Author Topic: Rough Notebook-Open Forum  (Read 379065 times)

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1140 on: September 13, 2014, 08:36:45 PM »
Friends,
Sri V Ganesan was present during Evening vespers to Sri Ramakrishna at the R K Mutt,Mylapore chennai.We bumped into him again after the vespers on our way to the old shrine.This is the second time in less than a year that we happened to meet him there.
Namaskar.

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1141 on: September 13, 2014, 10:42:09 PM »
"Yes, there is hope, there is hope."

In the year 1907 I went to Tiruvannamalai to have darshan of Bhagavan. I climbed up to the Virupaksha cave. In order to safeguard Bhagavan from the intruding pilgrims of the Kartikai festival, one Krishnayya kept guard at the gate of the cave. So I had to wait outside till Bhagavan came out. He soon came out and went away without even glancing at me. I followed and overtook him. He stopped and looked at me. Words poured out of my mouth, "I am suffering, beset with many diseases. Have mercy on me". He replied, "I am neither a physician nor a magician. What can I do or tell you". Anguish welled up from the depths of my heart, and I said, "I came because I heard of your greatness. Will not my good luck be as great"? He looked at me for a long moment and said, "Go home, have courage. No harm will come to you". And he waved his hand in a peculiar way. Somehow it gave me hope.

Soon I settled at Tiruvannamalai and thus began my daily visits to Bhagavan, sometimes staying for the night with him. One day Bhagavan was sitting all alone in front of Virupaksha cave. A strange emotion got hold of me and I asked him in English, "My Lord, Jesus and other great souls have come down to earth to save sinners like me. Is there hope for me"? Bhagavan seemed moved by my cry of distress. He came closer and said in a quiet voice, "Yes, there is hope, there is hope."

When I returned home a song welled up in my mind and I wrote it down. Since then I wrote songs by Bhagavan's grace. When I brought my first song to Bhagavan and recited it before him, he gave me some instructions in prosody and illustrated them with examples from great Telugu poets. Since them I wrote songs and poems without much thought or effort all the years until Bhagavan's samadhi. Then the spring dried up, for it was not a gift I brought with me. It was all His grace.

~ M. V. Ramaswami Iyer, Ramana Smriti
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Subramanian.R

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1142 on: September 14, 2014, 01:15:54 PM »
Sri Bhagavan says in Who am I? the following:

'I am not the five vital airs.'

The five vital airs are: prana, apana, udana, vyana and samana.  However the Ribhu Gita mentions five more.
These are naaga, kurma, krkara, devadatta and dhananjya. 

Dhananjaya is said to leave the body while only the corpse is burnt.

Arunachala Siva.


Subramanian.R

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1143 on: September 14, 2014, 01:19:44 PM »
The subsidiary vital airs do the following work:

naaga = whose work is belching and the like.

kurma = whose work is shutting and opening the eye-lids.

krkara = whose work is producing hiccups.

devadatta = whose work is yawning and bringing sleep.

dhananjaya = whose work is producing phlegm, swelling, and the like. It pervades the body, and it is said that,
does not leave it, even if the body is dead but leaves only when the corpse is burnt.

Arunachala Siva.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1144 on: September 15, 2014, 08:35:42 AM »
Friends,
Is there a penultimate number to infinity?If there were such a number,Infinity will not be infinity.Similiarly ,there is no ultimate path to infinity-There cannot be a path to the Infinite.The finite has to drop itself to be the Infinite.It is the infinity that has to dissolve the finite.This is what all great ones have taught.
Namaskar.

Nagaraj

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1145 on: September 16, 2014, 08:56:10 PM »
Dear friends,

i have come across in few instances some exchanges with Bhagavan about Sri Aurobindo and about how the philosophies of Sri Bhagavan and that of Sri Aurobindo were different, but i have come to conclusion by my own little bit of exposure that all such differences are not true and that they are one and the very Same!

However maybe, somewhere, some extreme logicians may end up with some proofs of some expressions of both, how they differed but, for me, they are just the dusts of extreme logicians.

But i must admit that it takes a bit more, more time to get in tune with the writing style of Sri Aurobindo. well, atleast for me!

