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The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« on: February 19, 2015, 11:47:30 PM »
Early Days at Ramanasramam


Bhagavan was so completely merged in the Supreme Power that it is hard to speak of his having any will or individual nature left to submit, and yet insofar as human life does demand occasional decisions, he was absolutely submitted to the Divine Will. A good example of this is to be seen in the founding of his Asramam at the foot of the Hill.

At another time this is what he said about his coming down and staying permanently at the foot of the Hill: "After Mother's death I used to come now and then to the Samadhi and return to Skandasramam. One day about six months after Mother's death, I went there on one such visit and after sitting there for some time, wanted to get up and go back. However something told me I should not go back but stay on there. It was as if my legs refused to get up. And I stayed on. That is how this Asramam began. Who knew then that all this would grow up?" Bhagavan was the supreme example of one who completely surrendered to the Divine Will and was like a straw carried about wherever the divine current thought fit to bear it.

 "Dhandapani Swami was here long back. At that time the method of cooking itself was different. A big vessel used to be put on the fire. Whatever vegetables were received till noon used to be cut and put into it, boiled and sambar made. There was no ladle even to stir and mix them. We used to take a piece of firewood, chisel it and use it for stirring those vegetables in the vessel. That preparation was the only side dish. When we mixed it with rice and ate it, it used to be very tasty. The labour also was comparatively less. After cooking in the Asramam grew in size, cooks had to be appointed. They used to consult me in the early  Arunachala's Ramana days about what to cook. I used to ask them, 'Do you have rice?' and their reply was, 'Yes'. 'Do you have water?"Yes'. 'Do you have salt?"Yes'. 'Do you have pickles?' Yes."Buttermilk?' `Yes.' If so, what else do you want?' I used to say. After that, they ceased to ask me and now they merely tell me, 'We will cook this and we will cook that,' and I say, 'Yes, yes.' I also advise them suitably. What do I lose? I do not, however, give up my own custom of mixing all the side dishes into one before taking them. When several people gather together, they must have their way. Why should they suffer on my account?

"When I was on the Hill, a woman and her husband used to come to me. She used to bring me something to eat now and then. After her husband passed away, she lived with her brother. Even he passed away. As her brother's sons did not look after her properly and turned her out, she has been staying somewhere else and has been living by selling dosais it seems. It is she that had a platform constructed near Mother's Samadhi where I used to sit and had it covered by palm leaves. Till then, I used to sit under a tree. 'Aye! Swami is sitting on the floor and is exposed to the sun!' So saying, she got the platform built.

"Even after we came down here we still used to make kanji. At first there were a lot of men working on the premises, clearing it of cactus and levelling it, and we used to prepare a midday meal for them in addition to their wages. For them and us together we used to prepare only two dishes; a huge pot of kanji and another of all the vegetables we happened to have on hand. You can imagine the quantity when I tell you that the ladle we stirred it with was the branch of a tree. In those days I used to do all the grinding for the cooking. Once I made uppuma out of keeraithandu, stalk of spinach. Somebody had brought a whole sack of keeraithandu and we cut the whole lot up into small bits. There were seven or eight measures of it. I added one measure of ravai, semolina to it and boiled the whole lot well and made uppuma out of it. Everyone enjoyed it as uppuma made of ravai, but when I told them how it was really made, they were not so pleased. People always like something expensive." - Bhagavan.

from the Boundless ocean of Grace Vol II

                                          ...பொங்கித் தோன்றவே
31.    தன்னை யழித்தெழுந்த தன்மையா னந்தருக்
        கென்னை யுளதொன் றியற்றுதற்குத் -தன்னையலா
        தன்னிய மொன்று மறியா ரவர்நிலைமை
        யின்னதென் றுன்ன லெவன்...

When it (the Reality) surges forth and appears (as 'I-I'), for Him (the jnani) who enjoys the bliss of Self, which has (thus) risen by destroying the (individual) self (the ego), what single thing exists to do? He does not know anything other than Self (which shines as the one reality); (therefore) how to (or who can) conceive what His state is?

Note: Compare here verse 15 of Upadesa Undivar.


Foreign tourists prefer to take ?inner girivalam path? despite ban
PRINT   ?   T  T 
Two foreigners going past a newly drawn paint marking made by miscreants in the inner girivalam path in the reserve forest around Tiruvannamalai hill.

Since the 14- km-long Girivalam path that goes around the Tiruvannamalai Hill is urbanised and commercialised, foreign tourists and devotees tend to get into the reserve forest and make a circumambulation close to the hill.

Over the years, this practice created a foot path inside the forest. Some tourists have made markings with paint on the rocks and trees along the ?inner path? to guide others.

Nature lovers fear that the practice might attract vendors to set shops thus disturbing the tranquillity of the forest. In order to avoid this situation and also to contain repeated incidents of forest fire, forest department declared that nobody should use the area for girivalam .

The announcement initially helped contain the practice. Entry points that lead to the ?inner path? were closed with thorny twigs.

