Author Topic: Rough Notebook-Open Forum  (Read 367815 times)

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #960 on: July 10, 2014, 09:41:12 PM »
CONVERSATIONS WITH ANNAMALAI SWAMI

Q. How am I to know if I am making any progress in my meditation?

AS: Those who meditate a lot often develop a subtle form of ego.
They become pleased with the idea that they are making some progress; they become pleased with the states of peace and bliss that they enjoy; they become pleased that they have learned to exercise some control over their wayward minds; or they may derive some satisfaction from the fact that they have found a good guru or a good method of meditation.

All these feelings are ego feelings. When ego feelings are present, awareness of the Self is absent. The thought 'I am meditating? is an ego thought. If real meditation is taking place, this thought cannot arise.

Don't worry about whether you are making progress or not.
Just keep your attention on the Self twenty-four hours a day.
Meditation is not something that should be done in a particular position at a particular time. It is an awareness and an attitude that must persist throughout the day. To be effective, meditation must be continuous.

If you want to water a field you dig a channel to the field and send water continuously along it for a lengthy period of time.

If you send water for only ten seconds and then stop, the water sinks into the ground even before it reaches the field. You will not be able to reach the Self and stay there without a prolonged, continuous effort. Each time you give up trying, or get distracted, some of your previous effort goes to waste.

Continuous inhalation and exhalation are necessary for the continuance of life. Continuous meditation is necessary for all
those who want to stay in the Self.

Living by the Words of Bhagavan
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

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #961 on: July 10, 2014, 09:53:20 PM »
Source
(Guru Ramana Memories & Notes)



Part-1
RETROSPECT

5. MASTER'S INFLUENCE


The influence of Sri Maharshi on genuine seekers, who leave the world behind and turn pilgrims on the path of the Absolute, is great indeed; for such aspirants touch a sympathetic chord in his soul, evoking spiritual responses of great magnitude.

A close friend of mine once related to me his experience when a brief talk with the Master made him stop his fruitless pursuit of the occult and take to the path of knowledge (Jnana), which Bhagavan propounds and which has proved of immense benefit to those who had followed it. I let him use his own words:-

On one of those happy days of July, I decided at last to acquaint the Maharshi with the disturbed state of my mind, after a number of months stay in the Ashram, during which I had listened, reflected and argued with Myself. Having been a keen student of Theosophy for twelve years, I had imbibed notions and theories which conflicted in almost every important respect with the Maharshi's teaching. Theosophy and Vedanta, I discovered, notwithstanding the claim of Theosophy to the country, run along parallels which never meet. Occult Theosophy speaks of spheres and planes, of journeys into planets, of invisible Masters, hierarchies, adepts, rays, supersensuous initiations and meetings, and hardly, if at all, of the Reality, with which the Vedanta and Maharshi exclusively deal, namely, the one Self, one Life, one Existence. In fact seekers are again and again reminded that occult powers are diametrically opposed to the truth they seek.

I was finally convinced that the Maharshi spoke from direct, valid experience, and on that day I made up my mind to speak alone with him, before the hall filled with devotees.

It was eight in the morning. Sri Bhagavan had just entered and had hardily settled in his usual place, when I drew near his sofa and squatted on the bare floor. The attendant alone was present, keeping alive the incense fire and fixing new incense sticks in their silver stand, but he didn't understand English. Nothing I knew gave greater pleasure to the Maharshi than to listen attentively to his devotees spiritual difficulties and give his advice. This knowledge encouraged me to explain to him slowly and briefly in clear, simple English the agitations of my mind. After I finished, he remained pensive for a few seconds and then, in the same language but with considerable deliberation said, Yes, you are right. All preconceptions must go. Practice alone will show you where the truth lies. Stick to only one form of sadhana.

That was a clear point. But apart from the words he uttered, I was suddenly gripped by an overwhelming urge to surrender unreservedly to him to guide me in my spiritual hunger, abandoning all the methods I had previously followed and all the beliefs on which I had built my hopes. My fate and all that I was, passed from that moment into the sacred hands of Sri Bhagavan for ever.

