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Topics - Nagaraj

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61
The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Bhagavan Ramana Teachings
« on: October 16, 2012, 10:14:24 PM »
I intend  to open a thread exclusively for the purposes of presenting various quotations, teachings of Sri Bhagavan. Any dicussions, as practice, kindly use the other Discussion thread. Thank you. Everybody is welcome to participate in posting any teachings of Bhagavan that appeals to you, as it is, as published.


62
General Discussion / sandhyA vandanam - Procedure
« on: October 16, 2012, 11:26:42 AM »
Sit on the mat with the panchapAtram (or tumbler) filled with water and a spoon (or UddharaNi) and arghya pAtram in front.

AcamanA

AcamanA is performed facing only either the East (morning) or North (Noon and Evening).

Uttering each of the following 3 names of the Lord, pour little water using the udDaraNi (spoon) into your right palm, from your left hand. And after chanting each name below, slowly allow the water to flow towards your wrist and sip the water keeping your lips near the wrist.

make sure that the Thumb and Index finger are touching each other.

अच्युताय नमः
अनन्ताय नमः
गोविन्दाय नमः

केशव
नारायण​
माधव​
गोविन्द​
विष्णो
मधुसूदन​
त्रिविक्रम​
वामन​
श्रीधर​
हृशीकेश​
पद्मनाभ​
दामोदर


acyutAya namah
anantAya namah
gOvindAya namah

kEshava
nArAyaNa
mAdhava
gOvinda
viShNO
madhusUdana
trivikrama
vAmana
shrIdhara
hrshIkEsha
padmanAbha
dAmOdara







touch Right Thumb on Right Cheeks
touch Right Thumb on Left Cheeks
touch Right Ring Finger on Right eye
touch Right Ring Finger on Left eye
touch Right Index Finger on Right nose
touch Right Index Finger on Left nose
touch Right Little Finger on Right Ear
touch Right Little Finger on Left Ear
touch Right Middle Finger on Right Shoulder
touch Right Middle Finger on Left Shoulder
touch all Fingers together on the Navel
touch All Fingers together upon the Head

63
Humour / impossible to defeat
« on: October 14, 2012, 08:01:42 PM »
Light Humor

It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

(William G. McAdoo, a former US Presidential election nominee)

64
General Discussion / sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« on: October 12, 2012, 11:00:27 AM »
Friends,

I am further motivated by listening to Sri Bharati Theertha Swamigal speach, yesterday, that one has to do this kriya and also make others also perform this act, if possible.

I am opening a thread that describes the procedure to perform sandhyAvandanam. Before I begin, there are few basic points to be noted. I will try to keep it very brief, only so as to enable perform the kriya. Any more doubts and questions can be discussed if need be.

Who should perform?

One who has been initiated into the gayatri mantra through the procedure of upanayanam (the sacred thread) is eligible to perform this kriya.

When is it to be performed?

This is performed 3 times in a day, early morning, around the Sun rise, the Noon and at the time of Sun Set.

Which vEda

Primarily, significant part of sandhyAvandanam is common, few mantras may change here and there, based on which which vEda shAkhA one belongs to. I am primarily going to present the yajur shAkhA here. if need be, upon request, i can also present the other shakhA procedure as well.

Thank you.


65
Humour / How much "ego" do you need?
« on: October 11, 2012, 12:00:23 PM »
Q: How much "ego" do you need?
A: Just enough so that you don't step in front of a bus.

(Shunryu Suzuki)


66
General Discussion / How Congress party got Hand Symbol
« on: October 10, 2012, 06:55:11 PM »
I just remembered this, in context of Sri Ravi's post mentioning Indira Gandhi's visit to Kanchi Swamy.  Indira Gandhi sought benediction from His Holiness when she was out of power. Inspired by the blessings of the Acharya, she adopted the “Hand” as the symbol for the Congress party.




67
The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Who am I - nAn yAr?
« on: October 09, 2012, 10:05:47 AM »
I just felt, among thousands of posts here, it is incomplete without Sri Bhagavan's, primary teaching, in his own words. This was essentially what he asked everybody to read. Hence, i am prompted to open this thread, reproducing the Who am I, nAn yAr, translated by Dr. TMP Mahadevan. request members to not use this thread for discussion, if required, we can open another thread for discussing anything regarding Who am I nAn yAr.



