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Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: September 23, 2014, 04:54:54 PM »
Navarathiri Celebrations Live webcast

Join Us for Navaratri September 24 - October 3rd (4 photos)
Navaratri worship at the ashram includes Lalita Sahasranamam (Laksha Archana) and the recital of sacred Devi Mahatmyam. Devi Mahatmyam describes the fierce manifestation (Ugra Swarupa) of the Divine which exterminates evil forces completely whereas Lalita is the gentle manifestation of the Divine Mother. You can join the worship in the following ways:

1. Tune into Voice of Arunachala radio station and listen to the chanting of Devi Mahatmyam in Sanskrit between 6:07 AM and 6:37 AM IST(4:37 PM EST) repeated after six hours every day.

2. Listen to the commentary on Devi Mahatmyam in Tamil by late Sri Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj for one hour following the above chanting. We are thankful to Ramakrishna Mission for permitting us to use their copyrighted material.

3. Watch the vesper service (Harati) in the ashram from 6:30 PM(approximate) through live webcast from
our website

4. Follow us in the Facebook or ashram website for latest photos and video posting.
Sri Ramana Maharshi quotes from Lalita Sahasranamam to establish that Heart center taught by him is different from the Anahata Chakra of the Kunadalini Yoga. The Heart that Bhagavan teaches is the Alpha and Omega reached directly by self-enquiry whereas the Anahata Chakra is situated on the way to Sahasrara Chakra from Mualadhara. Talks with Ramana Maharshi 398 says in part:

D.: What is Anahata?
M.: Anahata is the chakra lying behind the heart. It is not samvit. Lalita Sahasranama has it, Anahata chakrasthayai namo namah (Salutations to the core situated in Anahata) and the next mantra Hrit (in the Heart). Thus it is clear that Anahata is not the same as Hrit.
A gentleman asked if the yogis also reach the anahata and thus realize the Heart-center as is done by the jnanis but in a different way.

M.: Anahata is not the same as the Heart-centre. If so, why should they wander further on to Sahasrara? Moreover, the question arises because of the sense of separateness persisting in us. We are never away from the Heart-center. Before reaching anahata or after passing it, one is only in the center. Whether one understands it or not, one is not away from the center. Practice of yoga or self-enquiry is done, always remaining in the center only.

7.   உலகறிவு மொன்றா யுதித்தொடுங்கு மேனு
     முலகறிவு தன்னா லொளிறு-முலகறிவு
     தோன்றிமறை தற்கிடனாய்த் தோன்றிமறை யாதொளிரும்
     பூன்றாமா மஃதே பொருள் ஆமால்...

Although the world, which is (seen) in front ( of us), and the mind (which sees it) ( appear or come into existence) and subside ( disappear or cease to exist) simultaneously,  the world (exists and ) shines ( only) because of ( or by ) the mind.  That which is the Whole (purana) and which shines without appearing and disappearing as the base for the appearance and disappearance of the world and  mind, alone is the Reality.

Note:  The world and mind are unreal because they appear at one time and disappear at another time, and because they are divided as separate entities.  Only that which shines eternally without appearing and disappearing, and which is a single undivided whole is the Reality.  Just as the rope is the base on which the unreal snake appears and disappears, so the eternal and undivided Reality is the base on which the unreal world and mind appear and disappear.

6.   உலகைம்  புலன்க ளுருவேறன் றவ்வைம்
      புலனைம் பொறிக்குப் புலனா --முலகைமன
      மொன்றைம் பொறிவாயா லோர்ந்திடுக லான்மனத்தை
      யன்றியுல குண்டோ வறை...

The world which is seen is nothing other than the form of the five sense-knowledges ( sight, sound, smell, taste and touch).  Those five sense-knowledges are sensations (known ) to the five sense-organs.  Since the one mind (or the mind alone) knows the world though the five sense-organs, say, without the mind does the world exist?

(That is, in the absence of the mind which perceives it, does any such thing as a world exist? Hence the world depends for its seeming existence upon the mind.)

Note:  Since in verse 17 of Upadesa Undiyar Sri Bhagavan reveals that if one vigilantly scrutinizes the form of the mind, it will be found that there is no such thing as mind at all, and since in this verse He reveals that the world does not exist in the absence of the mind, we should understand that when through Self-enquiry the mind is found to be non-existent, the world will also be found to be non-existent.  Thus the experience which results from Self-enquiry is ajata-the knowledge that the mind and world have never truly come into existence, and that the one unborn and unchanging Self alone truly exists.  This experience is the Supreme and Absolute Truth.

