Author Topic: Whether watching the breath is a pre-condition to self enquiry?  (Read 2532 times)

Subramanian.R

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On 30th November 1945, Maha Vir Prasad, Chief Engineer,
Uttar Pradesh came to have darshan of Bhagavan Ramana.
He had been here for 20 days earlier and on return from
Rameswaram, he had come again.  He asked Bhagavan:

"I have been reading Maha Yoga.  Is it necessary and a
pre-condition for a man to watch his breathing before the
beginning of mental quest, Who am I?

Bhagavan answered:

"All depends on a man's "pakva"-- maturity, fitness, and
aptitude.  Those who have not got the mental strength to
concentrate or control the mind and direct it on the quest
are advised to watch the breathing, since such watching
will naturally and as a matter of course lead to cessation
of thought and bring the mind under control. 

"The method contains within it, though implicitly and not
expressly the watching of breath.  When we watch wherefrom
the "I" thought, the root of all thoughts, springs, we are
necessarily watching source of breath also, as the "I"
thought and the breath arise from the same source."

Bhagavan Ramana also says in Who am I?: Prana and
mind are branches of the same source.

(Source: Day by Day, Devaraja Mudaliar)

Arunachala Siva.   

mmohan

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Re: Whether watching the breath is a pre-condition to self enquiry?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2009, 04:03:12 PM »
Is understanding this "I" factor the only path to liberation or is it just one of the many methods?  There has been many saints in the Bhakti path who were purely devotional and were said to have achieved realisation through self-surrender alone without any self-enquiry or breath-watching as such. I guess self-surrender in extreme bhakti and self-enquiry both might lead to ego erasing and hence moksha. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Whether watching the breath is a pre-condition to self enquiry?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2009, 05:38:07 PM »
Dear mmohan,

Bhagavan Ramana approved all the four paths, karma, yoga,
bhakti and jnana.  But He said that karma should nishkama,
without desires.  Bhakti should mature into Atma Samarpana,
the total surrender.  He says in Who am I?  "One who renounces
all the desires and stay in Atmanishta is the greatest bhakta."
Surrender in its mature form is not different from self enquiry.
Surrender concludes You are the only one.  Self Enquiry says,
Who am I?  And stay without answer.  Then You becomes I.
Bhagavan Ramana did not of course, recommend raja yoga,
since it involves a life time for itself.  Devotees like Suddhanda
Bharati and Kavya Kanta Ganapati were great yogis.  But
Bhagavan Ramana said:  Watching the breath is adequate.
At the end of the day, every path leads to Jnana.

Arunachala Siva.       

mmohan

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Re: Whether watching the breath is a pre-condition to self enquiry?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2009, 09:00:03 AM »
Is total self surrender possible without jnana or knowledge of the scriptues? We have instances of many great bhaktas who at least in their lifetime were unlettered and ignorant of any scriptural knowledge or incapable of any kind of self effort or inquiry. Basically sudha atmas whose mind were very pure and may be because of this they didn't need any special effort as required by us. Or maybe in their previous births they might have passed through all these stages!!
Is bhakti the culmination of jnana or is it the other way around? Which one finally confers liberation?

Subramanian.R

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Re: Whether watching the breath is a pre-condition to self enquiry?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2009, 02:01:27 PM »
Dear mmohan,

Bhakti gives birth to Jnana.  Bhakti is Jnana Matha.  All
paths should end up in self enquiry Atma Vichara, to
merge in Atma.

Bhagavan Himself has not read much before He came to
Arunachala.  This is again for helping others and not for
His sake.  He has said in Who am I?:  When the Self is
within Panchakosa, what is the use of trying to find it
outside?  All scriptures say that control of  mind is the
final key.  If that be so, what is the use of reading books
endlessly.  One has to unlearn everything at one point of
time."  He has not discouraged devotees from reading.  He
has Himself rendered in Tamil prose, Viveka Choodamani.
He has rendered in Tamil verse, Sri Dakshinamoorthy Stotram.  He has also written a few original works.  He only discouraged
unlimited reading.  Once Kunju Swami wanted to go to Kovilur Math for reading the sixteen books of Vedanta, in Tamil.  Bhagavan Ramana said:  "Why should you read all those books, when you have already understood the self enquiry which is
the final key." Kunju Swami cancelled his plan.

Arunachala Siva.