Author Topic: Rough Notebook-Open Forum  (Read 268541 times)

Nagaraj

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2012, 07:50:36 AM »
The Divine Mother asked Sri Ramakrishna not to be lost in the featureless Absolute but to
remain in bhavamukha, on the threshold of relative consciousness, the border line between
the Absolute and the Relative
.

Dear Sri Ravi,

I am not able to grasp this, why is it meant as being lost in the featureless Absolute? Could there be any losing at any time?

Thank you,

Salutations to Bhagavan
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2012, 08:14:16 AM »
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna and Totapuri continued...
Quote
Totapuri's Lesson
From Sri Ramakrishna Totapuri had to learn the significance of Kali, the Great Fact of the
relative world, and of maya, Her indescribable Power.

About this time Totapuri was suddenly laid up with a severe attack of dysentery.He developed severe stomach pain but  jnani as he was,he could witdraw his mind from the body at will,and stay free from the pain.Sri Ramakrishna as a dear disciple,got the help of a few physicians to administer medicines,but all that was of no avail.Childlike as he is,Sri Ramakrishna told Totapuri-'You are not accepting my Divine Mother.That is why you are suffering'!Yet Totapuri used to consider all that as simply childish.(I am condensing the story short-Those who are interested in details may look up the Book-Sri Ramakrishna,The Great Master-by Swami Saradananda,his direct disciple-Ravi)
One night the pain
became excruciating. He could no longer concentrate on Brahman. The body stood in the
way. He became incensed with its demands. A free soul, he did not at all care for the body.
So he determined to drown it in the Ganges. Thereupon he walked into the river. But, lo!
He walks to the other bank. Is there not enough water in the Ganges? Standing
dumbfounded on the other bank he looks back across the water. The trees, the temples, the
houses, are silhouetted against the sky. Suddenly, in one dazzling moment, he sees on all
sides the presence of the Divine Mother. She is in everything; She is everything. She is in
the water; She is on land. She is the body; She is the mind. She is pain; She is comfort. She
is knowledge; She is ignorance. She is life; She is death. She is everything that one sees,
hears, or imagines. She turns "yea" into "nay", and "nay" into "yea". Without Her grace no
embodied being can go beyond Her realm. Man has no free will. He is not even free to die.
Yet, again, beyond the body and mind She resides in Her Transcendental Absolute aspect.
She is the Brahman that Totapuri had been worshipping all his life.
Totapuri returned to Dakshineswar and spent the remaining hours of the night meditating
on the Divine Mother. In the morning he went to the Kali temple with Sri Ramakrishna and
prostrated himself before the image of the Mother. He now realized why he had spent
eleven months at Dakshineswar.
Bidding farewell to the disciple, he continued on his way,
enlightened.
Sri Ramakrishna later described the significance of Totapuri's lessons: "When I think of the
Supreme Being as inactive - neither creating nor preserving nor destroying -, I call Him
Brahman or Purusha, the Impersonal God. When I think of Him as active - creating,
preserving, and destroying -, I call Him Sakti or Maya or Prakriti, the Personal God. But
the distinction between them does not mean a difference. The Personal and the Impersonal
are the same thing, like milk and its whiteness, the diamond and its lustre, the snake and its
wriggling motion. It is impossible to conceive of the one without the other. The Divine
Mother and Brahman are one.
"
After the departure of Totapuri, Sri Ramakrishna remained for six months in a state of
absolute identity with Brahman. "For six months at a stretch", he said, "I remained in that
state from which ordinary men can never return; generally the body falls off, after three
weeks, like a sere leaf. I was not conscious of day and night. Flies would enter my mouth
and nostrils just as they do a dead body's, but I did not feel them. My hair became matted
with dust
."
His body would not have survived but for the kindly attention of a monk who happened to
be at Dakshineswar at that time and who somehow realized that for the good of humanity
Sri Ramakrishna's body must be preserved. He tried various means, even physical violence,
to recall the fleeing soul to the prison-house of the body, and during the resultant fleeting
moments of consciousness he would push a few morsels of food down Sri Ramakrishna's
throat. Presently Sri Ramakrishna received the command of the Divine Mother to remain on
the threshold of relative consciousness. Soon thereafter he was afflicted with a serious
attack of dysentery. Day and night the pain tortured him, and his mind gradually came
down to the physical plane
.


Hari

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2012, 12:48:47 PM »
Thank you, Sri Ravi. Honestly non of the information you gave in your latter posts were known to me. I didn't know that Totapuri has accepted the Personal God as real aspect of Brahman. Reading your writings I remembered about Kashmir Shaivism. Kashmiri shaivam accept Maya as aspect of Shiva. They consider everything as real because consider it as chaitanya. The first verse of the Shiva Sutras says:

caitanyātmā

which I found to be translated as "The independent state of supreme Consciousness is the Reality of everything". Sri Kemaraja (one of the most prominent kashmiri shaviam) translates it as "The supreme Consciousness is the form (of everything)". I feel that Sri Bhagavan Ramakrishna's view is the same. I'm eagerly waiting your future posts about the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna.
Web Page dedicated to the Great Sages:
https://someoneelsebg.000webhostapp.com/Sages/HTML.html

