Author Topic: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough  (Read 756530 times)

Ravi.N

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4305 on: March 09, 2015, 11:59:49 AM »
Anil,

Quote
He Himself later explained that from the very age of innocence Sri Arunachala had shone in His mind as something of surpassing grandeur.


This is what is meant as 'Bhava'.As Sri Bhagavan says -'Annamalaiyai adiyenai Anda anRe,en Avi udal kondAi'-As Annamalai when thou took charge of this 'Adiyen'(One who has taken refuge at your feet') thou didst posess body and soul'.
This 'Adiyen' is the 'servant ego'.

Namaskar.

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4306 on: March 09, 2015, 04:44:08 PM »
Dear Sri Ravi,

I do not feel that Sri Bhagwan maintained any attitude or so called 'bhava' either before His Death Experience or after He was a fully enlightened Sage after the aforesaid Experience. He never taught anybody, I have not seen it anywhere, that  a seeker should maintain any bhava either 'bhava of a das or servant', or for that matter of the Self or Brahma, except in the case of Sri Annamalai Swami whom, it appears to me, He taught to meditate on 'I Am the Self' ( that is, soham bhava), for reason Sri Bhagwan alone knows. As far as Aksharmanamalai is concerned, it is well known that Sri Bhagwan composed this immortal song for the sake of His devotees in general, and for the purpose of begging 'bhiksha' in particular, from the households in Tiruvannamalai. 

Dear Sri Ravi, Sri Bhagwan continued to gaze at the Holy Hill as long as He remained embodied. He identified Sri Arunachala as the Self, and often said that Sri Arunachala was within and not without, and on few occasions even said that the Holy Hill was His Guru.  We know now beyond an iota of doubt that Sri Bhagwan is the Inner Self, guiding us towards Vichara and Knowledge. However, His outward conduct while embodied was the quintessence of the Jnani Bhakta of the Gita. A jnani alone can be true Bhakta, it is said. Sri Bhagwan is Bhagwan Himself, and no motive or attitude or bhava can be attributed to Bhagwan or the Self or God, Sri Bhagwan's exclamation on suddenly realizing that the Holy Hill was real and tangible place on the earth notwithstanding. 

Guru's Name and Form have a special meaning in devotees' lives. Guru is the Self, and therefore not different from the devotees in essence. His Name and Form enable the mind to sink into the Heart. Love for one's Guru in the heart is not ordinary love, it is pure love for the Self, and therefore, cannot be compared.   

Dear Sri Ravi, I feel that your conclusion regarding bhava in Sri Bhagwan's case is not  quite correct.

Sri Bhagwan : From the age of innocence, it had shone in my mind that Sri Arunachala was something of surpassing grandeur, but even when I came to know through another that it was the same as Tiruvannamalai I did not realize its meaning. When It drew me up to it, stilling the mind, and I came close I saw it stand unmoving.


So, it is difficult for us to fathom as to what exactly it was that shook Him when He heard about Sri Arunachala.  But certainly, He did not consciously maintain any attitude or bhava, either before His Enlightenment or after it. He is a perfect Jnani, and a Jnani's mind cannot be ascertained by the ignorant. 

For instance, Sri Bhagwan says in the Verse 98 of the Aksharmanamalai that He had betrayed His (Sri Arunachala's) secret workings.  What are the secret workings of Sri Arunachala? As far as I am concerned the line 'When It drew me up to it, stilling the mind, and I came close I saw it stand unmoving.' means only this:

Sri Bhagwan: The moment you start looking for the self and go deeper and deeper, the real Self is waiting there to take you in. Then whatever is done is done by something else and you have no hand in it. In the process, all doubts and discussions are automatically given up just as one who sleeps forgets, for the time being, all his cares.

THIS  IS,  IN  MY  VIEW,  THE  SECRET  WORKING  OF  SRI  ARUNACHALA  WHICH  SRI  BHAGWAN  BETRAYED.   

Thanks very much, dear Sri Ravi bhai saheb.
Pranam,
  Anil     
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 04:49:25 PM by eranilkumarsinha »

Ravi.N

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4307 on: March 09, 2015, 07:20:38 PM »
Anil,
There seems to be difference on account of how Bhagavan,Paramatman and Brahman are understood-They mean the same.What the Bhakta calls as Bhagavan,what the Yogi calls as paramatman (union of atman with Paramatman)and what the jnani calls as Brahman are one and the same.

Here is an excerpt from The Talks with Ramana Maharshi:
Talk 273.
Dr. Syed asked: I have been reading the Five Hymns. I find that the hymns are addressed to Arunachala by you. You are an Advaitin. How do you then address God as a separate Being?
M.: The devotee, God and the Hymns are all the Self.
D.: But you are addressing God. You are specifying this Arunachala Hill as God.
M.: You can identify the Self with the body. Should not the devotee identify the Self with Arunachala?
D.: If Arunachala be the Self why should it be specially picked out among so many other hills? God is everywhere. Why do you specify
Him as Arunachala?

M.: What has attracted you from Allahabad to this place? What has attracted all these people around?
D.: Sri Bhagavan.
M.: How was I attracted here? By Arunachala. The Power cannot be denied. Again Arunachala is within and not without. The Self is Arunachala.
D.: Several terms are used in the holy books - Atman, Paramatman, Para, etc. What is the gradation in them?
M.: They mean the same to the user of the words. But they are understood differently by persons according to their development.