But this was not the only case of spontaneous surrender. Spiritual surrender, we are told, is not a mental, still less an oral act, but the result of Grace, which comes in its own time and of its own accord, to cause the automatic subsidence of that self asserting element in the sadhaka's nature, which stands in his way to ultimate realisation. Sometimes it is sudden, and sometimes so gradual, that the devotee himself may not became aware of it. Grace, though it comes from the Guru by his very presence, is not fortuitous, but fully earned by hard internal fight, by long periods of suffering, prayer, self purification, and intense yearning for release. Suffering turns the mind and eventually draws out the cry from the depths of the soul for the liberating light of Truth, and for the appearance of Divine Teacher, who alone can lead to it and, thus, to Redemption.

S.S.COHEN
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

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #962 on: July 10, 2014, 10:03:14 PM »
Friends,

An excerpt from Sage TGN's talk:

What is Brahmacharya?

The word is actually 'Brahmacharyam' which has been morphed by the Anglophile-Sanskrit fraternity. It is a compound-word resolving as 'Brahman + Aachaaram'. As you already know, Brahman is the Source and Origin of the Universe and is variously called God, the Almighty, Jehovah, Sivam, Vishnu, Govindam and Meiporul. You are, you were and you will be That only. What has happened is that you have forgotten your own Origin after acquiring a physical form and name on arrival here in this Earth. Long associated with the innumerable names and forms here, you hypnotised yourself that you are a mere fraction, puny little being tossed about by the winds and waves of the world-process. The only corrective to this pathetic Ignorance is Remembrance and engaging in the process of reform is what is called spiritual pursuit.

When you travel by train do you forget your destination at any point of time? While being conscious and aware of it, is there any bar to enjoy the pleasures of the train journey such as looking at the changing scenery outside and tasting snacks brought from the pantry car? These enjoyments do not hinder or deflect you from the purpose of the journey.

Likewise, having identified the spiritual Goal, all of your subsequent activities should be rendered conducive to the journey. Your going to school, earning a living and acquiring a family are activities falling in the category.

   

« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 10:05:36 PM by Ravi.N »

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #963 on: July 10, 2014, 10:28:52 PM »
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

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #964 on: July 11, 2014, 11:42:09 AM »
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

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #965 on: July 11, 2014, 12:25:42 PM »
What True surrender is according to Bhagavan Ramana
by , K. Subrahmanian   Source : Unknown , got it from  a FaceBook Page  on Bhagavan Ramana


Surrender means 'surrendering or giving oneself up to another in an especially high degree'. In total surrender, the ego is completely lost. There is no expectation of any reward. There is no seeking of any kind whatsoever. True surrender is the love of God for the sake of love and nothing else, not even for the sake of salvation, says Sri Bhagavan.

Most of us expect God to do us only good once we have surrendered. We are surprised and pained when, despite our surrender, we are faced with problems. When we expect something in return for our surrender, we have not really surrendered. Sri Bhagavan says: "Surrender is not an easy thing. Killing the ego is not an easy thing. It is only when God himself by his Grace draws the mind inwards that complete surrender can be achieved."

When a person has truly surrendered, he has no cares, no desires, no anxieties. He has no will of his own. When Sri Bhagavan left Madurai, he took just the train fare to Tiruvannamalai. When he reached Tiruvannamalai, he threw away the packet of sweets that had been given to him by Muthukrishna Bhagavatar's sister. He was not anxious for the morrow. He tore off from his dhoti a strip for his kaupina and threw away the rest. He did not take an extra kaupina nor did he think of using the remaining cloth as a towel. This is total surrender. He had come to his Father and he? had implicit faith that his bare needs would be looked after. In the early days, there were occasions when Sri Bhagavan was teased and insulted. But he remained unaffected by them as there was no individual to react. The whole life of Bhagavan is a commentary on Surrender.

No human being can be free from problems. Even after we surrender, we shall have problems. But our attitude to problems will change. Sri Bhagavan says: "If you surrender yourself and recognise your individual self as only a tool of the Higher Power, that power will take over your affairs along with the fruits of actions. You are no longer affected by them, and the work will go on unhampered. Whether you recognise the power or not, the scheme of things does not alter. Only there is a change of outlook."