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2012, 08:48:08 AM »
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna and his Sadhana:
Quote
Sri Ramakrishna as a priest
Born in an orthodox brahmin family, Sri Ramakrishna knew the formalities of worship, its
rites and rituals. The innumerable gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion are the human
aspects of the indescribable and incomprehensible Spirit, as conceived by the finite human
mind. They understand and appreciate human love and emotion, help men to realize their
secular and spiritual ideals, and ultimately enable men to attain liberation from the miseries
of phenomenal life. The Source of light, intelligence, wisdom, and strength is the One alone
from whom comes the fulfilment of desire. Yet, as long as a man is bound by his human
limitations, he cannot but worship God through human forms. He must use human symbols.
Therefore Hinduism asks the devotees to look on God as the ideal father, the ideal mother,
the ideal husband, the ideal son, or the ideal friend. But the name ultimately leads to the
Nameless, the form to the Formless, the word to the Silence, the emotion to the serene
realization of Peace in Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. The gods gradually merge in
the one God. But until that realization is achieved, the devotee cannot dissociate human
factors from his worship.
Therefore the Deity is bathed and clothed and decked with
ornaments. He is fed and put to sleep. He is propitiated with hymns, songs, and prayers.
And there are appropriate rites connected with all these functions. For instance, to secure
for himself external purity, the priest bathes himself in holy water and puts on a holy cloth.
He purifies the mind and the sense organs by appropriate meditations. He fortifies the place
of worship against evil forces by drawing around it circles of fire and water. He awakens
the different spiritual centres of the body and invokes the Supreme Spirit in his heart. Then
he transfers the Supreme Spirit to the image before him and worships the image, regarding
it no longer as clay or stone, but as the embodiment of Spirit, throbbing with Life and
Consciousness. After the worship the Supreme Spirit is recalled from the image to Its true
sanctuary, the heart of the priest. The real devotee knows the absurdity of worshipping the
Transcendental Reality with material articles - clothing That which pervades the whole
universe and the beyond, putting on a pedestal That which cannot be limited by space,
feeding That which is disembodied and incorporeal, singing before That whose glory the
music of the spheres tries vainly to proclaim. But through these rites the devotee aspires to
go ultimately beyond rites and rituals, forms and names, words and praise, and to realize
God as the All-pervading Consciousness
.
Hindu priests are thoroughly acquainted with the rites of worship, but few of them are
aware of their underlying significance. They move their hands and limbs mechanically, in
obedience to the letter of the scriptures, and repeat the holy mantras like parrots. But from
the very beginning the inner meaning of these rites was revealed to Sri Ramakrishna. As he
sat facing the image, a strange transformation came over his mind. While going through the
prescribed ceremonies, he would actually find himself encircled by a wall of fire protecting
him and the place of worship from unspiritual vibrations, or he would feel the rising of the
mystic Kundalini through the different centres of the body. The glow on his face, his deep
absorption, and the intense atmosphere of the temple impressed everyone who saw him
worship the Deity
.
Ramkumar wanted Sri Ramakrishna to learn the intricate rituals of the worship of Kali. To
become a priest of Kali one must undergo a special form of initiation from a qualified guru,
and for Sri Ramakrishna a suitable brahmin was found. But no sooner did the brahmin
speak the holy word in his ear than Sri Ramakrishna, overwhelmed with emotion, uttered a
loud cry and plunged into deep concentration
.
Mathur begged Sri Ramakrishna to take charge of the worship in the Kali temple. The
young priest pleaded his incompetence and his ignorance of the scriptures. Mathur insisted
that devotion and sincerity would more than compensate for any lack of formal knowledge
and make the Divine Mother manifest Herself through the image. In the end, Sri
Ramakrishna had to yield to Mathur's request. He became the priest of Kali.
In 1856 Ramkumar breathed his last. Sri Ramakrishna had already witnessed more than one
death in the family. He had come to realize how impermanent is life on earth. The more he
was convinced of the transitory nature of worldly things, the more eager he became to
realize God, the Fountain of Immortality
.

continued...

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2012, 11:37:21 AM »
Ramana/Friends,
Ramana has asked -What is Sri Ramakrishna's position -Whether 'Nondual' Reality is the ultimate goal of all or whether Visishtadvaitins's devotees goal is also valid.Just what does Sri Ramakrishna say!Good Question and an interesting one!Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Quote
Nitya and Lila
Regaining partial consciousness, Sri Ramakrishna said: "From the Nitya to the Lila and
from the Lila to the Nitya. (To Nityagopal) What is your ideal?"
NITYAGOPAL: "Both are good."
Sri Ramakrishna closed his eyes and said: "Is it only this? Does God exist only when the
eyes are closed, and cease to exist when the eyes are opened? The Lila belongs to Him to
whom the Nitya belongs, and the Nitya belongs to Him to whom the Lila belongs. (To
Mahima) My dear sir, let me tell you
-"
MAHIMA: "Revered sir, both are according to the will of God."
MASTER: "Some people climb the seven floors of a building and cannot get down; but
some climb up and then, at will, visit the lower floors.

"Uddhava said to the gopis: 'He whom you address as your Krishna dwells in all beings. It
is He alone who has become the universe and its living beings.'
"Therefore I say, does a man meditate on God only when his eyes are closed? Doesn't he
see anything of God when his eyes are open?"
MAHIMA: "I have a question to ask, sir. A lover of God needs Nirvana some time or other,
doesn't he?"
(Ramana has asked this question-Ravi!)
The seed of bhakti cannot he destroyed
MASTER: "It can't be said that bhaktas need Nirvana. According to some schools there is
an eternal Krishna and there are also His eternal devotees. Krishna is Spirit embodied, and
His Abode also is Spirit embodied. Krishna is eternal and the devotees also are eternal
.
Krishna and the devotees are like the moon and the stars-always near each other. You
yourself repeat: 'what need is there of penance if God is seen within and without?' Further, I
have told you that the devotee who is born with an element of Vishnu cannot altogether get
rid of bhakti.
Once I fell into the clutches of a jnani, who made me listen to Vedanta for eleven months.
But he couldn't altogether destroy the seed of bhakti in me. No matter where my mind
wandered, it would come back to the Divine Mother. Whenever I sang of Her, Nangta
would weep and say, 'Ah! What is this?' You see, he was such a great jnani and still he
wept. (To the younger Naren and the others) Remember the popular saying that if a man
drinks the juice of the alekh creeper, a plant grows inside his stomach. Once the seed of
bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable: it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and
fruits.
"You may reason and argue a thousand times, but if you have the seed of bhakti within you,
you will surely come back to Hari."
The devotees listened silently to the Master. Sri Ramakrishna asked Mahima, laughing,
"What is the thing you enjoy most?"
MAHIMA (smiling): "Nothing, sir. I like mangoes."
MASTER (smiling): "All by yourself? Or do you want to share them with others?"
MAHIMA (smiling) : "I am not so anxious to give others a share. I may as well eat them
all by myself."
Reality includes both Absolute and universe
MASTER: "But do you know my attitude? I accept both, the Nitya and the Lila. Doesn't
God exist if one looks around with eyes open? After realizing Him, one knows that He is
both the Absolute and the universe. It is He who is the Indivisible Satchidananda. Again, it
is He who has become the universe and its living beings.

