Author Topic: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan  (Read 9235 times)

Subramanian.R

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Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« on: June 15, 2008, 12:11:50 PM »
Bhagavan Ramana, on many occasions recommended three books
on Advaita, to seekers and devotees.  These are:  Jnana Vasishta,
Ribhu Gita and Kaivalya Navaneetham.  Ribhu Gita is embedded in
"Siva Rahasyam", an epic, as advice from Shiva, to Skanda, who in
turn advised it to his disciples.  It is a dialogue between Ribhu and
Nidagha. The original Sanskrit poem has been translated by one Sri
Bhikshu Sastrigal, also known as Ulaganatha Swamigal, a 19th
century Saiva Siddhanta Jnani, into a beautiful Tamil poem of 1924
verses.  Once Bhagavan presented a copy of Tamil Ribhu Gita, to
Smt. Sampurnamma, for reading and when she wanted to be
excused on the ground that  she did  not understand a word of it,
Bhagavan persisted and asked her to read it all the same.  "It does
not matter that you do not understand," He said, "Still it will benefit
you."  Thus Smt. Sampurnamma's life, which had the full potential of
becoming one of sorrow and grief, was transformed in to an active and spiritualized way of life.  The English version, published by Society of
Abidance in Truth, California, is available for Rs 200.00 from Sri
Ramanasramam and a beautiful Tamil version, is also available
for Rs 100.00.  The Tamil version has been published by Sri
Ramanasramam, itself.  I have started reading the Tamil poems,
and it is very satisfying.  I request the fellow Forum-members, to
get the book and read and share their experiences.             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2008, 11:09:47 AM »
After I posted  about "Kaivalya Navaneeta" on 16th instant,
"non duel" repied stating that this book is available in
North America, through Arunachala Ashrama.  This made
me to write about "Ribhu Gita", about which I originally
posted on 15th instant.  A beautiful free verse English
translation of Ribhu Gita, is available from Society of Abidance
in Truth, 1834 Ocean Street, Santa Ctuz, California 95060 USA.
Phone (831) 425-7287.  Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2008, 12:58:42 PM »
Dear srkudai,  Bhagavan has informed Sampurnamma, to recite
Ribhu Gita even though she could not understand the meaning. 
This is mentioned in the Mountain Path, June 1993 article.  He
did not specify any particular chapter, but the chapter 26, which
speaks about undifferentiated abidance in non dual nature, can also
be used for daily recitation.  Sri Ramansramam has published an
English version (done by Society for Abidance in Truth, California,
U.S) and the original Tamil version of Ulaganatha Swami.  I do not
think they have Lingeswrara Rao's version and CD.  Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2008, 05:52:15 PM »
Dear srkudai,  Arunachala Akshara Manamalai was done by Bhagavan,
in Tamil.  Unlike Upadesa Undiyar (30 verses) or Ulladu Narpadu (40
verses), this has not been done in Sanskrit, either by Kavyakanta Muni or Bhagavan.   I doubt whether a Telugu  translation is available. Perhaps
someone might have done it recently.  I am not sure.
Arunachala Siva.

nonduel

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2008, 12:04:41 AM »
In the translated text by Prof. N. R. Krisfinamoorti Aiyer of "The Essence of Ribhu Gita", page 10 #45, quote:

The Bhavana "I-am-Brahman-Self" swiftly takes one to mukti.

There's a note, quote:  In verse 45 to 50 the word "Bhavana" means (lit. feeling) the faith based on the word of the teacher and the scriptures and in the unremitting abidance i the belief thereof.

This is a very important point and I would greatly appreciate to read your views, opinions and understanding. Dear Subramanian in particular, since you are reading the Tamil version, I would like to know your personal translation of the text.

In my view, surrender, backti, Bhavana, not "doing", self-attention, Sadguru....are all inter related and basically are the same thing.
 
Oh Arunachala, blazing fire of Jnana, in my heart I pray and think of Thee from afar, root out the ego, merging me in the Self.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2008, 01:22:27 PM »
Dear nonduel and srkudai.  You have mentioned about paragraph 45 to
50 of Krishanmoorthi Aiyer's "Essence of Ribhu Gita."  I checked up with
Tamil Ribhu Gita of Ulaganatha Swamigal.  The Tamil version is only
slightly easier!  The word 'bhavana' is a difficult word, and can be translated as 'conviction'.  I give below the table of the two books.
Paragraph 45 - Chapter 24.  27
Paragraph 46 - Chapter 24.  28
Paragraph 47 - Chapter 24.  31

Well, these three paragraphs pertain to Chapter 24, titled, " Attainment of Bliss by the conviction of the Blissful Nature.