Real surrender is where 'me' is not.
The following Christian hymn tells in simple but moving language what real surrender is:

Make me a captive, Lord,
And then I shall be free;
Force me to render up my sword,
And I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life's alarms
When by myself I stand;
Imprison me within thine arms,
And strong shall be my hand.
My heart is weak and poor
Until its master find;
It has no spring of action sure --
It varies with the wind,
It cannot freely move,
Till thou hast wrought its chain;
Enslave it with thy matchless love
And deathless it shall reign.
My power is faint and low
Till I have learned to serve;
It wants the needed fire to glow,
It wants the breeze to nerve;
It cannot drive the world
Until itself be driven;
Its flag can only be unfurled.
When thou shalt breathe from heaven.
My will is not my own
Till thou hast made it Thine;
If it would reach a monarch's throne
It must its crown resign;
It only stands unbent
Amid the clashing strife.
When on thy bosom it has leant
And found in thee its life.
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

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #966 on: July 11, 2014, 09:13:17 PM »
Sri Ramana Maharshi: ~~Day by Day with Bhagavan, 28-6-46.

In the afternoon Khanna?s wife appealed to Bhagavan in writing:

?I am not learned in the scriptures and I find the method
of Self-enquiry too hard for me.
I am a woman with seven children and a lot of household cares,
and it leaves me little time for meditation.
I request Bhagavan to give me some simpler and easier method.?

Bhagavan:

No learning or knowledge of scriptures is necessary to know the Self,
as no man requires a mirror to see himself.
All knowledge is required only to be given up eventually as not-Self.
Nor is household work or cares with children necessarily an obstacle.
If you can do nothing more,
at least continue saying ?I, I?
to yourself mentally all the time,
as advised in Who am I?,
whatever work you may be doing and
whether you are sitting, standing or walking.

?I? is the name of God.
It is the first and greatest of all mantras.
Even OM is second to it.
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

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #967 on: July 11, 2014, 09:17:39 PM »
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

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #968 on: July 13, 2014, 09:43:47 PM »
"RAMANASHRAM TODAY", by Sri Arthur Osborne( source: Surpassing Love and Grace)

THERE are so many spiritual centres in India that not onlythe foreign tourist but even the Indian devotee may well be excused for wondering which one to visit. However, it is not simply a question of duplication; each one has its own specific character, so that while one meets the need of one person, another provides a haven to someone else.

First of all comes the question of the aim of a spiritual centre, because this decides the sort of people who are likely to be attracted to it. The Maharshi was clearly and solely concerned with guiding people towards Liberation or Self-realisation, that is to moksha [?]. But is this not the case with every Ashram and holy place? Not at all. There are places where people go to pray for a son or a job, to win a lawsuit or pass an examination, to obtain release from sickness or misfortune.

I do not say that no such prayers are ever answered at Ramanashram, but I do say that the Maharshi did not approve of such motives in those who came to him. Rather, he tried to awaken in them the realisation that they were not the suffering body but the eternally blissful Self and thereby to give them serenity even in misfortune.

There are also places where people go in the hope of developing powers, obtaining visions of the deity, reading people's thoughts, curing sickness, and so forth. To all such aspirants the Maharshi was even more discouraging. Not only do such powers not lead to Liberation, but they can actually be an impediment to it, since men become just as attached to them, or to the desire for them, as to worldly wealth and power.

All this implies that Ramanashram is not a place visited by large crowds in search of transient gains. Rather, it is for the serious aspirant who has understood that Liberation is the supreme goal and who seeks the grace and support of the Master to guide him on his way.

Even if the goal is agreed upon, there are various paths or disciplines for approaching it. The Maharshi taught the path of Self-enquiry ? Who am I?? This is not investigating the mind, conscious or subconscious, but seeking the Self underlying the mind. Therefore he said: "There can be no answer to the question; whatever answer the mind gives must be wrong." The answer comes as an awakening of pure consciousness, a current of awareness in the heart.

This is pure jnana [?], but the Maharshi also taught a path of bhakti [?]. He often said: "There are two ways: ask yourself `Who am I?' or submit."
A philosopher could easily prove that these two paths are mutually exclusive. If you seek to realise your identity with the One Universal Self, which is the Absolute, you logically cannot worship a Personal God or Guru at the same time. Logically not, but in real life you can, because you have different moods and are helped by different kinds of approach. Therefore, in spite of logic, the Maharshi said that the two paths are not incompatible; and his devotees have found it so.

