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 Ramana Yoga Sutra III.

III. 'Pavana chalana rodhat' By controlling the movement of the breath Explanation: 1. Bhagavan explains how one can enter the heart or the state of thoughtlessness. He says it can be done by controlling the movements of the breath. It is said that the word 'pavana' here is used in a technical sense. It means 'prana' or the vital force. The vital force in a body works mainly in five ways and in another five ways which are subsidiary. The first five movements are called the pancha-pranas. The first force makes one breathe in: Another enables him to talk. Another enables one to expel things out of the body. Still another aids digestion, and the fifth spreads all over the body, keeping it alive. The pavana of the vital force here intended is that which makes one breathe in and out. It is called the ?Mukhya-prana'.

2. When the breath is held, it is observed that the thoughts also decrease and finally when the breath-movement is brought to a stand-still the thoughts also completely subside. This is a practical tip given by Bhagavan. He explains the rationale in a couplet in "Upadesa Saram" where he says, "Force divides into two branches. One is the mind and the second is the prana." They are like a couple of horses yoked to a carriage. When the reins of one are held tight, it naturally has to stop, there by rendering the other unable to proceed.
Contrary to what medical science says, stoppage of breath does not result in an increase of carbon dioxide in the blood which should weaken you. Yogis have been said to prolong their lives for hundreds of years by completely stopping their breath (by adopting what is called 'lambikayoga'), Now, completely stopping the breath is not possible in the beginning; it is a matter of practice. Certain other things are helpful (such as remaining fixedly in an asana) for effecting control of breath.
By controlling any one prana it is seen, in practical life, that you control the other pranas also.

3. When the movements of the vital force are controlled, this vital force NO longer gives any scope for the sense-organs to reach out towards worldly objects. Consequently the vital force fills the body and returns to its source, the Atman, where the mind also dissolves at the same time. It is, so to speak, as if a dam were raised across a running torrent; which would perforce be obliged to reverse the direction of its flows

4. It is said that if one stops talking for a dozen years the mind will be rendered fairly calm, when, silencing of the thoughts altogether, can be practiced. With a dozen years of practice of the latter variety, the silence attained will be profound and deep; and that is the state of Samadhi. Sri Rama Yogi, a well-known disciple of Sri Bhagavan, had practiced the silence of the first variety, and the progress he made is well described in Paul Brunton's "A Search in Secret India".


Ramana Yoga Sutra II: 'Hridi visa.' Enter the heart.

1. The word 'heart' here is used in its verbal sense. It means 'that which carries away', 'that which engulfs', 'that which digests everything into itself'. The meaning is that the world, and consequently ideas of it submerge into the heart. Logically, the ideas of the world must submerge into that from which they originally sprung. In effect, the base on which thoughts arise and into which they finally subside is the heart. Really it is indefinable. For, a definition means a significant distinctive statement of the characteristics of a thing. All these are included in the realm of ideas which do not appear there, where the heart alone is.

2. Therefore, the heart mentioned here should exclude the following definitions of the heart given in various schools of philosophy:
a) It does not mean the blood-pumping organ in the body i
b) It does not mean the 'anahata chakra' mentioned in Yoga; In the Yoga-sastra it is said that there is a conduit pipe for the flow of the vital prana inside the spinal column consisting of two canals and sheathed into one. Through one of them, the 'purva sushumna,' the Kundalini power flows from below upwards, when forced by the practice of Yoga to these centres; and when the power inheres in each chakra, various mystic powers are attained. The fourth chakra from below is called the 'anahata' and is about the level of the sternum. Evidently this is not the heart mentioned or intended here :

c) Neither is it the Atman. Bhagavan explained the hridayam as consisting of two words 'hrid' plus 'ayam'. This is the 'hrid' that is the Atman. It is said above in the first aphorism that to reach the Atman one must enter the heart.

d) Nor Is it the heart mentioned by Bhagavan as being on the right side of the chest .between the two nipples. That is the point according to Bhagavan where first the 'Chit-sakti' (knowledge-power) enters in to the body of a being, that power goes to the head (sahasrara, through the Amrita nadi, and comes down through the suhumna giving us the experiences of the various worlds);

e) It is not the heart which signifies the center of emotions.
All these definitions must be eschewed before the exact significance of the word ?hrid' is comprehended. Hrid really means a state of consciousness and force. It is from this sea of consciousness that during the wakeful state thoughts arise, and into this that they again subside.

