Author Topic: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality  (Read 9603 times)

Disciple

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The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« on: February 01, 2009, 10:31:30 AM »
Pranam,
I am always fascinated to read about how people turn to the spiritual path. It is usually an event or a book or a passage or some utterance by some person that changes ones life completely. I would like to know from our forum members, what was it that turned your life towards the spiritual pursuit.
In my case it was reading the book Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.

Om sri Ramana

Subramanian.R

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2009, 10:45:30 AM »
I grew up in an atmosphere of Muruga bhakti, because my father
used to chant Tiruppugazh songs everyday in the pooja.  Muruga
is also our family deity.  My father turned to Sri Satya Sai Baba and stopped all reading and rituals in his later years, but that is another matter.  I started reading Tiruvachakam, from late 1980s and this book attracted me very much.  I was reading one decad everyday and the whole of 566 songs of Tiruvachakam on Sundays.  When later, I was given the Tamil book, Bhagavad Vachnamrutam, Tamil
translation of Talks of Munagala Venkatramiah by Sri A.R. Natarajan in Bangalore. And this made me to arrive at Sri Ramana.  The equation, Muruga (six faced Siva) = Siva (five faced) = Sri Ramana, fitted very well.

Arunachala Siva.     

paul

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 03:47:20 AM »
When I was a boy of about 7 I can remember pressing the palm of my hands against my eye lids and trying to focus on the colours and shapes that appeared. Sometimes it happened in lessons at school for a few minutes. The reason why has gone now. Looking at it now, it was a small pointer towards internalisation.

The Kung Fu series with David Carridine in the 1970’s had an impact. It was the characters peaceful state of mind.

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I said there must be something more than this. I have a recollection of asking GOD for help. There was some unhappiness at the time and having read a couple of basic books on yoga, went to the towns library to find some more books on it. There in front of me was a stand containing some leaflets for the Institute of Classical Yoga. I called the number and spoke to Philip Chirgwin who taught (if that is the right word) the classes. Those classes meant so much. It confirmed to me that the answer is internal. There were some names that were passed on from those classes they were Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna, Sri Yogendra and the Shivapuri Baba. Eventually the classes stopped.

I read a book about the Shivapuri Baba and he talked about right life but it was difficult to get the real meaning of it. There was one on Ramana Maharshi that talked about self enquiry but the technique for it did not jump out. There was one on Ramakrishna. Some of these books I read from time but couldn’t grasp their meaning.

Sometime in my mid thirties we were on holiday near a little market town that had more book shops than I had ever seen before. One of the shops was closing down but it looked inviting because there appeared to be books of a spiritual nature. The one book I left the shop with was The Path of Sri Ramana – part one by Sri Sadhu Om. Slowly over a number of years the book began to have some meaning.

The name of Sri Ramana Mahasrhi began to mean something. The internet brought me to this website and to Self enquiry and to Arunachala. I hope one day to see the Mountain ItSelf.

All those years and I am still at the bottom of the Spiritual hill. But I am at the right hill.

DRPVSSNRAJU

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2009, 01:43:37 PM »
The book or utterances by a holy person are just excuses,it is our innate spiritual tendencies(Daive vasanas) which turn us to

spiritual path when time is ripe.However this will not happen without the aid of grace.Eswaranugraha,swaprayatna and

kalaparipakva act in determining the course of our spiritual life.
pvssnraju

Disciple

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2009, 05:45:11 PM »
Pranam,
Dear DRPVSSNRAJU,
You are right in as much as, it is our innate spiritual tendencies which turn us towards the spiritual path. But these tendencies need a trigger and the book or utterances or events although just excuses are quite inspirational and turn us inwards.