Who Am I? (Nan Yar?)
The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

As all living beings desire to be happy always, without misery, as in the case of everyone there is observed supreme love for one’s self, and as happiness alone is the cause for love, in order to gain that happiness which is one’s nature and which is experienced in the state of deep sleep where there is no mind, one should know one’s self. For that, the path of knowledge, the inquiry of the form “Who am I?”, is the principal means.

  • Who am I ?

    The gross body which is composed of the seven humours (dhatus), I am not; the five cognitive sense organs, viz. the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell, which apprehend their respective objects, viz. sound, touch, colour, taste, and odour, I am not; the five cognitive senseorgans, viz. the organs of speech, locomotion, grasping, excretion, and procreation, which have as their respective functions speaking, moving, grasping, excreting, and enjoying, I am not; the five vital airs, prana, etc., which perform respectively the five functions of in-breathing, etc., I am not; even the mind which thinks, I am not; the nescience too, which is endowed only with the residual impressions of objects, and in which there are no objects and no functioning’s, I am not.

  • If I am none of these, then who am I?

    After negating all of the above-mentioned as ‘not this’, ‘not this’, that Awareness which alone remains - that I am.

  • What is the nature of Awareness?

    The nature of Awareness is existence-consciousness-bliss

  • When will the realization of the Self be gained?

    When the world which is what-is-seen has been removed, there will be realization of the Self which is the seer.

  • Will there not be realization of the Self even while the world is there (taken as real)?

    There will not be.

  • Why?

    The seer and the object seen are like the rope and the snake. Just as the knowledge of the rope which is the substrate will not arise unless the false knowledge of the illusory serpent goes, so the realization of the Self which is the substrate will not be gained unless the belief that the world is
    real is removed.


68
General topics / Past of Bhagavan
« on: October 05, 2012, 11:40:04 AM »
I am prompted to type this article from Boundless Ocean of Grace, that speak about Sri Bhagavan's horoscope and Nadi Josiyam, his past and future. I am prompted to type this because, we should not be mistaken that Sri Bhagavan just sat and attained liberation. As one is aware, ones current life is the result of ones own past life and if Bhagavan attained liberation in just 15 minutes, it is a result of intense tapas made in past.



In Tamil Nadu amongst various systems of astrology Nadi Josiyam (nadi astrology) is also one. Some of the ancient sages purported to have forecast the horoscope of certain individuals and these are called nadi josiyams. There are various nadis like Agastya nadi, Brihu nadi, Kaga Bujandar nadi, Sapta Rishi nadi etc. The forecast are all written down on palm leaves in symbolic verse forms. The person desirous to know about his future or somebody else's has to give the thumb impression or the date and the place of birth of the person concerned. The custodian of the palm leaves of these nadis will search thousands of verses arranged in a particular order and find out if the subject;s forecast is available. If available he will decipher the cryptic symbols and explain their meaning to the person. A fee is charged for reading the horoscope. If the forecast is not available then the custodian will say no.

In 1936 one Thangavelu Nadar consulted Kaga Bujandar's nadi josiyam and took out the palm leaves regarding Venkatraman's future and about his past birth and brought out two volumes.

Now let us see what the nadi says about Venkataraman. The nadi extols the merits of the child. It says: When the child is born the celestial beings in their joy will shower rain. The Supreme Lord Siva with his consort Uma will attend the child's confinement and will be present in the labour room. The devas, tapasvins and great rishis will be overjoyed, as if they are relatives of the child. This child will become a great rishi and follow a path so that he will never enter a woman's womb again.

The father will not be present when the child is born and will learn of the child's birth on the following day. The father's profession is to turn falsehood to absolute truth and vice versa, i.e. he will be a pleader. The mother will pass away at the subject's forty second year.

The child will never be interested in his studies but will be ever immersed in consciousness of the Supreme Being. Whenever he goes he will be found sitting like a statue and will be looking inwards. He never will be conscious of the external world. Notr comprehending his inner life. his elder brother will alwats fight with him and cause him great discomfort. After 15v years 5 months and 27 days he will in a trice attain the Supreme Realisation.