Mahimacharan was a staunch advaitin and the Master is taking him head-on!

Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2012, 08:34:31 AM »
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued.

Quote
The First Vision of Kali
And, indeed, he soon discovered what a strange Goddess he had chosen to serve. He
became gradually enmeshed in the web of Her all-pervading presence. To the ignorant She
is to be sure, the image of destruction: but he found in Her the benign, all-loving Mother.
Her neck is encircled with a garland of heads, and Her waist with a girdle of human arms
and two of Her hands hold weapons of death, and Her eyes dart a glance of fire; but,
strangely enough, Ramakrishna felt in Her breath the soothing touch of tender love and
saw in Her the Seed of Immortality. She stands on the bosom of Her Consort, Siva; it is
because She is the Sakti, the Power, inseparable from the Absolute. She is surrounded by
jackals and other unholy creatures, the denizens of the cremation ground. But is not the
Ultimate Reality above holiness and unholiness? She appears to be reeling under the spell
of wine. But who would create this mad world unless under the influence of a divine
drunkenness? She is the highest symbol of all the forces of nature, the synthesis of their
antinomies, the Ultimate Divine in the form of woman. She now became to Sri
Ramakrishna the only Reality, and the world became an unsubstantial shadow. Into Her
worship he poured his soul. Before him She stood as the transparent portal to the shrine of
Ineffable Reality.
The worship in the temple intensified Sri Ramakrishna's yearning for a living vision of the
Mother of the Universe. He began to spend in meditation the time not actually employed in
the temple service; and for this purpose he selected an extremely solitary place. A deep
jungle, thick with underbrush and prickly plants, lay to the north of the temples. Used at
one time as a burial ground, it was shunned by people even during the day-time for fear of
ghosts. There Sri Ramakrishna began to spend the whole night in meditation, returning to
his room only in the morning with eyes swollen as though from much weeping. While
meditating, he would lay aside his cloth and his brahminical thread. Explaining this strange
conduct, he once said to Hriday: "Don't you know that when one thinks of God one should
be freed from all ties? From our very birth we have the eight fetters of hatred, shame,
lineage, pride of good conduct, fear, secretiveness, caste, and grief. The sacred thread
reminds me that I am a brahmin and therefore superior to all. When calling on the Mother
one has to set aside all such ideas." Hriday thought his uncle was becoming insane.
As his love for God deepened, he began either to forget or to drop the formalities of
worship. Sitting before the image, he would spend hours singing the devotional songs of
great devotees of the Mother, such as Kamalakanta and Ramprasad. Those rhapsodical
songs, describing the direct vision of God, only intensified Sri Ramakrishna's longing. He
felt the pangs of a child separated from its mother. Sometimes, in agony, he would rub his
face against the ground and weep so bitterly that people, thinking he had lost his earthly
mother, would sympathize with him in his grief. Sometimes, in moments of scepticism, he
would cry: "Art Thou true, Mother, or is it all fiction - mere poetry without any reality? If
Thou dost exist, why do I not see Thee? Is religion a mere fantasy and art Thou only a
figment of man's imagination?"
Sometimes he would sit on the prayer carpet for two hours
like an inert object. He began to behave in an abnormal manner, most of the time
unconscious of the world. He almost gave up food; and sleep left him altogether.
But he did not have to wait very long. He has thus described his first vision of the Mother:
"I felt as if my heart were being squeezed like a wet towel. I was overpowered with a great
restlessness and a fear that it might not be my lot to realize Her in this life. I could not bear
the separation from Her any longer. Life seemed to be not worth living. Suddenly my
glance fell on the sword that was kept in the Mother's temple. I determined to put an end to
my life. When I jumped up like a madman and seized it, suddenly the blessed Mother
revealed Herself. The buildings with their different parts, the temple, and everything else
vanished from my sight, leaving no trace whatsoever, and in their stead I saw a limitless,
infinite, effulgent Ocean of Consciousness. As far as the eye could see, the shining billows
were madly rushing at me from all sides with a terrific noise, to swallow me up! I was
panting for breath. I was caught in the rush and collapsed, unconscious. What was
happening in the outside world I did not know; but within me there was a steady flow of
undiluted bliss, altogether new, and I felt the presence of the Divine Mother."
On his lips
when he regained consciousness of the world was the word 'mA' (Mother).

continued....