It will be seen that both these paths are direct inner disciplines, independent of ritual; so here we have another characteristic of Ramanashram. There is a minimum of ritual and organisation there. People go and sit silent in meditation before the Maharshi's shrine or in the hall where he sat for so many years with his devotees. They walk on the sacred mountain, Arunachala, or sit in their rooms. They visit or talk.

They arrange to take their meals at the Ashram or prepare their own food, as they choose. There is scarcely any outer discipline. The Vedas are chanted in front of the shrine, morning and evening, as they used to be in the Maharshi's presence in his lifetime, but even for this attendance is not compulsory. And those who do attend sit together, shoulder to shoulder, brahmin and non- brahmin, Hindu and foreigner, which would not please those who make a fetish of orthodoxy. This, however, does not imply laxity; the discipline comes from within.

Pure jnana marga [?] and pure bhakti marga though it is, the Maharshi's path contains a strong element of karma marga [?] also, since he expects his devotees to follow it in the life of the world. Time and again someone would come to him and ask his authorisation to renounce the world, and he would not give it.

"Why do you think you are a householder? The similar thought that you are a sannyasin [?] will haunt you even if you go forth as one. Whether you continue in the household or renounce it and go to live in the forest, your mind haunts you. The ego is the source of thought. It creates the body and the world and makes you think of being a householder. If you renounce, it will only substitute the thought of renunciation for that of the family and the environment of the forest for that of the household. But the mental obstacles are always there for you. They even increase greatly in the new surroundings. Change of environment is no help. The one obstacle is the mind, and this must be overcome whether in the home or in the forest. If you can do it in the forest, why not in the home? So why change the environment?"

How does this affect Ramanashram? In the first place, it means that there are few sadhus or sannyasins to be found there. Also, not many of the Maharshi's devotees live there permanently. Most of them pursue their professional life in the world, practising his sadhana [?] invisibly, without form or ritual,and only coming to Tiruvannamalai from time to time, to recharge the batteries, so to speak. Thinking of them, a doctor, an engineer, a professor, a bank manager, an editor, a cinema proprietor and many others come to mind. When it becomes appropriate for one of them to retire from active life in the world and settle down at Tiruvannamalai, circumstances become propitious. It just happens so. Visitors tend, therefore, to be such as have pledged their life to silent, invisible sadhana [?] while performing their obligations in the world, and who seek the grace of the Maharshi, the power of his support, to aid them in doing so.

Another result of the formless, essential nature of the Maharshi's path is the large proportion of foreigners both among the visitors and the resident devotees. There is no need to be a Hindu to follow it. Anyone, whatever religion he professes, whether he professes any formal religion or not, can practise Self-enquiry or can worship and submit. Therefore the Maharshi never expected any of his devotees to change from one religion to another. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Parsis came to him, as well as Hindus. Some continued to practise the forms of their religions, others not; it was up to them.

Mr. Evans-Wentz, the well-known writer on Tibetan Buddhism, visited the Maharshi and asked whether he recommended any special methods for Europeans, and he replied: "It depends on the mental equipment of the individual. There are no hard and fast rules." Each aspirant was guided and helped according to his aptitude, not on any basis of race, caste, sex or religion.

While the present article was being written, it so happened that the Ashram received a letter from an American woman who never saw the Maharshi, and indeed has never been to India, containing the following message:

"Great blessing and benediction was unexpectedly mine.

At 7 a.m., just before waking, a vivid vision of Maharshi, potent and powerful, was vouchsafed briefly to me, in colour. Yes, I know visions are not our aim and goal. However, the depth of surrender, ecstasy, awe, wave after wave, deeper and deeper ? wave after wave of Bliss ineffable ? was overwhelming, wonderful and encouraging: almost all vestige of mind was gone. The veil into Self was delicate, tenuous-thin. Of course, thankful, humble and grateful, my dedication deepens greatly after this. The import and impact of it is with me still."

Of course. Is it any wonder that people turn to him from all parts of
the world? Even from behind the Iron Curtain letters come.


Normally, it has been possible for any spiritual aspirant in any religion to find guidance within the framework of his own tradition. Today it is no longer easy, if at all possible, to find a guide in any religion who has himself attained the heights and can guide others thereto. Nor is it easy, even though one had such a guide, to follow any strictly orthodox path in the conditions of the modern world. However, the divine grace always provides an answer to man's needs, and in this age has appeared on earth the supreme guide, bringing a path to be followed invisibly by anyone who gives his heart to it.