He will reach Tiruvannamali where Brahma and Vishnu once searched for the top and bottom of the column of Effulgence. Casting off all formalities he will reside in the temple. Those who approach him devoutly, he will grant all their boons, like the celestial wish-fulfiling tree. He will not be of this world but of another world. Wherever he is, annadhanam (free distribution of food) will take place.

Although walking on the path in the forest of Tiruvannamalai he will remain in a state where there is no within or without.

He will be the very personification of Tapas. His sole aim is to uplift to his own state even great scholars who strenuously strive to attain liberation from the vicious cycle of births and deaths and do not succeed. Many devotees will worship his form in their minds. Others  will worship his portrait or his idol. A few others will worship him as a personification of all devas. For those who worship him in the above manner, he will be the Supreme Lord and he will save them, taking them to the shores of liberation.

All those performing severe austerities in order to get rid of births and death will, in their exalted spiritual state, have a vision of this Ramana Murthy. For those who can achieve that state he will be the Purushothama (Perfect Lord) of the Vedas and an unfailing guide in their paths.

As Dakshinamurthy of yore, who taught in silence under the banyan tree, he will initiate devotees by His silence and through His eyes.

This is not an ordinary child. No one has performed austerities as he has. Although due to severe austerities his nobody may suffer, yet, like the mother earth, he will never be conscious of the body, remaining always in the formless universe.

It is not even possible to speak of the greatness of this child in this birth. So let us see what happened in his previous birth. In his previous birth he performed taps residing on a famous hill. Seeing the intensity of his tapoas Vishnu and other devas appeared before him. However the sage did not take advantage of their appearance to ask any boons, instead he ignored them completely.

While he performed such severe austerities Lord Siva, in his abundant compassion, felt that the sage's body would not withstand the intensity of his tapas so he ordered Brahma to go and strengthen the sage's body. However, when Brahma appeared before the sage, the sage became very angry. He thought that though he was searching for Siva, instead of Siva Brahma had come to give his darshan. So he advised Brahma thus: Perhaps you have forgotten the lessontaught to you by Skanda. Think of your fate. In order to save your self from a similar fate you may go elsewhere.

Hearing these harsh words from the sage, Brahma controlled his anger and replied softly, "Chikd! I have come to help you, so that you may attain your goal. I have come on Siva's bidding to strengthen your body, so that it can withstand the intensity of your penance. Let me know what your wish is. I shall fulfil it."

The rishi replied that he required nothing from Brahma. After this the sage further intensified his tapas and went deep within himself, to reach the infinite. On realizing the sage's deep wish to have his darshan Lord SIva along with His consort Uma appeared before the sage and consoled him thus: "My child, your deep devotion to me will continue even in your next birth. In your next birth we shall be your guide and redeem you."


We have given a synopsis of the predictions of the Nadi Josiyam. Although certain passages from it seems apt other portions are unbelievable. These we have imitted. Further, the description of Venkataraman's state by the Nadi Josiyam falls far short. Those who read Bhagavan's biography will at once realize that He was living far beyond the state described by the Nadi.

Brethelem, Mecca, Nadia, Kaladi, Kamarpukur although small villages became famous as they were the birth places of Jesus, Mohammed The Prophet, Chaitanya, Adi Shankara and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa respectively. So too, Tiruchuzhi has become famous because of Venkataraman. The houses in which the famous English poet Shakespeare and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa were born are to this day protected as places of pilgrimage. The house in which this child was born was also to be made a place of worship.


69
General Discussion / Water - Arghya - Significance
« on: October 04, 2012, 11:04:14 AM »
Indians specially have got all rituals mainly to do with Water and Fire. No rituals are possible without water, primarily. I happened to find a beautiful article with a video illustrating the effects with scientific tests, on how the elements respond to our thoughts and feelings.

I reproduce the following article from http://sanatanavenkat.blogspot.in/2010/06/significance-of-arghyam-in.html



This is my next post in the series 'SandhyAvandanam'. I believe most of my posts on this series have been well received. Over the past year, I gave a few lectures in the functions convened by 'Tamilnadu Brahmin Association' (Thambhraas) on these topics and was happy to see a sea change in the approach of Brahmins towards Sandhyavandanam. The message that Sandhya routine is a rejuvenator, spiritual builder, a personality enhancer and a health invigorator seems to have gone well with my brAhmaNa brothers.