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: September 18, 2014, 01:34:06 PM »
Recent conversion of dirt road leading to the library using tiles inadvertently removed stones and pillars frequently used by Ramana Maharshi. Senior devotees disapproved of the removal of these sacred stones. In deference to their wish ashram has re-installed most of the older stones and the two pillars. Fortunately the workers had carefully preserved all the stones and the steps have been rebuilt using these stones. In accordance with the prayer in Aksharamanamalai we can have the satisfaction of touching the stones touched by Bhagavan ?Regard me! Take thought of me! Touch me! Mature me! Make me one with Thee, O Arunachala!?

5.    உடல்பஞ்ச கோச வுருவதனா லைந்து
      முடலென்னுஞ் சொல்லி லொடுங்கு --முடலன்றி
      யுண்டோ வுலக முடல்விட் டுலகத்தைக்
      கண்டா ருளரோ கழறுவாய்...

If we scrutinize, the body is form (composed) of five sheaths (pancha-kosas).  Therefore, all the five (sheaths) are included in the term 'body' (that is, any of the five sheaths may be denoted when we use the term 'body').  Without the body, does the world exist? That  is, in the absence of any of the five sheaths , does  any world, subtle or gross, exist?) Say is there anyone who, having given up the body, (that is, having  given up identifying the body  as 'I', as in sleep death or Self-realisation ) has seen the world?

Note:  Refer to the note to verse 22 of Upadesa Undiyar where the give sheaths  (pancha-kosal) are enumerated.

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Our Bhagavan-Stories
« on: September 14, 2014, 12:31:29 PM »
There are at least two incidents when an eternal water spring appeared mysteriously to meet Bhagavan's need for water. Even today the spring at Skandasramam and the well at the ashram bear testimony to Arunachala's kindness. In Talks we read There are some water springs on the Hill, e.g., Mulaipal Tirtha and Pada Tirtha, said to have been originated for or by Virupakshi Devar and Guha Namassivayar. There is also Rshabha Tirtha. All of them are in good condition.

At the Virupaksha cave on the hill there used to be acute scarcity of water during the summer months, and Bhagavan and his attendants had to go a long way for water for bathing, etc. When this hardship was being felt most, the sky was suddenly overcast with clouds one evening and there was a terrible wind and storm accompanied by heavy rain. Next morning the entire topography of that slope of the hill where Bhagavan was living was changed almost beyond recognition, there having been heavy landslides with huge rocks dislodged and planted far from where they used to be, and a little rivulet now flowed by Bhagavan's Asramam. The rivulet continued to flow and there was no further difficulty about water. Bhagavan has told me of this incident and it is that he referred to when he sang : "Arunachala Hill! Kindness personified, that out of extreme graciousness, came out in the form of a hill stream".

After Bhagavan came down to the present ashram site, one day it rained heavily and a little away from the samadhi, water had filled up the pit from which earth had been taken to build Mother's samadhi. A few days after the rain had stopped, the water continued to remain there. Chinna Swami and Ramanathan drained the water completely. Clear water welled up again from the spring underneath. Deciding to make use of it for abhisheka, they took the water and showed it to Sri Bhagavan. In the evening when Sri Bhagavan came to the samadhi, he saw the spring. He suggested that they dig 3 feet deep by 3 feet wide in that place. When it was done water started pouring out and this is the well that we find inside the Ashram now. It has never dried up so far. Its water has been used for abhisekha to Mother's samadhi and is now used for abhisekha to Sri Bhagavan's samadhi also.
In Letters Nagamma says When I heard that, I suddenly remembered all the ancient lore where it is stated that all thirthas (rivers), samudras (seas) and devatas go to such Sages as Ramana to pay respects to their lotus feet. I then used to feel that they were all hyperboles because stones and waters cannot walk to the places where great people live. But now, what I find is that without anybody desiring it, all these holy waters, holy ashes and the like are brought by bhaktas and Bhagavan accepts them, saying, They have come. I could now see from incidents that occur in the immediate presence of the Mahatmas that one should read the inner meaning of things carefully. If that is done, it becomes clear that dharma(righteousness) is one thing and dharma-sukshma (the underlying principle of dharma) is another.