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2012, 08:44:42 AM »
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Quote
God-Intoxicated State
Yet this was only a foretaste of the intense experiences to come. The first glimpse of the
Divine Mother made him the more eager for Her uninterrupted vision. He wanted to see
Her both in meditation and with eyes open. But the Mother began to play a teasing game of
hide-and-seek with him, intensifying both his joy and his suffering. Weeping bitterly during
the moments of separation from Her, he would pass into a trance and then find Her standing
before him, smiling, talking, consoling, bidding him be of good cheer, and instructing him.
During this period of spiritual practice he had many uncommon experiences. When he sat
to meditate, he would hear strange clicking sounds in the joints of his legs, as if someone
were locking them up, one after the other, to keep him motionless; and at the conclusion of
his meditation he would again hear the same sounds, this time unlocking them and leaving
him free to move about. He would see flashes like a swarm of fire-flies floating before his
eyes, or a sea of deep mist around him, with luminous waves of molten silver. Again, from
a sea of translucent mist he would behold the Mother rising, first Her feet, then Her waist,
body, face, and head, finally Her whole person; he would feel Her breath and hear Her
voice. Worshipping in the temple, sometimes he would become exalted, sometimes he
would remain motionless as stone, sometimes he would almost collapse from excessive
emotion. Many of his actions, contrary to all tradition, seemed sacrilegious to the people.
He would take a flower and touch it to his own head, body, and feet, and then offer it to the
Goddess. Or, like a drunkard, he would reel to the throne of the Mother, touch Her chin by
way of showing his affection for Her, and sing, talk, joke, laugh, and dance. Or he would
take a morsel of food from the plate and hold it to Her mouth, begging Her to eat it, and
would not be satisfied till he was convinced that She had really eaten. After the Mother had
been put to sleep at night, from his own room he would hear Her ascending to the upper
storey of the temple with the light steps of a happy girl, Her anklets jingling. Then he
would discover Her standing with flowing hair, Her black form silhouetted against the sky
of the night looking at the Ganges or at the distant lights of Calcutta.
Naturally the temple officials took him for an insane person. His worldly well-wishers
brought him to skilled physicians; but no medicine could cure his malady. Many a time he
doubted his sanity himself. For he had been sailing across an uncharted sea, with no earthly
guide to direct him. His only haven of security was the Divine Mother Herself. To Her he
would pray: "I do not know what these things are. I am ignorant of mantras and the
scriptures. Teach me, Mother, how to realize Thee. Who else can help me? Art Thou not
my only refuge and guide?" And the sustaining presence of the Mother never failed him in
his distress or doubt
. Even those who criticized his conduct were greatly impressed with his
purity, guilelessness, truthfulness, integrity, and holiness. They felt an uplifting influence in
his presence
.
It is said that samadhi, or trance, no more than opens the portal of the spiritual realm. Sri
Ramakrishna felt an unquenchable desire to enjoy God in various ways. For his meditation
he built a place in the northern wooded section of the temple garden. With Hriday's help he
planted there five sacred trees. The spot, known as the Panchavati, became the scene of
many of his visions.

As his spiritual mood deepened he more and more felt himself to be a child of the Divine
Mother. He learnt to surrender himself completely to Her will and let Her direct him.
"O Mother," he would constantly pray, "I have taken refuge in Thee. Teach me what to do
and what to say. Thy will is paramount everywhere and is for the good of Thy children.
Merge my will in Thy will and make me Thy instrument."
His visions became deeper and more intimate. He no longer had to meditate to behold the
Divine Mother. Even while retaining consciousness of the outer world, he would see Her as
tangibly as the temples, the trees, the river, and the men around him.
On a certain occasion Mathur Babu stealthily entered the temple to watch the worship. He
was profoundly moved by the young priest's devotion and sincerity. He realized that Sri
Ramakrishna had transformed the stone image into the living Goddess.
Sri Ramakrishna one day fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to Kali. This was too
much for the manager of the temple garden, who considered himself responsible for the
proper conduct of the worship. He reported Sri Ramakrishna's insane behaviour to Mathur
Babu.
Sri Ramakrishna has described the incident: "The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kali
temple that it was She who had become everything. She showed me that everything was
full of Consciousness. The image was Consciousness, the altar was Consciousness, the
water-vessels were Consciousness, the door-sill was Consciousness, the marble floor was
Consciousness - all was Consciousness. I found everything inside the room soaked, as it
were, in Bliss - the Bliss of God. I saw a wicked man in front of the Kali temple; but in
him also I saw the power of the Divine Mother vibrating. That was why I fed a cat with the
food that was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that all this was the
Divine Mother - even the cat.
The manager of the temple garden wrote to Mathur Babu
saying that I was feeding the cat with the offering intended for the Divine Mother. But
Mathur Babu had insight into the state of my mind. He wrote back to the manager: 'Let him
do whatever he likes. You must not say anything to him.' "

continued...

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2012, 09:14:10 AM »
Friends,
We have seen how Sri Ramakrishna had the vision of Kali ,without any formal initiation by any guru and without any formal teaching.
I will now Post a couple of wonderful comments by swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo on Sri Ramakrishna.

An Excerpt from the wonderful Talk of Swami Vivekananda-My Master:

