Author Topic: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards  (Read 7469 times)


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2010, 04:09:10 PM »

Verse 42 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita says:

Some think that existence is, and others that nothing is.  Rare
is the one who thinks neither and is thus calm.

Here the existence means existence of the world, reality of the world.
The worldly people think that there is world and it is very much real.
The Mayavadis think that there is no world and it is unreal.  An
advaitic Brahma Jnani is calm and tranquil with neither of these two views, since for him, everything is Brahma Swarupam. 

Bhagavan Ramana says in Verse 3 of ULLadu Narpadu:

"The world is true"; "No it is a false appearance".  "The world is
mind". "No, it is not."  "The world is pleasant." "No, it is not" --
What avails such talk?  To leave the world alone and know the Self,
to go beyond all thought of One and Two, this egoless condition
is the common goal of all.

He also says in Verse 13 of ULLadu Narpadu:  " False are many
jewels, for apart from gold, which alone is true, they cannot exist."

Bhagavan Ramana stresses the same idea in Verse 5 of Sri
Arunachala Pancharatnam also.

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2010, 09:52:52 AM »

Verses 45 and 46 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita:

45.  Seeing those tigers, the sense objects, the frightened one, seeking refuge, at once enter a cave, for the attainment of control
and concentration.

46. See the desireless lion, [man] those elephants, the sense objects, quietly take to their heels or if unable to run away, serve him like flatterers.

The ignorant feel afraid because they look upon sense objects
as different from the Self.  The sense of duality is the basic source of fear and misery.

The idea in the two verses is:  It is not the sense objects themselves that cause misery, but it is one's identification with them, one's attachment for them, that cause misery.  Once free
from identification and attachment, one need not shun the world. Even in the midst of worldly objects, such a one can live freely
and happily quite unaffected.

Many devotees came to Bhagavan Ramana seeking approval to
embrace sannyasa.  Bhagavan Ramana did not say anything. 
What is real sannyasam?  It is internal renunciation.  People
want external sannyasam, just because they are afraid of sense objects and their attachment to them.  Running away from the world does not solve the problem.  Bhagavan Ramana though came alone to Tiruvannamalai, later found that one big family grew around Him.  Mother Azhagamma came, Sarvadhikari Chinnaswami came, and many many devotees came to Him.  But He remain unaffected, like water not sticking to the lotus leaf.  A person who has realized the Self considers every object of the world as the Self and he will not shun the world. Both misery and happiness are same to him, since he has not identification with the objects. 

When it was reported that Mithila was burning, all sannyasis who were taking lessons along with Janaka, ran to protect their petty
belongings like codpieces, towels, begging bowls etc.,  Janaka who was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mithila did not get affected.  He
remained still, as he had no identification with the worldly objects and whether they remain or get burnt did not affect him.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2010, 10:28:57 AM »

Verse 48 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Samhita:

Established in Pure Knowledge, and calm by the mere hearing of the
Real, the wise one does not see what is proper or improper action or
even inaction.

Since a Brahma Jnani is absolutely free from egoism with the dawn
of Atma Bodham, the rules of conduct [that are applicable to ordinary
people] have no meaning for him.

Most of the dharmas have been prescribed keeping in mind the
people at large.  For Jnanis who are extraordinary, these dharmas
need not be applied. 

Onion is prohibited for use in food preparations, since it is
proved that onions are stimulators of sexual impulses. The brahmachari who learns Vedas in a gurukulam is not permitted
to eat onion.  Even householders, on festival days, when they
are supposed to be contemplating on God and his grace [e.g.
Dasara or Navaratri] onions are not prohibited. Widows in Hindu
religion are not supposed to eat onion for the same reason.
However for a Brahma Jnani these rules do not apply.  Bhagavan Ramana used onions and He made fun of His mother once, asking 'Whether this little bulbous vegetable prevent you from entering heaven?'

Some Brahma Jnanis like KaduveLi Siddhar even got married, begot
a child, since a dancing girl wanted to marry him.  Bhagavan Ramana used to tell this story.

Once Rangan [Bhagavan Ramana's class mate] who came to visit
Bhagavan Ramana was swimming joyfully in a tank.  After the bath, Rangan asked Him, after hearing about His days in the Hill, "Can
a Brahma Jnani marry also?"  Bhagavan Ramana smiled and said:
"Hmm....." [yes]. There is nothing like proper and improper action
for a Brahma Jnani. Because he has vanquished the ego which is the root of all such propriety or impropriety. 