--
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 09:00:22 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1146 on: September 17, 2014, 07:55:34 AM »
Nagaraj/friends,
Yes,there are a few instances in talks with Sri Ramana maharshi wherein persons have asked Sri Bhagavan about Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga.Mostly these were not ones who were well acquainted with the writings of Sri Aurobindo or had practised his yoga-they were ones who had just heard about his integral yoga and wanted to know what Sri Bhagavan had to say on that.I find that Sri Bhagavan had mostly answered with regard to the perspective of the questioner-and not on Sri Aurobindo's Yoga per se.

Here is a typical conversation from the Talks:

M:Aurobindo advises complete surrender. Let us do that first and await results, and discuss further, if need be afterwards and not now. There is no use discussing transcendental experiences by those whose limitations are not divested. Learn what surrender is. It is to merge in the source of the ego. The ego is surrendered to the Self. Everything is dear to us because of love of the Self.The Self is that to which we surrender our ego and let the Supreme Power, i.e., the Self, do what it pleases. The ego is already the Self?s. We have no rights over the ego, even as it is. However, supposing we had, we must surrender them.
D.: What about bringing down divine consciousness from above?
M.: As if the same is not already in the Heart? ?O Arjuna, I am in the expanse of the Heart,? says Sri Krishna ?He who is in the sun, is also in this man?, says a mantra in the Upanishads. ?The Kingdom of God is within?, says the Bible. All are thus agreed that God is within. What is to be brought down? From where? Who is to bring what, and why? Realisation is only the removal of obstacles to the recognition of the eternal, immanent Reality. Reality is. It need not be taken from place to place.
D.: What about Aurobindo?s claim to start from Self-Realisation and develop further?
M.: Let us first realise and then see.
Then Maharshi began to speak of similar theories: The Visishtadvaitins say that the Self is first realised and the realised individual soul is surrendered to the universal soul. Only then is it complete. The part is given up to the whole. That is liberation and sayujya union. Simple Self-Realisation stops at isolating the pure Self, says Visishtadvaita.
The siddhas say that the one who leaves his body behind as a corpse cannot attain mukti. They are reborn. Only those whose bodies dissolve in space, in light or away from sight, attain liberation. The Advaitins of Sankara?s school stop short at Self-Realisation and this is not the end, the siddhas say. There are also others who extol their own pet theories as the best, e.g., late Venkaswami Rao of Kumbakonam, Brahmananda Yogi of Cuddappah, etc.
The fact is: There is Reality. It is not affected by any discussions. Let us abide as Reality and not engage in futile discussions as to its nature, etc.

The pitch of the above conversation is clear-not to 'discuss' mere 'ideas' without focussing on 'Sadhana'.All great ones advocate the path of self surrender and this is the essence.
I agree with Nagaraj and I have not found anything conflicting in these teachings-as far as the essence is concerned.Differences are there in Details and these will always be there.
The Infinite expresses itself in Infinite ways although its essence is the same.
Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1147 on: September 18, 2014, 08:42:03 AM »
Friends,

I have seen the quote of Sri Annamalai Swami a few times in this forum-Udai had quoted this earlier as well.

Quote
You can follow the bhakti path if you want to but you should remember that it is almost impossible for the devotee to judge whether he is making progress or not. You should not jump to the conclusion that you are not making progress with your self-enquiry simply because you find it hard to do. And you should not think that you will make progress as a bhakta simply because you find it easy to generate joyful states of mind.

Swami himself is a great devotee,and his guru Bhakti cannot be inferred from the  books written about him,although I would say that 'Living by the words of Bhagavan' comes closest to it.

A Bhakta is a Bhakta because he cannot help being one-not because he wants to be one.This is how Sri Ramakrishna puts it:

Sign of a true devotee

"Those who have passionate love for God do not say any such thing as: 'O brother, how strict I have been about food! But what have I achieved?' New farmers give up cultivating if their fields do not yield any crops. But hereditary farmers will continue to cultivate their fields whether they get a crop or not. Their fathers and grandfathers were farmers; they know that they too must accept farming as their means of livelihood.

Only those who have developed raga-bhakti for God may be called His sincere devotees. God becomes responsible for them. If you enter your name in a hospital register, the doctor will not discharge you until you are cured. Those who are held by God have nothing to fear. The son who holds to his father, while walking along the narrow ridge of a paddy-field, may slip if he absent-mindedly lets go his father's hand; but if the father holds the son by the hand, there is no such danger.