But with passage of time foreign tourists and others began using the inner path.

A member of a ?Friends of Forest?, a brigade of volunteers authorised by forest department to protect reserve forest, told The Hindu on condition of anonymity that if a volunteer stopped an intruder, they do not pay heed to their warnings.

Though the foreign tourists do not cause any harm to nature, it is an act of defying the law. Of late locals too are joining them. This may put pressure on afforestation drives,? he said. When asked about the phenomenon, Divisional Forest Officer Rajendran told The Hindu ,

?The ban to enter the inner path in the forest exists as ever. We don?t permit anybody to enter forest. We?ll look into the issue as soon as possible. ?

                                ...அதனால் --மீ முறையே
30.   நானா ரெனமனமுண் ணாடியுள நண்ணவே
       நானா மவன்றலை நாணமுற --நானானாத்
       தோன்றுமொன்று தானாகத்  தோன்றினுநா னன்றுபொருள்
       பூன்றமது தானாம் பொருள்.... 

Therefore, when the mind reaches the Heart by inwardly scrutinizing 'Who am I?' in the above manner and when he, who is the 'I', (the ego or mind, which rises in the form 'I am the body') dies, the one (existence-consciousness) appears spontaneously' as 'I-I'. Although it appears (seemingly anew), it is not 'I' (the rising 'I' or ego); it is the Whole Reality (puma vastu), the Reality which is Self.

Note: Although in verse 7 of this work Sri Bhagavan said that the Reality is that which shines without appearing and disappearing, in this verse He says that when the ego dies something appears spontaneously as 'I-I'. Therefore, in order to make clear that that which thus appears as 'I-I' is not other than the Reality described in verse 7, He concludes this verse by saying, "Although it appears, it is not 'I' (the ego); it is the whole reality, the Reality which is Self". That is, just as the rope alone was seen even when it was mistaken to be a snake, so the reality (the pure existence-consciousness 'I am') alone shines even when it is mistaken to be the ego (the adjunct-mixed feeling ' I am this body'); but just as the rope seems to appear newly when the ignorant notion that it is a snake is removed, so the reality 'I am' seems to appear newly when the ignorant notion 'I am this body' is removed.

Compare here verses 19 and 20 of Upadesa Undiyar.

                            ...பிணம் போல் --தீர்ந்து உடலம்
29.   நானென்று வாயா னவிலாதுள் ளாழ்மனத்தா
       னானென்றெங் குந்துமென நாடுதலே--ஞானநெறி
       யாமன்றி யன்றிதுநா னாமதுவென் றுன்னறுணை
       யாமதுவி சாரம மா...

Having discarded the body like a corpse and without uttering 'I' by mouth, scrutinizing with an inward-diving  mind, "Where does (this feeling) 'I' rise?", is alone the path of knowledge (jnana-marga). Instead (of inwardly  scrutinizing the feeling 'I' in this manner), (merely) thinking  (or meditating), "I am not this (body composed of five sheaths), I am That (the absolute reality or Brahman)' ,is (at)  first in a roundabout way) an aid (to the above said path of  knowledge or enquiry) (but) is it enquiry (that is, is It the correct practice of Self-enquiry or Atma-vichara, which is the  direct path of Knowledge)?

Note: If we have been told some particulars about a certain place to which we wish to go, repeating and thereby memorising those particulars may at first be an indirect aid for us to reach that place. But merely repeating and memorising those particulars cannot be the actual journey there. Having learnt those particulars, we must set out and travel to that place. Similar is the case with the truth which  the scriptures tell us about our real and natural state, namely that we are not this body, prana, mind and so on, but are only Brahman, the absolute reality. Meditating upon this truth by repeatedly thinking, "I am not this body, I am Brahman", may in the beginning be an indirect aid to the practice of Self-enquiry, because it will encourage one to try to know one's own true nature. But merely repeatedly thinking thus, cannot be the actual practice of Self-enquiry. Having  understood and become convinced of the truth that we are not  the body but Brahman, we must take to the practice of Self  Enquiry - that is, we must scrutinize and know the true nature   of the feeling 'I' -, for then only can we attain the state in which we experience ourself to be Brahman. Compare verses 32 and 36 of this work.

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 17, 2015, 01:53:33 PM »
Ramanalingam Abishekam

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 17, 2015, 01:52:24 PM »
Arunachala Hill

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 17, 2015, 01:37:51 PM »
Sri Ramana Photo  Old Meditation Hall

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 16, 2015, 06:52:31 PM »

Dear Ramanaduli

Very nice story

28.  எழும்பு மகந்தை யெழுமிடத்தை நீரில்
      விழுந்த பொருள்காண வேண்டி --முழுகுதல்போற்
      கூர்ந்தமதி யாற்பேச்சு மூச்சடக்கிக் கொண்டுள்ளே
      யாழ்ந்தறிய வேண்டு மறி......

