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Messages - Nagaraj

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Dear Ramana, nice quotes! I found a good post by Prashant, further on several Biblical quotations and Bhagavan's teachings:

Salutations to Bhagavan

General topics / Re: Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism
« on: December 22, 2011, 03:28:09 PM »
Dear Krishnan, Subramanian Sir,

Over the ages, the quest for 'jnana' has pushed people beyond ones own comfort zone. People have been trying and exploring paths un seen before or heard before, since the quest for jnana never ends, their new explorations became/becomes a new path for the others and it continues there by evolving from ages to ages and, ultimately like the round cycle, their exploration will have to meet at one common point which is the same for every path. And, this is true to our own Vedic path as well, Vedic path also has been evolving over ages, but, the Truth has been the same for all!

But having said my views about various paths, and their common end, the Sanathana Dharma itself has in it hundreds of thousands of paths! there is the christian path, islam path, jewish path, etc... all in what we call today Hinduism.

Subramanian Sir, as you said,  I have seen the Kaaba pictures and pictures of Mary in their respective houses, even the protestants do have the cross, even if they may claim that they don't believe in form worship. But all this is needed for a human to go further step by step.

:-) I believe, during Adi Shankara's times, if there existed Christianity and Islam, he would have surely integrated even them :D unfortunately, I doubt there were any christians or muslims at that time in Bharata country. He would have established like the Shanmatam worship (Ganapatyam, Shaktam, Vaishnavam, Shaivam, Kaumaaram, Surya) as Ashtamatam Worship including islam and christ - Is it not so? I am quite very sure about this!

"Moreover, I believe he established  the Advaita doctrine just to extend a hand to the then Buddhists and many Buddhists who truly recognized the truth, recognized the universal truth beyond religions and doctrine. If not for the Buddhists, there was no necessity for Sri Shankara to establish some new doctrine and calling it as Advaita"

Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion at that time I descend Myself. (4, 7 - Gita)

God does not have a religion. The God responds irrespective of one if he may call him Krishna, Jesus, Allah, Buddha or any other! What would happen if for a moment, the God thinks, Oh, he is calling Krishna, and I am not Krishna, and Oh, he is calling Jesus, and I am not Jesus, etc... :D

Salutations to Bhagavan

General topics / Re: Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism
« on: December 22, 2011, 11:12:23 AM »
Subramanian Sir,

Truth is revealed specifically to suit the seeker according to ones Pakva. To the one who says "I see the Self" the Guru tells, "it is not something that is seen, it is the formless seer and, there is nothing to be seen", and to the one who says "I see nothing, but only void" the Guru asks, "Who is it that sees the void?"

Because, the truth is beyond both. And the upanishads sing, one who knows, knows not, and one who knows not, knows? :)

It is impossible to reconcile with logic as it is even beyond logic! It is Anirvachaneeyam - indescribable!

Salutations to Bhagavan

General topics / Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism
« on: December 21, 2011, 07:58:37 PM »
Although Shankara's Advaita, like other traditions of Vedanta, officially bases itself chiefly on the teachings of select Upanishads, a collection of philosophical works that include Pre-Buddhist, Buddhist era and Post-Buddhist texts, many authorities from India and elsewhere have noted that it shows signs of influence from Mahayana Buddhism. The Mahayana schools with whom Shankara's Advaita is said to share some similarities are the Madhyamaka and the Yogacara, founded by the Brahmins Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu and Asanga.

NV Isaeva opines that the Advaita and Buddhist philosophies, after being purified of accidental or historical accretions, can be safely regarded as different expressions of the same eternal absolute truth. This is echoed by Ninian Smart, a historian of religion, who notes that the differences between Shankara and Mahayana doctrines are largely a matter of emphasis and background than essence.

In India, the similarity of Shankara's Advaita to Buddhism was brought up chiefly by Shankara's rivals from other Vedanta schools. Yamunacharya, a 10th century AD proponent of the Vishishtadvaita philosophy that opposed Shankara's Advaita, compared Advaita to Buddhism and remarked in his Siddhitraya that for both the Buddhists and the Advaitins, the distinctions of knower, known and knowledge are unreal. The Advaita traces them to Maya, while Buddhist subjectivism traces them to buddhi. Ramanujacharya, another prominent Vishishtadvaita philosopher, accused Shankara of being a Prachanna Bauddha, that is, a hidden Buddhist