Once during a lunar eclipse [during which people are not said to eat and should eat only before the eclipse, or after the completion of the eclipse, after a ceremonial bath], about which Bhagavan Ramana was not informed, the supper bell rang a little earlier than the usual time.  Bhagavan Ramana did not move for supper.  He took it only
at the usual time of 7.30 P.M. when eclipse was still running!  Some
devotees who totally surrendered to Him, took food at that time, with Him, while most of the others went for a early supper.

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2010, 10:43:21 AM »

Verse 49 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita:

The wise one does freely whatever comes to be done, whether good
or evil; for his actions are like those of a child.

A Brahma Jnani lives in child-like simplicity.  But he is not childish.

Once Bhagavan Ramana accidentally stepped on a hornet's bush.
The bees came out in large numbers and started stinging His left
leg which trampled on the bush.  He did not run away, since it was
evil.  Instead He thought that it is good that He gets punishment
for His wrong doing.  The leg swelled with a lot of bee stings and
He came back limping for having undergone the punishment.  Pazhani Swami then had to apply oil and remove the stings with a tweezer.

Similarly, when some thieves came to the cave in the night and wanted to plunder, they gave a blow on His leg.  He bore the
punishment, since He did not see any evil in the activity of the thieves.  The thieves after finding that there was no money, ransacked the place and left.  After a couple of days, when policmen brought the culprits to Him, He said:  "No thieves came to His place."       

Once there was an old devotee, sick and suffering and lying inside the cottage in the Asramam.  The devotees told Him to come and see the seriously sick patient.  Bhagavan Ramana went inside his
cottage and held him on His hands   The patient devotee became emotional and coughed up heavily that the saliva and mucus fell on His chest.  When someone offered Bhagavan soap and towel for washing,  Bhagavan simply rubbed the fluid on His chest and proceeded back to His sofa!

As Nietzche said in his Ecce Homo, Beyond Good and Evil, Bhagavan
Ramana without any doership and purposiveness, transcended all ethical implications.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2010, 10:55:12 AM »

Verse 52 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita:

The conduct of the wise one, which is unrestricted by motive, shines,
being free from pretence.  But not "the affected calmsness" of the
deluded persons whose mind is attached.

Generally speaking, when we restrain our conduct and appear calm,
we do so with a motive.  We want to give the impression that our
thought and feeling correspond with the appearance of our actions.
This is insincerity and pretence and it is assumed by one who is ignorant.  It is the pretended calmness of an attached mind. This attitude is the greatest enemy of spiritual unfoldment, and creates more and more bondages.  The wise one, however, is completely
free from attachment.  His actions are absolutely free from egoism
and are therefore motiveless.

Bhagavan Ramana was treating everyone as equal and He had not
special treatment and salutation for the rich or more important  ones.  Whether it is a Maharaja or a hillside coolie, He treated them
on par.  He never stood up to salute someone who is big who has
come. Nor did He treat the poor and downtrodden as someone inferior.  With G.V. Subbaramaiah's two daughters, Indra and Lalita,
He moved with them as equals.  He talked to them in their own language.  He enjoyed their songs and dances.  He transcended all
limitations of and false pretences of ordinary mortals.  The monkeys, the squirrels and dogs were treated with the same love, as He showed for human beings.  Even a chetaah was at home with Him,
lying on the sofa with Him one day!  He called Cow Lakshmi as Amma
as if He was calling His Mother Azhagamma.  No living being was inferior or superior in His outlook.  He has no special attachment for any one in particular.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2010, 09:27:08 AM »

Verse 53 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita says:

The wise who are free from mental projections, unbound, and of
unfettered intellect, sometimes sport in the midst of great enjoyments,
and sometimes retire into the mountain caves.

A Brahama Jnani remains the same and unaffected under all conditions. He lives, moves, and has his being in the Self alone, guided only by prarabdha.

Kunju Swami and Viswantha Swami have told, that Bhagavan
Ramana used to remain in silence and if He wants to explain some
stories or incidents, suddenly, He would pour down emotional
descriptions in the story.  Sometimes, He used to shed tears
involving Himself with such stories and characters.  Suddenly He
would go into silence, very deep silence, for long minutes, gazing
vacantly without any purpose.  The devotees have observed both
these aspects with Bhagavan Ramana.

He has spent long hours in animated conversations with Rangan
and other devotees.  Suddenly He would go into silence and the
devotees would be afraid to talk to Him or disturb Him during the
inward looking moments.