For Bhagavan,it is arunachala,for Sri Ramakrishna it is kali-They both mean the same.As long as there is a special regard for something shown ,there is bhava involved,even if it be santa bhava.

Namaskar.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 07:37:13 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4308 on: March 09, 2015, 08:26:51 PM »
Anil/Friends,
Here are a couple of excerpts from 'Letters from Sri Ramanasramam' wherein Sri Bhagavan expresses other Bhavas as well:

21st November, 1945 (1) THE SON IS BEHOLDEN TO THE FATHER
Brother, you have asked me to write to you from time to time whatever striking happens in Sri Bhagavan?s presence and what Sri Bhagavan says on such occasions. But am I capable of doing so? Anyway, I will make an attempt and am beginning this very day. The attempt will succeed only if Bhagavan?s Grace is on it.
The day before yesterday being full moon, the usual Deepotsava (festival of lights) was celebrated on a grand scale. This morning Sri Arunachaleswarar started for giri pradakshina (going round the hill) with the usual retinue and devotees and accompaniment of music. By the time the procession reached the Ashram gate, Sri Niranjanananda Swami (the Sarvadhikari) came out with Ashram devotees, offered coconuts and camphor to Sri Arunachaleswarar, and paid homage when the procession was stopped and the priests performed arati (waving of the lights) to the God. Just then Sri Bhagavan happened to be going towards the Gosala (cowshed) and seeing the grandeur he sat down on the pial near the tap by the side of the book depot. The arati plate offered to Arunachaleswarar was brought to Bhagavan by Ashram devotees and Sri Bhagavan took a little Vibhuti (holy ashes) and applied it to his  forehead, saying in an undertone 'Appakku Pillai Adakkam'
(The son is beholden to the father). His voice seemed choked with emotion as he spoke. The expression on his face proved the ancient saying 'bhakti poornathaya Jnanam' (the culmination
of devotion is knowledge). Sri Bhagavan is Lord Siva's son. Sri Ganapati Muni's saying that he is Skanda incarnate, was confirmed. It struck us that Bhagavan was teaching us that since all creatures are the children of Ishwara, even a Jnani should be beholden to Ishwara.

(3) QUARREL BETWEEN UMA AND MAHESWARA
This afternoon, while Viswanath was sitting near Bhagavan along with other devotees, Bhagavan was somehow reminded of an old widow and began to speak about her as follows: (I afterwards learnt that she is the younger sister of Muthu Krishna Bhagavathar who received Sri Bhagavan with kindness and gave him food at Kilur Agraharam.) "That good lady not only gave me a hearty meal, but also, with a loving heart, gave me a parcel of sweetmeats offered as naivedya (offerings to God) to the household God, saying, 'My dear boy, keep this with you carefully and eat the sweetmeats on the way.' She came to see me twice while I was in Virupaksha Cave and used to say, 'My dear boy, look what a state you are in! Your body is golden and you do not even wrap a cloth round it.'" When he spoke in this strain about her motherly affection, I could see that Bhagavan was overflowing with love.
His voice was choked with emotion. That sight reminded me of the saying that the heart of a Jnani is as soft as butter, and once more of the old saying, ?bhakti poornathaya Jnanam? (The
culmination of devotion is knowledge).
Sometime back, while reading that portion in Arunachala Purana where Gautama was extolling Amba, Bhagavan?s eyes were flooded with tears, his voice faltered and he put the
book aside and sank into silence. Whenever any incident full of love takes place, or whenever passages saturated with bhakti are read, we often see Bhagavan thus overwhelmed with emotion. As one goes on observing, one gets confirmed in the view that prema and bhakti (devotion) are merely different aspects of jnana (knowledge).

About a week ago, a story appeared in the magazine Hindu Sundari under the heading 'Paachikalu' (dice). It seems it was taken from the Skanda Purana. Once, even Parvati and Parameswara succumbed to the quarrel-mongering of Narada. 'Lakshmi and Vishnu play dice, so why not you?' said Narada, and egged them on to play. Parvati was enthusiastic over the idea and persuaded Siva to play dice with her. In the game, Siva lost and Parvati was puffed up with pride and spoke slightingly of him. That is the legend.
After reading it, Bhagavan, his heart full of bhakti, asked me, 'Have you read this story?' When I said, 'Yes, Bhagavan,' he said with a voice choked with feeling, 'The holy festival which is annually performed here on Sankaranti day, deals mainly with this quarrel between Uma and Maheswara.'
You know, every year, the divine marriage festival is celebrated here and during those days, if anybody were to speak about the festival in Sri Bhagavan's presence, Bhagavan would usually remark with great feeling, 'This is the marriage festival of Father and Mother.' You know the lives of Mahatmas are full of peculiar incidents. They express in their faces whatever rasa (feeling) is appropriate to the occasion. But what can one say in the presence of the all pervading vijnana rasa which integrates all the other rasas?


