Author Topic: Bhagavan's instructions to sh. shanmugam  (Read 1197 times)


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Bhagavan's instructions to sh. shanmugam
« on: June 01, 2010, 06:44:30 PM »
DURING my twenty-four years of personal association with Bhagavan I have noted that He seldom preached elaborately. He would give hints which keen seekers had to absorb carefully and follow faithfully in their sadhana. By close observation of Him and His actions and from His occasional words and terse expressions, one could definitely learn and properly follow His teachings.

He once said categorically, "For practicing Atma vichara every day is auspicious and every moment is good - no discipline is prescribed at all. Any time, anywhere it can be done, even without others noticing that you are doing it. All other sadhanas require external objects and a congenial environment, but for Atma vichara nothing external to oneself is required. Turning the mind within is all that is necessary. While one is engaged in Atma vichara one can with ease attend to other activities also. Besides, Atma vichara being a purely internal movement, one does not also distract others who are around; whereas, in sadhanas like puja, others do notice you. One-pointed perseverance alone is essential in Self-enquiry and that is done purely inwardly, all the time. Your attention on the Self within alone is essential." Some of Bhagavan's personal instructions to me:

(i) If you observe the breathing one-pointedly, such attention will lead you spontaneously into kumbhaka (retention) - this is jnana pranayama.
(ii) The more you humble yourself, the better it is for you, in all ways.
(iii) By withdrawing the mind within, you can live anywhere and under any circumstances.
(iv) You should look upon the world only as a dream.
(v) Do not allow your mind to be distracted by objective things and by thoughts. Except attending to your allotted duty-work in life, the rest of your time should be spent in Atma-nishta (Self-abidance); do not waste even a second in inattention, lethargy.
(vi) Do not cause even the slightest hindrance or disturbance to others. Also, do all your work yourself.
(vii) Both likes and dislikes should be equally discarded and eschewed.
(viii) With attention focused on the first person and on the Heart within, one should relentlessly practice Who am I? When this is done one-pointedly, one's breathing will subside of itself. During such controlled practice, the mind might suddenly spring up; so you have to vigilantly pursue the vichara, Who am I?

To remain silent without thoughts is the Whole;
To remain without thoughts is Nishta;
To remain without thoughts is Jnana;
To remain without thoughts is Moksha;
To remain without thoughts is Sahaja.

Therefore, the state without any trace of thoughts is the Final State of Fullness, indeed!

- M. G. Shanmugam, one of the early devotees of Sri Bhagavan, was so modest that he always refused to be drawn into the limelight. His Tamil biography of Bhagavan concluded with the early days at the present Ashrama, that is, with the 1930s. It is a pity he did not complete it, because Bhagavan had mentioned to others that he liked it. Fortunately M.G. Shanmugam left a few notes in Tamil on Bhagavan, his teachings and his own observations on spiritual sadhana.

[extract from the newsletter from]