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Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: March 02, 2015, 10:42:09 AM »

The Primavera Tree (Tabebuia donnell-smithii) whose bright yellow blossoms have earned it the nickname, Gold Tree, only blooms for a few days each year. This year the Ashram's Primavera situated just behind the Ashram archives building burst into full bloom on Mahasivaratri as if to say All nature worship Him

On the night of Maha Sivaratri ashram offered two new publications at the Feet of the Lord. These are Robert Butler's English translation of Arunachala Puranam from original in Tamil by Saiva Ellapa Navalar and Arunachala Mahima in Hindi by Kamalnath Tripathi.

Specific references to Arunachala occur in various Sanskrit texts of antiquity. Ramana Maharshi gathered all references to Arunachala from five sources in Sanskrit and copied out the 2659 verses with his own hand. This Sanskrit collection, called Arunachala Mahatmya, was translated into English and published by Sri Ramanasramam in 1957 as the glory of Arunachala. Arunachala Mahima in Hindi is based on this but is not a literal translation. For example the original ?Arunachala Mahatmyam in Skandapuranam gives 96 names of Arunachala whereas this book lists 108 names by including names from other sources. One such name is Smritimatrenasantushtaya namah meaning one who is pleased by mere remembrance.

Apart from Sanskrit verses of Arunachala Mahatmyam, Ramana Maharshi also found a Tamil poetical work of the glory of Arunachala called Arunachala Puranam. While reading or narrating Arunachala Puranam, He would often shed tears of joy.

Robert Butler, an English devotee and a Tamil scholar, has translated the original Arunachala Puranam from Tamil to English for the benefit of English readers. That the devotional fervor of Saiva Ellapa Navalar has guided the pen of Robert Butler becomes very clear from the following quote found in the book: One thing that is striking in all these conversations is the fact that Bhagavan takes these Puranic records to be the literal truth, and not some literary invention?. He adds The English translation of the Mahatmya has a footnote stating that this is a folk etymology only, but Bhagavan?s quoting of it appears to be evidence to the contrary.

38.     வினைமுதணா மாயின் விளைபயன் றுய்ப்போம்
         வினைமுதலா ரென்று வினவித் -தனையறியக்
         கர்த்தத் துவம்போய்க் கருமமூன் றுங்கழலு
         நித்தமா முக்தி  நிலையீதே...

If we are the doer of actions (karmas) which are like seeds, we shall experience the resulting fruits. (But) when one knows oneself by enquiring 'Who is the doer of actions?' (in other words) 'Who am I?', the sense of doership (kartriva) will disappear and (hence) all the three karmas (agamya, sanchita and prarabdha) will slip away (since the ego, the doer of the actions and the experiencer of their fruits, will no longer exist). This (the resulting state which is devoid of the ego and which is consequently devoid of the bondage of karma) indeed is the state of liberation, (which is eternal that is, which is our ever-existing and natural state)

Note: The word 'oneself' (tanai) in the clause 'when one knows oneself' may here be taken to mean either the ego or the real Self, for if the ego (the doer) is known it will be found to be non-existent, while if the real self is known it will be found to be the sole existence. In either case, both the sense of doership (kartritva) and the sense of experiencership (bhoktritva) - which are the two faces of the one ego, like the two sides of one piece of paper - will necessarily cease to exist.

The three karmas referred to in this verse are (1) agamya karma, that is, the actions that the individual newly performs in this life through his face of doership, (2) sanchita karma, that is, all the results of his past agamya karmas which are now stored up and which are yet to be experienced by him, and (3) Prarabdha karma, that is, the portion of the results of his past agamya karmas which God has selected from his sanchita and ordained for him to experience in this lifetime through his face of experienceship. For a more detailed explanation, refer to chapter three of The Path of Sri Ramana - Part Two.

37.   சாதகத்தி லேதுவிதஞ் சாத்தியத்தி லத்துவித
       மோதுகின்ற வாதமது முண்மையல--வாதரவாய்த்
       தான்றேடுங் காலுந் தனையடைந்த காலத்துந்
        தான்றசம னன்றியார் தான்...

