Author Topic: Questions from a Western devotee  (Read 6451 times)

mai_chop_gohok

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2010, 04:20:09 PM »
everything is perfectly clear for u.

I missunderstood and thought u had still questions.

my mistake, sorry

Subramanian.R

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2010, 05:48:06 PM »



Dear Om Hridayam,

Bhagavan Ramana and like Him, some gurus of Hindu dharma
had an open life.  The Old Hall, where Bhagavan Ramana lived
and spoke and slept for 24 hours of the day, was open all the time.
There was no rest time or siesta for Him.  Devotees who had a
delayed train journey had come to see Him at 12 midnight.  He
spoke to them and asked the kitchen workers to heat the remaining food and serve them.  He never wore slippers in His 54 years of life
in Tiruvannamalai.  He never accepted garlands and bouquets.
He never accepted even gifts like a pen or a sandal wood walking
stick.  He is a Phenomenon indeed.  Even Sri Sankara's Maths today, you can not see such gurus and math-heads.  They accept Pada Pujas [devotees clean up the feet, apply kumkum, and place
gold coins and flowers, all non sense] and nice flowers made head gears.  All disrespect to Sri Sankara.  When you follow Sri Sankara who said that even "my body and mind are imaginations - saliva spit by prarabdha", ie. the effect of karmas in previous births, how can a guru who speaks for Sankara accept such adornments?

Bhagavan Ramana is a rare gem, a Ruby of shining brilliance.
His life itself was His teachings. His life and His teachings can
never be separated.  I am not writing this out of any simple blind faith or devotion.  I have studied Him in and out, I mean His teachings. He is a mighty Impersonality.  The gurus who owned Rolls Royces and who wear flowery head gears, or long silken gowns
cannot show a candle to Him.  He taught what He lived.  He lived
what He taught.



Arunachala Siva.

Om Hridayam

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2010, 04:37:17 PM »
I had one other question regarding the significance of Arunachala.
Bhagavan is clear that the Self is not literally located in the heart center described as being on the right hand side of the physical
body, or better said, not to -focus- on that place as the heart is everywhere.... but Arunachala seems to be in certain texts described as a
specific 'location' for the Self or Siva, anyway.... I am a bit confused by this. Both points being mentioned as important in the physical plane
but ultimately the Self is not tied to any one physical area, correct? Just to be aware of them is a blessing, but not to be used as a "meditation focus"?
I find this difficult to verbalize. I hope the question is clear.
Any observations would be appreciated.
Thank you.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2010, 05:02:23 PM »



Dear Om Hridayam,

Bhagavan Ramana said that the Heart-Centre is on the right side
of the chest, only for beginners, since they want a place or centre
for meditation and self inquiry.  At the same time, He has also said
that Self is everywhere and our body and the world itself are in the
Self.  He also indicated that the Heart is the centre not merely for
meditation, but also to investigate where from the mind jumps out. 
When the I rises, one always points out to his right chest,  I am
Subramanian... etc.,  Hence it is rather the place from which I
thought arises.


Similarly for devotees who want a worship of form, since they could not contemplate on formless Brahman, He said then worship
Arunachala and circumambulate the Hill.  He has made it clear in
Sri Arunachala Ashtakam, Verse 3:

When I approach You thinking You have form, You stand here as a
Hill on earth.  If one regarding You as formless, wants yet to see
You, he is like one wandering through the world to have a look at the Space or ether, [ubiquitous, invisible].  Meditating without thought on Your Formless Being, my form and my separate entity
dissolves like a sugar-doll in the sea.  And when I realize who I am, what being have I apart from You, O, You stand as the mighty
Aruna Hill.  [Tr. Prof. K. Swaminathan]     

In the same way, He says in Verse 2 of Sri Arunachala Pancharatnam:

As on a screen a wondrous picture,
On You, fair Hill, is all this world
Formed and sustained and then withdrawn
Ever as 'I' in the Heart you dance.
Hence are You called the Heart.

Here, Arunachala, Heart are to be taken as Atma to understand the verse better.   



Arunachala Siva.

amiatall

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2010, 05:05:48 PM »
Dear Subramanian.R,

That's why Bhagavan Ramana was GURU.
You see, to my mind, the GURU is very rare. The others that are regarded as GURUS , I regard them as Spiritual Teachers.
GURU is quite on a different level. Many so called GURUS came and bowed before Ramana. What does it say to You?
Even Nisargadatta, who is quite rare too, bowed before His nephew (correct me if I am wrong) as a respect for Bhagavan.