Om shri Ramana

Paintbrush

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 02:29:18 PM »
My parents were from hindu and catholic backgrounds and encouraged spiritual enquiry without ever pressing the matter.  I have always been intrigued by the spiritual aspect of religion and began earnest enquiry in my early twenties. Suffice to say, I explored many traditions and practices from the East, always making progress, modifying my practice and taking the wisdom from each school, and then, a few months ago I came across a picture of Bhagavan that my mother had placed on her shrine. I found I could not take my gaze away from the image, I recognised his qualities and couldn't quite believe that I had found the true guru. His teaching is indeed silent.

munagala

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 11:29:35 AM »
From childhood I had the desire to see God face to face. During teenage the desire transformed to a desire for Self realization.

I was born in a family where my father's forefathers were upasaka's of Bala Thripurasundari.
My mother's maternal grandparents were upasaka's of lord muruga and paternal grandfather is Munagala Venkatramiah.

I had been a devotee of Ambal and never gave importance to Shiva in my heart. Even when I visited temples I just stand in front of shiva for few seconds and move away to Ambal's and stand there for a long time.

I had some failures in my life and was affected a lot by it and almost lost desire to live. Surprisingly during that time my mind wandered after siva and I started chanting Om Namah sivaya on my own.

At that point at read David Godams website about Arunachala mahamantra. It said that chanting it one time is equal to chanting OmNamahSivaya 1 crore times.

I wanted to hear the confirmation from someone but did not know who to ask. Then I remembered a swami who my cousin used to visit and talk very highly about him. I decided to visit him and get my doubt clarified. I visited him in his small room in Vadapalani (chennai) where few people were sitting near him. He was having his eyes closed and mumbling something.

I waited for 15 to 20 mins for him to open his eyes so that I can ask my question, but of no avail. then I lost patience I decided to leave the spot. Suddenly he opened his eyes and stared at me for 5 to 10seconds and then closed as usual. I left the place with disappointment since he did not talk a word.

After this incident one of my cousins gifted me a framed photo of Bhagavan. I initially said I did'nt need it and declined to take it but I changed my decision later and took it home.

One night I was sitting on the terrace of our home and wondering about vadapalani swami, Bhagavan and the mantra. Then, suddenly I heard the mantra 3 times from my inner heart , exactly from the place where Bhagavan says the self is.

I never knew about Bhagavan's teachings until then. After the incident I purchased "Talks with ramana maharishi" from the ashram and read it and got all my doubts solved.

Even after getting upadesa of mahamantra, in the initial year I used to doubt what is so powerful in it.
I had been chanting it for the past  5 years and I see a lot of transformation within.

This mantra will make you look within just like the peaks of Arunachala where one small peak is inwardly turned to the bigger peak.

The smaller one is our ego and the bigger one is the Lord.

I am more than happy to be at the feet of Bhagavan !






munagala

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2009, 11:38:14 AM »
The swami who I mentioned in my above post still lives in Vadapalani (chennai) on the main road to the temple of muruga.

Previously he used to be on the platform like a beggar. Then people realised his Godliness and moved him to a small room (8X8 ft) near a tea stall. The room is located just next to a half demolished building.

Thousands of people go to the temple but only a few know of his presence.

I am posting this for the benifit of others. If anyone intends to visit please carry some fruits or bread.
He does not talk but murmurs always and no one can understand what he says.

Many people go there to get relief from their materialistic problems. If you visit him to get something solved do not leave the place unless he asks you to leave.

Subramanian.R

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009, 12:00:53 PM »
Dear munagala,  I am happy to read your post.  For a sincere aspirant, the Guru and the mantra comes of its own accord at the appropriate time.  Bhagavan Ramana heard the word "Arunachalam" from one of His uncles.  Later He came to know that It is Tiruvannamalai. The mantra and the Guru (the Hill) came to Him at the appropriate times.

Arunachala Siva.