3. Some say that thoughtlessness itself is the state of Self-realization. Surely not. We have no thought when we enter sleep or when experiencing a fit. Surely those states are not the state of the Atman. Buddha calls this state only ' sunyata', or void. But Atman is a positive conception.
Hindu philosophy explains that the Divine has an indefinable power called Maya. Maya should not be equated with illusion. These two are not the same. Maya Has two powers: it acts as a sheath to the Atman. This power is called ' Avarana sakti'. There is another co-related power; this is the power of manifestation, of becoming many. That power is called the ' vikshepa sakti'. Now in sleep we are not in command of our own mind, that is, of the totality of thoughts. Our will does not function. We are said to be in a state of tamas.

4; To attain Realization we must have awareness! We must be wakeful and get the experience. We must have the sattva-guna.

The state of the void is called 'tamasi' by the Advaitins, or the maya. Buddhists call it the sunyata. Modern Indian philosophers have made a total confusion between the two. They mistakenly proclaim that sunyata is the Brahman. No. One may or may not get the sunyata state before Realization. "Tripura Rahasya" says that there are six different states before attaining the final realization.

5. In yoga also, in the nirvikalpa Samadhi, one gets a state of thoughtlessness; practically the glory of Self-realization is experienced then. The only difference between that state and the state of Self-realization advocated by Bhagavan is that in the former one slips back to the normal consciousness eventually. But when once Realization, or Atma-nistha; is attained, one never departs from it.

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: December 19, 2014, 01:53:12 PM »
whitepeacock Ramanashramam

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: December 19, 2014, 01:48:26 PM »
Puja at Sri Ramana lingam

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: December 19, 2014, 01:46:41 PM »

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: December 19, 2014, 01:45:24 PM »
Ramanashramam near dinning hall entrance

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: December 19, 2014, 01:43:44 PM »
Karthigaideepam Devotees at  Ramanashramam

Arunachala / Re: Deepam now and deep Arunachala chanting by fellow devotees
« on: December 17, 2014, 01:31:35 PM »
Arunachala Deepam Cauldron Puja

Individual devotees, organisations and Ashrams donated to Arunachaleswarar Temple towards the purchase of ghee for the recently completed 2014 Karthigai Deepam. In addition individual devotees climbed Arunachala over the duration of the Karthigai Festival to personally deliver their own ghee offerings, often in the form of small packets and bottles.
This year the flame on top of Arunachala, remained alight continuously for 11 days and at no time was the flame allowed to go out. Each day over 150 kgs of ghee (clarified butter) were fed to the flame.
The giant cauldron took 10 men (from the fisherman caste) more than three hours to haul to the top of Arunachala. Women are not involved to carry the Cauldron or tend it whilst it's on the Hill. However women are always welcomed on the Hill during the Deepam Festival.

Each Cauldron is used for about 10 years before being replaced. The current one was first used in 2004. When it is time to create a new Cauldron, the old one will be taken to metal workers to be broken up and recycled in the production of the new pot. Each pot takes around Rs.10,000 to make. After Deepam the Cauldron was taken down the Hill by the same fisher-folk and after puja at Arunachaleswarar Temple, is kept in storage there until the next year.

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: December 17, 2014, 11:25:15 AM »
Ashram news first: December 15 was the last day Deepam could be seen.From Dec 16th Dhanur Masa(Dec 16- Jan 14) puja began which includes special abhisekham plus parayana of Vishnu Sahasranama, Tirupavvai, Tiruvempavai and aksharamanamalai daily from 4:30 AM to 6:30 AM. Now yoga sutra 1 'Atma nishttho bhava.' Inhere in the Self.
Notes l ' Atman' denotes the body, the prana, the mind, the buddhi, the individual and the Ultimate. Here. 'Atman' is only used to indicate the Ultimate. Normally the Self is the word used to indicate the Ultimate and the self is used to indicate the individual entity. Already we are firm in the notion of our individuality, and it requires no teaching from the Master. The Master emphasizes that the aim should be inherence In the Ultimate.