In my first coverage I did not write about Arghyam, a very important kriya in Sandhya Vandanam. Arghyam literally means 'offering'. Like Achamanam, mArjanam, and prAsanam, this is also a water based one. Water is taken in the right palm of the sAdhaka and (slightly) thrown skyward after chanting the gAyatri mantra.This offering is thrice per session. Smartha sandhyAvandanam has one extra arghyam for any errors in the offering time- the kAlAtheetha prAyaschitta arghya pradhAnam.

I have known through many readings that the sandhyAvandanam , though done by the brAhmaNa, is in fact for the welfare of the humanity at large. This kriya, Arghyam, is no different. The sAdhaka's chanting of the gAyatri while holding the water in the palm is a selfless kriya and aimed at the world. The agent to which it is given is Surya (sun).

I will try to give the traditional, philosophical as well as scientific background for Arghyam.

Traditional Understanding

Garuda purANa states that a kind of asuras called mandeha , who originally reside in an island called aruNa are trying to destroy Surya in the day at daybreak and sunset. The arghyam given at these times serves as a weapon to destroy them.Look at the following slokas (1-213-62)

"A Brahmachirin shall bathe only once a day. Having performed the rite of Achamanam, and invoked the sacred pools therein, one shall take a bath in the river. Thirty million is the number of the malignant spirits, called Mandehas, who manifest a desire of devouring the sun at day break. He, who does not attend to his Sandhya rite at the meetings of the day and night, verily kills the sun, inasmuch
as the libations of consecrated water (offered unto the sun-god in the course of a SandhyA) tend to consume these monsters (Mandehas) like streams of liquid fire."

Philosophical Significance

The philosophical significance is in the symbolism. The Mandehas are nothing but the man- dehas or mind - body which are clouding the sun of resplendent atman in us. The gayatri purifies us by this offering so that the inner light can be perceived by us. Also, the sAdhaks , after the arghyam, say, 'asAvAdityo brahma, brahmaiva ahamasmi" (the sun is verily the brahman. Brahman is myself). In the adhyAtmic sense, arghyam is a reminder of the brahman in us and its honouring by the offer of mantra and water.

Scientific Significance

The scientific meaning is even more interesting. Only recently I chanced upon the work of Mr Masaru Emoto of Japan who did some critical experiments with water.He took a glass of water and spoke 'thank you' to it. He then freezed the water. When he magnified the crystallized water, he was amazed to see symmetric patterns.Curious, he then cursed a glass of water with , " I hate you" and crystallized it.This time the magnified image of crystals were ugly and random. He then used Tibetan Sutras and the resulting image was of a beautiful pattern.

To watch a video, please follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAvzsjcBtx8&feature=player_embedded

Some Sample pictures:

You Make Me sick

Tibetian Sutra

Thank you

Before Prayer

After Prayer



It was here that I wondered at the wisdom of our Maharishis. All of our Sandhyavandanam is water based. We either partake or offer water while uttering sacred mantrams. Imagine the effect of these mantrams on the water ! During Arghyam, we chant the greatest of all mantrams- the Gayatri. Though Mr Emoto did not experiment with Gayatri mantra, we can guess what will happen. The thought waves generated by the Arghya Danam will  penetrate all the three worlds.
 
The same explanation will hold for our Achamanam , prokshanam, kalasa pooja, temple teertham etc.
 
I also would like to add a speculation here. Like water, all the pancha Bhootas must have memory. In our yagyas, Agni is called 'havya vahana' since it carries the havis to the devas.Soon, our scientists will declare that air, earth and space has memory !
 
I have heard that Rishis chant Gayatri ceaselessly. They do so for protecting the mankind and for preserving the Surya (sun) from extinguishing ! In Dhanur Vidya (Archery and missile warfare), only  the variants of Gayatri mantra were used for launching the sastras - right upto the most potent Brahmastra !
 
This is another great aspect of our Sandhya Vandanam. Arghyam is not a meaningless exercise  but a profoundly meaningful, spiritual Kriya that is also physically purifying. Arghyam later was adapted into daily upasana in Temples and homes. It is one of the 'sodasa' upachara (sixteen honours) to Paramatman.