Even the argument which says, "Duality (dvaita) during practice (sadhana)  which one undertakes (due to) not knowing (the truth that one is always Brahman) ? and non-duality (advaita) after attainment (that is, duality is true during the time of practice and non-duality becomes true only after the attainment of Self-realization)", is not true. Who else is one except the tenth man, both when one is anxiously searching (for the tenth man) and when one finds oneself (to be the tenth man).

Note: This verse (v.37) and verse 40 were both composed earlier than the other verses of Ulladu Narpadu, and were written for the benefit of Iswara swami under circumstances which are not now known.
Note: According to some schools of thought, duality is true during the time of ignorance and non-duality becomes true only after the attainment of Self-knowledge. However Sri Bhagavan says that even this is not true, because non-duality (advaita) is always the truth and duality (dvaita) is always unreal. That is, the one non-dual Self alone exists and is real even when in the ignorant outlook of the individual it seems to appear as this unreal world of duality and diversity.

 In order to emphasis that duality is unreal even during the time of its seeming existence, Sri Bhagavan cites the parable of the 'lost' tenth man. Ten foolish men forded a river, and on reaching the other side they wished to make sure that all had crossed safely. So all of them began to count the number of persons on the shore, but since each one forgot to count himself, they all counted only nine. Believing that one of their companions must have drowned, they all began to weep, until a passing wayfarer who understood the situation asked each one to count himself, whereupon they realized that they were always ten men, both during the time of their seeming loss and after their 'finding' the missing man. Similarly, when we attain Self-knowledge we will realize that non-duality (advaita) is always the sole truth, both during the time of our seeming ignorance (when non-duality appears to be lost and duality appears to prevail) and after our 'attaining' Self, the non-dual reality.
It is to be noted here that, though non-duality is the truth even during the time of seeming ignorance, this does not mean that no spiritual practice (sadhana) is necessary, as some theoreticians/theorists have wrongly concluded.  So long as the tenth man appears to be lost, it is necessary for each one of the ten to enquire and find out 'Who is lost?' , for then only will the truth be realized that the so called 'lost' tenth man is only oneself, who has in fact never been lost. Similarly, so long as the experience of non-duality appears to be lost, it is necessary for us to enquire and find out 'Who am I, who have lost the experience of non-duality?', for then only will the truth be realized that the seeming individual 'I' who does not experience non-duality is merely an unreal appearance, and that the real 'I' has in fact never lost the experience of non-duality.


                                                               ...--கூர்ந்து மயல்
36.  நாமுடலென் றெண்ணினல நாமதுவென் றெண்ணுமது
      நாமதுவா நிற்பதற்கு நற்றுணையே-யாமென்று
      நாமதுவென் றெண்ணுவதே னான்மனித னென்றெணுமோ
      நாமதுவா நிற்குமத னால்..

If we think, having delusion, that we are the body, thinking, 'No (we are not this body), we are That (the Reality)', will be a good aid for (reminding and encouraging) us to abide as That. (However) since we (in truth ever) abide as That, why to think always, 'We are That'? Does one (always) think, 'I am a man'? (That is, in order to be a man, does a man always need to meditate, I am a man, I am a man?)
 Note: Refer to the note to verse 29 of this work, where it is explained how meditating, "I am not this body, I am That", may in the beginning be an indirect aid for reminding and encouraging us to know and abide as That. However, so long as we meditate, "I am not this body, I am That", is it not clear that we still feel ourself to be the body and that we do not actually experience ourself to be That (the reality or Brahman)? Just as there is no need for a man to meditate, "I am a man", so there would be no need for us to meditate, "I am That", if we were actually experiencing the truth that we are always That.