John Grimes writes in the Oxford Journal of the American Academy of Religion that while Mahayana Buddhism's influence on Advaita Vedanta has been ignored for most of its history, scholars now see it as undeniable. Along similar lines, Eliot Deutsch and Rohit Dalvi state in their 2004 book The Essential Vedanta:

"In any event a close relationship between the Mahayana schools and Vedanta did exist with the latter borrowing some of the dialectical techniques, if not the specific doctrines, of the former." (p. 126)

"Gaudapada rather clearly draws from Buddhist philosophical sources for many of his arguments and distinctions and even for the forms and imagery in which these arguments are cast." (p. 157)

Many authors are of the opinion that the similarities in Advaita and certain aspects of Buddhism were due to the Upanishadic influence on both streams. For instance, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, an important intellectual figure of 20th century India, wrote in his book Indian Philosophy:

"There are no doubt similarities between the views of Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, and this is not surprising in view of the fact that both these systems had for their background the Upanishads."

In the same vein, C.D Sharma, in his A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, states:

"Buddhism and Vedanta should not be viewed as two opposed systems, but one which starts with the Upanishads, finds its indirect support in Buddha, its elaboration in Mahayana Buddhism, its open revival in Gaudapada, (and) which reaches its zenith in Sankara."

S. Mudgal noted that among some traditionalist Indian scholars, it was the accepted view that Shankara "adopted practically all ... dialectic (of the Buddhists), their methodology, their arguments and analysis, their concepts, their terminologies and even their philosophy of the Absolute, gave all of them a Vedantic appearance, and demolished Buddhism... Sankara embraced Buddhism, but it was a fatal embrace". Mudgal himself, however, believes that the Advaita according to Shankara is a synthesis of two independent and opposing streams of thought, the Upanishadic and the Buddhist, representing the orthodox and the heterodox respectively.

In modern India, spiritual gurus following the tradition of Advaita Vedanta have generally been enthusiastic in their praise of the Buddha. Swami Vivekananda of the monastic Ramakrishna Mission, a leading figure in the late 19th century religious scene in India, spoke highly of the Buddha and the similarities between Advaita and Buddhist thought. Ravi Shankar, a popular spiritual figure who considers himself as an Advaita Vedantin, has said that he believes Advaita and Buddhism are two ways of looking at the same reality.


Salutations to Bhagavan

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Bhagavan & Annamalai Swamy
« on: December 21, 2011, 03:20:59 PM »
AS: Bhagavan, I want to attain mukti. For that you alone are my Guru. I do not seek anyone else. Kindly bestow your grace on me.
BH: The attainment of mukti is not some new achievement. We are all in the form of mukti. Because we forget this and instead wrongly think, "I am this body," many thousands of thoughts arise in wave after wave and conceal what we really are. Mukti will only shine when this thought "I am the body" is destroyed.

AS: How dies one get rid of this thought, "I am the body"?
BH: Since you have prayed to the Guru, totally surrender to him.

AS: The Guru is not in the village where I live. What can I do?
BH: The Guru is within you. Surrender to him there.

AS: What is within me is only my own self.
BH: Guru, Atma, Isawara - these are only different names for the same thing. The essence of each is the same.

AS: After I surrender, will it be possible for me to carry on with my work?
BH: Of course! But the thought "I am doing" will not arise.

AS: If the "I" - thgought is not there, how will my duties get done?
BH: Whatever you get paid for, you do with indifference. Discharge your family duties with the same indifference that you discharge you office work. The things that come and go in your office don't cause you to worry. DO all your jobs and duties with this same detachment.

AS: Difficulties keep coming to me. When will they stop?
BH: If you give up the I am the body idea all your difficulties will fly away.

(Living by the words of Bhagavan)

Salutations to Bhagavan

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Guru Ramana Vachanam
« on: December 20, 2011, 07:27:54 AM »
The seeker of Illumination should approach (as a disciple), not the bound one who (merely) knows the sense of the sacred lore, (but) the Jivanmukta, the one that is in the Supreme Silence, who is happy in unity with the Reality.