Is there anything that is impossible for faith? And a true devotee has faith in everything:the formless Reality, God with form, Rama, Krishna and the Divine Mother.

Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1148 on: September 19, 2014, 06:41:37 AM »
Friends,
The most wonderful thing about The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna is that it is for the everyday, ordinary folks and yet the teachings are such that they cover just about everything  about spiritual living;Also there is no hierarchy in the teachings-that exhalts one approach above all and considers others as inferior either overtly or covertly.The emphasis is always on having the right attitude and practising the simplest of things and this very practice will lead to all the rest.

Here is an excerpt:
A DEVOTEE: "Sir, should one first practise discrimination to attain self-control?"
MASTER: "That is also a path. It is called the path of vichara, reasoning. But the inner organs are brought under control naturally through the path of devotion as well. It is rather easily accomplished that way. Sense pleasures appear more and more tasteless as love for God grows. Can carnal pleasure attract a grief-stricken man and woman the day their child has died?"

Efficacy of japa and prayer
DEVOTEE: "How can I develop love for God?"
MASTER: "Repeat His name, and sins will disappear. Thus you will destroy lust, anger, the desire for creature comforts, and so on."
DEVOTEE: "How can I take delight in God's name?"
MASTER: "Pray to God with a yearning heart that you may take delight in His name. He will certainly fulfil your heart's desire."

So saying, the Master sang a song in his sweet voice, pleading with the Divine Mother to show Her grace to suffering men:

O Mother, I have no one else to blame:
Alas! I sink in the well these very hands have dug.
With the six passions for my spade,
I dug a pit in the sacred land of earth;
And now the dark water of death gushes forth!
How can I save myself, O my Redeemer?
Surely I have been my own enemy;
How can I now ward off this dark water of death?
Behold, the waters rise to my chest!
How can I save myself? O Mother, save me!
Thou art my only Refuge; with Thy protecting glance
Take me across to the other shore of the world.

The Master sang again:

What a delirious fever is this that I suffer from!
O Mother, Thy grace is my only cure.
False pride is the fever that racks my wasted form;
"I" and "mine" are my cry. Oh, what a wicked delusion!
My quenchless thirst for wealth and friends is never-ceasing;
How, then, shall I sustain my life?
Talk about things unreal, this is my wretched delirium,
And I indulge in it always, O Giver of all good fortune!
My eyes in seeming sleep are closed, my stomach is
filled With the vile worms of cruelty.
Alas! I wander about absorbed in unmeaning deeds;
Even for Thy holy name I have no taste, O Mother!
I doubt that I shall ever be cured of this malady.

Then the Master said: " 'Even for Thy holy name I have no taste.' A typhoid patient has very little chance of recovery if he loses all taste for food; but his life need not be despaired of if he enjoys food even a little. That is why one should cultivate a taste for God's name. Any name will do-Durga, Krishna, or Siva. Then if, through the chanting of the name, one's attachment to God grows day by day, and joy fills the soul, one has nothing to fear. The delirium will certainly disappear; the grace of God will certainly descend."

continued....


Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1149 on: September 19, 2014, 07:01:55 AM »
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued.....

Parable of the two friends
" 'As is a man's feeling of love, so is his gain.' Once two friends were going along the street, when they saw some people listening to a reading of the Bhagavata. 'Come, friend', said the one to the other. 'Let us hear the sacred book.' So saying he went in and sat down. The second man peeped in and went away. He entered a house of ill fame. But very soon he felt disgusted with the place. 'Shame on me!' he said to himself. 'My friend has been listening to the sacred word of Hari; and see where I am!' But the friend who had been listening to the Bhagavata also became disgusted. 'What a fool I am!' he said. 'I have been listening to this fellow's blah-blah, and my friend is having a grand time.' In course of time they both died.
The messenger of Death came for the soul of the one who had listened to the Bhagavata and dragged it off to hell. The messenger of God came for the soul of the one who had been to the house of prostitution and led it up to heaven.
"Verily, the Lord looks into a man's heart and does not judge him by what he does or where he lives. 'Krishna accepts a devotee's inner feeling of love.'
"In the Kartabhaja sect, the teacher, while giving initiation, says to the disciple, 'Now everything depends on your mind.' According to this sect, 'He who has the right mind find the right way and also achieves the right end.' It was through the power of his mind that Hanuman leapt over the sea. 'I am the servant of Rama; I have repeated the holy name of Rama. Is there anything impossible for me?'-that was Hanuman's faith.