Just as one would dive (restraining one's speech and breath) in order to find a thing which has fallen into the water, one should dive within (oneself) restraining speech and breath with a keen mind (that is, with a keen and penetrating attention fixed on the feeling 'I'), and know (the real Self, which is) the rising-place (or source) of the ego, which rises first. Know thus.
Refer here to the note to verse 24 of Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham.

Note: When Sri Bhagavan says in this verse that one should know 'the rising-place of the ego' (ahandai ezhum-idattai), it is to be noted that He does not use the word 'place' literally to mean a place limited by time and space, but only figuratively to mean Self, the timeless and spaceless reality from which the ego seemingly rises. Since time and space are mere thoughts which can come into existence only, after the ego rises, the source or 'place' from which the ego rises must obviously be beyond the limitations of time and space. Therefore, when practicing Self-enquiry, aspirants should  not try to find any place in the limited and transient body as the source from which the ego rises, but should try only to know Self, the unlimited reality which alone will remain when the ego subsides.

For an explanation regarding the words 'restraining speech and breath', the reader may refer to the note to verse 24 of Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham, and to chapter eight of The Path of Sri Ramana. - Part I.

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: February 15, 2015, 12:59:39 PM »

Sri Ramana Maharshi selected ten verses from, Sivanandalahari, the famous composition of Adi Sankaracharya in Sanskrit consisting of one hundred verses in praise of Lord Siva and arranged them in a specific order.

These verses are very potent in invoking the Grace of Lord Siva. They also contain spiritual ideas which are revealing, inspiring and insightful. One of the verses asks ?Kim Durlabham? meaning what is impossible for one who worships Lord Shiva. The verses also caution readers against wasting time worshipping superficial gods.

As the auspicious Maha Sivaratri approaches we give below each verse selected by Sri Ramana Maharshi, their concise meaning (from Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi), original verse in Sanskrit, English transliteration and complete meaning of the verses. You can read it here.

26.  அகந்தையுண் டாயி னனைத்துமுண் டாகு
       மகந்தையின் றேலின் றனைத்து-மகந்தையே
       யாவுமா மாதலால் யாதிதென்று நாடலே
       யோவுதல் யாவுமென வோர்......


If the ego, which is the embryo comes into existence, everything (the world, God, bondage and liberation, knowledge and ignorance, and so on) will come into existence. If the ego does not exist, everything will not exist. (Hence) the ego itself is everything. Therefore, know that scrutinizing 'What is this (ego)?' is alone giving up (or renouncing) everything!

Note: The body and the whole world of manifestation, consisting of so many dyads and triads, are nothing but an expansion  of the ego, which is the embryo or seed-form of everything. Since the ego is therefore everything, and since as revealed in the previous verse) the ego will take to flight when it is scrutinized, being found to be truly non-existent, if one earnestly and vigilantly scrutinizes the ego, one is  truly renouncing everything!

                                    .....முதல் போல்--மேவுமிந்த
27.     நானுதியா துள்ளநிலை நாமதுவா யுள்ளநிலை
         நானுதிக்குந் தானமதை நாடாம -னானுதியாத்
         தன்னிழப்பைச் சார்வதெவன் சாராமற் றானதுவாந்
         தன்னிலையி னிற்பதெவன் சாற்றுதி....

The state in which this 'I' (the ego), which rises as if the first, does not rise, is the state in which 'we are That'. Unless one scrutinizes the source (the real Self) from which 'I' rises, how to attain the destruction of the (individual) self (the state of egolessness), in which 'I' does not rise? (And) unless one attains (that non-rising of 'I'), say, how to abide in one's own (real) state (the natural state of Self), in which one is That?

Note: In scriptures it is taught that, instead of feeling 'I am this body', we should experience 'I am That', in other words, 'I am Brahman, the absolute Reality'. The state of experience which is thus referred to as 'I am That' or 'I am Brahman, is only one's real and natural state, in which one abides as the pure adjunctless existence-consciousness 'I am' without rising as the adjunct-mixed feeling 'I am this body'. Therefore, in order to experience the truth denoted by the words 'I am That', one must attain the state in which the  ego ( the feeling 'I am this body') does not rise. And in order to attain this state of egolessness, one must scrutinize the source of the ego, for only when one scrutinizes its source (the real Self, the pure consciousness 'I am') will the ego subside and be found to be non-existent.

Thus in this verse Sri Bhagavan clearly reveals the truth that the only means by which one can destroy the ego and thereby abide as Self, the absolute reality, is to scrutinize the source or rising-place of the ego, in other words, to attend to Self, the mere consciousness 'I am'. Compare here the note to verse 22.

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 13, 2015, 01:17:00 PM »
Meditation hall, Ramanashramam

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: February 12, 2015, 09:09:40 PM »
The latest discourse by Brahma Sri Nochur Venkatraman on Aksharamanamalai is now available for download here
If you wish to learn how to chant Aksharamanamalai here is the link
If you like it as an app here is the link
If you would like to listen to aksharamanamalai here is the link

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