2. By implication, the Master Insists that the seeker should turn his face away from all the affairs and ideas of the world. He must be literally dead to it, so that he may be reborn in the Divine realm. The Master teaches that we should strictly abandon all activities, contacts and social functions of the world, whether good or bad, whether for individual or for social benefit. The aspirant should be a 'nissanga' (non-attached). He should not allow himself to be carried away by such propaganda suggesting that ' living in society means participation in it for the good of society', or for that matter, for any portion of society or even for individuals. He should be non-attached even to his individual matters, including attainment of mystic powers or better worlds, called 'heaven' in the Christian and Mohammedan religions, 'svarga' in the Hindu and Buddhist religions and the several lokas of Indra. Agni, Varuna, etc ; (Indra, Agni and Varuna are the devas or deities mentioned in the Veda ; they have their own worlds or ' lokas ') (In the Ramana-doctrine, there is no God or gods, angels or archangels, powers and hosts to rely upon for attaining this state of Self-inherence).

3. 'Nishtha' comprises two ideas really. 'Shtha' indicates 'being in'; 'nish' indicates 'firmly, never to come out'. The use of 'nish' indicates that in the Ramana-doctrine, once one attains the highest state, there should be no coming back, or down. In the yoga-sastra the sadhaka comes down to earth again even from the states of highest Samadhi. When the power of his concentration slackens, he reverts to his normal state of consciousness, that is, 'jagrat'. Ramana distinguishes this state as the state of practice and not a state of attainment of the goal, which he calls the ' sahaja state', that is, the native state, the original state. According to him, it is only when one forgets one's pristine state, that the notions of oneself, the world and the Lord of the world occur.

4. This aphorism defines the goal; it must be noted that in Ramana's opinion all other activities even the divinization of the world, are futile without which knowledge one can never understand his relation to the world and to the Lord, nor the lesser aim of perfecting the world, which will not and cannot be successfully done.

                                                          ....உயிராத் -தான் கருதும்
21.  தன்னைத்தான் காண றலைவன் றனைக்காண
       லென்னும்பன் னூலுண்மை யென்னையெனின்-றன்னைத்தான்
       காணலெவன் றானொன்றாற் காணவொணா தேற்றலைவற்
       காணலெவ னூணாதல் காண்.

If it is asked,' what is the truth of the many scriptures which speak of oneself seeing oneself, whom one thinks to be an individual soul, and seeing     God ?  ( the reply will be as follows: since oneself ( the first person feeling ' I') is one ( and not two), how is oneself to see oneself?(Then) if it is impossible ( for one) to see( one Self,) how ( is one) to see God( who is the substratum or Reality of oneself)? To become a prey  (to God, who is the real Self) is seeing (God).

Explanatory Note:  Many scriptures speak of Self-realization and God-realization as the goals which are to be attained by a spiritual aspirant.  However, those who comment upon such scriptures often misunderstand and misinterpret these terms.  For example, in Kaivalya  Navanitham 1.13, it is said, " If one sees oneself and God, who is the substratum of oneself, then that God having become oneself and ( oneself) having become Brahman, one will put and end to birth?."  Which is often misinterpreted to mean that one must first realize oneself, the individual soul, and then one must realize God, who is the substratum or underlying  support  of oneself.

To illustrate the import of this verse Sri Bhagavan used to tell the story of a man who wanted to see a tiger.  After making enquiries among some villagers, the man was told that an old tiger lived in a certain cave in the nearby forest. Being very old the tiger was unable to come out of the cave to hunt its prey, so it remained inside waiting for some prey to come of its own accord.  After searching and finding the cave, the man peeped inside, but he was unable to see anything because it was so dark.  His desire to see the tiger was so strong, however, that he gathered up his courage and entered the cave.  But still he could not see anything inside.  Little by little he proceeded further into the cave, but in the darkness he was unable to see the tiger.   All of a sudden, when he had come very close to the tiger, it pounced and devoured him.