Namaskar
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 08:55:07 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4309 on: March 10, 2015, 06:07:26 AM »
Anil/Friends,
We may explore the nature of Bhava(as different than 'bhavana' which is something 'assumed' and not natural to oneself.In Bhava there is no imitation whereas in bhavana there is).We will again take up Appar Swamigal's song:

முன்னம் அவனுடைய நாமங் கேட்டாள் 
   மூர்த்தி யவனிருக்கும் வண்ணங் கேட்டாள்
பின்னை அவனுடைய ஆரூர் கேட்டாள்
   பெயர்த்து மவனுக்கே பிச்சி யானாள்
அன்னையையும் அத்தனையும் அன்றே நீத்தாள்
   அகன்றாள் அகலிடத்தார் ஆசா ரத்தை
தன்னை மறந்தாள்தன் நாமங் கெட்டாள்
   தலைப்பட்டாள் நங்கை தலைவன் றாளே.
(Tirumarai 6,Chapter 25,Verse 7)


Earlier she heard His name.
She heard about His being.
Later she heard of His ArUr (abode)
(Realizing) her isolation, she became mad of Him.
She gave up mother and father that day itself.
Left the manners of the world.
Forgot herself, forgot her name too !
The lady headed only to the Feet of the Lord !

We may see how this perfectly tallies with what Sri Ramakrishna says about Bhava:

Steps of bhakti
First of all one acquires bhakti. Bhakti is single-minded devotion to God, like the devotion a wife feels for her husband. It is very difficult to have unalloyed devotion to God. Through such devotion one's mind and soul merge in Him.Then comes bhava, intense love. Through bhava a man becomes speechless. His nerve currents are stilled. Kumbhaka comes by itself. It is like the case of a man whose breath and speech stop when he fires a gun.But prema, ecstatic love, is an extremely rare thing. Chaitanya had that love. When one has prema one forgets all outer things. One forgets the world. One even forgets one's own body, which is so dear to a man.

Again,in this excerpt ,Sri Ramakrishna validates both jnana and Bhakti(they start off from diametrically opposite points but end up at the same point of thought transcendence-in pure awareness-Ravi)

Mater:(To the pundit) "One can attain spiritual consciousness through both affirmation and negation. There is the positive path of love and devotion, and there is the negative path of
knowledge and discrimination. You are preaching the path of knowledge. But that creates a very difficult situation: there the guru and the disciple do not see each other. Sukadeva went to Janaka for instruction about the Knowledge of Brahman. Janaka said to him: 'You must pay me the guru's fee beforehand. When you attain the knowledge of Brahman you won't pay me the fee, because the knower of Brahman sees no difference between the guru and the disciple.'(No Bhavana needs to be maintained,although in practice The 'Guru' Bhava continues-Ravi)

Different stages of divine love
"Both negation and affirmation are ways to realize one and the same goal. Infinite are the opinions and infinite are the ways. But you must remember one thing. The injunction is that
the path of devotion described by Narada is best suited to the Kaliyuga. According to this path, first comes bhakti; then bhava, when bhakti is mature. Higher than bhava are mahabhava and prema. An ordinary mortal does not attain mahabhava and prema. He who has achieved these has realized the goal, that is to say, has attained God."

This sort of a prema is what is expressed in that appar swamigal's verse,where the 'Lady' soul forgot itself and was merged with the Lord.

Did Sri Bhagavan experience these things?I would say an emphatic 'Yes'.On what basis,one may ask-Just that incident during his boyhood days when he read the Periya puranam and the lives of the Nayanmar saints of yore and how he used to go to the temple  and stand before the deity in an absorbed state  with tears flooding him.

Sri Bhagavan's biographers have not been in a position to highlight the true and deep significance of these incidents-only the so called 'Death experience' is highlighted as if it was a stand alone thing-and has no connection with what went before that.Yet,we know how Sri Bhagavan was always deeply appreciative of periya puranam and the lives and compositions of the 63 saivaite saints.How he deeply appreciated Tiruvachakam of manikka vachakar (full of Bhava) and how he encouraged muruganar who earnestly desired and compose songs on sri Bhagavan akin to tiruvachakam.

It is clear that Sri Bhagavan admitted both the path of self-enquiry(that did not admit 'bhava'-as it was meant for such aspirants) as also the path of surrender(that admitted the bhava approach,and favoured such aspirants naturally inclined as such).

There are some devotees who would go to extremes and say that Sri Bhagavan expounded only self-enquiry and that even the 'path of surrender' that he advocated is only self-enquiry!(a veiled form of it).I do not subscribe to this extreme view which in my opinion is extremely one sided -Just like the Blind men and the elephant story.I do understand that ultimately both the approaches serve to undermine the claims of the 'egoistic outlook' and steep one in awareness.

My approach to sri Bhagavan is what Bhagavan himself has said,did and expressed.I refuse to be sidetracked by how he was perceived by some 'Great devotee'  and what they thought his true teaching was-be it Sri Annamalai swami or anybody else!(Audacious me!).Truth to say,Sri Annamalai swami never ever once attempted to impose his views of Sri Bhagavan upon me,despite our long association.Quite the contrary,he appreciated even the least bit that we shared on Sri Bhagavan.

In my view,all the Hymns that Sri Bhagavan composed on Arunachala are something that serve as a beacon to devotees and are in no way  secondary to his 'ulladu Narpadhu' or other works-from the sadhana perspective.

My sharing all this is not to be 'arguementative' but out of a certain fondness for sharing some of the lesser highlighted aspects of Sri Bhagavan and his path of self surrender as I have understood it.

Namaskar.

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4310 on: March 10, 2015, 06:50:04 AM »
Quote:
"There seems to be difference on account of how Bhagavan,Paramatman and Brahman are understood-They mean the same.What the Bhakta calls as Bhagavan,what the Yogi calls as paramatman (union of atman with Paramatman)and what the jnani calls as Brahman are one and the same."