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Sri Chakra
« on: September 12, 2014, 11:28:04 PM »
Englishman Major Chadwick alias Sadhu Arunachala was instrumental in initiating Sri Chakra Puja at the ashram after the Maha Samadhi of Bhagavan. Sadhu Arunachala describes the only occasion during Bhagavan's time that this Puja was performed .

Bhagavan was deeply interested in the construction of the Shrine built over his Mother's tomb. He attended every function in connection with it, placing his hands in blessing on the various objects that were to be enclosed in the walls. At night, when no one was about he would walk round and round the construction consecrating it. That he should take such a demonstrative part in anything has a very deep significance. It was extremely rare and has been doubted by many, but I myself was an eye-witness to these things and can vouch for their truth.

He took a personal interest in the cutting of the Sri Chakra Meru in granite which was installed in the completed temple and is regularly worshipped. This is about one and a half feet square and proportionately high. At the time of the Kumbhabhishekam, on the penultimate night before the sacred water was poured over the images, he personally superintended the installation in the inner shrine. It was an extremely hot night and with three charcoal retorts for melting the cement adding to the heat, it must have been intolerable inside the airless cave of the inner shrine, but for about an hour and a half Bhagavan sat there telling the workmen what to do.

On the last night of the function he went in procession, opening the doors of the new Hall and temple and passing straight up into the Inner Shrine, where he stood for some five minutes with both hands laid on the Sri Chakra in blessing. I happened that night to be at his side the whole time; this was unusual as I deliberately avoided taking prominent part in such things, preferring to watch from the back. Strangely, something made me keep by him on this occasion and on account of this I was able to understand his deep interest in the Temple and especially in the Sri Chakra. It was because of this knowledge that I was instrumental after Bhagavan's passing, in persuading the Ashram authorities to institute the Sri Chakra Poojas six times a month. The explanation for this unusual action on Bhagavan's part may be found in the necessity that Siva must be always accompanied by Shakti. The world would stop otherwise. On the only occasion when such a Pooja was performed shortly after the dedication of the Temple during the life of Bhagavan, he refused to go for his evening meal but insisted on remaining a witness of it until the end. When someone remarked how magnificent it had been and it would be a good thing if such Poojas could be performed regularly, Yes, replied Bhagavan, but who will take the trouble? The trouble is being taken now and it undoubtedly has the blessings of Bhagavan.

                                                                ....ஊனே --துன்னும்
4.    உருவந்தா னாயி னுலகுபர மற்றா
      முறுவந்தா னன்றே லுவற்றி --னுருவத்தைக்
      கண்ணுறுதல் யாவனெவன் கண்ணலாற் காட்சியுண்டோ
      கண்ணதுதா னந்தமிலாக் கண்ஆமே

If oneself is a form composed of flesh, the world and God will be likewise (that is, they will also be forms) ; if oneself is not  a form, who can see their forms, and how ?  Can the sight  ( that which is seen) be otherwise than the eye ( the seer)? Self, the (real) eye  is the limitless eye ( the eye which is devoid of the limitation of name and form).

Note:   The words" Kan alal Katchi undo" may also be taken to mean, without the eye ( the seer), can there be the sight ( that which is seen)?"  However , Sri Bhagavan Himself used to explain these words to mean " Can the sight  be otherwise than the eye?", which is a meaning having a far  deeper import.
Since the nature of what is seen cannot be different from the nature of the seer, and since  the ego or mind can come into existence only by identifying the name and form of a body as 'I' it can see only names and forms and can never see Self, the nameless and formless reality.  Only when one gives up identifying the body as 'I' can one see or realize Self.   Since in that state of self-realization one remains only as Self, the nameless and formless existence-consciousness bliss( sat-chit- ananada) one can then see only that nameless and formless existence-consciousness-bliss and can never see the names and forms of this world.  That is why- Sri Bhagavan asks in this verse,? " If oneself is not a form (but only the formless Self), who can see their forms ( the forms of the world and God), and how?".