Quote
This skepticism comes to the Hindu child. It is the skepticism of our country: Is this that we are doing real? And theories will not satisfy us, although there are ready at hand almost all the theories that have ever been made with regard to God and soul. Neither books nor theories can satisfy us, the one idea that gets hold of thousands of our people is this idea of realization. Is it true that there is a God? If it be true, can I see Him? Can I realize the truth?
We have to sense God to be convinced that there is a God. We must sense the facts of religion to know that they are facts. Nothing else, and no amount of reasoning, but our own perception can make these things real to us, can make my belief firm as a rock
This idea took possession of the boy and his whole life became concentrated upon that. Day after day he would weep and say, "Mother, is it true that Thou existest, or is it all poetry? Is the Blissful Mother an imagination of poets and misguided people, or is there such a Reality?" We have seen that of books, of education in our sense of the word, he had none, and so much the more natural, so much the more healthy, was his mind, so much the purer his thoughts, undiluted by drinking in the thoughts of others. Because he did not go to the university, therefore, he thought for himself. Because we have spent half our lives in the university we are filled with a collection of other people's thoughts. Well has Prof. Max Mueller said in the article I have just referred to that this was a clean, original man; and the secret of that originality was that he was not brought up within the precincts of a university.
This is the tremendous thirst that seizes the human heart. Later on, this very man said to me, "My child, suppose there is a bag of gold in one room, and a robber in the next room; do you think that the robber can sleep? He cannot. His mind will be always thinking how to get into that room and obtain possession of that gold. Do you think then that a man, firmly persuaded that there is a Reality behind all these appearances, that there is a God, that there is One who never dies, One who is infinite bliss, a bliss compared with which these pleasures of the senses are simply playthings, can rest contented without struggling to attain It? Can he cease his efforts for a moment? He will become mad with longing." This divine madness seized the boy. At that time he had no teacher, nobody to tell him anything, and everyone thought that he was out of his mind. This is the ordinary condition of things. If a man throws aside the vanities of the world, we hear him called mad. But such men are the salt of the earth. Out of such madness have come the powers that have moved this world of ours, and out of such madness alone will come the powers of the future that are going to move the world.

    So days, weeks, months passed in continuous struggle of the soul to arrive at truth. The boy began to see visions, to see wonderful things; the secrets of his nature were beginning to open to him. Veil after veil was, as it were, being taken off. Mother Herself became the teacher and initiated the boy into the truths he sought.

An Excerpt from Sri Aurobindo's Synthesis of Yoga:
Quote
Ordinarily, the Word from without, representative of the Divine, is needed as an aid ill the work of self-unfolding; and it may be either a word from the past or the more powerful word of the living Guru. fn some cases this representative word is only taken as a sort of excuse for the inner power to awaken and manifest; it is, as it were, a concession of the omnipotent and omniscient Divine to the generality of a law that governs Nature. Thus it is said in the Upanishads of Krishna, son of Devaki, that he received a word of the Rishi Ghora and had the knowledge. So Ramakrishna, having attained by his own internal effort the central illumination, accepted several teachers in the different paths of Yoga, but always showed in the manner and swiftness of his realisation that this acceptance was a concession to the general rule by which effective knowledge must be received as by a disciple from a Guru

Elsewhere Sri Aurobindo again mentions the Essence of Sri Ramakrishna's advent:
Quote
"In a recent and unique example, in the life of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa we see a colossal spiritual capacity first driving straight to the divine realization, taking, as it were, the Kingdom of Heaven by violence, and then seizing upon one Yoga method after another and extracting the substance out of it with an incredible rapidity, always to return to the heart of the whole matter, the realization and possession of God by the power of love, by the extension of inborn spirituality into various experience and by the spontaneous play of an intuitive knowledge. Such an example cannot be generalized. Its object also was special and temporal, to exemplify in the great and decisive experience of a Master-soul the truth, now most necessary to humanity, towards which a world long divided into jarring sects and schools is with difficulty laboring, that all sects are forms and fragments of a single integral truth and all disciplines labor in their different ways towards one supreme experience... Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is the epitome of the whole. His was the great super-conscious life which alone can witness to the infinitude of the current that bears us all oceanwards. He is the proof of the Power behind us, and the future before us."

It is pertinent to note the observations of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo .All the Teachers came to Dakshineswar,after Sri Ramakrishna had the Vision of KAli.They came  on their own,actually drawn by the Divine Mother, and more than teaching sri Ramakrishna,they learnt lessons in their own way.


Nagaraj

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2012, 08:31:44 AM »
Dear Sri Ravi, Friends, This article is found in todays newspaper, will be of much interest to us.

Why get rid of sexual passion? Channel it to access that powerful, divine energy, says SRI RAMAKRISHNA

Seeker: Who is really to blame for sexual obsession and its bondage — men or women?
Ramakrishna: You are male, so I will speak to you about women. To women, I give the same teachings about the spiritual danger and spiritual potential of men. A woman who has awakened in her body and mind, the energy of transcendent wisdom, which is the brilliant healing and enlightening presence of the Goddess, can be a tremendous blessing for a male practitioner — as tantric consort, as consecrated wife, or simply as the inspiring friend of his soul. But a woman who has developed exclusively her biological and social drives, is filled with a subtle energy that can be detrimental to the progress of a male aspirant. Eventually — without either person recognising any danger — she can stifle his aspiration by drowning him in forces of the limited ego world. Precisely, the same facts must be explained to women concerning men.

But this whole universe is miraculously projected by the dream power of the Absolute. It is the coherent, magical display of Mahamaya, the Great Goddess in Her role as cosmic manifestation. The energy of limitation is just as much an organic part of this universal magical display as the energy of liberation. Mother plays as knowledge and as ignorance, so I bow respectfully before both with palms joined, though I salute Her tiger manifestation from a safe distance. Both worldly bondage and spiritual freedom are simply aspects of Mother’s Theatre, Mahamaya, which exists for no reason, not even for the education of souls, because this, too, is simply part of the play. Nonetheless, this Divine Drama is completely beyond any human conception or imagination.

The brilliant feminine energy of wisdom, which incarnates through the bodies and minds of both men and women, cultivates the refined taste for sweet spiritual companionship, for knowledge of oneness, for pure love, for ecstatic union with various revealed forms of Divinity, and for refreshing renunciation of all deceptive, habitual expectations. By contrast, the energy of limitation consists of the random, compulsive play of mind and senses with their objects — an instinctual drive for experience that lacks subtlety and harmony and causes the heart to forget the delight of Divine Reality, the communion that is natural to the human soul. But both currents — the energy of wisdom and the energy of limitation — are simply Mother’s Energy. When only God exists, who is there to praise and who is there to blame?