Dear Sri Ravi,

No. My understanding is also the same. Only thing I know them all as the Self. So, there is no difference on that count. However, there seems to be a little difference on account of our differing views regarding a Jnani's State. As per my understanding whatever a Jnani does, He does spontaneously and automatically, without forethought. When a thought arises in the pure mind, for a specific purpose, it does not leave impressions.

Sri Bhagwan: Can the Sage that dwells in the State of Unity with the Truth, which arises by consuming the ego, and is calm, happy and beyond relativity and is therefore wantless, be bound to do anything whatever in the world? Since He is unaware of anything other than the Self, how can His State--which is mindless--be conceived by the mind?


However, I wish to say that a Jnani is alone the Perfect Bhakta because His love is not divided, and therefore, His Love and Compassion are spontaneous for all forms of life. His State of Unity with the Truth arises after the total effacement of the ego-mind, and therefore, question of maintaining a constant thought as a bhava, in my view, does not arise.

Regarding bhava I wish to add that a bhava of being a 'das' or a servant to God is a thought.  And those who are enquiring in and by the Self naturally are not supposed to entertain any thought other than the thought of the Self (Atma chintanai). Therefore, concept of maintaining an attitude or bhava may be valid in other spiritual practices, but it simply does not apply to Vichara.

Dear Sri Ravi, devotion is natural to me. Only thing I now do not wish to discuss under this topic dualistic devotional practices. I have grasped Sri Bhagwan's Teaching that effacement of the individuality, which even now does not exist, is Devotion, Wisdom and the Quest.  I need only to maintain this clarity with undivided love for the Guru in the heart, and go where His Grace takes me.

Thanks very much, dear Sri Ravi.
Pranam,
  Anil   
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 06:52:47 AM by eranilkumarsinha »

Ravi.N

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4311 on: March 10, 2015, 06:53:15 AM »
Friends,
What is the nature of 'Bhava'?Is it something artificially assumed?We may see what Sri Ramakrishna has to say on this:

"First of all one acquires bhakti. Bhakti is single-minded devotion to God, like the devotion a wife feels for her husband. It is very difficult to have unalloyed devotion to God. Through such devotion one's mind and soul merge in Him.Then comes bhava, intense love. Through bhava a man becomes speechless. His nerve currents are stilled. Kumbhaka comes by itself. It is like the case of a man whose breath and speech stop when he fires a gun.But prema, ecstatic love, is an extremely rare thing. Chaitanya had that love. When one has prema one forgets all outer things. One forgets the world. One even forgets one's own body, which is so dear to a man."

"Love of God, when it is intense and spontaneous, is called ragabhakti. Vaidhi-bhakti, formal devotion, depends on scriptural injunctions. It comes and it goes. But raga-bhakti is like a stone emblem of Siva that has sprung up out of the bowels of the earth. One cannot find its root; they say the root goes as far as Benares."

"This religious fervour is not like rain in the rainy season, which comes in torrents and goes in torrents. It is like an image of Siva that has not been set up by human hands but is a natural one that has sprung up, as it were, from the bowels of the earth."

From the above sayings,it is quite clear that 'bhava' is something that cannot be assumed,cannot be instilled from outside.It has to be discovered in oneself.It cannot be an imitation.How then can we discover it?There is a wonderful verse of Manikka vachakar wherein ,in his inimitable way he brings this out:

நாடகத்தால் உன் அடியார் போல் நடித்து நான் நடுவே
வீடு அகத்தே புகுந்திடுவான் மிகப்பெரிதும் விரைகின்றேன்
ஆடகம் சீர் மணிக்குன்றே இடை அறா அன்பு உனக்கு என்
ஊடு அகத் தேநின்று உருகத் தந்தருள்
எம் உடையானே.

'Midmost of Thy devoted ones, like them in mystic dance to move;
Within Thy home above to gain wish'd entrance, lo, I eager haste !
O golden-glorious Hill of gems ! Give grace, that ceaseless love to Thee.
Our Master, in my heart of hearts, melting my very soul, may 'bide.

This is G U Pope's translation,which does not bring the true essence of this most wonderful verse.The First two lines  may be translated as follows:

In imitation,acting like one of your devotees,amidst them
I hasten to enter thy abode in great haste(in eagerness)

What Manikkavachakar is saying that seeing the Great devotees of the Lord who out of genuine Love and Devotion,he is also 'acting' through mere imitation -and through this imitation he is yet eager to enter the abode of the Lord and be one with him.He says that although,he is only 'acting' ,yet he is eager to be like the other devotees!He then prays that the Lord should grant him 'ceaseless melting Love for Him in his heart'.

What manikkavachakar is saying is that mere thought of devotees and association with them would help discover this 'melting Love' in our heart,provided we are earnest in our approach.At first,it may appear as if we do not have it.We may start as if 'imitating' but sooner or later,it may turn into a genuine discovery.This 'melting Love' is Bhava.(Bhavana may turn into Bhava).

Here is an excerpt from the Gospel where the Master says the same thing about 'Holy company':
DEVOTEE: "What is the good of holy company?"
MASTER: "It begets yearning for God. It begets love of God. Nothing whatsoever is achieved in spiritual life without yearning. By constant living in the company of holy men, the soul becomes restless for God. This yearning is like the state of mind of a man who has someone ill in the family. His mind is in a state of perpetual restlessness, thinking how the sick person may be cured. Or again, one should feel a yearning for God like the yearning of a man who has lost his job and is wandering from one office to another in search of work. If he is rejected at a certain place which has no vacancy, he goes there again the next day and inquires, 'Is there an vacancy today?'