70
General Discussion / The supreme compassion of Sri Ramana
« on: October 01, 2012, 08:23:45 AM »
I happened to stop by this wonderful article by Sri Michal James. I am reproducing it as below, from his blog:



Towards the end of chapter 10, ‘The Practice of the Art of Being’, on page 558 of the second e-book edition (page 589 of the forthcoming printed edition) of Happiness and the Art of Being, I give a translation of the nineteenth paragraph of Nan Yar?, which Sri Ramana concludes by saying:

... It is not proper [for us] to let [our] mind [dwell] much on worldly matters. It is not proper [for us] to enter in the affairs of other people [an idiomatic way of saying that we should mind our own business and not interfere in other people’s affairs]. All that one gives to others one is giving only to oneself. If [everyone] knew this truth, who indeed would refrain from giving?

On pages 559 to 562 of the second e-book edition (pages 589 to 592 of the printed edition) I discuss the meaning of this paragraph, and while doing so I write:

When Sri Ramana says that it is not proper for us to allow our mind to dwell much upon worldly matters, or for us to interfere in the affairs of others, he does not mean that we should be indifferent to the sufferings of other people or creatures. It is right for us to feel compassion whenever we see or come to know of the suffering of any other person or creature, because compassion is an essential quality that naturally arises in our mind when it is under the sway of sattva-guna or the quality of ‘being-ness’, goodness and purity, and it is also right for us to do whatever we reasonably can to alleviate such suffering.

I then explain that though there is little that we with our limited powers can do to alleviate the many forms of suffering that exist and will always exist in this world, we should at least take care to avoid contributing in any way to that suffering, and I conclude my explanation by writing on pages 561 to 562 of the second e-book edition (page 592 of the printed edition):

Moreover, in the final analysis, this world and all the sufferings that we see in it are created by our own power of imagination and exist only in our own mind, just as the world and the sufferings that we see in a dream are. If we feel compassion on seeing the sufferings of other people and animals in our dream, and if we wish to alleviate all such suffering, all we need do is to wake up from that dream. Likewise, if we truly wish to put an end to all the sufferings that we see in this world, we must strive to wake up from this dream that we mistake to be our waking life, into the true waking state of perfectly non-dual self-knowledge, by tenaciously practising the art of self-attentive being.

In continuation of this discussion about the final four sentences of the nineteenth paragraph of Nan Yar?, on pages 592 to 609 of the printed book I have incorporated a detailed explanation about the importance of compassion and ahimsa (a word that means 'non-harming' or not injuring, that is, not causing any suffering to any living being). Since this explanation is quite long, I will post it here in two separate instalments, of which the following first instalment is what I have written on pages 592 to 601:

However, though our life in this world is in fact just a dream, so long as we experience this dream we should not dismiss the sufferings of others as being simply unreal and therefore of no consequence. We who experience this imaginary dream are ourself a part of it, and hence everything that we experience or witness in this dream is just as real as we are.

So long as we feel ourself to be a person — a body-bound mind — who is experiencing this dream, we cannot but feel that the joys and sufferings that we are undergoing are perfectly real, and so long as we thus feel that our own joys and sufferings are real, we cannot deny that the joys and sufferings of other people and creatures are equally real and just as consequential. Hence, since we each naturally wish to avoid any form of suffering being caused to ourself, we should wish equally strongly to avoid any form of suffering being caused to any other sentient being.

Therefore, when Sri Ramana advises us to avoid interfering in the affairs of others or allowing our mind to dwell much upon worldly matters, he does not suggest that we should avoid such actions of body, speech or mind due to heartless indifference, but only that we should do so due to holy indifference — compassionate indifference, truly loving and caring indifference.

Sri Ramana never advised anyone to be heartlessly indifferent — uncaringly and unkindly indifferent — to the sufferings of others. On the contrary, through his own actions he clearly exemplified how compassionate, tender-hearted and caring we should all be, and how strictly we should avoid causing even the least himsa or harm to any other living being.

Though Sri Ramana seldom taught the importance of compassion explicitly in words, he did teach it very clearly through his own life — through his every action and attitude. In every situation, his attitude and his response through speech or action clearly demonstrated his unbounded love, compassion, tender-heartedness, kindness, consideration and ahimsa — sensitive and careful avoidance of causing any harm, injury or hurt to any living being.