It is to be noted here that the Tamil word 'Kan' which  literally means ' eye' also means 'consciousness' (chit) or 'knowledge ' ( jnana).   Therefore the last sentence of this verse also means, "Self, the real) consciousness ( or knowledge) is the limitless ( and therefore  formless) consciousness  ( or knowledge)".

3.   உலகுமெய்பொய்த் தோற்ற முலகறிவா மன்றென்
     றுலகுசுக மன்றென் றுறைத்தெ ..னுலகுவிட்டுத்
     தன்னையோர்ந் தொன்றிரண்டு தானற்று நானற்ற
     வந்நிலையெல் லார்க்குமொப் பாம்...
The world is real','(No, it is ) an unreal appearance';'the world is sentient', ' It is not', ' the world is happiness', ' It is not'-what is the use  of arguing thus in vain? Having given up the world and having known oneself, both one and two ( duality) having  come to an end-that state in which ' I ' has ceased to exist is agreeable to all.

Explanatory paraphrase:   'The world is real or sat, it is sentitnent or chit, and it is happiness or ananda' ' No, it is unreal, insentient and miserable'-to engage in such vain arguments is futile. When one has given up attending to the world, when one has known onself by enquiring  'who am I, where is the individual who seeks to know the truth about the world"?   and when one has thereby put an end to all thoughts both non-duality and  about duality, the resulting state of egolessness will be free of all arguments and will be loved by everyone.

Note:  Sri Bhagavan and other Sages teach that the world is an unreal appearance which is  devoid both of sentience and of happiness only in order to enable us to give up our attachement to it and thereby to turn within and to know Self.   When they teach this truth about the world, they do not intend that we should engage in futile arguments about the world.   If we have really understood the truth  that the world is unreal, we should give  up all arguments about it and should instead  turn within in order to know ' Who am I, the individual  who knows this unreal world?'  Only if we thus know the truth  of 'I' the knowing subject, can we correctly know the truth of the world, the known object.   Since the resulting state of Self-knowledge is devoid of the ego, which is the root  of all problems and sufferings  and the cause of all arguments, Sri Bhagavan declares that state is agreeable to all.

                                                       ..உலகு --கர்த்தனுயிர்
2.  மும்முதலை யெம்மதமு முற்கொள்ளு மோர்முதலே
     மும்முதலாய் நிற்குமென்று மும்முதலு --மும்முதலே
     யென்னலகங் கார மிருக்கும்மட்டே யான்கெட்டுத்
     தன்னிலையி னிற்ற றலையாகும்...

Every religion first postulates three principles, the world, God and Soul  'Arguing the one principle (mentioned in the previous verse) alone exists as, the three principles,(No.) the three principles are  always three principles' is (possible) only so long as the ego exists.   Abiding in one's own state ( the state  of self), 'I'  ( the ego) having been annihilated, is the highest.

Note:  All arguments about the three principles, the world, soul and God, and about the reality  which underlies those three principles, arise only because of the ego, the wrong knowlege which rises in the limited form ' I am this body' Since none of these arguments can stand in the egoless state of Self-abidance, that state is the highest of all states and is infinitely superior to any of the doctrinal religions, each of which postulates its own limited tenets about the nature of the world, soul and God.   Refer also the verse 34 of this work.

Find devotees in your area / Re: Devotees in and around Seattle WA
« on: September 03, 2014, 11:31:36 AM »
Sri Ramana Retreat in Florida

Final Notice

THIS is the final notice for the Sri Ramana Tampa Retreat. By the end of September we will send out the registration forms to everyone who has contacted us. Please let us know soon if you are interested.
The 3-day retreat of meditation, chanting, readings, presentations, etc. will coincide with Bhagavan Sri Ramana?s 135th Jayanti. The retreat will take place from Friday, December 26th to Sunday the 29th.
There will be some cost involved for the rooms and food. Details will be provided upon request. If you would like further information and/or a registration form please contact the following: / 813.766-0145 or / (718) 560-3196

The program will be held at:

The Franciscan Center, 3010 N. Perry Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33603

The Franciscan Center was founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, New York. The center is located on seven acres of property overlooking the beautiful Hillsborough River in Riverside Heights, Tampa, Florida. It is 10 minutes east of the Tampa International Airport, 40 minutes east of the Gulf of Mexico (St. Pete and Clearwater Beaches) and 10 minutes from downtown Tampa. Photos and descriptions of the accommodations and facilities are available on the Franciscan Center?s website.