Namaskar

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4312 on: March 10, 2015, 01:01:33 PM »
Dear Devotees,

Sri David Godman  has written in the Introduction to the Chapter on 'Meditation and Concentration'  of his famous book 'Be As You Are'  as following:

Sri Ramana's insistence that awareness of the 'I'-thought was a prerequisite for Self-realization led Him to the conclusion that all spiritual practices which did not incorporate this feature were indirect and inefficient.

"This path (attention to the 'I') is the direct path; all others are indirect ways. The first leads to the Self, the others elsewhere. And even if the latter do arrive at the Self it is only because they lead at the end to the first path which ultimately carries them to the goal. So, in the end, the aspirants must adopt the first path. Why not do so now? Why waste time?"

That is to say, other techniques may sometimes bring one to an inner state of stillness in which self-attention or self-awareness inadvertently takes place, but it is a very roundabout way of reaching the Self.Sri Ramana maintained that other techniques could only take one to the place where self-enquiry starts and so He never endorsed them unless He felt that particular questioners were unwilling to adopt self-enquiry. This is illustrated by a conversation in Sri Ramana Gita in which Sri Ramana explained in detail why self-enquiry was the only way to realize the Self. After listening carefully to Sri Ramana?s explanation the questioner was still unwilling to accept that self-enquiry was the only route to the Self and so he asked if there were any other methods by which the Self could be realized. Sri Ramana replied:


"The goal is the same for the one who meditates on an object and the one who practices self-enquiry. One attains stillness through meditation, the other through knowledge. One strives to attain something; the other seeks the one who strives to attain. The former takes a longer time, but in the end attains the Self."

Not wanting to shake the faith of a man who had a known predilection for subject-object meditation and, having already ascertained that he was unwilling to take up self-enquiry, Sri Ramana encouraged him to follow his own chosen method by telling him that it would enable him to reach the Self. In Sri Ramana's views any method is better than no method since there is always the possibility that it will lead to self-enquiry.
He gave many other similar replies to other people for similar reasons. These replies, which indicate that methods other than self-enquiry or surrender could result in Self-realization, should not be taken at face value since they were given to people who were not attracted to self-enquiry and who wanted to follow their own methods.  When He spoke to other devotees who were not attracted to what He called 'indirect methods', He would usually reaffirm that self-attention was ultimately indispensable.

Although Sri Ramana vigorously defended His views on self-enquiry He never insisted that anyone change their beliefs or practices and, if He was unable to convince His followers to take up self-enquiry, He would happily give advice on other methods.   
Source: Be As You Are





Dear devotees,  Sri Bhagwan always spoke from the State of Realization. Sri Sadhu Natanananda has written that by His insistence on subjective awareness of 'I' as the only means of reaching the Self, He went one step beyond, and thus brought the truth of Vedanta within experience of everyone who would see with clarity and faith,  and follow  it sincerely and earnestly with profound love for the Self.


Thanks very much.
Pranam,
  Anil
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 01:06:11 PM by eranilkumarsinha »

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4313 on: March 11, 2015, 06:31:35 AM »
Quote:
"First of all one acquires bhakti. Bhakti is single-minded devotion to God, like the devotion a wife feels for her husband. It is very difficult to have unalloyed devotion to God. Through such devotion one's mind and soul merge in Him.Then comes bhava, intense love. Through bhava a man becomes speechless. His nerve currents are stilled. Kumbhaka comes by itself. It is like the case of a man whose breath and speech stop when he fires a gun.But prema, ecstatic love, is an extremely rare thing. Chaitanya had that love. When one has prema one forgets all outer things. One forgets the world. One even forgets one's own body, which is so dear to a man."

"Love of God, when it is intense and spontaneous, is called ragabhakti. Vaidhi-bhakti, formal devotion, depends on scriptural injunctions. It comes and it goes. But raga-bhakti is like a stone emblem of Siva that has sprung up out of the bowels of the earth. One cannot find its root; they say the root goes as far as Benares."

"This religious fervour is not like rain in the rainy season, which comes in torrents and goes in torrents. It is like an image of Siva that has not been set up by human hands but is a natural one that has sprung up, as it were, from the bowels of the earth."


Dear Sri Ravi,

Above Words of Grace are deeply inspiring and contagious. Single minded devotion to God culminates in raga-bhakti or eka-bhakti. Since God is Love abiding in the hearts of all, such unalloyed love for God, though very difficult to acquire and is extremely rare, as Sri Paramhamsa Himself said, one  who is fortunate to acquire such love and devotion is certain to experience intense love surging from within in torrents, and not in trickling. Such a one is indeed blessed and graced one, there is no doubt about that.

Dear Sri Ravi bhai saheb, I understand that manifestation of  such intense love is bhava, you are speaking about. Therefore, I feel that you have wonderfully brought about bhava of intense love  which I understand will certainly culminate in Jnana. This is how, in my view, Bhakti leads to complete surrender.

Thanks very much, dear Sri Ravi.
Pranam,
  Anil   


« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 06:39:01 AM by eranilkumarsinha »

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4314 on: March 11, 2015, 06:20:40 PM »
Sri Bhagwan:
True surrender is love of God for the sake of love and for nothing else, not even for the sake of salvation. In other words, complete effacement of the ego  is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this effacement through Self-enquiry or through bhakti marga.
 