Compassion, kindness and love shone through every action of Sri Ramana because that is what he was. His very being was itself the fullness of love — infinite and all-inclusive love. Because his seeming individuality had merged and been consumed in the infinite light of true self-knowledge, he was truly one with the absolute reality, whose nature is perfectly non-dual and indivisible being, consciousness, happiness and love.

He therefore loved all of us — each and every sentient being — as his own self, because he experienced himself as the one infinite reality, other than which none of us can be. He truly was and is the real and essential self of each and every one of us, and hence none of us can be excluded from his infinite love — his all-inclusive self-love — which is his own essential being.

Therefore the seeming ‘person’ that was Sri Ramana was a perfect embodiment of parama karuna — supreme compassion, grace, kindness and love. His kindness and love were equal to all. To him sinner and saint were all alike. He showed the same simple care, kindness, tenderness, love and compassion to people whom we may consider to be bad as he did to people whom we may consider to be good.

His love and kindness were absolutely impartial. He showed no greater love, kindness or concern for his most sincere devotees — those who most truly understood and put his teachings into practice — than he did either for those people who disregarded him, disparaged him or even ill-treated him, or for those devotees who were unconcerned about his teachings, or who misunderstood them, or who even tried to distort, misinterpret or misrepresent them.

In fact, if he ever seemed to show any partiality, it was not for those who loved him most sincerely, but only for those who had least love or no love at all for him. Devotees who loved him most sincerely, and who earnestly tried to follow his teachings by turning their mind inwards and surrendering it to him in the core of their being, sometimes felt that outwardly he seemed to ignore them, and to give his attention only to other less sincere devotees. However, if they understood him correctly, they knew that he outwardly gave his attention to those who were most in need of it, and that if he outwardly ignored us it was only to encourage us to turn inwards to seek the true form of his love, which is always shining blissfully in our heart as our own non-dual self-conscious being, ‘I am’, waiting to draw us within by its magnetic power of attraction.

The reason why he showed equal love and kindness to each and every person, irrespective of the fact that a particular person may have been the worst of sinners or the greatest of saints, was that in his view there is no essential difference between a sinner and a saint, between an atheist and a devotee, or between a cruel person and a kind person. He knew that in essence every person is the same single non-dual self, which he experienced as himself. If at all there seems to be any such thing as a separate person, he or she appears to be such only due his or her imaginary ignorance of the true nature of the one real non-dual self, which we all always experience as our own essential self-consciousness, ‘I am’.

Not only are we all in essence the same one non-dual self, but as people we are all also equally ignorant of our own true nature. Even our theoretical knowledge of our own true nature does not make us any less ignorant than another person who has no such theoretical knowledge, because this theoretical knowledge exists only in our own mind, which arises only because of our basic underlying self-ignorance or self-forgetfulness.

In our self-ignorant view, Sri Ramana appears to us to be a person like us, and even our honest belief and conviction that he is in reality not a person but only our own infinite real self is a faith that exists only in our own mind. So long as we experience ourself as a person, and not as the one infinite and undivided real self, we cannot experience Sri Ramana as our own essential self, but can only know him as a person, albeit a person immeasurably superior to ourself.

Therefore in our self-ignorant view, Sri Ramana seemed to be a person, and as such he seemed to see each one of us as a separate person. However, even insofar as he seemed to see each of us as a person, he did not see any essential difference between us. He saw us all as being equal in our ignorance of our real self. In his view there was no person who was any more or any less ignorant than any other person. We either know ourself as we really are, or we ignore our real nature and experience ourself as a person — a finite body-bound mind.

Since in his view we are all equally ignorant, we are all equally in need of his karanam illada karunai — his causeless grace, mercy, compassion, kindness and love. Nothing that we can do can make us worthy of his grace, and equally nothing that we can do can make us unworthy of his grace. Just as the rain falls on the good and evil alike, his divine grace and love is equally available to all creatures, including the greatest saints and the most evil sinners, the most brilliant intellectuals and the dullest of fools, the richest and the poorest, kings and beggars, human beings and all the so-called lesser animals.

His grace or love is uncaused because it is his essential nature. As the one infinite real self, he cannot but love us all as himself, because he experiences us all as himself. Since his grace is infinite, and not dependent upon any cause other than itself, it can never either increase or decrease. In truth it is the only reality — the one absolute reality, which is eternal, immutable and self-shining.