Seeker: How can I get rid of sexual passion?
Ramakrishna: Why get rid of it? Turn its powerful energy in another direction. Lust is blind, but the Great Delight conferred by the Goddess is ever pure and resplendent….

These apparently opposite energies, knowledge and ignorance, positive and negative, are simply God’s unitary play. I clearly see that Mother has become the sword, the wielder of sword, and sacrificial animal. There is no duality. We appreciate glorious light as well as dense darkness. They enhance one another. When spiritually mature, one can appreciate as sheer divine manifestation both happiness and misery, which depend upon one another to be fully experienced. Some suffering is good. It helps one find the path to Truth and make actual progress. If there were no suffering, how many persons would intensely chant divine names? The cosmic conflict between good and evil is an integral part of Mother’s Drama; Her testing of souls.

Could you enjoy the sweet golden mango pulp if the bitter green skin did not also play its role? The skin is not only inedible, but mildly poisonous, causing pain to some sensitive lips. It must be separated from the fruit with a sharp instrument and discarded, but it is integral to the mango, permitting the process of ripening. The green skin called ignorance, the instinctive grasping of the life force, enables the delicious fruit of the awakened mind to grow and ripen. Appreciate the bitter skin of ignorance as maya, Mother’s magical projection. But do not bite into it. The golden pulp of knowledge is also Her magical projection. There is maya of ignorance and maya of knowledge. Each is integral to the functioning of the other in this theatre of Mahamaya. As timeless awareness, nitya, Mother abides far above, while incarnating fully as lila, Her Cosmic Play.

(Meetings with Ramakrishna by Lex Hixon, MLBD)

Dear Sri Ravi, perhaps you can throw more light on these dialogues of the Master. Also, I felt, if you could avoid using the quote option in your posts about the Master, it would be easy to read.

:)

Salutations to Bhagavan
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 08:35:41 AM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2012, 08:58:07 AM »
Nagaraj,

Quote
Dear Sri Ravi, perhaps you can throw more light on these dialogues of the Master. Also, I felt, if you could avoid using the quote option in your posts about the Master, it would be easy to read

YesFriend.Thanks for your suggestion.I will be too glad to comply.With regard to Lex Hixon's words,they are his words!They are his ideas!I will post from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,which is the only reliable source on the Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna.Why so?I will post what 'M' (Master Mahasaya)had spoken about it.

Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2012, 10:11:53 AM »
For those who wonder why I love The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-Thought I will share a few of my thoughts here.
Firstly it annuls space and time and puts the reader in the palpable presence of the Great Master,right at his feet.The portrayal and narration is as vivid as that.
Leaving aside my adoration of the Master,which may well be my personal preference,what is it that I find in it that is of value to one and all?

1.Precisely in its huge emphasis on the practical aspects of sadhana-in not giving any scope for any sort of speculation in the minds of the seekers.

2.The Master knows all the kinks and bends of the human mind and pitches the teaching at just the right level;Nothing a notch below or above.

3.He does not give room for any sort of hierarchy in Sadhana-thus cutting off all grounds for 'ego trips'.

4.Truly there is nothing that is held back from the seeker;the master gives a clear assurance that a thing well began,however modest and insignificant be that,would inevitably lead to all that one needs to ever know or attain.

5.Even abstract Truths are made so simple and clear to those who are simply curious or interested, with simple and Homely similes or parables.

6.The wonderful songs that fill the volumes that are rich blend of Bhakti/JnAna.

7.The humor of the Master is infectious as well.This book abounds in this as well.


Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2012, 10:35:38 AM »
Friends,

A Friend had wondered about the Authenticity of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna thus:

Quote
As regards Sri Ramakrishna, it was M, who recorded and here again, whether any one corrected them, I am not sure.

I am posting the facts on this topic as in my response given  to this friend:

You have asked whether anyone checked what 'M' had written.
The Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,consort of Sri Ramakrishna  was very much pleased to hear parts of the diary read to her in Bengali, wrote to M.: "When I heard the Kathāmrita, (Bengali name of the book) I felt as if it was he, the Master, who was saying all that."

The following are for your consideration:
1.M wrote it in Bengali and with stenographic precision,using the exact words that Sri Ramakrishna used.This has been the unanimous
view of all those who had been part of the scenes and who have seen Sri Ramakrishna and moved with him.

2.You will find Sri Ramakrishna repeating many of his sayings and these were exactly captured without any censoring.We even find Sri Ramakrishna telling 'm"to clean his tongue.'M' did not omit even this trivial detail because he felt that no word of his master should be left out.If not anything ,it will help to recollect that day's events and keep the memory fresh with the master's presence for ever.

3.Even as a boy of about thirteen, while he was a student in the 3rd class of the Hare School, he was in the habit of keeping a diary. "Today on rising," he wrote inhis diary, "I greeted my father and mother, prostrating on the ground before them".At another place he wrote, "Today, while on my way to school, Ivisited, as usual, the temples of Kāli, the Mother at Tharitharia, and of Mother Sitala, and paid my obeisance tothem." About twenty-five years after, when he met the Great Master in the spring of 1882, it was the sameinstinct of a born diary-writer that made him begin his book, 'unique in the literature of hagiography', with thememorable words: "When hearing the name of Hari or Rāma once, you shed tears and your hair stands on end,then you may know for certain that you do not have to perform devotions such as Sandhya any more."

4.Sri Ramakrishna knew that he was maintaining this diary and used to call him over and repeat what all he told the others in his absence,or he sent someone to call 'M' whenever he felt that 'M' needs to be there and not miss anything!When Ramachandra Datta and Tarak(Swami Shivananda)started keeping diary,Sri Ramakrishna had expressly told them not to maintain such records.Ramachandra datta had infact published the 'sayings of Sri Ramakrishna' in the lifetime of the Master but the Master asked him to desist from doing so.