"Ignorance lasts as long as one has ego. There can be no liberation so long as the ego remains. 'O God, Thou art the Doer and not I'-that is knowledge.

"By being lowly one can rise high. The chatak bird makes its nest on low ground, but it soars very high in the sky. Cultivation is not possible on high land; in low land water accumulates and makes cultivation possible".

What is important for sadhana is right attitude and it is immaterial whether one pursues 'dualistic' path or 'nondualistic path'-as the master clearly says and so wonderfully:
By being lowly one can rise high. The chatak bird makes its nest on low ground, but it soars very high in the sky. Cultivation is not possible on high land; in low land water accumulates and makes cultivation possible
Herein lies the essence of Sadhana-'to be low means' -to get rid of all comparisons,all sense of high and low,all sense of achievement,all sense of exclusivity-to take oneself as one finds oneself,and to be totally dependant on God who is all consciousness ,peace and Bliss.God's Grace descends on such a one who is lowly.
To be a devotee does not mean to aim for ecstatic states-to be a devotee is to constantly remember and recall that God is one's very soul and source of all that is Goodness,peace and Bliss-and to be totally dependant on him.Loving remembrance infuses in the devotee the living presence and the more the devotee gives himself over to this presence the more and more it envelops him and this itself becomes the sadhana for him as well as the Sadhya.The True devotee does not 'do' sadhana but he is conscious of the Sadhana that gets done by God's Grace.It is the Grace that does the sadhana for him and it is this Grace itself that is Sadhya for him as well.
Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1150 on: September 19, 2014, 07:25:23 AM »
Friends,
Here is another instance in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna where the master drives home the importance of right attitude,even in this seemingly trivial incident-goes to show that nothing is trivial in life!

The devotees were engaged in a game of golokdham. Hazra joined them. The Master stood by, watching them play. M. and Kishori reached "heaven". Sri Ramakrishna bowed before them and said, "Blessed are you two brothers." He said to M., aside, "Don't play any more." Hazra fell into "hell". The Master said: "What's the matter with Hazra? Again!" No sooner had Hazra got out of "hell" than he fell into it again. All burst into laughter. Latu, at the first throw of the dice, went to "heaven" from "earth". He began to cut capers of joy. "See Latu's joy!" said the Master. "He would have been terribly sad if he hadn't achieved this. (Aside to the devotees) This too has a meaning. Hazra is so vain that he thinks he will triumph over all even in this game. This is the law of God, that He never humiliates a righteous person. Such a man is victorious everywhere."

One of the Joys of reading the Gospel is that one has the blessed company of the Master(there is truly no better satsangha or sadhu sangha than this!)and it is like going on a game of 'Treasure Hunt'-The Treasures are strewn all over its pages but to discover it in the ordinary ,everyday happenings out there-this is in itself a rewarding , educating as well as entertaining experience.
Namaskar

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1151 on: September 19, 2014, 12:21:19 PM »
Hari/Friends,

Quote
There is real difference between the teachings of the different Gurus. But this difference lies in Their minds (inclinations) and words. Actually all of Them speak for the same Goal. The Goal is Eternal Happiness. And I sometimes wonder why we need a Guru to remind us what we want. Is it not obvious that the Happiness is the very deep desire of every living person? Path is not what is important. The Goal is![/
The path is as important as the goal and the Guru gives us the faith,courage and inspiration to walk the path.The Guru is there to awaken us ,so that we do not fall asleep in the world of the senses and get caught up in the dream world of sense happiness.