Just as the man never saw the tiger, so the individual self can never see or realize God, the real Self.  But in its attempt to see God, who shines within it as the adjunctless consciousness ' I  am', the individual self will become a prey to God.  The means by which the individual can thus attempt to see God and thereby become a prey to him, is revealed by Sri Bhamgavan in the next verse.

19.  விதிமதி மூல விவேக மிலார்க்கே
      விதிமதி வெல்லும் விவாதம்-விதிமதிகட்
      கோர்முதலாந் தன்னை யுணர்ந்தா ரவைதணந்தார்
      சார்வரோ பின்னுமவை சாற்றுவாய்....

     The dispute as to which prevails, fate or freewill, is only for those who do not have correct knowledge of the root of fate and freewill, which are different (from each other). (That is, this dispute arises only for those who do not know that the ego, who is the experience of fate and the wielder of free will, is truly non-existent). Those who have known the (non-existence of the individual) self ( the ego), who is the one ( and only) base of fate and freewill, have discarded them.(that is, they have discarded fate and free will along with their root and base, the ego). 
Say, will they again become entangled in them (in fate and free will, or in the dispute about them)?

Note:  Also refer to GVK522

20.  காணுந் தனைவிட்டுத் தான்கடவு ளைக்காணல்
      காணு மனோமயமாங் காட்சிதனைக் - காணுமவன்
      றான்கடவுள் கண்டானாந் தன்முதலைத் தான்முதல்போய்த்
      தான்கடவு ளன்றியில தால்....

      Oneself seeing God leaving oneself (that is, oneself seeing God without seeing oneself, the ego), who sees what comes (in front of one) is merely) seeing a mental vision ( a manasika darsanam or imaginary appearance).  He, who (through the enquiry 'Who am I?') sees the ( real) Self, the source of the ( individual) self, alone is he who has ( truly) seen God, because the ( real) Self-( which shines forth) after the base, the ( individual) self, ( the ego), has perished-is not other than God.
Note:  Compare with verse 25 of Upadesa Undiyar.

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: December 15, 2014, 11:12:32 AM »
According to Ramana Maharshi chanting Aksharamanamalai is its meaning. On December 14 Aksharamanamalai was chanted continuously from 6 am to 6 pm with occasional breaks. Entire hymn was chanted 21 times indoors. The final chanting outdoors before the Hill ended on a very auspicious note as the light on the Hill came to view just as the verse 101 anbu uru or form of love was being chanted. Given the zero visibility of Deepam on the previous day due to cloud cover it appeared as a sign from Lord Arunachala acknowledging our prayer. Annamalai ki arohara

101.அம்புவில் ஆலிபோல் அன்பு உரு உனில் எனை
அன்பாக் கரைத்து அருள் அருணாசலா,
Am/buvil/ā/lipōl An/buru/vuni/lenai An/bāk/karait/tarul Arunā/chalā.
As snow in water, let me melt as love in Thee, Who art Love itself, O Arunachala!

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Giri Pradakshina
« on: December 12, 2014, 02:47:50 PM »
This articile I copied from Facebook

Girivala Mahimai  Experience of Dr Ravi BY MAHESH

As for as we are concerned Maha Periyava is everything. It never occurred to us to go to any other place specifically other than Kanchipuram. Every time when we go to Kanchipuram, we would have Dharshan of Maha Periyava and get His Blessings and return. We even went to Kamakshiamman temple only occasionally. Kamakshi and Maha Periyava are not different. It is purely His Blessing that my daughter Madhumati survived her strormy childhood and it is a miracle that she herself has a son! Our video interview has come in,

When my daughter was 6 years old, my wife asked one day why don't we go to Thiruvannamalai and perform Giripradhakshanam? I didnt take it seriously. She kept repeating it. At that point I said jokingly that it is said that even by thinking of Thiruvannamalai one can attain Mukthi and so she might think of the malai! To that she said it is said that by doing girivalam our karma would get reduced. It made me to think. Soon we decided to go and fixed a date.
At this point I have to mention about my wife's suffering. She has severe sinusitis and was having severe headache, fever etc. and taking medicines. The day before we were scheduled to perform the journey, she was having fever and didn't sleep the whole night. We heard that many obstacles would come before we embark on this holy journey. So we decided not to go back on our determination and started on that day with the Blessings of Maha Periyava. After we locked the house and reached the road, an autorikshaw was waiting. He took us to the nearby auto stand in Mylapore and arranged one for us to go to the bus stand and he refused to take money from us!