The fact is that He was ever in the Self but His speech and silence
were only like dreams  as far as He was concerned.

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2010, 09:39:04 AM »

Verse 55 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita says:

The Yogi is not at all perturbed even when ridiculed and despised
by his servants, sons, wives, daughter's sons and other relations.

For Bhagavan Ramana, it was only His Mother, devotees and persons
who were visiting or staying in the Hill.  In the Hill, He had a variety
of experiences.  Jada Swami, out of jealousy for Him and His visitors,
started troubling Him.  He used to roll down huge rocks to the place,
where Bhagavan was sitting or standing.  Once Bhagavan caught
him redhand and thereafter, he stopped such mischiefs.

Then, there was a young boy, who simply played with Bhagavan,
saying, that the Governor wants His towel. [It was old and tattered
and Bhagavan rolled it as ball and keeping it without anybody's
notice, but this boy was too clever].  Bhagavan told him:  Go and
tell Governor that I would not give this towel.

Then, there was another boy.  He saw Him and wept for minutes
seeing His condition.  He told Him: "You must have come away from your home without telling anyone.  You do not have money or work
for livelihood.  I shall tell my master.  He will take you, initially
for a coolie of 1 paise per day."  Bhagavan looked at this young
boy with huge compassion.  Saint Ramalingam said:  "Whenever
I see withered paddy fields or plants, I weep."       

Then there were urchins, who urinated on His back, threw cow dung
on His head and shoulders.  None of these disturbed Him and He
never got angry with anyone, because He had transcended attachment and aversion.

Many years later, these things happened with Perumal Swami
and others.  He exhibited the same trait of being beyond perturbation.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2010, 10:28:50 AM »

Verse 56 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita says:

Though pleased, he is not pleased.  Though pained, he does not
suffer any pain.  Only those who are like him understand his wonderful state.

Pleasure and pain are different modifications of the mind and pertain
to it alone.  But the Self is completely unidentified with the mind.
The man of Knowledge, therefore, though outwardly appearing to feel pleasure and pain, is not at all affected by them.

A Brahma Jnani's mind is Pure Mind.  The mind just reflects the
emotions of the devotees who come to him and describe his or her
happiness and miseries.  This is because his external behaviour
is not very different from that of ordinary people.

Bhagavan Ramana had the same disposition.  When Echammal came and described her miseries, and wept, He also wept for her miseries.
When G.V. Subbaramiah came after his wife's death and ten day
ceremonies, Bhagavan Ramana patiently heard him. Here He did
not weep.  But He shared his emotions with abundant compassion.
When K.K. Nambiar came and told Him in all joy, about his visit
to America and meeting some Ramana devotees, Bhagavan also
expressed happiness. When his two young daughters came and
sang and danced before Him,  He also partook their happiness.
When Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni came to him and expressed his
lack of peace in spite of all mantra japas and yoga siddhis, He
looked at him with compassion and taught him to find the source
of all mantras and inquire into it.

Arunachala Siva. 



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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2010, 12:15:34 PM »

Verse 60 of Chapter XVIII OF Ashtavakra Gita says:

Whoever, by virtue of the realization of his own Self, does not
feel distressed even in practical life like ordinary people, and
remains unagitated like a vast like, with all his sorrows gone -
he shines.

Sadasiva Brahmendra once was walking on the street, where
Nawab's harem was there.  He was walking stark naked and
the women from the balcony of Nawab's palace might have
seen him.  We do not know. Nawab on knowing then happening
chased Sadasiva on a horseback, and cut his hand.  Sadasiva
took back his severed hand as if it was a pen that has fallen
from his pocket, and refixed it.  Nawab became spell bound at
the sight of this Brahma Jnani and prostrated before him.

Bhagavan Ramana also displayed some qualities in times of distress.
In the initial years, when He was staying in Kambathu Ilayanar's
temple and on a portal of a house, [though it was September],
it was very chill.  He held His elbows around his bent limbs and
put up with such distress, as if His body was someone else's.
He never asked for permission from that householder to enter and
stay in side the house.  Later, there were days, when He had only
cold rice, without even salt. There were days when He had nothing
to eat.  There was one full year, when He decided to take one meal at 11 am, every morning.