Though Sri Ramana is truly the one infinite reality that we call ‘God’, who is always making his grace available to each and every one of us by shining eternally in the innermost depth of our heart as our nearest and dearest — our own true self-conscious being, ‘I am’ — he manifested himself in human form in order to teach us that we can experience the perfect and ever-undiminishing happiness that we all seek only by turning our mind selfwards and thereby surrendering it in the absolute clarity of our own non-dual self-conscious being, which is the true form of his grace or love.

His human form was thus an embodiment of parama karuna or supreme compassion, grace, mercy, tender-heartedness, kindness, care and love, and as such no creature could ever be excluded from his infinite kindness and love. And though his human form passed away in 1950, before most of us were even born, his grace, love and inner guidance are ever available to us, because they are the one eternal reality that ever shines within us as ‘I am’, our own most beloved self. Moreover, not only does he always remain as our own essential self, but he also continues to be manifest outwardly in the form of his precious teachings, which are still available to remind us constantly of our need to turn selfwards in order to experience the infinite happiness of true self-knowledge.

In order to avail of his love or grace in all its infinite fullness, all we have to do is to turn selfwards and to drink thus at the source from which it springs. Though his grace is always helping us, so long as we attend to anything other than our own essential self we are ignoring it, and by doing so we are in effect closing the doors of our heart on it, obstructing it from flowing forth and consuming us in its infinite clarity.

His grace is the light of consciousness that shines within us, enabling us to know both ourself and all the imaginary objects that we have created in our mind. Both subject and object are illumined only by his grace, and without his grace as their essential substance and reality they could not even seem to exist.

However, so long as we attend to any form of object — whether the objects that we recognise as being only thoughts in our own mind, or the objects that we imagine exist in a world outside our mind — we are misusing the light of his grace, and we are distorting his infinite non-dual self-love and experiencing it as our desire for some objects and our aversion for other objects. Rather than misusing his grace in this manner to know objects, or expecting it to fulfil any of our petty desires, we should derive true benefit from it by using it to know ourself.

That is, our mind, which the distorted light of consciousness that we now use to know objects, is a reflected form of our original light of self-consciousness, which is his grace. Therefore if we turn our mind away from all objects towards the source of its light, it will merge in that source like a ray of sunlight that is reflected from a mirror back towards the sun. By thus turning the reflected light of our mind back on ourself, we are surrendering ourself to our original light of grace — our fundamental self-consciousness, ‘I am’, which is the true form of love that we call ‘Sri Ramana’.

When Sri Ramana manifested himself in human form, the compassion, tender-heartedness, kindness and love that he showed towards every person he encountered was an outward expression of the infinite, eternal, undivided and non-dual love that he experienced as his own self, and that always shines within each one of us as our own essential self-conscious being, ‘I am’. Therefore the impartiality of his outward kindness and love demonstrated clearly the absolute impartiality of his true inward grace, which is always surging in the heart of every sentient being.

The same love that he showed to all people he showed to every other creature. He did not consider any animal to be any less worthy of his kindness, love and compassion than any human being, and animals naturally responded to the love they felt in him, and therefore approached him without any fear. Numerous stories and incidents in his life have been recorded that beautifully illustrate his extraordinary relationship with both wild and domesticated animals — the tender-heartedness, kindness, care and love that he showed to them, and their reciprocal fondness for and trust in him.

Moreover, not only was he equally kind to and caring about individual animals of every species, but he also showed his strong disapproval whenever any person treated unkindly or caused any harm to any animal. He would not tolerate or allow people to kill even poisonous animals such as snakes and scorpions, and he pointed out that our fear of such animals is caused only by our attachment to our own bodies. He said that just as we cherish our life in our present body, so every other creature equally cherishes their life in their present body, and hence we have no right to deprive any creature of its cherished life, or to cause it harm or suffering of any kind whatsoever.