Sri Bhagwan has defined surrender thus: 
The spark of spiritual knowledge will consume all creation like a mountain of gunpowder. Since all the countless worlds are built upon the weak or non-existent foundations of the ego, they will disintegrate when the atom-bomb of knowledge falls on them. All talk of surrender is like stealing sugar from a sugar image of Ganesa and then offering it to the same Ganesa. You say that you offer up your body and soul and all your possessions to God, but were they yours to offer? At best you can say: "I wrongly imagined till now that all, which are Yours, were mine. Now I realize that they are Yours, and shall no longer act as though they were mine." And this knowledge that there is nothing but God, or Self, that 'I' and 'mine' do not exist and only the Self exists is spiritual knowledge (jnana). 

   
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 06:23:01 PM by eranilkumarsinha »

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4315 on: March 12, 2015, 10:22:49 AM »
Quote from Sri Ravi:
"Sri Bhagavan's biographers have not been in a position to highlight the true and deep significance of these incidents-only the so called 'Death experience' is highlighted as if it was a stand alone thing-and has no connection with what went before that.Yet,we know how Sri Bhagavan was always deeply appreciative of periya puranam and the lives and compositions of the 63 saivaite saints.How he deeply appreciated Tiruvachakam of manikka vachakar (full of Bhava) and how he encouraged muruganar who earnestly desired and compose songs on sri Bhagavan akin to tiruvachakam.

It is clear that Sri Bhagavan admitted both the path of self-enquiry(that did not admit 'bhava'-as it was meant for such aspirants) as also the path of surrender(that admitted the bhava approach,and favoured such aspirants naturally inclined as such).

There are some devotees who would go to extremes and say that Sri Bhagavan expounded only self-enquiry and that even the 'path of surrender' that he advocated is only self-enquiry!(a veiled form of it).I do not subscribe to this extreme view which in my opinion is extremely one sided -Just like the Blind men and the elephant story.I do understand that ultimately both the approaches serve to undermine the claims of the 'egoistic outlook' and steep one in awareness.

My approach to sri Bhagavan is what Bhagavan himself has said,did and expressed.I refuse to be sidetracked by how he was perceived by some 'Great devotee'  and what they thought his true teaching was-be it Sri Annamalai swami or anybody else!(Audacious me!).Truth to say,Sri Annamalai swami never ever once attempted to impose his views of Sri Bhagavan upon me,despite our long association.Quite the contrary,he appreciated even the least bit that we shared on Sri Bhagavan."







Dear Sri Ravi,

Sri Bhagwan:
True surrender is love of God for the sake of love and for nothing else, not even for the sake of salvation. In other words, complete effacement of the ego  is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this effacement through Self-enquiry or through bhakti marga.
 

Sri Bhagwan :
The spark of spiritual knowledge will consume all creation like a mountain of gunpowder. Since all the countless worlds are built upon the weak or non-existent foundations of the ego, they will disintegrate when the atom-bomb of knowledge falls on them. All talk of surrender is like stealing sugar from a sugar image of Ganesa and then offering it to the same Ganesa. You say that you offer up your body and soul and all your possessions to God, but were they yours to offer? At best you can say: "I wrongly imagined till now that all, which are Yours, were mine. Now I realize that they are Yours, and shall no longer act as though they were mine." And this knowledge that there is nothing but God, or Self, that 'I' and 'mine' do not exist and only the Self exists is spiritual knowledge (jnana).

Sri Bhagwan: There are two ways to surrender; one is looking into the source of the 'I' and merging   into that source; the other is feeling "I am helpless by myself, God alone is all-powerful and except for throwing myself completely on Him there is no other means of safety for me", and thus gradually developing the conviction that God alone exists and the ego does not count. Bothe methods lead to the same goal. Complete surrender is another name for jnana or liberation.








Dear Sri Ravi, you are free to hold and have faith in your conviction, so am I, and for that matter, everyone else. However, I wish to say that the great, old Devotees, particularly those who sat at His Lotus Feet for long time and moved closely with Him, such as Sri Ganapati Muni, Sri Muruganar, Sri Lakshmana Sarma, Prof. Swaminathan, Sri Vishwanatha Swami and many, many others whose sole purpose of life was to record Sri Bhagwan's Teaching faithfully, and to disseminate the same to devotees at large. Sri BHagwan Himself checked the proofs of their writings and compositions before they were sent to the press. So, I also regard their writings, recorded faithfully, as authentic and genuine, and always attach great importance to their understanding and insights.


Dear Sri Ravi, having said as above, I wish to say that I also understand, like you, that Sri Bhagwan indeed admitted Bhakti as a path to Self-realization. There is no doubt about that. Only Sri David Godman, in his book 'Be As You Are' has remarked that in Sri Bhagwan's Teaching of 'two ways of surrender'  (as quoted above), the first method is clearly nothing but the Self-enquiry masquerading under a different name (surrender). Sri Godman says that the second method, of surrendering responsibility for one's life to God, is also related to the path of Enquiry since it aims to eliminate the 'I'-thought by separating it from the objects and actions that an individual is constantly identifying with.

Dear Sri Ravi, I do not accept Sri Godman's view that the second method of surrender as taught by Sri Bhagwan is Self-enquiry. I know that Sri Bhagwan has admitted Bhakti as a path to Realization of the Self. Yes, He defined Bhakti also in term of the Self, as is obvious. But there is no doubt whatever that Sri Bhagwan has taught that love for God  for the sake of love, and not even for the sake of salvation, leads to eka-bhakti or raga-bhakti, as you said. Mind is purified and purified mind merges easily in God of one's devotion, culminating in complete effacement of the ego, which is necessary for God or Self-realization.


