Author Topic: The Sound of a Different Drum - 3  (Read 1234 times)


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The Sound of a Different Drum - 3
« on: May 14, 2009, 01:29:07 PM »
The question we need to ask is: what is the most important
thing that we need to do with our lives?  Leave aside the
duties of supporting and raising a family.  Leave aside the
necessity of earning a living.  The most important duty we
have to ourselves is to be true to our nature, our "swadharma",
and this at whatever the cost for who does not agree with
Thoreau's observation that, "Most men lead lives of quiet
desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

Bhagavan Ramana did not encourage people to renounce the
world.  He advised dispassion and questioning of the assumptions
we automatically make ourselves and others.  We lead for the
most part a mechanical existence whether we are aware of it or not.  We take our opinions from newspapers and TV news channels.  What Bhagavan Ramana advised was discrimination
between what is eternal and what is ephemeral.

We should be wary of an easy escape by thinking that we can
do nothing.  Thoreau said:  "As if you could kill time, without
injuring eternity!"  Time is precious.  Bhagavan's daily routine
was fixed by the clock.  He would go for days without speaking
and yet the asramam would be unaffected because there was
a discipline and purpose to each activity, which gave the day
momentum and meaning.  In the midst of activity Bhagavan sat in silence and moved as if alone.  There was a solitude to Him
which was impervious to the round of events.  He was the Sun
around which the devotees spent their days and thoughts. His
constant and unfathomable abidance in, for want of a better
word, what we call the Self, was a source of joy and awe for
those who were open to its manifestation.  The few words He
spoke, the small amount of literature He wrote, were all cherished for nothing was wasted.  Each word was meant, each gesture had significance.

One wonders what Thoreau would have made of an encounter
with Bhagavan.  One imagines Thoreau would have found in
Bhagavan the answer to his search for meaning and in a face to face enounter words would have been discarded.  For Thoreau wrote: "Could there a greater miracle take place than for us to
look through each other's eyes for an instant?"

During his last years, Thoreau suffered from incurable tuberculosis, and slowly faded away over a number of years.
But he was writing articles for journals even in bed as an invalid.  When his aunt asked him: "Whether he had made
peace with God", Thoreu replied:  "I did not know we had
ever quarelled!"

Among his last dying words were:  "Now comes good sailing!"

Let us leave Thoreau the final word:  "It is not what you look at, that matters, it is what you see."

(Source: As indicated in Part 1)

Arunachala Siva.