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Bhagavan Ramana and Vedic thoughts
« on: May 02, 2010, 10:28:55 AM »

A knowledge of the Vedas and of the Vedic path is certainly not a
pre-requisite for understanding, loving and practicing these teachings.
They are of a universal nature and do appeal to every spiritual seeker
whatever may be his local culture.  (Still the Vedas were prescribed
for Brahmins only and what about the other three castes?  They
might have not even heard the Vedic Hymns and Upanishidic thoughts
but they could apply them in their lives because of innate culture of
the nation.)

Bhagavan Ramana was quite conversant with the subtleties of Hindu
thought and put them to good use whenever He spoke to Hindus
(and to non Hindus who had a knowledge of Hindu dharma.).  He
did not need them for expressing deep, fundamental truths.  As
a result, a Westerner was/is quite able to tread the path which
He delineated so clearly.  Sri Bhagavan's words fulfill the deepest
needs both for our intelligence and of our heart.  It is however a
fact that Bhagavan was a Hindu and His own experience as He
expounded it was the re-discovery of that ancient Hindu experience.
To be sure, these discoveries ring true for any human being, whether Hindu or non-Hindu.  It proves nevertheless rewarding to understand
how ancient they are and how much their profundity bear bears the
seal of timeless revelation.

Anybody who has studied the Upanishads and possibly their
native ground, the Vedas, will agree that the core of what Bhagavan taught is precisely what lies at the heart of these ancient teachings.  Supremacy of the knowledge of the Self (Atman); need for inner
austerity (tapas) but not necessarily leaving aside one's world
avocation; self-dedication to the pursuit of liberation; even bhakti
.... the rishis spoke this kind of knowledge and lived this kind
of experience. 

In the Mahabharatam, a rishi does advise to meditate according
to 'Who am I?'.  Bhagavan Ramana taught that ultimate tapas
is direct enquiry into the fundamental problem, "Who am I?".
Bhagavan also explained that "one pointedness is the tapas
wanted." This is both an excellent instruction and an example of the
Upanishadic process of getting the essence of things.

The rishis were devotees.  This facet of Bhagavan Ramana does not seem to be very widely known among Westeners.  We know that
Bhagavan in His heart a devotee of Arunachala Siva.  Whenver
any incident full of love took place, or whatever passages saturated with bhakti were read, we often saw Bhagavan Ramana overwhelmed with emotion.

Bhagavan did not study the Veda, nor go through protracted austerities but, He was Veda.  He described the contents of the
famous sloka Na karmana as a Vedic seer.  His innate adherence
to pure truth and the clearness of His vision set Him amongst
the great rishis, amongst the eternal glories of India and eternal
refuges of mankind.  What Bhagavan Ramana wrote is Upanishad.

(Source: An article by Patrick Lebail, Bhagavan Ramana birth
centenary volume, 1980)

Arunachala Siva.