His display of state of unagitated mind was quite obvious to the
hundreds of devotees during His terminal illness.  He used to show his sarcoma wound,which was shining red due to bleeding, to Suri Nagamma and said:  See this is Syamanthaga Mani that I have
been wearing.   All decisions to try ayurvedic medicine, allopathic medicines and even surgery were decided only by the devotees and
Sarvadhikari.  He underwent all these as if He has no body.

Arunachala Siva.


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2010, 10:38:07 AM »

Verses 63 and 64 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita:

The consciousness of the deluded one is always attached to thinking
and non-thinking.  But the Consciousness of the wise one, though,
attended with thinking the thinkable, is of the nature of unconsciousness.

The wise one who has no motive in all his actions, who moves
like a child and is pure, has no attachment even to the work that is being done by him.

A deluded man, because he identifies himself with the mind -
the instrument of thinking, and thinks of the objects of thought
as real.

The wise one is free from egoism and knows the objects of thought
to be unreal.  His consciousness is free from such dualities as things
known and acts of knowing.  He is established in Pure Consciousness, the Self.

Bhagavan Ramana is known for His child like simplicity.  Whatever
work was done by Him, be it making a stick for the shepherd in the
Hill, who has lost his stick for driving his cows and goats, or be it
writing verses or attending to kitchen work, Bhagavan Ramana was
ever established in Pure Consciousness, the Self.

The devotees thought that the world was real.  They argued with
Him on many occasions and in many conversations.  He never said
that the world is unreal in ultimate sense.  For a sadhak, since
the Swarupam does not appear unless the world disappears [Who
am I? to Sivapraakasam Pillai], He told them to treat the world as
unreal and contemplate on the substratum.  But when the Substratum is realized, the world appears as Substratum, Brahma
Swarupam and not merely as world.  He says in ULLadu Narpadu,
Verse 18:

The world is real to both those who have not known the Truth
[That which Is] and those who have.  To the ignorant, who have
not realized, Reality is of the dimension of the perceptible world.  But to the Jnanis, Reality, the form of Truth, shines as the nameless formless effulgent whole, the basic substratum [Source] of the world appearances and their subsidence.  Know this as the difference
between the wise and the ignorant.  [Tr. T.R. Kanakammal].

Arunachala Siva.           


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2010, 10:58:03 AM »

Verse 69 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita:

What remains to be done by one who is Pure Consciousness?
He has renounced phenomenal existence, which beings with mahat
and is manifested through mere name.

Mahat [Cosmic intelligence] which is evolved from Prkrti as
per Sankhya philosophy.  The five tanmattras produce five
mahatbhuta [gross elements] which make up for this gross
material universe. 

But all this phenomenal universe is unreal and illusory.  It is superimposed through ignorance of the Self, the Infinite One.

Bhagavan Ramana describes that there is no need to know all
these once a person attains the Self.  He says in Atma Vidya:

2. True, strong, fresh for ever stands
The Self. From this in truth springs forth
The phantom body and phantom world.
When this delusion is destroyed
And not a speck remains,
The Sun of Self shines bright and real
In the vast Heart-expanse.
Darkness dies, afflictions end,
And Bliss wells up.

4. Of what avail is knowing things
Other than the Self?  And the Self being known,
What other thing is there to know?
That one light that shines as many selves,
Seeing this Self within
As Awareness' lightning flash;
The play of Grace; the ego's death;
The blossoming of Bliss.

{Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan}

Arunachala Siva.         


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2010, 11:12:03 AM »

Verse 74 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita says:

To the wise one who perceives the Self as imperishable and free
from grief, where is the knowledge and where is the universe?
Where is the feeling - "I am the body" or "the body is mine"?

Bhagavan has given these ideas in Ekatma Panchakam verses:

1. When, forgetting the Self, one thinks
That the body is oneself and goes
Through innumerable births
And in the end remembers and becomes
The Self, know this is only like
Awaking from a dream wherein
One has wandered over all the world.

2. One is ever the Self.  To ask oneself
'Who and whereabouts am I?'
Is like the drunken man's enquiring
'Who am I?' and 'Where am I?'

3. The body is within the Self. And yet
One thinks one is inside the inert body,
Like some spectator who supposes
That the screen on which the picture is thrown
Is within the picture.

[Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan]

Arunachala Siva.   


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2010, 09:10:48 AM »

Verse 76 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita says:

Even hearing the Truth, the man of dull intellect does not give
up his delusion.  Though through suppression, he appears devoid
of mental activity, a craving for sense objects lurks within him.

One can get rid of desires only through Self-Knowledge and not
by suppression.