Then we reached Thiruvannamalai by bus and stayed in a hotel. By evening we went to the temple and then to Ramanasramam where we bought a book on Girivala Mahimai. We learnt that the Giri itself is Siva, many many Rishis, Mahans, Thapasvis are all doing Giri pradhakshinam in an invisible form even today. We have to do Giri valam with utmost dedication, respect and Bhakthi chanting mantras silently, and do it in slow pace and in straight line and not in criss cross fashion in order not to cause inconvenience to the Rishis performing girivalam. We vowed to do accordingly.
The next day early morning at 4 we started after shower even though she was not well. She could not even do namaskaram in from of the temple due to severe pain. Maha Periyava thunai vara vendum  was our prarthanai. There was no road, light or any facility in those days. We didn't think of these things. Our minds were filled with Bhakthi and divine thought of pradhakshinam of Siva and there were no expectations. Accordingly we did and completed the girivalam in 4 hours chanting Gayathri and did namaskaaram in front of the temple.
It was a divine experience during the whole stretch experiencing the smell of Vibuthi, Mooligai etc and had dharshan of many sannathis on the way. After completing, we had breakfast and boarded a bus back to Chennai. On the way she asked me if they have left something. I checked everything and said we didnt leave anything back. After reaching home she found out what she had left! She pressed her face and said there was no headache and that she had left her illness in Thiruvannamalai. Remember she was able to do namaskaram after completing! It was nothing short of a miracle and the sinusitis did not surface until now even after 25 years!

After that the Giri attracted me so much that I started going every Pournami to the extent that my relatives and friend used to say  if it is Pournami Ravi would have gone to Thiruvannamalai! I was running a clinic in Tambaram. After finishing at about 10 pm, I used to board a bus, reach at 2 am, leave the slippers in a roadside shop, start doing Girivalam, finish at 5, return at 10 and go to hospital. That was routine. Some days there would not be a seat in the bus so that I would go standing, do girivalam and come back standing.
On many occasions my wife and daughter would join me. On one Karthigai day it started raining after we started Girivalam. We did not stop. But continued in heavy rain and completed. My daughters Bakthi and devotion at that tender age in spite of her physical suffering simply was spell bounding. On one occasion we saw a Sanyasi with Visiri in his hand and got His blessings. We came to know in later years that He was the Mahan called Visiri Samiyar or Yogi Ramsurathkumar.

After I came to Malaysia, I was not fortunate to do Girivalam as often as I used to do earlier. Now a days there is a lot of change there. There are proper roads, lights and other facilities but there is a risk in going in the darkness. Times have changed. Yet there is an interesting experience on one occasion. One day we started Girivalam after doing namaskaram in front of the temple. I started moving in front. They were behind by about 10 feet or so. Suddenly a totally black dog lying near the temple was startled when I crossed, jumped and stood up. This was told by my wife and daughter. Then he started escorting us, closely following us, touching us with his body on and off and wagging his tail. He came along upto Adi Annamalai temple, half way until day break. After that he disappeared. Was he a Siddha? It was a divine and strange experience for us.