1.  நாமுலகங்  காண்டலா னானாவாஞ் சத்தியுள
    வோர்முதலை யொப்ப  லொருதலையே--நாமவுருச்
    சித்திரமும் பார்ப்பானுஞ் சேர்படமு மாரொளியு
    மத்தனையுந் தானா மவன்...

Because  we, who are joined with sight, see the world, accepting one principle ( or ' first thing') which has a manifold power is indispensable.   the picture of names and forms, the seer, the co-existing screen and the pervading light--all these are He, who is Self.

Explanatory paraphrase:  Because we, the ego or individual, whose adjunct-nature is the faculty to see things as other than ' I' see this world of multiplicity, it is indispensable for us to accept the existence of one first principle which has a power to appear as many.  This world-picture, which consists merely of names and forms, the seer of this picture, the screen or supporting base upon which h this picture appears, and the pervading light which illumines this picture- all these are only He, that one first principle, who is none other than the real Self.

Explanatory Note:  The link-words at the beginning of this verse are parvai ser, which literally mean ' who are joined with sight and which imply and the faculty of seeing is not natural to us but is only an adjunct which we have appended on ourself and from which we can consequently detach ourself.

The  words or mudalai, which mean ' one principle' or ' one first thing ' denote the one Reality which underlies the appearance of both the world and the seer.   The entire appearance consisting of the world, the seer, the screen and the light are not  other than that one first principle, which is affirmed in the last line of this verse to be the real Self.   But  so long as we experience a difference between ourself, the seer, and the world which we see, that one first principle still be experienced by us as God, a third  separate entity who is endowed with unlimited qualities such as Omnipotence and Omniscience and who governs the entire  world and all the souls in that world.

The words  nanavam sakti, which literally mean ' a manifold power' or ' a power which is many ' denote the power of Maya or delusion which is the cause of the appearances of all manyness and which is the same as the wonderful power ( adisaya sakthi) mentioned in verse 6 of Arunachala Ashtakam. Though in absolute truth, this power is not other than the' first principle the real Self, it seems to be something different from the real Self when it gives rise to this appearance of manyness.  Since manyness could not appear to exist if this power did not exist, and since there is nothing other than this power which could appear as many it is sometimes said that this power itself has become many.   However , its becoming many is not actually a real becoming but only a seeming becoming because even when manyness is seen, all that manyness is in truth only the one first principle, which is the non-dual real Self.   The act of becoming many or seeming to become many is postulated only because we see the world.   but even when we see this world of duality and  multiplicity should be understood to be merely an unreal appearance.

The words ' the pervading light ('aroli') here mean the mind-light , which is a reflection of the real light of self-consciousness and which is the limited light by which we see the entire picture of names and forms.

Ashrams / Re: Ramana Ashram
« on: September 02, 2014, 11:08:38 AM »
Early in the morning on the 1st of September, 1896, young Venkataramana reached Arunachala temple after an epic journey from his home in Madurai. From the railway station he went direct to the Temple. Strange to say, untypically even at that early hour all the temple doors, including those of the Sanctum Sanctorum were wide open, as it were, for the Father to receive His Son immediately upon his arrival in Tiruvannamalai. Unhindered, unnoticed and unhesitating the youth ran in and reported himself to his Father thus:-

O Lord, obedient to Thy call, here have I come, deserting all. No boon I ask, no loss bemoan, Take me in and make me Thine own.   That very moment all physical and mental excitement disappeared, and he felt perfect peace and bliss unalloyed.

One Hundred and eighteen years later, his gracious presence continues to capture sincere seeker's heart and guides them to their final destination of Arunachala, the Divine Self in the Heart of all.
Celebrations of this event were held today, 1st September, with the traditional morning Mahanyasa puja, special abhishekam at the big temple, and the Ramana Mandiram group visiting us from Madurai. Further Mr. Mervin Alexander, Postmaster General, Chennai City Region attended a special function in the ashram honoring the release of the permanent pictorial cancellation.

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: August 31, 2014, 12:04:07 AM »
Sri Nataraja and Goddess Sivakami at Ramanashramam

Arunachala / Re: Photos of Bhagavan and Arunchala Temples
« on: August 31, 2014, 12:00:59 AM »
Arunachala Hill

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