I don't want to exaggerate, but truly, I can guarantee, that there is none of such caliber as Ramana was (and IS). You can call that blind faith, but You cannot deny facts.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2010, 06:05:36 PM »



Dear amiatall,

Yes.  Bhagavan taught and lived in an identical manner. He
did not say one thing and lived in another way.  That way, He
is the true representative of Gaudapada and Sri Sankara.  Unlike
Sankara, of course, He did not move out to establish Ramana Centres.  That way He is quite unique.  He was achala, non moving
in true sense of the term like the Hill, He was watching everyday.
Again, He did not write profusely like Sankara.  Perhaps Sankara
was more interested in re-establishing Sanatana Dharma and six
ways of worships, Shanmatha Sthabanam.  Bhagavan Ramana had
no such mission.  His mission, He indirectly tells in Verse 8 of
Sri Arunachala Nava Mani Maalai:

....To rescue me from this barren worldly life, Arunachala Siva in
the form of the Hill, famous throughout the universe, gave me
His own Being, as Awareness might shine forth and His own Power
might flourish [in this world].   



Arunachala Siva.

Om Hridayam

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2010, 11:50:58 PM »
Again, thank you both for responding. My question is not regarding Ramana as Guru... of that I have no questions at all.
I am simply trying to understand how to respond to Arunachala. Clearly there is a great importance attached to this hill in Bhagavan's work.
As a western devotee I am having a hard time understanding this, but I feel this will change in time.

Graham

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2010, 04:56:54 AM »
When I was 16 or 17 years old, an Indian friend of my mother travelled to India to collect some herbs to cure my mother of cancer which was ravaging her body. He told her that they came from a holy mountain and would therefore cure her, but never mentioned the name (my mother could not take the bitter herbs so they were never put to the test). I was intrigued and dismissive that anyone could think of a mountain as holy.

This event stirred something in me, a fascination for India began to develop, but I still did not believe that a lump of rock could be considered holy and that attitude continued even after I read about and became a devotee of Bhagavan years later.

Slowly that attitude mellowed over time, but the uncertainty remained, until I actually came here in 1997 for the first time and experienced the power of this place. It is very real and very subtle at the same time, something that words cannot convey.

It is difficult for most people in the West to be passionate (in the sense of devotion/worship) about a hill of rock ... though I must say that Indians, being a more emotional and sensitive people have no such difficulties.

So my suggestion is to just sit quietly and look at a photo of the hill and you will notice something happening, though you cannot put your finger on it. There is a fascination that slowly grows deep within. Photos of other mountains may evoke the idea of majesty in your mind, but this is something quite different.

Graham

Om Hridayam

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2010, 05:31:50 AM »
You know I hadn't thought of it until now, but most of the places humans consider sacred... are made by humans.
;-)
Kind of makes sense to give a grand, natural and beautiful brushstroke some respect.

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2010, 05:53:16 AM »
 " Ah ! What a wonder ! It ( Arunachala ) stands as an insentient Hill. Its action is mysterious, past human understanding. From the age of innocence it had shone within my mind that 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 realise its meaning. When it drew me up to it, stilling my mind, and I came close, I saw it ( stand) unmoving. "

        Verse-1, Eight Stanzas On Arunachala

Subramanian.R

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Re: Questions from a Western devotee
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2010, 09:22:07 AM »



Yes.  What Graham Boyd said is totally true.  I have got a comp.
which is somewhat old.  So it takes more time for the Hill to appear
in the webcam.  I am restless.  I feel restful only when I see the
Hill in the webcam.  Immediately, I see, sometimes, the drawing
made by Bhagavan Ramana of the Hill.  Thereafter during the day,
I see the webcam photograph atleast 6 times on a day.  The Hill
is mysterious.  It captivates.  It attracts you like a magnet.  Sometimes due to bad weather, the photographs do not appear
anew.  I again grow restless. When the new photo of the Old Hill
appears after good sunshine in T'malai, I become restful.  In the
evenings, depending upon the season, the photograph appears
upto 6.30 PM.  [Nowadays, I see the last photo at 5.59 PM.]
The magnetism of the Hill is indescribable.

Bhagavan got into the net of the Hill the moment He thought of Arunachala. 

Verse 102 of Sri Arunachala Akshara Mana Maalai:

The moment I thought of you as Arunachala, you caught me in the noose of grace.  Can the net of your grace ever fail to catch and
hold its prey, O Arunachala?

Thinking of the name of the Hill is the cause of His abounding
grace.  It is also the consequence of His abounding grace.  One is
caught into the net of bhakti [devotion] and then it takes one
to the death of ego, through the noose of Jnana.  The Hill is
a tiger, and when the prey goes near the tiger, it cannot escape
the tiger's jaw.

I go to T'malai once in at least, 3 months, from Bangalore.  As
the car approaches the Hill, say from 11 kms, one can see the Hill on the Chengam Road.  The moment I see the Hill, I start shedding tears.  Tears, tears all the way....   Only these tears can absorb us
into the Hill of Fire, i.e Arunachala and the Hill of Jnana, Bhagavan
Ramana.  This is my honest experience.

Karunarnavamai karutha kadhi nalgum
Arunachala Sivam eethaam.... [Bhagavan].



Arunachala Siva.