5.Sri Ramakrishna told 'M':" Mother has told me that you have to do a little of Her work you will haveto teach Bhagavata, the word of God to humanity. The Mother keeps a Bhagavata Pandit with a bondage in theworld!"

6.Besides undergoing spiritual disciplines at the feet of the Master, M. used to go to holy places during the Master's life-time itself and afterwards too as a part of his Sādhanā. He was one of the earliest of the disciples to visitKamarpukur, the birthplace of the Master, in the latter's life-time itself; for he wished to practise contemplation onthe Master's early life in its true original setting. His experience there is described as follows by SwamiNityatmananda: "By the grace of the Master, he saw the entire Kamarpukur as a holy place bathed in an effulgentLight. Trees and creepers, beasts and birds and men all were made of effulgence. So he prostrated to all on theroad. He saw a torn cat, which appeared to him luminous with the Light of Consciousness. Immediately he fell tothe ground and saluted it".

7.Swami Vivekananda had also read the Kathamrita(not all the volumes)and was overjoyed.He wrote to 'M':
It is indeed wonderful. The move is quite original,and never was the life of a Great Teacher brought before the public untarnished by the writer's mind, as you aredoing. The language also is beyond all praise, so fresh, so pointed, and withal so plain and easy. I cannot expressin adequate terms how I have enjoyed them. I am really in a transport when I read them. Strange, isn't it? OurTeacher and Lord was so original, and each one of us will have to be original or nothing. I now understand whynone of us attempted His life before. It has been reserved for you, this great work. He is with you evidently.

I will post next on what M said about how The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna came to be written.




Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2012, 10:59:03 AM »
Friends,
'M' as he styled himself was Mahendranath Gupta,a Householder Disciple of Sri Ramakrishna who came to the Master when he was 27 of Age.He was working as a Teacher in the High School started by the Famous Philanthrophist Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar.How M came to the garden at Dakshineswar lead by his nephew sidhu is a wonderful story by itself.Sidhu tells him that a paramahamsa lives there and together they land up in the Garden temple of Dakshinewar one evening .Actually M was quite depressed and had even contemplated suicide!It was here that they meet Sri Ramakrishna and the Kathamrita starts.M is captivated by the suka like appearance of Sri Ramakrishna and his words of nectar that in an instant put him on track and made him wanting to seek the company of the master and listen to his words more and more.M .being a family man could visit the Master only During weekends and holidays.How to spend the time away from the Master?M started noting down the happenings and conversations with the master in a Diary and used to time in contemplating it.Like Annamalai swami for Bhagavan,M Just Lived and breathed and spoke only the words of sri Ramakrishna-"What can I speak of but his words"!Even after the passing away of sri Ramakrishna this diary was with M and he had not intended it to be published.However after he happened to write a few conversations for a local magazine,people realized what a Gold mine was there and M was persuaded to write the complete work covering a period of 5 years by all his brother disciples.M yielded to this and brought out the final of the 5 part work and just after proof reading and sending it to the press ,M passed away in 1932.

Here is an interesting conversation where M tells Jagabandhu (later Swami Nityatmananda) how Kathamrita was written.Swami Nityatmananda was trained by 'M' to keep a similiar diary and this was brought out as a series of 15 volumes or so-recording conversations of M with other devotees.This conversation is from one such volumes:

M. is reading the proofs while Jagabandhu is holding the copy. In between he converses. Some bhaktas are coming, while the others leave. During the conversation, the subject
of three kinds of evidences of Thakur’s words comes up. So many people write about Thakur. Among these writings, how far each is valuable is commented upon.
M. (to Antevasi) – The first class of evidence is that which is recorded by the writer on the same day after seeing with his own eyes, and hearing with his own ears what
Thakur said or did. The second class is that which is recorded much later though it was heard and seen by the author himself. And the third class is that which was
collected by hearing from others. Along with it there is another class of evidence which one comes across at times. It can be termed as fourth class of evidence. The writer
has mixed up what he himselfWhat the writer himself heard and saw, but did not write it immediately, he has mixed it up with what he heard from somebody else.
M. (to Antevasi) – The Kathamrita is the first class evidence. What I saw Thakur doing with my own eyes and what great sayings I heard from my own ears, I recorded
them in my diary on the same day on returning home. Sometimes I wrote for days together, for there were long conversations on some particular days. I have recorded all
these divine sights and divine words in the Kathamrita. In the main part of the book, I was present in all the scenes narrated therein.
Antevasi – The reminiscences of Ashwini Dutt and the story of Baranagar Math etc. have also found a place in the Kathamrita.
M. – Not in the main text. They are written in the appendices. In the main book, there are all such direct evidences that I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own
ears.
"It is very valuable for the lawyers. They are cultured men, you see. Haven’t you seen what Ashwini Dutt has written? He says, ‘Am I so fortunate as M. that I could write
about Thakur giving the day of the week, the date and the position of the stars?’ Before writing about Thakur he has offered his apology by saying so. Please bring the
Kathamrita."
M. reads out what Ashwini Dutt, a devotee of God and a patriot, has written about Thakur. It forms the appendix to part I of the Kathamrita.
M. (to Jagabandhu) – Just hear what he says. He writes, ‘But I have not come with a fortune such as M. that I should be able to write the day, the date and the time of the
darshan of his holy feet and record exactly all that fell from his blessed lips. I am writing as far as I can remember. It is possible that I may assign the talk of one day to
some other day. Besides, I have forgotten so much.’
A Certain Bhakta – Swami Bhumananda said, ‘Master Mahashay has given three kinds of evidences to dishonour Sarat Maharaj’s Lila Prasanga (Sri Ramakrishna the
Great Master).’
M. (wonder-struck and sad) – What is this? How does he know why it was written? I don’t accept what he says. Let him say what he wants. Who can stop him?

continued....


Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2012, 11:04:43 AM »
M on his writing the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

M' on Kathamrita continued....

M. (to a devotee) – No other Aavatara had [a record] like this. It is not in the world history .
"Swami Vivekananda knew it. He wrote to me, ‘The move is quite original and never was the life of a great teacher brought before the public untarnished by the writer’s
mind as you are doing.’
"The other books which are coming out are all confusing because they contain second and third class evidences.
"This book is the first record in the world containing such an account of the conversations and life of an avatara.
"The coming out of the Kathamrita has done another big good. In future, whosoever writes a diary or a book shall be greatly benefited by knowing about these three classes
of evidences. While writing on any subject, they will be very careful while offering their opinion on it.
"Since ‘the Kathamrita’ has been written on the basis of first class evidence, the lawyers, the scientists and then the wWesterners will be able to appreciate the real value
of this book."
M. (to Antevasi) – Just read the page where these three classes of evidences are talked about.
Antevasi (reads) – (The main portions are).
"First — Direct and recorded on the same day... this kind of version is obtained by direct seeing and hearing — along with the year, the date, the day of the week and the
lunar date.
"Second — Direct but unrecorded at the time of the Master... this kind of version is also very good. The record of the other avataras is generally of this kind..... Herein
there is a greater possibility of mistakes than what is recorded immediately.
"Third — Hearsay and unrecorded at the time of the Master... what one hears about the life from the devotees, all belongs to the third class.
"At the time of the writing Sri Sri Kathamrita M. relied on the first class evidence…"
M. – All these volumes (of the Kathamrita) were written after so much of seeing and hearing. I had to read the Law of Evidence. They do not know it. If there is a slight
mistake in the evidence the whole value of it goes down.
M. (to Antevasi) – Haven’t you read the Law of Evidence, and the Criminal Procedure Code?
Antevasi – Yes Sir, I have read them the way one studies in colleges. I read in broad outlines.
M. – You have seen it. A slight mistake is detected in the evidence and it almost spoils the whole case. The lawyer says to the judge, ‘My Lord, he is not reliable.’
"The force that direct evidence has is not there in what one has heard from somebody. That is why, the judge asks, ‘Did you see it yourself? By seeing and hearing oneself
there is a greater force. And if one says, ‘I have heard it so,’ it has no force.
"I visited the court so often. By seeing and hearing all this I have arrived on this conclusion. (Laughing) W.C. Bannerji once said, ‘My Lord, he is an English speaking
witness.’ Such persons enjoy more respect. They are very reliable because when it goes into the hands of a translator some difference creeps in. It is not exactly the same
."


I will next post on What Aldous Huxley says in his foreword to the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2012, 11:07:07 AM »
Friends,
This is what Aldous Huxley has to say in his foreword to The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna(English translation from the original Bengali):

IN THE HISTORY of the arts genius is a thing of very rare occurrence. Rarer still,
however, are the competent reporters and recorders of that genius. The world has had many
hundreds of admirable poets and philosophers; but of these hundreds only a very few have
had the fortune to attract a Boswell or an Eckermann.
When we leave the field of art for that of spiritual religion, the scarcity of competent
reporters becomes even more strongly marked. Of the day-to-day life of the great
theocentric saints and contemplatives we know, in the great majority of cases, nothing
whatever. Many, it is true, have recorded their doctrines in writing, and a few, such as St
Augustine, Suso and St. Teresa, have left us autobiographies of the greatest value. But, all
doctrinal writing is in some measure formal and impersonal, while the autobiographer tends
to omit what he regards as trifling matters and suffers from the further disadvantage of
being unable to say how he strikes other people and in what way he affects their lives.
Moreover, most saints have left neither writings nor self-portraits, and for knowledge of
their lives, their characters and their teachings, we are forced to rely upon the records made
by their disciples who, in most cases, have proved themselves singularly incompetent as
reporters and biographers. Hence the special interest attaching to this enormously detailed
account of the daily life and conversations of Sri Ramakrishna.
"M", as the author modestly styles himself, was peculiarly qualified for his task. To a
reverent love for his master, to a deep and experiential knowledge of that master's teaching,
he added a prodigious memory for the small happenings of each day and a happy gift for
recording them in an interesting and realistic way. Making good use of his natural gifts and
of the circumstances in which he found himself, "M" produced a book unique, so far as my
knowledge goes, in the literature of hagiography. No other saint has had so able and
indefatigable a Boswell. Never have the small events of a contemplative's daily life been
described with such a wealth of intimate detail. Never have the casual and unstudied
utterances of a great religious teacher been set down with so minute a fidelity. To Western
readers, it is true, this fidelity and this wealth of detail are sometimes a trifle disconcerting;
for the social, religious and intellectual frames of reference within which Sri Ramakrishna
did his thinking and expressed his feelings were entirely Indian. But after the first few
surprises and bewilderments, we begin to find something peculiarly stimulating and
instructive about the very strangeness and, to our eyes, the eccentricity of the man revealed
to us in "M's" narrative. What a scholastic philosopher would call the "accidents" of
Ramakrishna's life were intensely Hindu and therefore, so far as we in the West are
concerned, unfamiliar and hard to understand; its "essence", however, was intensely
mystical and therefore universal. To read through these conversations in which mystical
doctrine alternates with an unfamiliar kind of humour, and where discussions of the oddest
aspects of Hindu mythology give place to the most profound and subtle utterances about the
nature of Ultimate Reality, is in itself a liberal, education in humility, tolerance and
suspense of judgment. We must be grateful to the translator for his excellent version of a
book so curious and delightful as a biographical document, so precious, at the same time,
for what it teaches us of the life of the spirit.