This is how Sri Aurobindo puts in The Four Aids chapter in his synthesis of Yoga:

The surest way towards this integral fulfilment is to find the Master of the secret who dwells within us, open ourselves constantly to the divine Power which is also the divine Wisdom and Love and trust to it to effect the conversion. But it is difficult for the egoistic consciousness to do this at all at the beginning. And, if done at all, it is still difficult to do it perfectly and in every strand of our nature. It is difficult at first because our egoistic habits of thought, of sensation, of feeling block up the avenues by which we can arrive at the perception that is needed. It is difficult afterwards because the faith, the surrender, the courage requisite in this path are not easy to the ego-clouded soul. The divine working is not the working which the egoistic mind desires or approves; for it uses error in order to arrive at truth, suffering in order to arrive at bliss, imperfection in order to arrive at perfection. The ego cannot see where it is being led; it revolts against the leading, loses confidence, loses courage. These failings would not matter; for the divine Guide within is not offended by our revolt, not discouraged by our want of faith or repelled by our weakness; he has the entire love of the mother and the entire patience of the teacher. But by withdrawing our assent from the guidance we lose the consciousness, though not all the actuality-not, in any case, the eventuality - of its benefit. And we withdraw our assent because we fail to distinguish our higher Self from the lower through which he is preparing his self-revelation. As in the world, so in ourselves, we cannot see God because of his workings and, especially, because he works in us through our nature and not by a succession of arbitrary miracles.Man demands miracles that he may have faith; he wishes to be dazzled in order that he may see. And this impatience, this ignorance may turn into a great danger and disaster if, in our revolt against the divine leading, we call in another distorting Force more satisfying to our impulses and desires and ask it to guide us and give it the Divine Name.

But while it is difficult for man to believe in something unseen within himself, it is easy for him to believe in something which he can image as extraneous to himself. The spiritual progress of most human beings demands an extraneous support, an object of faith outside us. It needs an external image of God; or it needs a human representative, - Incarnation, Prophet or Guru; or it demands both and receives them. For according to the need of the human soul the Divine manifests himself as deity, as human divine or in simple humanity, - using that thick disguise, which so successfully conceals the Godhead, for a means of transmission of his guidance.

The Hindu discipline of spirituality provides for this need of the soul by the conceptions of the Ishta Devata, the Avatar and the Guru. By the Ishta Devata, the chosen deity, is meant, - not some inferior Power, but a name and form of the transcendent and universal Godhead. Almost all religions either have as their base or make use of some such name and form of the Divine. Its necessity for the human soul is evident. God is the All and more than the All. But that which is more than the All, how shall man conceive? And even the All is at first too hard for him; for he himself in his active consciousness is a limited and selective formation and can open himself only to that which is in harmony with his limited nature. There are things in the All which are too hard for his comprehension or seem too terrible to his sensitive emotions and cowering sensations. Or, simply, he cannot conceive as the Divine, cannot approach or cannot recognise something that is too much out of the circle of his ignorant or partial conceptions. It is necessary for him to conceive God in his own image or at some form that is beyond himself but consonant with his highest tendencies and seizable by his feelings or his intelligence. Otherwise it would be difficult for him to come into contact and communion with the Divine.


continued.....

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1152 on: September 19, 2014, 12:24:14 PM »
Sri Aurobindo on The Guru continued......

Even then his nature calls for a human intermediary so that he may feel the Divine in something entirely close to his own humanity and sensible in a human influence and example. This call is satisfied by the Divine manifest in a human appearance, the Incarnation, the Avatar-Krishna, Christ, Buddha. Or if this is too hard for him to conceive, the Divine represents himself through a less marvellous intermediary, - Prophet or Teacher. For many who cannot conceive or are unwilling to accept the Divine Man, are ready to open themselves to the supreme man, terming him not incarnation but world-teacher or divine representative.

This also is not enough; a living influence, a living example, a present instruction is needed. For it is only the few who can make the past Teacher and his teaching, the past Incarnation and his example and influence a living force in their lives. For this need also the Hindu discipline provides in the relation of the Guru and the disciple. The Guru may sometimes be the Incarnation or World-Teacher; but it is sufficient that he should represent to the disciple the divine wisdom, convey to him something of the divine ideal or make him feel the realised relation of the human soul with the Eternal.