(Guru Ramana Vachana Mala, 124)

Salutations to Bhagavan

General Discussion / Re: Good food habits
« on: December 20, 2011, 07:10:43 AM »
Dear Astralman,

i meant worldly music, from the films and etc. yes, divine music and listening to shlokas or words of God and wisdom is always most welcome and even encouraged by elders :)

Since, food is venerated as Annapoorneshwari - Goddess of food. Goddess Annapoorna is considered to be the giver of food. (Annam means food). Before we eat our food, the traditional practice here has been to chant this prayer as follows

“Annapoorne sada poorne,
Shankara praana vallabhe,
Jnana vairagya sidhyartam,
Bikshaam dehi cha Parvati”

Annapoorne – the wife of Lord Shiva; She who is full of food;
Sadapoorne – who is always full of resources;
Sankara – of Lord Sankara(Shiva);
Prana – the life-force; energy;
Vallabhe – the beloved;
Jnana – knowledge;
Vairagya – attitude of renunciation;
Siddhyartham – to fulfill the purpose of;
Bhiksham – alms, food;
Dehi – give us;
Namostute – we bow down to You

Attention to food is not a mundane attention, but an act of mediation itself as every seed of what we eat shall bless us with the qualities that befit a true spiritual life as above.

Salutations to Bhagavan

General Discussion / Good food habits
« on: December 19, 2011, 06:47:22 PM »
One of family friend of ours shared with us some good food habits to be aware and which are easy to follow as well. I have been practicing this for some time and I have seen definitely improvements and really beneficial for a good spiritual life:

  • After bath, do not have anything for about 45 minutes (liquid or solid) - The body needs to adjust itself with the environment after bath
  • Do not consume water before or after food for 30 minutes
  • The food should contain all 6 flavors (arusuvai unavu - Arusuvai means six tastes in Tamil and refer to theepu-sweet, karam-hot, kassappu-bitter, pulupu-sour, uppu-salt, tuvarpu- like umami, a special taste that one gets from raw vegetables and herbs.)
  • Eat peacefully with complete attention on the food without talking, watching television, listening to music, etc..
  • Chew the food properly and slowly and never eat in hurry
  • Always sleep with one window open, so that you get fresh air.
  • Maintain Time
  • Avoid junk foods & frequent visits to restaurants. Home cooked food is best

Good food habits enables the body function effectively and much energy is saved instead of wasting the same in digestion.

Salutations to Bhagavan

General topics / Re: vasanakshayam - Freedom from Tendencies
« on: December 19, 2011, 11:51:33 AM »
Dear Krishnan,

Everybody has their share of Vasanas, be it lust, anger, greed, avarice, Jealousy, etc... if not one, then the other. And, be assured, :) that one is not greater or lesser than the other :)

Yes, it is an herculean taslk, no doubt! But we don't have any other option but to just try, and, try again! Just look at the kind of response Guru Vasishta gives to Sri Rama, from Vaasishtam:

ययैव वेत्सि ततया युक्त्या पुरुषयत्नतः ।
वासनाकुंरनिर्मूलमेतदेव परं शिवं ॥

Rama, in what ever manner you think it is possible to rid of your tendencies (Vasanas, bad desires) whether by Yoga or by means of your manly exertions, you must root every desire from your heart, in order to secure your best welfare (Self)

पौरुषेण प्रयत्नेन यथा जानासि वा तथा ।
निवारयाहंभावांशमेषोऽसौ वासनाक्षयः ॥

Endeavor to the utmost of your manly power, to suppress some portion of your egoism, in order to prevent the rise of selfish passions, and desires within your health.

Whenever, you are caught with any of the Vasanas, just let it come, it is important to not judge yourself at that moment, because, the more we judge ourselves, the vasanas becomes stronger and stronger, instead, recognise that there is a problem on hand, and discern how best you can sort the issue! It may try to persuade you with gimmicks of bliss and happiness if you are willing to become part of it, but do not give into it! That is the secret, it's verily a battleground, resolve yourself with an attitude, "let me see if it is the Vasanas or myself, who will be victorious!" Let it try and do what ever it may want to. The more we restrain ourselves with the weapon of PATIENCE and ENDURANCE, the weaker it becomes, and, when it becomes weaker, you will emerge victorious.

There is an enlightening story from Periyapuranam: Ezhuthachan, a great saint and author, had a few fish concealed on him when he entered the temple. The saint was searched and taken to the king. The king asked him, “Why did you take the fish into the temple?” He replied, “It is not my fault. I had it concealed in my clothes. The others exposed the fish in the temple. The fault lies in exposure. Excreta within the body are not considered filthy; but when excreted, they are considered filthy. So also with this.”

This is such a beautiful story! each of us would have some sort of dirt within ourselves. As long as we are in control of our selves and not letting out the dirty venom from inside no sin or guilt should affect us. once it comes out only then you should feel guilty and atone for your sins.