The Maharshi often reminded those who came to him that they were not the body. Now there are those who presume that he was the body and, no longer seeing his body at Tiruvannamalai, take it that he is not there. But not those who have felt in their hearts the power and subtlety of his guidance, the vibrant, all-pervading peace of Arunachala, the sacred mountain at whose foot his Ashram is located. He used to say: "The purpose of the outer Guru is only to awaken the inner Guru in the heart." And shortly before leaving the body he told a group of devotees: "When the Guru has awakened the inner Guru in the heart of his devotees, he is free to leave the body."

Yes, it may be said, that is all very well for those who were
already his devotees when he shed the body, but what about those others who approach him now and feel the need for an outer Guru?

It may be that in some cases he influences them indirectly through those older disciples in whom the inner Guru has been awakened. Certain it is that in many cases he influences them directly and powerfully, as with the American lady from whose letter I have quoted (though not necessarily with any dream or vision).

A visitor asked once whether the contact with the Guru would continue after the dissolution of his physical body and he replied: "The Guru is not the physical form, so contact will remain even after his physical form vanishes."

If it be asked how he can guide individuals or perform any function after having become One with the Absolute, the answer is: in the first place, he has not become One with the Absolute but simply realised his preexisting and eternal Oneness. In the second place, he had already realised this Oneness while wearing the body and was universal then, as he is now. He himself told us that death makes no difference to the jnani [?]. The only way of understanding how the jnani [?], who is universal, can perform an individual function is to become one. Therefore, when people asked him such questions he would usually reply: "Never mind about the jnani; first find out who you are." And when you have done that fully you are the jnani [?].

But surely this continued guidance after leaving the body is unusual! Yes, it is unusual; but who is to bind Divine Providence with regulations? The circumstances also are unusual. I have remarked how the formless path the Maharshi prescribed compensates for the modern difficulty in finding adequate guidance within the forms of any religion; similarly, the invisible Guru may compensate for the modern difficulty in finding a fully potent living Guru on earth. Such explanations are for those who like to speculate; for those who are content to strive on the path, guidance is there.

This invisible guidance also has an effect on the Ashram.

It means that many or most of those who come, both from India and abroad, are new people who never saw the Maharshi in his lifetime but have been drawn to him in various ways since then.

The conclusion, then, is that if you are a ritualist or strict formalist, if you crave material boons, if you seek visions or powers, there are other places better suited to you than Ramanashram. But if you have understood the ultimate spiritual goal of liberation and seek grace and guidance on the path, you will find it at Ramanashram.
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

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #969 on: July 19, 2014, 08:17:35 PM »
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

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #970 on: July 20, 2014, 12:16:41 AM »
Another visitor asked, ?Why is there so much pain even for the innocent, such as children for instance? How is it to be explained? With reference to previous births or otherwise??

Bhagavan:
As about the world, if you know your own reality, these questions won?t arise. All these differences, the pains and miseries of the innocent, as you say, do they exist independently of you? It is you that see these things and ask about them. If by the enquiry ?Who am I?? you understand the seer, all problems about the seen will be completely solved.

Dr. Syed asked, ?If a person prays for a spiritual good for say two years and yet is not answered, what should he do??
Bhagavan: It may be it is for his good that the prayer is not granted.



- Day by Day with Bhagavan
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

atmavichar100

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #971 on: July 20, 2014, 08:39:26 AM »
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