I shall paraphrase to the extent I understand.  'The Liberation will come
quickly only by such conviction (that indeed I am the Supreme Brahman).
By learning, Liberation will come only gradually. Hence, the seekers of
Liberation, eager to attain the undivided Supreme Liberation quickly,
should resort to continuous practice of the sanctified conviction and truly practise this for a long time.   Those who are unable to attain this by
conviction, should read this aloud." (Verse 27)

"The past impression of differentiation over a long period of time (I am
the body  -idea) can be destroyed only by this practice of steeping oneself
to the undivided conviction and cannot be easily eliminated by stray thoughts of steadfastness in the One Supreme." (Verse 28)

"Some undisciplined ignorants say that all this differentiation are due to
time and other causes.  Their arguments are entirely wrong.  By the power of the Supreme Siva, the ultimate refuge, all the superimposition on the substratum and even that superimposition is realized to be the undivided Supreme Siva, if one inquires into the Truth,Arwith conviction."(Verse 31).

Dear non duel, I shall write about Chapter 25 (Paragraphs 48.,49 and 50
of Aiyer's book) in a separate post.

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2008, 04:59:01 PM »
Dear non duel, Continuing from what I had posted earlier, the paragraphs of Aiyer's translation and the corresponding verses of the Ribhu Gita,
Tamil are furnished below:-

Paragraph 48 - Verses  25.  8
Paragraph 49 - Verses  25.12
Paragraph 50 - Verses  25.14

The chapter is titled as: "Supreme Liberation by the conviction of
the Pure Brahman".  The translation, according to my understanding
is as as follows.

Verse 8 says: " There is not an atom of imagination at any time.  There is
no mind that imagines. There is no cycle of birth and death and there is no
one involved in the cycle, in the least. There is not even an atom of the world.  There is not even a Lord of the world.  Be of the conviction that there is never anything.  All that there is the Supreme, of the nature of
Awareness."

Verse 12 says: " Be of the strong conviction that whatever exists, whatever happens, whatever lovable looks are all the differenceless mass of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, Brahman. Never entertain any disturbing thought that this perishable body and such are me.  And the world is apart from me."

Verse 14 says: " Be rid  of debiltating bondage of worldly existence.  Have the strong conviction that nothing ever exists and whatever illusory experiences are there, are really the mass of Supreme and I am always that Supreme and, thus devoid of the sense of yourself, abiding in yourself, as the Supreme."

The words Existence and Absolute are interchangeably used.
The words Consciousness, Awareness and Knowledge are interchangeably used.
The word Bliss has no variation.

Arunachala Siva.           

nonduel

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2008, 05:21:30 PM »
Dear Subramanian,

Thank you!

There is so much Power, Grace, in these words. It leaves me speechless!
Oh Arunachala, blazing fire of Jnana, in my heart I pray and think of Thee from afar, root out the ego, merging me in the Self.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2008, 12:33:09 PM »
Dear non duel,  You asked about the 'bhavana' which comes under paragraphs 45-50 of Essence of Ribhu Gita.(Chapter 24 and 25 of the original).  You also asked whether chanting Chapter 26 of can alone be used for daily recititation.  I did not answer this point clearly and told you that the entire Ribhu Gita or any chapter(s) may be used.  Coincidentally, I was reading David Godman's 'The Power of the Presence'.  This is a 3-volume book, where David writes various things about select devotees of Bhagavan and has also included certain information, which has not been published before.  Under the chapter - N.R. Krishanmoorthy Aiyer (the
gentleman who had condensed Ribhu Gita in prose, the book which you had mentioned) has written the following information, which has not been 
published before:-

" During October 1941, I asked Bhagavan, 'Please select me the most important portion of Ribhu Gita, for daily recital.'
Bhagavan took the book and showed me the 26th chapter and said:
'The recital of this chapter is itself 'samadhi'.' "
 
Arunachala Siva.

nonduel

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2008, 06:03:10 PM »
Dear Subramanain,

Thank you again for your assistance.  The most important point, for myself, is the "I AM BRAHMAN", "I AM THAT", and the importance of Bhavana in the Ribhu Gita. This is why I asked you how you translated the word.

The importance, for myself, is "conviction", feeling, faith.  Being born in the Christian faith, this is an outright sin, to think that I AM GOD. Thus there's a difficulty in accepting this. Not a big difficulty, but there's a need to "digest" this.  I knew for some years that I AM THAT I AM, but what struck me is the being convinced. Not just a timid acceptance... but a without a doubt conviction. Which makes me think of Sri Nisargadatta.

See?

I had the "knowledge" for many years, but the Ribhu Gita, sort of hit me on the head!!!  A "realisation"!


Oh Arunachala, blazing fire of Jnana, in my heart I pray and think of Thee from afar, root out the ego, merging me in the Self.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2008, 12:31:24 PM »
Dear non-duel, thanks for your message.  Bhagavan has helped
devotees of different faiths in self-realization.  e.g. Mastan was born a
Muslim.  There were several British of Catholic and Protestant faith, who came to Him.  He has said that 'the Self' is the same for everyone, all
living beings including birds and animals.  He used to quote, as you already know,  from Abraham and Eccelesiastics,  "I AM I AM' and  'the fools heart is on the left and the wise one's is on the right.  I studied in a christian school and christian college, where Bible class was there on everyday.
I studied Daniel's story and the story of the prodigal son when I was
fourteen.  In fact, I like the Gospel according to Mark very much.

