. This wakes up a subtle thirst that steadily increases, leading to a strong current of continuous divine discontent known as vyakula. When this holy attitude developes into deep absorption (dhyana), the divinity reveals itself from within. This is atma-darshan.
When Bhagavan was explaining japa sadhana, an anxious devotee, who was seated a short distance away, loudly interrupted to ask a question about creation and its cause. He said that some scriptures mention that creation was due to the karma of Brahma, while other scriptures state that the creation occurred due to the karma of jivas. He wanted Bhagavan to resolve the difference of opinion.

The Maharshi just gave him a kind look, and continued to explain the subject of japa. The devotees in the packed hall lapped up his sacred words. Bhagavan explained that the aspirant first repeats the mantra out loud with diligence and devotion. Then, as his or her own loving attitude intensifies, the repetition gradually becomes internalized. As the body, senses and the mind get purified and become free from their selfish nature; the whole being gets attuned to the Divine. The power of the mantra enters every aspect of the individual. The aspirant becomes mantramaya (filled with spiritual power of the mantra), in and through all activities. One's life gets transformed into a continuous offering to the Lord, without any attachment to the results of one's actions. The impatient devotee repeated his question about creation.

This time Bhagavan graciously told him that if he would only try to understand the method he has just explained, answers to all his questions would arise within him. As one dives deep within, the mind dissolves into the Self, and all distinctions between bhakta (devotee), Bhagavan (the Lord) and Bhagavata (the sacred text) vanish in divine illumination.  Mountain Path, Oct.-Dec. 2009


SWAMI DAMODARANANDA* REMEMEMBER'S SRI RAMANA

300
Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: January 27, 2015, 03:50:47 PM »

 Yoga Sutra V.

'Manasa svam Chinvata.' Search for one's Self with the mind.

Notes:

1. The self here is one's self; not the Atman. 'It's beyond search. One's self is a little entity; the search is to know whence that idea of 'I' arises; that is to say, who is this little self? In "Ullada Narpadu" Bhagavan says, "The real Self does not say I; the body cannot say I; in between the two arises this thought 'I, and firmly clings to the body; if you search for its nature which is like a phantom devil, it disappears." When thoughts disappear into their source, even this thought I should disappear. This 'I' thought is the primary thought, and the other thoughts can raise only after its raise.

2. This enquiry is sometimes based on the previous practice of watching the breath. Normally, we are not able to catch up with the speed with which one thought succeeds another. It is as if the photographs on the cinema-screen succeeding each other with such rapidity that we get the impression of one continuous action. Therefore, it is only when we can slow down this mental process, and are able to catch each single thought by itself, that we can enquire about it. In slowing down thoughts, we have used the process of watching the breath. (We can also take the illustration of a slow motion picture here, say, of horse-racing.)

3 When a thought by itself appears, Bhagavan asks us to enquire to whom it arises, obviously with one's searching mind, It is an intellectual enquiry, not as some others hold, a negation of all thought. We hold to the thought and try to follow it up by asking to whom it occurs. Obviously it occurs to the notional 'I', for the real 'I' has no thought. Bhagavan asks us to proceed and see whence that notion arises. It must necessarily be from the consciousness; that is to say, to the Atman, where even the I-thought does not exist. If one repeats this process continuously, without any break, the process must lead to the Atman. It is like a stick burning other sticks and finally being consumed by its own fire.

4. There is another slight modification. Instead of questioning ?to whom does the thought occur?, enquire whence the thought arises. We mean any thought, not the thought of 'I' only, all thoughts must arise from the consciousness, and they are directed towards the world and all our ideas connected with it. When we cut the connection with the world, only the consciousness remains; it is the Atman. In this process there is only one step; whence does this thought arise? In the previous paragraph we have talked of a process, where there are two steps; searching for the source of each thought, and searching for the source of the 'I'-thought.

5. These processes are called by Bhagavan the 'sarala-marga', or the straight and easy path. At any rate, they are easy for those who can turn their minds inward and away from the objects of the world. But if one, as a preliminary step, follows the first path of watching the breath, it becomes quite easy for everyone.

6. The point to note is, we do not negate a thought as does the Sankara-method. Sankara says, "When a thought occurs, dismiss it immediately. Here we do not do so; we retain the thought, and attempt to seek its source. I once asked Bhagavan, how it should be possible to trace the root of a tree all the while without remembering the trunk of the tree; how can we go to the source of the thought without holding on to the thought?" Bhagavan replied, "Practice and see."
Bhagavan compares this method to each enemy soldier coming out of the fort alone, when he can be easily killed; If one thought comes out, one can easily kill it. If all the warriors in the fort rally forth at once, it will be difficult to fight them. Therefore, slow down the speed of the thoughts first; catch each thought, and by seeking its source, destroy it.
In the supplement to "Ullada Narpadu" there is a verse which lends support to the idea that this Self-enquiry is performed without the mind. The matter will be elucidated in the explanation to come, of the next aphorism. In this aphorism it is clearly stated that it is the mind which carries on this Self-enquiry.

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