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #972 on: July 20, 2014, 12:36:32 PM »
Friends,
I was deliberating upon sharing a human trait that I encounter from time to time.The other day I had shared to a friend of mine that Hariharapura Shankaracharya has come to chennai and will be observing Charurmasya in a certain temple in Adyar,chennai.This good friend had in turn shared it with another colleague,a Lady.This Lady went to see the Holy man and came back and reported to this friend of mine-"I did not feel any 'Vibes'.He had a coterie around him".
This is a response that I have heard from most people-that when they go to any temple or visit a Holy Man,they expect to experience something tangible.They are quite confident that they are Okay and if at all there is any spiritual vibe(as they call it)in that place or person they are fully equipped to detect it.If they do not detect it,that place is ordinary or that person is ordinary.There is nothing special about that place or person and it is all hyped!They then observe all that goes on at that place and get confirmed in their findings.
Getting back to our earlier story-The Good friend of mine came back and reported what the Lady had told him after visiting the Acharya.I told him that I am not surprised by what he had to say-and added that it all depends on how we approach the place or the person.If we approach it with just a curiosity to have a look at the Exhibit(I mean that place or the person),hoping to certify it with a 'yes' or a 'no',we may end up doing that but it is a moot point whether we can benefit out of such a visit.
To the contrary if we visit with openess and in a true spirit of Humility -Ano Bhadraaha Kritao Yantu Vishvataha -let noble thoughts come to us from all directions-We will have quite a different vision of the same thing.We will then be in a position to draw the Blessings from the place or the person.This Blessing is not drawn from the outer personality of the person but is drawn from a source deeper in him-and this source is also in us at the same time!We  will not then be observing whether the Acharya gave two mangoes to another person,or put a Grand shawl over a VIP,or smiled at some other person.
Most persons approach a spiritual person for mere self Gratification and they end up getting what they seek and they thereby feel Blessed!They then come back and describe how they have been singled out for this sort of a Grace! These outer protocols are resorted to towards meeting the expectation of these people and it ends there.
Spiritual Blessing drawn from the depths is an abiding one and stays with the Recipient,guiding him along.

Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #973 on: July 21, 2014, 08:09:53 AM »
Friends,
I am sharing a Parable that I received through mail:

A crow lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life. But one day he saw a swan. "This swan is so white," he thought, "and I am so black. This swan must be the happiest bird in the world."

He expressed his thoughts to the swan. "Actually," the swan replied, "I was feeling that I was the happiest bird around until I saw a parrot, which has two colors. I now think the parrot is the happiest bird in creation." The crow then approached the parrot.

 The parrot explained, "I lived a very happy life until I saw a peacock. I have only two colors, but the peacock has multiple colors." The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw that hundreds of people had gathered to see him.

 After the people had left, the crow approached the peacock. "Dear peacock," the crow said, "you are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. When people see me, they immediately shoo me away. I think you are the happiest bird on the planet." The peacock replied, "I always thought that I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. I have examined the zoo very carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. So for past few days I have been thinking that if I were a crow, I could happily roam everywhere."

Namaskar


Nagaraj

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #974 on: July 21, 2014, 11:52:09 AM »
Duties And Privileges Of Discipleship

Yasya Deve Para Bhaktir-Yatha Deve Tatha Gurau;
Tasyaite Kathita Hyarthah Prakashante Mahatmanah.

He whose devotion to the Lord is great, and who has as much devotion to the Guru as to the Lord, unto him, that high-souled one, meanings of the sacred texts stand revealed (Svetasvatara Upanishad).

A disciple is he who follows the instructions of the Guru to the letter and spirit, who propagates the teachings of the Guru to less evolved souls in the path till the end of his life.

A true disciple is concerned only with the Divine Nature of the Guru. The Guru?s actions as man is not the disciple?s concern. He is totally oblivious of it. To him, the Guru is Guru even if he acts unconventionally. Always remember that the nature of a saint is unfathomable. Judge him not. Measure not his divine nature with the inadequate yardstick of your ignorance. Criticise not the Guru?s action which is done on universal vision.

True discipleship opens the vision. It kindles the spiritual fire. It awakens the dormant faculties. It is most necessary in one?s journey along the spiritual path. Guru and disciple become one. Guru blesses, guides and inspires the disciple. He transmits, transforms and spiritualises him.

Who Is Qualified To Approach The Guru?

To approach a Guru, you must be a proper Adhikari. Correct understanding, non-attachment to worldly objects, serenity of mind, restraint of the senses, absence of base passions, faith in the Guru and devotion to God are necessary equipment with which the aspirant has to approach the Guru.[/b]

The Guru will impart spiritual instructions only to that aspirant who thirsts for liberation, who duly obeys the injunctions of the Sastras, who has subdued his passions and senses, who has a calm mind, and who possesses virtuous qualities like mercy, cosmic love, patience, humility, endurance, forbearance, etc. Initiation into the mysteries of Brahman will fructify only when the disciple?s mind becomes desireless, and will produce Jnana in it.

Guru-Seva

Aspirants should direct their whole attention in the beginning towards removal of selfishness by protracted service of Guru. Serve your Guru with divine Bhava. The cancer of individuality will be dissolved.