This story very subtly tells us how to go about in such circumstances. Let the Vasanas remain in mind, do not allow them to exposure, as in, do not give in to your thoughts and act which would mean to react, instead respond to it by means if careful discernment. It is tough, but it is not impossible. Even if one fails 3 times, there is always the 4th time! Try, try, keep trying. As Guru Vaishta and Bhagavan have clearly stated the necessity of Purashkara (effort), exert your utmost discretion, patience and endurance whenever you find yourself caught up with the Vasanas trying to capitalise on you.

Realise that you are the Boss and not the Vasanas, it is possible. Just be, without giving into the Vasanas, how long will it stay? lets stay and see how strong are the vasanas. Most probably, it will be for an hour? few hours? a day, maximum, before it dies.

We all have to fight, the battle of Satwa over Tamas and Rajas

Use the qualities for your own benefit, use Rajas to defeat Tamas, and use Satwa to defeat Rajas and finally, abide in perfect Samadhi  to go beyond even Satwa as well.

Salutations to Bhagavan

General topics / Re: vasanakshayam - Freedom from Tendencies
« on: December 19, 2011, 10:20:30 AM »
Bhagavan replies in the "Naan Yaar" or "Who am I?" for a question pertaining to Vasanas.

Is it possible for the residual impressions of objects that come from beginningless time, as it were, to be resolved, and for one to remain as the pure Self?

Without yielding to the doubt “Is it possible, or not?”, one should persistently hold on to the meditation on the Self. Even if one be a great sinner, one should not worry and weep “O! I am a sinner, how can I be saved?”; one should completely renounce the thought “I am a sinner”; and concentrate keenly on meditation on the Self; then, one would surely succeed. There are not two minds - one good and the other evil; the mind is only one. It is the residual impressions that are of two kinds - auspicious and inauspicious. When the mind is under the influence of auspicious impressions it is called good; and when it is under the influence of inauspicious impressions it is regarded as evil.

The mind should not be allowed to wander towards worldly objects and what concerns other people. However bad other people may be, one should bear no hatred for them. Both desire and hatred should be eschewed. All that one gives to others one gives to one’s self. If this truth is understood who will not give to others? When one’s self arises all arises; when one’s self becomes quiescent all becomes quiescent. To the extent we behave with humility, to that extent there will result good. If the mind is rendered quiescent, one may live anywhere.

Again, Bhagavan is very clear that one has to exert oneself, his sincerity, develop bhakti and Vairaagyam in the quest of the Self and the path is definitely tough and says, one should not entertain doubts on the journey and stay focused on the center of our selves and stay consciously vigilant and not get carried away by our emotions and respond instead of reacting for what we give to others, we are actually to ourselves eventually! By not allowing the mind to wander like a pendulum and hold it by sincere effort - Purushkara which is Tapas itself, by realising the true import of the objects that we see - the animate and the inanimate to be only just a projection of our minds, i.e. Maya and not get carried away by the plays of our mind.

Salutations to Bhagavan

General topics / Re: vasanakshayam - Freedom from Tendencies
« on: December 18, 2011, 06:21:37 PM »
Yes Subramanian Sir, the story of Jada Bharata is an immortal story for every sadhaka and it illustrates quite point-blank, the importance of really discerning the  nature of Maya which is very subtle but needs to be really looked into by any of the ways, Bhakti, Jnana, Yoga.

Salutations to Bhagavan

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Re: Grace
« on: December 18, 2011, 06:14:15 PM »
so simple and beautiful Subramanian Sir is the path of pure love


Dear Kici108,

Welcome to Satsang  :)

I have always found the best course is to read the stories and incidents and experiences of direct devotees to begin with which gives the ambrosia of Bhagavan's grace which enables one to genuinely feel the grace of Bhagavan.

Cherished Memories by Kanakammal
At the feet of Bhagavan by TK Sundaresa Iyer
Day by Day with Bhagavan by Devaraja Mudaliyar
Talks with Bhagavan
and others...

When we have a fair idea of background of Bhagavan and his way of being and his way of guiding devotees, then it would be perfect to read the "Who am I" which would make some real sense.

However, there are no specific order, really! You could just pick any book and it would give the same ambrosia! It all depends on the person.