Thanks very much, dear bhai saheb.
Pranam,
  Anil     



« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 10:31:34 AM by eranilkumarsinha »

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4316 on: March 12, 2015, 06:35:30 PM »
Sri Bhagwan:
Different seers saw different aspects of truth at different times, each emphasizing one view. Why do you worry about their conflicting statements? The essential aim is to teach the nature of the imperishable Self and show us we are That.




Dear devotees, as I have understood, Sri Bhagwan's chief concern, in each and every case, almost always, was only to enable the seeker to experience an awareness of the Self. His insistence was always on practice rather than mere theory. In my view, He never sought to construct a philosophical theory.

Pranam,
 Anil   
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 06:44:46 PM by eranilkumarsinha »

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4317 on: March 13, 2015, 06:09:14 AM »
Dear devotees, what follow are a few excerpts from a book titled 'Ramana Maharshi, The Crown Jewel of Adavaita', authored by Sri John Grimes who, the book informs, currently spends his time writing and travelling between California and Chennai:



Sri Ramana was a Sage, a jnani, an embodiment of the Self, a momentary appearance of the nameless, formless Reality. It may appear as if He had a birth, a personality, a history, spoke, acted, taught--all the raw material which informs a biography and of which comprise all that ordinary people can and do perceive with their mind and senses--but know that all this is but a tale that a mind that is possessed by the defect of duality tells. In whatever way one perceives Sri Ramana, know that Sri Ramana remains what Sri Ramana is, always has been, and always will be, nameless, formless, indivisible Self.

What are Sri Ramana's contribution to philosophy? HE  BLAZED  FORTH  ANEW  THE  PATH  OF  SELF-ENQUIRY. Through it, anyone, at any place or time, can attain Self-realization. No one is excluded. No one is too low or too high, too small or too great for this path. Even as Sri Ramana's Presence was always accessible to all, so were His Teachings meant for the good of the entire world.
...



Sri Ramana played the role of a Sadguru, as a guide on the spiritual path, as an unfailing friend to all in their inner journey to the Heart. Yet, never once did Sri Ramana refer to Himself as a Guru. He had transcended the Guru-disciple relationship. He had transcended all relationships, all duality.
Sri Ramana did not found any new school of phiolosophy. He taught the ageless truth of Advaita and even to call that truth Advaita is only a concession to the inherent limitations of language. More than an expounder of Advaita, He was a living, breathing embodiment of it.
Sri Ramana has left an indelible footprint on the sands of time by giving a new exposition of the spirit of contemporary Indian philosophy that will continue to reverberate and inspire generations to come. The tradition of Advaita has been renewed, from time to time, by Sages and philosophers. Sri Ramana revealed the Light once again.


Pranam,
  Anil   
   


« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 06:15:27 AM by eranilkumarsinha »

Ravi.N

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4318 on: March 13, 2015, 08:18:54 AM »
Anil/Friends,

Quote
My approach to sri Bhagavan is what Bhagavan himself has said,did and expressed.I refuse to be sidetracked by how he was perceived by some 'Great devotee'  and what they thought his true teaching was-be it Sri Annamalai swami or anybody else!(Audacious me!).Truth to say,Sri Annamalai swami never ever once attempted to impose his views of Sri Bhagavan upon me,despite our long association.Quite the contrary,he appreciated even the least bit that we shared on Sri Bhagavan."

This may require a little bit of explaining-this is not to say that one should not benefit from the lives and words of grace of the devotees of Sri Bhagavan.

For instance,how do we approach the akshara mana malai ?
I had this exchange with one of the devotees who was extracting the writeups of Sri Muruganar and Sri Sadhu om on this wonderful composition of Sri Bhagavan.

நின்னெரி யெரித்தெனை நீறாக் கிடுமுன்
னின்னருண் மழைபொழி யருணாசலா.


O Arunachala, before the fire ( of my intense longing ) for You burns me and reduces
me to ashes,  shower upon me the rain of Your grace(there by enabling me to attain You). verse 55(Michael james Translation based on sri Sadhu Om)

The Devotee had studied Sri Sadhu Om's text(I understand that he could get hold of the original) and translated this as follows:

Quote
Oh aruNaachalaa ! Before You scorch me with Your Fire and burn me (or burn the individuality) to ashes, pour Your rain of Grace on me.

He went on to give this interpretation of Sri Muruganar:
Oh aruNaachalaa ! Before You scorch me with Your Fire of (Self-) Knowledge and make me (my individuality) burn to ashes (my individuality), pour Your rain of Grace on me (so that I may cool down and bear the heat of Your non-dual state)

I do not know how accurate is his translation of Sri muruganar nor have i studied what Sri muruganar had actually written.

This is my response to that devotee:

Thanks very much for the writeup.I beg to differ from that interpretation by Sri Sadhu Om.It is not as if before proposition 1(burning the individuality),Sri Bhagavan is imploring ArunAchala for Proposition 2(Rain the Grace) so as to prepare for 1.
To me in this verse the word பொழி can be taken as பொழிகின்ற.
To me,Sri Bhagavan is acknowledging that much before the dissolution of the individuality takes place,Arunachala's Rain of Grace has been there preparing the devotee through thick and thin.The consummation of this Grace is when the individuality is consumed.

It is not as if before 'Scorching'(by Heat,as if it is a terrible thing!-The interpretation suggests that),there should be the 'Wetting'(Cooling by the rain of Grace).