Thus we can go on about Thiruvannamalai. Even now I am doing maanasiga Girivalam during my daily Sahasra Gayathri japam along with my family members. A few months earlier I had written on Paramacharya's 3 Commandments in .
In that I had mentioned about breathing exercise during Gayathri japam that in one breath 10 Gayathris can be chanted. Instead it is easier and useful to do 5 Gayathri in one breath as given below.
My wife is instrumental in my attraction towards Thiruvannamalai. Now I must tell something about her here. I am fortunate to have got her in my life. She has some divinity in her. She is like a Spatikam. Those interacting with her get reflected through her and they see themselves. If they are pure and good hearted, they like her and dont like her if they are otherwise. It is a fact. The proof of this is that she was instrumental in our daughter Madhu getting a new life from the utmost adverse situation early in her childhood with Maha Periyavas Blessings and it is a miracle that she has a son of her own!
Last time I had written about my getting Blessings from Sri Musiri Periyava and I had mentioned that He is one of the 4 Mahans Maha Periyava has mentioned in His own voice. The other 3 are Sri Sivan Sar  Maha Periyavas poorvasrama brother, Sri Pradosham Venkatraman mama, and Sri Angarai Periyava  Sri Kalyanarama Bhagavathar from Triplicane His Adhishtanam is situated in Pazhur on the way to Musiri from Trichy.
Sri Musiri Periyava has ruled that Gayathri japam is not for ladies and should be done by only those who have got Upanayanam done.

I have given the relevant hyperlinks for ease of reference only and not to promote myself. This is done with the sole purpose of telling the world of Maha Periyavas Grace on my family as a gratitude. His Grace is self spreading and Blessing us all. I will be gratified if someone is inspired and advance spiritually with His Blessings.

I want to end this write up now. I request you all to do Girivalam whenever possible without any expectations and with complete devotion and Bhakthi, chanting stotras, in a proper way and get spiritual advancement and all good things in life with Maha Periyavas Blessings.
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara.
-- n. prasannam --

18.  உலகுண்மை யாகு முணர்வில்லார்க் குள்ளார்க்
      குலகளவா முண்மை யுணரார்க்--குலகினுக்
      காதார மாயுருவற் றாறுமுணர்ந் தாருண்மை
      யீதாகும் பேதமிவர்க் கெண்ணுக ....

To those who do not have knowledge (of Self) and to those who do have (knowledge of Self), the world which is  seen in front  (of them) is real.(But) to those who have not known ( Self) the reality is limited to the measure of the world (that is, to its names and forms), (whereas) to those who have known(Self), the reality abides devoid of ( name and ) form as the substratum of the world.  Know that this is the difference between them.

Note: An ignorant man who wrongly sees a rope as a snake, and a wise man who sees the same rope as a rope, both feel ' this is real'.   Similarly , the ajnani, who wrongly sees the reality as names and forms, and the Jnani, who sees the reality as it is, that is, devoid of names and forms, both feel ' this is real'.   Thus the feeling ' this is real' is common to both of them, but what they experience as ' this ' is different.   The ajnani experiences the world as names and forms, whereas the Jnani experiences the world to be the nameless and formless existence-consciousness-bliss.  Refer here to verse 4 of this work, and also to verses 50 and 51 of Guru Vachaka Kovai; where Sri Bhagavan says that the true meaning of the statement ' the world is real' can be understood only by the Jnani and not by  ajnani.

                                                   ...ஊனம் -ஆமிவ்
17.   உடனானே தன்னை யுணரார்க் குணர்ந்தார்க்
       குடலளவே நான்ற னுணரார்க் -குடலுள்ளே
       தன்னுணர்ந்தார்க் கெல்லையறத் தானொளிரு நானிதுவே
       யின்னவர்தம் பேதமென வெண்ணுவாய்....

To those who have not known Self and to those who have known ( Self), this defective ( or fleshy) body is 'I' (But) to those who have not known Self, 'I' is ( limited to) only the measure of the body, ( whereas) to those who have known Self within the body ( that is, within the lifetime of the body), 'I' the Self, shines without limit.   Know that this indeed is the difference between them.

Note:  An ajnani ( one who does not know Self) feels ' the body alone is 'I' whereas the Jnani ( one who knows and abides as Self) feels ' the body is also I'.  That is, since the Jnani clearly knows that Self alone exists, and that it shines without any limit,  He knows that if at all there is any such thing as the body, it cannot be other than 'I' the real Self.   If the body were to exist as other than Self, that would set a limitation upon the limitless nature of Self.   Also refer here to verse  4 of Ekatma Panchakam ( drunken man and cloth).

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