Matthew

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2009, 01:58:36 AM »
I had read books on psychology that introduced me to altered stats of consciousness.   During these altered states people would have spiritual experiences.  This was my first introduction to spirituality, apart from the superficial kind that is prevalent in Western/Eurocentric culture.   

shadak

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2009, 05:51:37 AM »
It was a strong feeling of being or self consciousness what turned my life towards spirituality, I was very young then and I used  to play what to me was just a game, I.e: to look at my thoughts and all the events of the day without reaction but just keeping the feeling of being or self as the only important thing. Soon I changed my prayers by this game every night, before going to sleep, for years. I loved those moments and each time I sat down to play my game I felt I was coming back home, which was inside. One day, I found  to be at home every time, even during the day. It was very normal and natural to me till the point that I believed it was the same for everyone, but years later I discovered that it wasn´t so. People used to say that I was different and I wanted to know why I was different but I couldn´t guess it, till I left my practice and started to live a mundane life. I thought  that “that thing” would be always there, and it was for many years even at the time I didn´t practice and had a mundane life, but one day that I was tired of the mundane, I wanted to come back “home” and  I found that the door was closed,  “that  thing” , the self, was still there , I could feel it, somehow, but I couldn´t get at it anymore. What had been my joy, became a great suffering. Then begun my search, I spent years and years looking for someone to show me the way home, meeting people, reading and so on. This way, I arrived from Europe to Pondichery where I spent 20 days. Two days before to come back to my country I remembered a book by Paul Brunton that I had read long time ago and asked for the Ramanashram, I was happy to hear it was near and that I could visit it in the return journey, before arriving to the airport. At the very moment I entered in Ramanashram I knew that I had been loosing my time in India and that that was the place I was looking for, but I had to leave… I haven´t cried so much in all my life as I cried when  I finally sat down in the airplane, and I couldn´t explain myself such a strong reaction, totally out of my control. After that, I read all the books I could get about Bhagavan. When I recognized my “game” in His teachings, many things became quite clear to me about what I had been doing when almost a child. Then I knew that it wasn´t a game. Not at all. I have had to pass over many things, troubles, doubts, fears, culpability and so on before to start again with practice. To know what I´m doing and all what it implies makes it quite difficult for me, but sometimes I can forget everything and then I can find myself again at home. One of these difficulties was that I was alone in this, so when I found a budist monk I started to follow his teachings, I liked it, it was fine but … that wasn´t for me. I had to come back to Bhagavan, in spite of my loneliness.  I was complaining about it some weeks ago when I clicked Ramana Maharshi in google and, suddenly, I found a lot of recent information about Him: new books coming out thanks to some people now living at the Ramanashram, several blogs, and this forum as well. I couldn´t believe it, I made this search many times before and I only could find the main website and some others, but nothing interactive, actual and alive. Nothing that could tell me that I´m not alone and that many other people is, right now, living and practicing His teachings. Don´t know why I have to go round and round always, but nevermind. Here are you all. Is it my impression or is it that Bhagavan´s teachings and He Himself are now emerging again with a special force? It is such the capacity of attraction He has…

Om Namo Ramana.

Subramanian.R

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2009, 11:27:22 AM »
Dear sadhak,

It is nice to read your post.  There will be some breaks like
this in many people's lives.  The Self within is forgotten,
[it is there always, no doubt], due to 'other' distractions.
But for a sincere sadhak, there is always a reminder from
Bhagavan Ramana within, to come back and arrive.

Arunachala Siva.

shadak

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2009, 05:19:14 PM »
Dear Subramanian,

Thanks for your kind words.

It is not enough to have a strong feeling of the Self, nevermind how joyful this feeling maybe, if one doesn´t inquire what or who is It nor  look for His source. That was my ignorance and what Bhagavan taught me.

atmavichar100

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2012, 11:51:42 AM »
This is an old thread that I came across only now .
I read a lot of books related to spirituality from various spiritual teachers and schools of thought but if I have to pick just a select few books that really made an impact on me then these are the following books :

1) Commentaries on Living Vol-II by J.Krishnamurti especially the chapter 31-What is the True Function of a Teacher
2) Living by the words of Bhagawan by David Godman
3) Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikachar
4) Upadesa Saram of Bhagawan Ramana with the Commentary of Swami Dayananda .
5) Path of Compassion - Jeeva Karunya Ozhukkam by Saint Ramalinga Swamigal /Vallalar