Reading Bhagavan's books itself is a Sadhana :)

Salutations to Bhagavan

The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Grace
« on: December 18, 2011, 04:44:39 PM »

I reached the Jubilee Hall and found the courage to walk up to Bhagavan's sofa. Wordlessly, I held out my offering. Bhagavan looked at me kindly and asked, "What have you brought?" I managed to say, "I have brought some cashew nuts," but i doubt whether Bhagavan could have heard me at all, as my voice was very low, and my speech quite indistinct. Bhagavan craned his neck and looked into the vessel I was holding out. He said, "Oh! cashew nuts, is it? and nodded his head at me. Then he said to the attendant, Sathyanandam, "Please take it from her and keep it aside." Looking at me, he said, "Give the vessel to him." I went and sat down in my usual place.

I had been hoping that Bhagavan would take a few of my cashew nuts and then have the rest distributed among the gathering. That was the usual procedure, after all! I waited eagerly for Bhagavan to accept my offering. But he did not even touch the container, leave alone the cashew nuts I had prepared with such devotion. I could not understand it at all. Had I done something wrong? Was Bhagavan displeased with me, for some reason? I said to myself, "This is my fate. I must accept it." I managed to keep to my usual routine. I stayed till the evening recitation was over, and returned home after that. Thoughout the night, I was restless.

The next morning, I reached the Asramam in time for the 5 o'clock Veda recitation. After the recitation, I returned home, finished my cooking, and then went back to the Asramam at about 7:30. There was not much of a crowd in the Hall at that time. I went up to Bhagavan and prostrated. As soon as I got up, Bhagavan turned to Sathyanandam and enquired, "Has she been told that the cashew nuts were served along with the iddlies at breakfast time?" Sathyanandam replied, "I have not told her yet." Then Bhagavan looked at me and said, "They were served along with the iddlies." There was an expression of infinite compassion on Bhagavan's face, as he looked at me. I felt a thrill pass through my body. My heart was full.

Later, Venkataratnam said to me, "Akka (sister)! Yesterday, there were many people here. Maybe Bhagavan felt that there might not be enough cashew nuts for everybody. That must be why he had them put away. This morning, all of us were able to enjoy the delicacy you had prepared." Yes. That must have been the reason.


Salutations to Bhagavan

General topics / vasanakshayam - Freedom from Tendencies
« on: December 18, 2011, 11:46:07 AM »
Dear Devotees,

All Gurus have clearly re-iterated repeatedly over ages that the destruction or annihilation Vasanakshayam itself is Moksham. This "Moksham" is beyond all religions and philosophies. Moksha is the end of all Religion or belief or Knowledge. Be it any religion, and any faith, annihilation of our tendencies is very essential.

while the famous gospel of Bhagavan to His mother Azhagammal: "The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their prarabdhakarma. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try as you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to prevent it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.", pertains to the external world of the animate and the inanimate objects that we see, however with regard to the realisation or abidance of Self, Purashkara or effort or Tapas is very essential. Which is why Bhagavan said clearly that the only desire one can have or ought to have is the desire for Self and one has to put his utmost sincere efforts to realise one Self. And, surely the Grace of the Guru is essential above all these!

Only great barrier that all of us face, in-spite of some fleeting glimpses again and again and not being able to remain in that perfect abidance is only because of our tendencies or Vasanas. Our hold or the desires to experience the world is stronger than the desire for Self. Since the glimpses of Self are fleeting and very short, we often side towards the external experiences by default. This is only due to not being able to fully discern the unreality of the experiences of our Vasanas or even better, we are unable to see the REALITY OF THE SELF. We still want to watch that movie/cinema, even though we know for sure that it is unreal! That is the main issue! Perhaps, remotely we can roughly say that, we are watching the movie because, we don't know what to do, or for want of happiness, by a inherent belief that watching the movie would give us happiness atleast for that time.

Every action of ours is purely motivated by the same idea of watching a movie. There is really no purpose as it is known before hand that it is unreal, but still, we are forced to watch the movie only because, we have not yet discerned with absolute certainty the unreality of the Maya or illusion or the REALITY OF SELF. This is Prarabdha Karma. We are bound by our Vasanas.

Along with the annihilation of Vasanas, Prabdha Karma also disappears.

When we say that for a Jnani, there is no prarabha karma, it purely signifies the freedom He is in. He is not bound to act like us who end up watching the movie even after knowing its unreality. Hence, He, a Jnani is absolutely free!

Hence it is so very important to really look deeply and facilitate the annihilation of Vasanas.

I started this thread hoping to look deeply with our insights that would genuinely help each one of us in bringing light in to the darkness of Vasanas.

Salutations to Bhagavan

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