The Sadhaka of the integral Yoga will make use of all these aids according to his nature; but it is necessary that he should shun their limitations and cast from himself that exclusive tendency of egoistic mind which cries, "My God, my Incarnation, my Prophet, my Guru," and opposes it to all other realisation in a sectarian or a fanatical spirit. All sectarianism, all fanaticism must be shunned; for it is inconsistent with the integrity of the divine realisation.
On the contrary, the Sadhaka of the integral Yoga will not be satisfied until he has included all other names and forms of Deity in his own conception, seen his own Ishta Devata in all others, unified all Avatars in the unity of Him who descends in the Avatar, welded the truth in all teachings into the harmony of the Eternal Wisdom.
Nor should he forget the aim of these external aids which is to awaken his soul to the Divine within him. Nothing has been finally accomplished if that has not been accomplished. It is not sufficient to worship Krishna, Christ or Buddha without, if there is not the revealing and the formation of the Buddha, the Christ or Krishna in ourselves. And all other aids equally have no other purpose; each is a bridge between man's unconverted state and the revelation of the Divine within him.

continued.....

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1153 on: September 19, 2014, 12:27:22 PM »
Sri Aurobindo on The Guru continued....

The Teacher of the integral Yoga will follow as far as he may the method of the Teacher within us. He will lead the disciple through the nature of the disciple. Teaching, example, influence, -- these are the three instruments of the Guru. But the wise Teacher will not seek to impose himself or his opinions on the passive acceptance of the receptive mind; he will throw in only what is productive and sure as a seed which will grow under the divine fostering within. He will seek to awaken much more than to instruct; he will aim at the growth of the faculties and the experiences by a natural process and free expansion. He will give a method as an aid, as a utilisable device, not as an imperative formula or a fixed routine. And he will be on his guard against any turning of the means into a limitation, against the mechanising of process. His whole business is to awaken the divine light and set working the divine force of which he himself is only a means and an aid, a body or a channel.
 
The example is more powerful than the instruction; but it is not the example of the outward acts nor that of the personal character, which is of most importance. These have their place and their utility; but what will most stimulate aspiration in others is the central fact of the divine realisation within him governing his whole life and inner state and all his activities. This is the universal and essential element; the rest belongs to individual person and circumstance. It is this dynamic realisation that the Sadhaka must feel and reproduce in himself according to his own nature; he need not strive after an imitation from outside which may well be sterilising rather than productive of right and natural fruits.
 
Influence is more important than example. Influence is not the outward authority of the Teacher over his disciple, but the power of his contact, of his presence, of the nearness of his soul to the soul of another, infusing into it, even though in silence, that which he himself is and possesses. This is the supreme sign of the Master. For the greatest Master is much less a Teacher than a Presence pouring the divine consciousness and its constituting light and power and purity and bliss into all who are receptive around him;And it shall also be a sign of the teacher of the integral Yoga that he does not arrogate to himself Guruhood in a humanly vain and self-exalting spirit. His work, if he has one, is a trust from above, he himself a channel, a vessel or a representative. He is a man helping his brothers, a child leading children, a Light kindling other lights, an awakened Soul awakening souls, at highest a Power or Presence of the Divine calling to him other powers of the Divine.

concluded

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1154 on: September 20, 2014, 08:33:08 AM »
Friends,
We will reflect on the following saying of Sri Annamalai swami,to get to the import of what Swami is saying:

Quote
It is always good to worship the Guru, but abiding in the Guru's teaching is far better. You can follow the bhakti path if you want to but you should remember that it is almost impossible for the devotee to judge whether he is making progress or not. You should not jump to the conclusion that you are not making progress with your self-enquiry simply because you find it hard to do. And you should not think that you will make progress as a bhakta simply because you find it easy to generate joyful states of mind. The same consciousness which is within you and within Bhagvan's form is within all forms. We must learn to contact this consciousness by being aware of it all times.

The Following are the key points:
1.It is good to worship the Guru but abiding in the guru's teaching is better.
2.Progress cannot be judged by the devotee.(Be it the path of self-enquiry or Bhakti )
3.Progress cannot be judged by whether something is 'hard to do' or 'Easy to do'.
4.One should not think that one 'will make progress' as a Bhakta simply because one find it easy to 'generate' joyful states of mind.
5.The same consciousness which is within you and within Bhagvan's form is within all forms. We must learn to contact this consciousness by being aware of it all times

It would be useful to ponder on the above points and get as comprehensive an understanding as possible.I will attempt this through a series of posts ,one post for each of the above points-and would then attempt to get to the essence of what Swami is conveying here.

Namaskar.