However more than books , it was the practical Yoga Sadhana of Swami Sivananda as systematized by his disciple Swami Vishnu devananda ( founder of Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres world wide and author of the book "Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga " )  that gave me lot of stability and spiritual depth that I was desperately seeking . Surprisingly I never read any of Swami Sivananda's books before nor knew about Swami Vishnu devananda but it was like a divine will pushed me on to the path of Yoga on 14 July 1997  the Maha Samadhi Day of Swami Sivananda . Right now I am not active with the Sivananda Organization but I am always grateful to Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu devananda for building the practical foundation of spirituality in me and I am ever grateful to them .
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 11:53:26 AM by atmavichar100 »
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: The book and/or event that turned my life towards Spirituality
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2012, 12:15:23 PM »
I grew up in an atmosphere of Muruga bhakti, because my father
used to chant Tiruppugazh songs everyday in the pooja.  Muruga
is also our family deity. 
My father turned to Sri Satya Sai Baba and stopped all reading and rituals in his later years, but that is another matter.  I started reading Tiruvachakam, from late 1980s and this book attracted me very much.  I was reading one decad everyday and the whole of 566 songs of Tiruvachakam on Sundays.  When later, I was given the Tamil book, Bhagavad Vachnamrutam, Tamil
translation of Talks of Munagala Venkatramiah by Sri A.R. Natarajan in Bangalore. And this made me to arrive at Sri Ramana.  The equation, Muruga (six faced Siva) = Siva (five faced) = Sri Ramana, fitted very well.

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramaniam Sir

Lord Subramanya is also our family deity and our family deity is Tinniyam Subramanya Swami ( few kms away from Lalgudi near Trichy ) . The speciality of this Subramanya is that here Subramanya is facing South i.e Like Lord Dakshinamurti .I visited it only last week . In my life Lord Subramanya comes in various forms ,first as Saint Ramalinga Swamigal , then Swami Sivananda ( I opened a book on Kandar Anubuti by Divine Life Society ,Rishikesh and found a picture of Swami Sivananda with a Vel ) , then Bhagwan Ramana who is Lord Subramanya himself .
My first visit outside India was to Canada as a guest by the Sivananda Ashram in ValMorin , near Quebec and guess what the visit was for - it was for the Kumbabhishekam of Lord Subramanya Temple there .The entire visit was fully sponsored by them ( plane ticket , stay ,food , sight seeing etc ) .
My father expired exactly on the day of Shahsti titi .
Few years back I was pulled deeply in to the devotional songs of Pamban Swamigal - Shanmuga Kavacham , Panchamrutha Vannam, Pagai Kathidal ,Kumarasthavam and I used to visit the Samadhi of Pamban Swamigal on Thursdays and just spend time in silence there . After Bhagwan's Samadhi in Ramanasharm , this is the only samadhi shrine I am comfortable with  that I can visit in a short notice .
When my mother visited America for the first time , she was travelling alone by flight and that was her maiden flight journey to USA and she was quite afraid as it was an International travel and she had to change flights etc ,I told her not to worry and trust in Lord Subramanya and LO she was luckily to have the Main Trustee of the Arupadai Veedu Temple in Besant Nagar Mrs.Alamelu Arunachalam as her co-passenger and she completed helped her out as she was a frequent traveller .
And like this I can continue many things regarding the blessings I received from Lord Subramanya . Why even in this forum , it is through ur help ( u have Subramaniam as the name itself ) to help me out with Bhagwan's Tamil works .Of course I treasure everyone's inputs here .Since I refer to you regularly I am bringing out this Subramanya co-incidence .But I value everyone's contribution here .
I am choked with emotion when I write all these things .
Will share more later . So just let me know which Subramanya is your family deity ?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 12:29:16 PM by atmavichar100 »
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha