Author Topic: Questions from a Western devotee  (Read 6444 times)

Om Hridayam

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Questions from a Western devotee
« on: December 05, 2010, 05:27:59 AM »
Hello. I am curious about a couple things...
I have a natural devotional feeling towards Ramana and almost all of what he says strikes me very authentic and real. However I have a hard time feeling any kind of devotion towards Arunachala, Shiva or a few things... Now I don't mean I have a feeling of aversion or negative feelings or anything, just more of a neutral feeling. Perhaps in time I will develop devotional feelings toward Arunachala... but at the moment it seems like I'd be "faking it" to pretend I do. Any recommends for a Westerner to help understand what Arunachala really means / is?

Also is there a list of "authorized" or genuine Ramana publications or organizations? There seem to be an endless amount of Advaita teachers these days and I have no interest in anyone other than Ramana.
For example I bought the Ribhu Gita and noticed a bookmark in it from an organization called "Aham" It looked like a Ramana group until I looked closer and realized there was someone who seemed to be presenting themselves as a teacher and promoting someone else who is a student of Papaji... perhaps it may seem as though I am being too exclusive, but the honest truth is that I have been through the wringer with teachers like Rajneesh / Adi Da and others who in hindsight  when compared to Ramana seem little better than counterfeit. Maybe in the big scheme they provide a function, but I am only interested in the purity and simplicity of Ramana.... so to sum up:
Is there a list of authentic, approved Ramana organizations or publications?
Thank you very much for your time.

Om Hridayam

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 05:29:40 AM »
I should add I'm not knocking AHAM... I don't know enough about it... maybe they ARE authentically with Ramana... but looking into them triggered the question I have about who is "authentic"...

mai_chop_gohok

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010, 07:05:17 AM »
have u ever been in tiru ?

I have not been there ever, how should I feel much about that mountain ?

are u a born hindu ?

I´m a born catholic, how should I have much connection with shiva ?

Om Hridayam

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2010, 08:18:31 AM »
I come from a Catholic background, too. I feel a natural devotion for say, St. Therese of Liseaux, but then again I part ways from the Magisterium on many points... for example what can one person possibly do in a finite  lifetime to deserve eternal damnation? etc. etc.
In my view Advaita holds the secret behind all religions. The most simple and pure version.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2010, 09:41:05 AM »



Dear Om Hridayam,

Faith in Bhagavan Ramana as a Teacher and reading His books
published by Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 606 603, India,
would be enough in the beginning.  Siva is a Hindu God and for
a non-Hindu, it might be difficult to accept.  So is Arunachala.
But Bhagavan Ramana has said many times:  Arunachala = Atma =
the Self.  The Self is common to all regardless of religions, is it
not?  Accept Sri Bhagavan and treat Arunachala as your own Self
within and this would do to start with. 

As regards books on Sri Ramana's teachings, and the recorded
conversations of Bhagavan Ramana, with a variety of devotees
including many Westerners, these are available in Sri Ramanasramam.  These would give you further insights.

As regards Ribhu Gita, the best English translation in  verse
is from Nome and H. Ramamoorthy, and published by Society
of Abidance in Truth, SAT,   1834, Ocean Street, Santa Cruz,
California, 95060 U.S.A. Ph: 831-425-7287.



Arunachala Siva.       

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2010, 10:26:45 AM »
  Dear Sri Om hridayam,

      Pranam,

  Sri Subramaniar R will perhaps reply satisfactorily to most of the questions you have raised in your posts. However, I wish to say that, in my view, coming to Bhagwan Sri Ramana is the greatest good that one can ever aspire for in this temporal life on this otherwise  beautiful planet. You can rest assured that time, space and religion are no barrier to come to such an exalted Guru as Bhagwan Sri Ramana.
 
  Dear Sri Om hridayam, when a western devotee lamented, on the eve of his departure away from India, that how would he then be able to soak in the Presence of Sri Arunachala, living in a far away country, at such a vast distance away from Him. Sri Bhagwan reminded him that Sri Arunachala is within you. How can you be away from Him ? Yes, Sri Arunachala is the sacred and the secret Heart-Centre of the all pervading Lord Shiva Himself. Sri Arunachala is the Supreme Consciousness and verily  our own 'True Self. With perseverance everything will, by the Grace of the Guru, come to you naturally  as it has been for so many devotees. There is no doubt it in my mind whatsoever.

             Thank You,
                  Anil   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2010, 11:51:43 AM »



Dear Om Hridayam,

During His years in Tiruvannamalai,  very many devotees of different
religious faiths came to Sri Bhagavan.  Many were Westerners, either Catholics or Protestants.  Bhagavan Sri Ramana recommended change of faith for any of them.  Some of them after spending a few months  with Him, started asking Him whether they should become Hindus. Bhagavan Ramana smiled and said:  Why?  Is it not Atma common to men and women of all faiths?   You can be a good Christian and still do Atma Vicharam, Self Inquiry.  He also said the same thing to many Indian Muslims who came to Him.
One young boy from Karachi came all the way to meet Him.  I think
he was also blind but could recite the entire Koran.  He was impressed by Atma Vicharam and spent some time with Bhagavan  and left for his place.

So was with food habits.  Bhagavan recommended sattvic [vegetarian] food in moderate quantities.  In the Asramam, it was the practice to serve only vegetarian food.  There was also an unwritten rule that inside the Asramam premises, no one should take non vegetarian food.  But many Western devotees could not leave egg and chicken and they went to the restaurants and took such food and then came back to the Asramam to listen to Bhagavan's words.  Arthur Osborne was a classic example. For many years, he could not leave non vegetarian food.  But after many years he became wholly vegetarian.  Major Chadwick was an exceptional case.  He was a vegetarian  even before coming to the Asramam and continued to remain so.

Regarding Arunachala and circumambulation.  Going round the Hill by foot without slippers is considered an auspicious thing even today.  But Bhagavan Ramana did not recommend this to all.
He just said:  "Try it once and then see it efficacy."  Many Indian
and Western devotees started doing what is called pradakshina.
Major Chadwick observes:  "I used to sit on an easy chair and watch the Hill.  Over a period of time, I understood that the Hill is something special and not like any other Hill.  It is magnetic.  It is attracting the souls as God attracts the souls."    The Hill is something very special.  It is [geologically proved] one of the oldest Hill that came along with the formation of globe.  It must be God's own earth.



Arunachala Siva.     
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2010, 11:53:30 AM »



The third line should read:

Bhagavan did not recommend....



Arunachala Siva.

Om Hridayam

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2010, 12:36:48 PM »
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to help.
Certainly I am not "rejecting" everything from my Catholicism... I believe the Catholic Church is best represented by her saints, not the organization. I will always love her many saints... but I also love The Sufi's, various Hindu Saints, Tao Te Ching and other things without feeling a need to become a Sufi, Taoist etc... Much of these things are very close to my heart, though at the end of the day Ramana is "the one" for me...

And I want to learn to follow his "way" as closely (and purely) as possible. My wife is a devout Catholic and she has no interest in Ramana, which is fine (Though it is hard to juggle the food issue as she eats meat and I must admit I have had a hard time quitting myself) My wife's heart is a rare gem and she radiates more love than most people I've met, I have no doubt of her spiritual life, but for me it's Ramana. I simply want to keep to him and not get mixed in with all the other Neo-Advaitins (Or Psuedo Advaitins as I think they are not as pure as Ramana...) Even Nisargadatta, or Robert Adams or others who I may admire, but they are not even close to Ramana, in my opinion.) I also want to avoid literature from those who reported what Ramana said incorrectly, which I have noticed has been mentioned in this forum a few times. That is why I am asking for the pure literature... that which is approved...

Again, thank you all for your time.

mai_chop_gohok

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2010, 12:52:36 PM »
I feel a natural devotion for say, St. Therese of Liseaux
I never had such feelings.

so I don´t expect or miss simular things now.

if there is something like that, great.

if not, pardon me, who cares...

that´s not the point.

the point is to find ur way to deal with everything, no the way of others.

mai_chop_gohok

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2010, 12:56:35 PM »
My wife is a devout Catholic and she has no interest in Ramana...
same here...

for me it´s hell.

zero tolerance, she just blindly hates ramana, spirituality any simular without knowing anything about it.

but maybe u r luckier than me with this.

Om Hridayam

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2010, 01:13:07 PM »
My wife has no ill will towards Ramana or any other religion for that matter. Sorry to hear about your difficulties on that aspect.

You feel (or have felt) no love towards any of the saints? Odd. Most Catholics I know have -some- saint they resonate with.

As for "the point is to find ur way to deal with everything, no the way of others." I do not believe in that kind of relativity
(If I understand you correctly) I see from your myspace page that you are into Rajneesh/Osho? Perhaps that is where you get those ideas?

I live near Oregon and am all too aware of how badly Rajneesh treated the people of the town Antelope that they took over (As well as how badly
Rajneesh treated some of his own people) Also Adi Da had these ideas and forced people to do things that were terrible for his own amusement.

I do not believe that "Going your own way" is worthwhile unless you have a solid understanding of that way being the one Self.
If you understand that everyone is that Self you would never treat them so badly. That is the problem of "your own way" as preached by the neo advaitins.
As was recently published on Luthars excellent website: "In effect Neo-Advaita gives the ego licence, without attenuation, to live on under the justification
of a seductive, hedonistic argument."

If I am misunderstanding you I apologize, but that is my same observation of most neo-advaitins.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2010, 01:19:06 PM »


Dear Om Hridayam,

This story is of interest to you.

As I mentioned earlier, Major Chadwick was a vegetarian even before coming to Bhagavan Ramana.  He remained inside the Asramam in a cottage.  As was usual with any crowd, some one let off a rumor that Major Chadwick was eating non vegetarian food inside his cottage.  Bhagavan Ramana did not believe it. He merely quoted a Tamizh song from a great Siva Saint, which means:

If he is a Siva devotee, even if he eats cow's flesh and comes
from a low caste, I do not care.  I am his devotee's devotee.....

Later, for the satisfaction of others, Bhagavan Ramana sent
Annamalai Swami who was living in another cottage, to find out
quietly whether Major Chadwick was doing so.  Annamalai Swami, a faithful man Friday, went inside Chadwick's cottage, as if he was
having some doubt for clarification and inspected the items inside that cottage. No meat, no meat packet, no remnants in dustbin!  He came and reported to Bhagavan Ramana.  Bhagavan smiled and said: "I know...I know... but for these people's sake...."

Here is another incident, to prove that Bhagavan Ramana took all devotees as they were, no pre-qualification needed.  There was a labourer doing some construction activity, and there was a lady coolie too.  It soon became evident that the man was moving with the lady with amorous pursuits.  Giggling, talking...  The Manager who was a puritan dismissed both right away.  Bhagavan never questioned the Manager, since He was considering Himself only as an inmate and not an authority.  Next day, when He was coming from the Hill, He found two dogs, a male and a bitch, vigorously copulating under a tree.  There were some devotees near Bhagavan.  Bhagavan looked at the 'scene' curiously and then told the devotees standing with Him:

"Now, who is going to dismiss these two?"

Bhagavan sings in one of His songs on Arunachala:

"You are my merit.  You are my deficiency.  I do not care for both.  I only want abundant love to your golden feet."                



Arunachala Siva.

mai_chop_gohok

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2010, 01:59:36 PM »
...I apologize...
no need, at least not to me.

I cannot answer to ur stuff about osho, diskussions about osho are not welcome here at all, but that´s not my business, sorry.

where do u draw the line between advaita and neo-advaita ?

nisargadatta and robert adams are far from ramana u say.

where is that line ?

what about the ppl in ramanas ashram for example, what about nannaguru for example  ?

what about all the traditional hindu stuff like brahmins and pujas done in ramanas ashram ?

that´s advaita and nisargadatta and robert adams not ?

Om Hridayam

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2010, 04:12:13 PM »
Dear Subramanian.R:
Ahhhhh That story is superb! Very, very funny. Thank you.

mai_chop_gohok: "The line" is not something I am determining for you. What I was talking about was my response to them. I do not see them as being the same league as Ramana or even close.
Ramana's light is very, very rare in the history of Spiritual teachings. Sages of his calibre don't come around very often. What he said was simultaneously profoundly new and radical while also lining up perfectly
with pretty much what every scripture has ever said. The Neo Advaitins are echoing -parts- of what he said, but if you read my earlier post the critique is, again, and I quote: "In effect Neo-Advaita gives the ego licence, without attenuation, to live on under the justification of a seductive, hedonistic argument." Ramana lived very simply and fed everyone who came to him. Rajneesh had 365 Rolls Royces -for himself-... see the difference?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 04:15:30 PM by Om Hridayam »