For me,Sri Bhagavan is simply and Gratefully acknowledging the Fact-
Quote
"Thous Dost rain Thy Grace before burning(not scorching!)my individuality in thy fire(of Grace)O Arunachala!"[/i

When it comes to Akshara MaNa mAlai,i prefer to go with Sri Bhagavan's suggestion;He said-'Take it as it occurs to you'(with devotion-ravi).Many a time I find commentators add something that is not there or that which is not the essence in these Hymns.

The Essence of this verse to me is That long before the individual is even aware -The Grace of Arunachala rains forth and takes him to the final consummation.

Sri Bhagavan had said that there was no mentation when akshara mana malai was composed.He hence advised that one may take it as it occurs to one.
What do these simple words of Sri Bhagavan mean?
Actually a Lot!He does not say -'Go ahead and interpret it as you understand'.
What this means to me is -'Be simple and let the Grace give you the inner essence'.
In reading the words/interpretations of others(be it great devotees) we allow the mind to operate and miss the simplicity and direct flow of grace to reveal the essence.Many a time what Grace directly reveals to us will be superior than latching onto the words of others.
This does not mean being disrespectful to the Great devotees,but only to say that if we put our trust in Grace,the inner essence that it reveals to us will be of greater beauty and significance for us.It will be devoid of all sort of sophistry and mental reasoning and shall benefit us truly.

Similiarly for all other things pertaing to Sri Bhagavan.

Namaskar.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 08:24:06 AM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #4319 on: March 13, 2015, 08:42:35 AM »
Anil/friends,

As a Reply that very good friend of mine wrote:

Dear Ravi: Thanks for your reply. Sorry for the late response.
The meanings given are translations of not only Sri. Sadhu Om SwamigaL's but also of Sri. Muruganar's.

Unfortunately, Sri. S's words are only in the form of bullet points in a written manuscript. In the post, Sri. Muruganar's short meaning (பொழிப்புரை / pozhippurai) is given verbatim in Thamizh and then in
transliterated English and a free-form translation provided by me.
Both the words 'scorch' and 'burn' were used by me in the translation, may be the usage of former in the short meaning makes you think that their original words were themselves conveying that much intensity.

As this is a sthuthi paadal, one is free to interpret however one deems fit; at least, this is how Bhagavan is recorded to have responded when someone approached for the meaning/explanation of a verse in Sri. AAM.
Also, in this specific case, as I see it, your meaning and their meaning are almost the same and both are possible due to
Thamizh's richness. You are saying take 'pozhi' as 'pozhikindra' and take the meaning as a statement: 'the devotee is gratefully acknowledging about the cooling rain of Arunachala's Grace which prepared him earlier (முன்) for the (eventual) ultimate state of burning of individuality'.

Whereas, Sri. S. and Sri. M. have both given the same meaning, but presenting it as a prayer: 'Oh Arunachala prepare me by showering (பொழி) your rain of grace before (முன்) burning my individuality for
the ultimate state of liberation'
Whether the jeeva experiences a scorching or simple burning is known conclusively only to a practitioner who gets there. Till then it is just a conjecture of our minds. A surrendered mind will put implicit trust on Guru's words and progress further.

Please note that unless one is there in that stage where a tremendous amount of fear precedes the non-dual state, one will not be able to either fathom it or accept it. This kind of fear is recorded to have been experienced by some saints; as an example, I am sure you would have read about Swami V's experiences with Bhagavan R's touch.

Here is a glimpse:http://www.hssus.org/sv150/2013/02/sri-ramakrishnas-spiritual-touch/I am sure you will have these directly from the Gospel of Sri. R.
Please note you will see different interpretations getting translated and coming up in the future posts of this verse # 55.

As far as myself, I always feel and take them (these interpretations) this way: these are not points of view for argument or 'to agree or not' but are just for one's own rumination/contemplation for one's own advancement in effacement of their ego.
PS: These are the exact words from Sri. Muruganar's viruthiyurai: (which I shall use to translate more later)

?
Quote
இறைவன் அருளால் ஏற்கனவே இதயம் குளிர்ந்திருந்தால் அல்லது - சித்தம் போதிய அளவில் ஏற்கெனவே
பக்குவப் பட்டிருந்தால் அல்லது - சொரூப ஞானாக்கினிச் சுவாலை சுலபமாகத் தாங்க வொண்ணாதாக, அதி தீக்ஷ்ணமாக உயிரைச் சுட்டெரித்துவிடும் என்பது கொண்டு இவ்வாறு வேண்டினார்.?

- these words may have also influenced me to use the word 'scorch

I translate Sri Muruganar's comment for the reader's benefit:
Unless through the Grace of god,the heart is cooled-that is the mind is made ripe -the Fire of Swarupa Jnana will not be easily put up with,and will subtly burn the jiva-Hence Sri Bhagavan Prayed thus"

I just wrote a brief response:

Quote
Yes,I am one with you on this:
"As this is a sthuthi paadal, one is free to interpret however one deems fit; at least, this is how Bhagavan is recorded to have responded when someone approached for the meaning/explanation of a verse in Sri. AAM"

Also I prefer the interpretation to be free of rationalization of any kind-just that it should foster in the devotee a sense of relationship and spirit of surrender to God.
A Devotee leaves it to God-he does not need to tell God what He should do or how He needs to Bestow Grace.


The point is that no ratiocination is involved in prayer.
Namaskar.