One very clear illustration of his unbounded and absolutely impartial compassion and love was an incident that occurred when he was a young man. One day while he was walking though a thicket his thigh accidentally brushed against a hornet’s nest, disturbing its numerous occupants, who immediately flew out in a rage and began to sting his offending thigh. Understanding their natural response, and feeling sorry for the disturbance that he had accidentally caused them, he stood quite still and, in spite of the intense pain that they were inflicting upon him, patiently allowed them to string his thigh until they were all fully satisfied and returned to their nest. In later years, when Sri Muruganar wrote a verse (which is now included in Guru Vachaka Kovai as verse 815) asking him why he felt repentant and allowed the hornets to sting his thigh even though the disturbance he caused them was not intentional, he replied by composing verse 7 of Upadesa Tanippakkal, in which he said:

Though the swarming hornets stung the leg so that it became inflamed and swollen when it touched and damaged their nest, which was spread [and concealed] in the midst of green leaves, and though it [the act of disrupting their nest] was a mistake that happened accidentally, if one did not at least feel sorry [pity for the hornets and repentant for the trouble caused to them], what indeed would be the nature of his mind [that is, how thoroughly hard-hearted and insensitive it would be]?
By his own life and example Sri Ramana taught us the great importance not only of kindness, love, tender-heartedness, consideration, compassion and ahimsa, but also of humility, selflessness, desirelessness, non-acquisitiveness, non-possessiveness, non-wastefulness, generosity, contentment, self-restraint, self-denial and utter simplicity of lifestyle.




71
General Discussion / Mother Theresa
« on: September 29, 2012, 04:28:51 PM »
As a prompt, am just happy to post this article on Mother Theresa.

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, the youngest of three children of an Albanian builder, on August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. She felt that August 27, 1910, the day of her baptism, was her true birthday. At the age of 18 she joined the Order of the Sisters of Our Lady of Loreto in Ireland. She trained in Dublin, where the motherhouse of the Loreto Sisters was located. She chose the name of Sister Teresa, in memory of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

In December 1928 she began her journey to India and continued to Darjeeling, at the base of the Himalayan Mountains, where she would continue her training towards her religious vows. Soon after, on January 6, 1929 she arrived in Calcutta, the capital of Bengal, India to teach at a school for girls. While in Calcutta, she was moved by the presence of the sick and dying on the city's streets. On September 10, 1946, on the long train ride to Darjeeling where she was to go on a retreat and to recover from suspected tuberculosis, something happened. Mother Teresa recalls:

"I realized that I had the call to take care of the sick and the dying, the hungry, the naked, the homeless - to be God's Love in action to the poorest of the poor. That was the beginning of the Missionaries of Charity." - (This is absolute Sharanagati that we have so exhaustively discussed. - Nagaraj, again, we need not imitate Mother Theresa, but we just need not resist the throb of life within ourselves, what is important is to be connected with what we call "Life")

She didn't hesitate, she didn't question (Sharanagati). She asked permission to leave the Loreto congregation and to establish a new order of sisters. She received that permission from Pope Pius XII. In 1952 Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity began the work for which they have been noted ever since. Her order received permission from Calcutta officials to use a portion of the abandoned temple of Kali, the Hindu goddess of transition and destroyer of demons. Mother Teresa founded here the Kalighat Home for the Dying, which she named Nirmal Hriday (meaning "Pure Heart"). She and her fellow nuns gathered dying people off the streets of Calcutta and brought them to this home to care for them during the days before they died.

Mother Teresa's first orphanage was started in 1953, while in 1957 she and her Missionaries of Charity began working with lepers. In the years following, her homes (she called them "tabernacles") have been established in hundreds of locations in the world.

Following a prolonged illness, Mother Teresa passed away on September 5, 1997.


72
General Discussion / Ramana Oli in Shankata TV
« on: September 27, 2012, 10:12:41 AM »
Dear Devotees,

Not sure, how many are you are aware, every Tuesdays, in Shankara TV, 8 or 8:30, they telecast Ramana Oli, serial on Sri Bhagavan, made by the RMCL, Bangalore.


73
General Discussion / my musings
« on: September 17, 2012, 08:07:46 AM »
O Mother, what a machine is this that Thou hast made! What pranks Thou playest with this toy Three and a half cubits high!

God alone is the Doer. I say: 'O Lord, I do as Thou doest through me. I speak as Thou speakest through me. I am the machine and Thou art the Operator. I am the house and Thou art the Indweller. I am the engine and Thou art the Engineer.'


...remembering the words of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Thank you.


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