Many devotees have asked Bhagavan Ramana:  "Why am I not
able to get rid of my desires, however much I try or suppress?"
Bhagavan has replied that this was due to absence of strength
or one pointedness of the mind.

In Vichara Sangraham, Bhagavan Ramana has said about the
need for proficiency through graded practice, and to secure a stream of mental modes that is natural and helpful for inquiry.

Muruganar in his GVK Verse 763 says:  Only within a mind that has the strength of a one pointed inward focus will Vichara be perfectly successful.  An impoverished mind that lacks this quality and is
therefore unfit for inquiry will be like green wood offered to the
fire of Jnana Vichara. 

People of dull intellect are like green wood. It will not catch fire.
Bhagavan Ramana has also said in Talks 155 about a piece of coal which takes a long time to be ignited, a piece of charcoal takes a short time and a mass of gunpowder is instantaneously ignited,
and so it is with grades of men coming to Mahatmas.

Arunachala Siva.       


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2010, 09:58:41 AM »

Verse 78 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Samhita says:

For the wise one, who is ever immutable and fearless, where is
there darkness, where is light?  Where, moreover, is there any
loss?  There is nothing whatsoever.

Darkness, light, and other sensuous objects, are possible only
in the domain of duality, but not where is but One, the unchanging

The exotic state of a Brahma Jnani is not easily understood.  He
is in a state where there is no day or night.  Bhagavan Ramana
was in that state, during the initial years, in Arunachaleswara
Temple, Guru Murtam and Mango Grove.  This state continued for
long years.  There was a lady devotee, who used to come on every
Krittika [asterism] day and prostrate to Bhagavan.  Only on the
days she came, He remembered that it was Krittika day, auspicious
day for Muruga. He used to say:  O Amma, you have come, today is Krittika day. Many times, He had no sense of darkness and light
or night and day. He was in transcendental non dual consciousness,
without any duality, completely rid of Jiva Bodham.

Arunachala is an ego-eater, consumer of Jiva bodham.  Arunachala
is called Uyir UNNi. One who swallows the jiva bodham and confers
the Atma Bodham.  Saint Manikkavachagar says in his Decad of
ego-eater, UyiruNNi Pathu:

Verse 3:  I do not know my Jiva.  I do not know how the day
transforms itself into night.  I am beyond the mental modes.
This Master, who is riding on an angry bull, the Lord of Tiruperundurai, has made me an unmatha, and He has made me
like Him, this great Effulgence.

Both Manikkavachagar and Bhagavan Ramana were always in
that state of Sivanandam.

Arunachala Siva. 


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Re: Part 5 - Ashtavakra Gita translated by John Richards
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2010, 10:28:49 AM »

Verse 80 of Chapter XVIII of Ashtavakra Gita:

There is no heaven, and there is no hell.  There is not even
liberation-in-life.  In short, nothing exists in Yogic consciousness.

Heaven and hell are mere mental concepts of Jivas.  Only if this
world is considered real, then the heaven and the hell will be real.
When the world itself is unreal, the other two are as good as unreal.

Very many devotees have talked to Bhagavan Ramana about heaven and hell.  He used to ask: "Tell me, who is telling about this heaven and hell?  Who is telling.  It is the ego that is creating the concepts.  If one could, through heroic self inquiry, banishes the ego, then there is no hell or heaven. 

Muruganar says in GVK Verse 178:

People of the world!  Don't argue and quarrel among yourselves
about the reality of other worlds, that are said to begin with heaven [and include the deva and asura realms].  As long as and to whatever extent this world is real, till then and to that extent
all the other worlds, beginning with heaven, will also be real.

Padamalai verses 1012 and 1014 say:

To whatever extent the world is real, to that same extent, are
other worlds real.

"Only this much can be said about heaven and hell without giving rise to arguments."  So says Padam, the Lord.

In Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, dated 31st Jan 1946, the
following is reported:

Question:  People talk of Vaikunta and Kailasa, Indraloka, Chandraloka etc., Do they really exist?

Bhagavan:  Certainly.  You can rest assured that they all exist.  There is also a Swami like me will be found seated on a couch
and disciples will also be seated around him.  They will also ask something and he will say something in reply.....

Question:  Are the gods Iswara or Vishnu and  their sacred regions like Kailasa or Vaikunta real?

Bhagavan:  As real as you are in this body!

Question:  Where do they exist?

Bhagavan:  In you.

Arunachala Siva.