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2008, 10:58:44 AM »
Dear srkudai,  The dance of Siva has given rise to many many esoteric interpretations by Saiva saints and yogis.  The Nandi or the bull
is "Mooladharam" and the first centre among the 6 chakras of the body,
and this is in the genitals.  This chakra gives rise to lust, anger, fear
and other feelings.  If this is properly focussed towards the Sahasraram,
which is on the head, as Nandi is focussing on Siva, one gets the
divine experience of merging in the Self, Siva.  In Sahasraram, the yogis
say that one will experience the effu lgence of Siva, shooting from his
raised foot ('Kunchitapatam') and the sound of the gingling of Sakti's
anklets! Because, Sahasraram is the place of union of Siva and Sakti.
Sankara's Soundarya Lahari gives beautiful description of these six
centres.  (I have to write a separate post, if I have to elaborate on
Soundarya Lahari). There are separate Siva temples, for each Chakra.
Tiruvannamalai, where Bhagavan lived when He was in body, represents
'ajna'.  Tiruvachakam of Manikkavachakar, a beautiful poem of 51 subgroups, has got 3 commentaries!  One describing the poems as suited to
Bhakti marga, another to Yoga marga and the third to Jnana marga.
In Sivananda Lahari, Sankara asks:  O Lord, the whole universe is your abode, whereas you choose to live in burial ground.  There are many servants to serve you, but you choose the dead bodies.  There are many foods offered by devotees, whereas you choose to beg.  The ether is your clothing, but you wear a tiger's skin as lower garment  and an elephant's skin as upper garment.  When everyone rushes to drink nectar, you choose to drink the poison.  What a wonder!  You keep the monkey of my mind, with you and control it!  In Siva temple, the "balipeetam", where the prasad
is placed, and the "dwaja-sthambam", the tall metal structure, where the flag is hoised during festivals, represent the female and male principles.

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2008, 11:27:04 AM »
Dear srkudai, there are 4 Maha vaakyas in Upanishads.

1. Prajnanam Brahman -  Consciousness is Brahman - Aiteya Up. 5.3.
2. Aham Brahman  -  I am Brahman -  Brhadaranyaka Up. 1.4.10.
3. Tatvam asi - You are That - Chandogya Up. 6.8.7.
4. Ayamatmaa Brahman - This self is Brahman - Brhadaranya Up.2.8.9.

Any bhavana is okay and the preceptors have prescribed one that suits
a disciple.  It is like a Zen Koan.  One has to work out that koan given by
the Zen Master.

I AM GOD or GOD IS - Anything is okay that suits one.  It is the 'bhavana' or conviction that is more important.

Arunachala Siva.   

nonduel

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2008, 04:57:59 PM »
Although I had the "knowledge" that I Am Brahman, All Is Brahman, I realise that it wasn't really a conviction.  In the Ribhu Gita, it strucked me in the direct and strong way it is written, and its importance to Self-Realization. A residual doubt was still lingering inside which the Ribhu Gita removed.

It is not a "thought" that one repeats, or go arounds constantly concentrating on I Am Brahman. It makes me think of Sri Ramana's example which he often said to devotees:  "Do you have to repeat I am a man all the time to be convinced you are a man?"

Thus if you are convinced (Bhavana) there is nothing else to "do".  Just dwelve in that I AM.

It has also to be understood that it is the Self, not the ego.

Reading texts like the Ribhu Gita is a blessing, Grace flowing from Self.

Oh Arunachala, blazing fire of Jnana, in my heart I pray and think of Thee from afar, root out the ego, merging me in the Self.

nonduel

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Re: Ribhu Gita and Bhagavan
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2008, 05:07:25 PM »
Dear NonDuel,
           :)

Some times, "I am God" is not very interesting idea. A better idea is, perhaps, "God alone IS".
Its explained beautifully in our traditional Siva Tandavam --- Siva is said to be dancing in cremation ground amongst Sevas[Dead Bodies]... As he dances, here and now a dead body raises its feet, hand etc --- all due to Siva's Dance. In other words, all of us are just dead puppets, handled by Siva in his dance --- the Siva Tandavam. We appear alive, but actually, we are just puppets played by Siva.

To me this idea is more interesting. A similar thing is also see in Siva temples. In some Temples the Bull, Nandi, is seen as looking towards the Lingam [Siva Linga]. That means complete surrender and looking at nothing else other than God. In other temples, Nandi is seen as looking outwards --- that is , having been with Siva, it has now become a vehicle for Siva to express in this world.

Love!
Silence








It could possibly not be a very good idea, if it is accepted or applied to the ego. I am aware of this also, but it comes with the knowledge that it is Self.
Oh Arunachala, blazing fire of Jnana, in my heart I pray and think of Thee from afar, root out the ego, merging me in the Self.