35.       சித்தமா யுள்பொருளைத் தேர்ந்திருத்தல் சித்திபிற
           சித்தியெலாஞ் சொப்பனமார் சித்திகளே -நித்திரைவிட்
           டோர்ந்தா லவைமெய்யோ வுண்மைநிலை நின்றுபொய்மை
           தீர்ந்தார் தியங்குவரோ தேர்ந்திருநீ....

The subsided mind having subsided, knowing and being the Reality, which is (always) attained, is the (true) attainment (siddhi). All other siddhis are merely (like) siddhis acquired in dream; if one wakes up from sleep, will they be real? Will those who, by abiding in the real state (of self-knowledge) have discarded the unreal state (of Self-forgetfulness), be deluded (by those unreal siddhis)? (Therefore) know and be (as) you (the Reality) are.
Note: The word ' siddhi' means attainment in general and the attainment of occult powers in particular. Our present life in this world, our so-called waking state, is truly nothing but a dream occurring in the long sleep of self-forgetfulness;. Therefore any occult powers (siddhis) that we may acquire in this dream will be found to be unreal when, by abiding in the real state of Self-knowledge, we wake up from the unreal state, the sleep of self-forgetfulness.
 Also refer verse 15 & 16 of Ulladu Narpadu Anubandam.

34.        என்று மெவர்க்கு மியல்பா யுளபொருளை
            யொன்று முளைத்து ளுணர்ந்துநிலை --நின்றிடா
            துண்டின் றுருவருவென் றென்றிரண் டன்றென்றே
            சண்டையிடன் மாயைச் சழக்கொழிக...

Instead of firmly abiding as the Reality, which always  exists without even a single thought as the nature of  everyone, by knowing (that Reality) in the Heart, where it  exists (or by knowing it with the mind merging within disputing, 'It (the Reality) exists', 'It does not exist', '(It form', '(It is) formless', '(It is) one (or non-dual)', '(It is two (or dual)', 'It is not (either one or two)', is ignorance born of illusion (maya). Give up (all such disputes)!

Note: The words 'ondrum ulattu ul' can give two meanings, namely (i) in the Heart, where it (the reality) exists', and (2) 'with the mind merging within'.

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 24, 2015, 02:02:10 PM »
Sri Ramana New Meditation Hall

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: February 24, 2015, 12:29:46 PM »

 Ramana Yoga Sutra VI.

VI, 'Majjatha va,' By dipping in

Commentary : 1. In the previous aphorisms, Bhagavan advocated the discipline of going away from name and form, which, if they exist, form an obstacle in the path. In this aphorism, the discipline taught is a unique one in that it takes the very form and name used to denote the ulterior Divinity as steps to Realization of the ultimate Divine, the Atman. For, as it is said in "Ullada Narpadu." "By whatever name or form you worship, or in whatever way you worship the worship will lead you to That which has no name or form."

2. A name is but an idea; it reminds you of a quality, that is, 'guna', or of an action 'kriya', of a genesis, ' jati' or of a symbol having a particular significance. At least that is so in Sanskrit. If we say, 'Siva', it means 'good to the universe'; in that word an attribute is explained. If we say 'Vishnu', that means 'One who is omnipresent'. Being everywhere is an action. If we say 'the Formless', we Indicate the genesis of a form. And if in mantra-sastra we say 'A', we use the symbol for the Creator. Therefore, the use of all the different languages means the use of different ideas. The basis of all languages is sound, and the different manifestations of sound are the letters, the basis of all creation. In the beginning there was the Word; the word could not have existed without an idea; the Word should have been comprised of different deflections of sound; and it was the Word out of which the world arose. great musician Thyagaraja, He says that without a knowledge of music, the art of utilizing sound, and without a knowledge of the sound in the Muladhara (sound as a concept), one can never attain Liberation. He followed bhakti-marga and his practice was also 'dipping in', into the music, and merging with the primal sound, He also used the technique of yoga, by the control of the movement of prana through the various channels and through the sahasrara.

3. The worship of the Divine through words or ideas generally means with the help of hymns and songs, or stuti and mantras, a combination of words of mystical import, or namas, the names of the Lord;
In this aphorism, Bhagavan advocates sticking to the name, or the mantra. He says in "Upadesa Saram", Japa of mantras is better than hymnal praise; and the mental repetition of the mantra or the name is more effective than the utterance of either, aloud or in whisper." And then he explains, "If you continue sticking to the sound or the idea, there will come a stage when there will be only a sound, undifferentiated even into various letters," As you go deeper and deeper, even the sound dissolves, and that process he calls, 'dipping in'.

4. There is a midway between this 'dipping in' and the previous path advocated that of Self-enquiry. When you repeat a name, or mantra, Bhagavan says, that if you watch the source of the sound or Him that produces the sound ( that being the Atman alone) you have followed the sound to the Atman. This is a finer way of Atma-vichara. That is what he taught to Gauapati Muni. Here is the reconciliation between mantra sastra and Vedanta.

5. As with the name, the process of 'dipping in' can be carried on with the help of a form. The most popular form taken up is that of an idol, an icon, a symbol like a swastika, a yantra like the six-pointed star, or a chakra in the form of a Sri Chakra. Hold on to any of these forms. Remember them every minute of your life. The forms disappear. There will be a light, ? not of this earth, ? it will be The Light, and the Light will disappear into the sunya or the void, or 'hrid'. In technical language, the name is mentioned as nada, and the final form of the form as the Kala. Both disappear into the bindu, the vast void, wherein take place these phenomena, or creation. In this method, we see clearly that thoughts are clung to as such, forms are clung to as such. There is no effort to reach their source. The source is reached automatically. Negate all thoughts of name and form except that which you have adopted. With this as your aid, dip in, dip into yourself. Reject every other idea. As the source of creation, you are, you, being the Atman.

6. In this process of 'dipping in' are included every sadhana advocated in any religion. Clinging to a name or form is bhakti. Worshipping a form or name is karma. Knowing a form or name and its significance is janana. Keeping your attention fixed on a name ?r form to the exclusion of all others is raja yoga; All the religions of the world have their basis in this: clinging to the One and 'dipping in'. All meet in the Ram ana-doctrine. This is the method he has advocated as mentioned under tha previous aphorism, as the real vichara. In "Ullada Narpadu", he says, " Do not utter 'I-I' aloud ; collect all your prana; dip into That. That is real Atma-vichara.

7. It may be interesting to note that the idea that sound, being the most subtle medium through which we can dip into the Atman, is also the opinion held by our great musician Thyagaraja, He says that without a knowledge of music, the art of utilizing sound, and without a knowledge of the sound in the Muladhara (sound as a concept), one can never attain Liberation. He followed bhakti-marga and his practice was also 'dipping in', into the music, and merging with the primal sound, He also used the technique of yoga, by the control of the movement of prana through the various channels and through the sahasrara.

33.   என்னை யறியேனா னென்னை யறிந்தேனா
       னென்ன னகைப்புக் கிடனாகு -மென்னை
       தனைவிடய மாக்கவிரு தானுண்டோ  வொன்றா
       யனைவரனு பூதியுண்மை யால்.

Besides that, saying (either), "I do not know myself", (or), "I have known myself", is a wide ground for ridicule. Why? To make oneself an object known, are there two selves (one of which can be known by the other)? Because, being one is the truth of everyone's experience (that is, whether they be a Jnani or an ajnani, everyone experiences the truth 'I am one').

                                                    ....பரமாப் --பன்னும்
32.   அதுநீயென் றம்மறைக ளார்த்திடவுந் தன்னை
       யெதுவென்று தான்றேர்ந் திராஅ --ததுநா
       னிதுவன்றென் றெண்ணலுர னின்மையினா லென்று
       மதுவேதா னாயமர்வ தாலே...

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

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 20, 2015, 12:12:59 AM »
Sri Ramana Devotees chanting

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: February 20, 2015, 12:11:06 AM »
Eka Bilvam Sivarpanam

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. ?

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