The captain of a ship is ever alert. A fisherman is ever alert. A surgeon in the operation theatre is ever alert. Even so, a thirsting hungry disciple should be ever alert in the service of his Guru.

Live to serve the Guru. You must watch for opportunities. Do not wait for invitation. Volunteer yourself for the Guru?s service.

Serve your Guru humbly, willingly, unquestioningly, unassumingly, ungrudgingly, untiringly and lovingly. The more you spend your energy in serving your Guru, the more divine energy will flow into you.

He who serves the Guru serves the whole world. Serve the Guru without selfish ends. Scrutinise your inner motives while doing service to Guru. Service must be done to Guru without expectation of name, fame, power, wealth, etc.

Obedience To Guru

Obedience to Guru is better than reverence. Obedience is a precious virtue, because if you try to develop the virtue of obedience, the ego, the arch-enemy on the path of Self-realisation, slowly gets rooted out.

Only the disciple who obeys his Guru can have command over his lower self. Obedience should be very practical, wholehearted and actively persevering. True obedience to Guru neither procrastinates nor questions. A hypocritical disciple obeys his Guru from fear. The true disciple obeys his Guru with pure love for love?s sake.

Learn how to obey. Then alone you can command. Learn how to be a disciple. Then alone you can become a Guru.

Give up the delusive notion that to submit to the preceptor, to obey him, and to carry out his instructions is slavish mentality. The ignorant man thinks that it is beneath his dignity and against his freedom to submit to another man?s command. This is a grave blunder. If you reflect carefully, you will see that your individual freedom is, in reality, an absolutely abject slavery to your own ego and vanity. It is the vagaries of the sensual mind. He who attains victory over the mind and the ego is the truly free man. He is the hero. It is to attain victory that man submits to the higher spiritualised personality of the Guru. By this submission, he vanquishes his lower ego and realises the bliss of Infinite Consciousness.

Happy-Go-Lucky Disciples

The spiritual path is not like writing a thesis for the Master of Arts Degree. It is quite a different line altogether. The help of a teacher is necessary at every moment. Young aspirants become self-sufficient, arrogant and self-assertive in these days. They do not care to carry out the orders of a Guru. They do not wish to have a Guru. They want independence from the very beginning. They think they are in the Turiya Avastha when they do not know even the ABC of spirituality or truth. They mistake licentiousness or ?having their own ways and sweet will? as freedom. This is a serious, lamentable mistake. That is the reason why they do not grow. They lose the faith in the efficacy of Sadhana and in the existence of God. They wander about in a happy-go-lucky manner, without any aim, from Kashmir to Gangotri, and from Gangotri to Ramesvaram, talking some nonsense on the way, something from Vichara-Sagara, something from Panchadasi, and posing as Jivanmuktas.

Surrender And Grace

If you want to drink water at the tap, you will have to bend yourself. Even so, if you want to drink the spiritual nectar of immortality which flows from the holy lips of the Guru, you will have to be an embodiment of humility and meekness.

The lower nature of mind must be thoroughly regenerated. The aspirant says to his preceptor: ?I want to practise Yoga. I want to enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi. I want to sit at your feet. I have surrendered myself to you.? But, he does not want to change his lower nature and habits, old character, behaviour and conduct.

One?s individual ego, preconceived notions, pet ideas and prejudices, and selfish interests should be given up. All these stand in the way of carrying out the teachings and instructions of one?s Guru.

Lay bare to your Guru the secrets of your heart. The more you do so, the greater the sympathy, which means an accession of strength to you in the struggle against sin and temptation.

The aspirant, before he desires the grace of the Master, should deserve it. The supply of divine grace comes only when there is a real thirst in the aspirant, and when he is fit to receive it.

Guru?s grace descends upon those who feel utterly humble and faithful to him. Faith is confidence and trust in Guru. Faith is firm conviction of the truth of what is declared by the preceptor by way either of testimony or authority, without any other evidence or proof. The disciple who has faith in the Guru argues not, thinks not, reasons not and cogitates not. He simply obeys.

The disciple?s self-surrender to Guru and Guru?s grace are interrelated. Surrender draws down Guru?s grace, and grace of Guru makes the surrender complete. Guru?s grace works in the form of Sadhana in the aspirant. If an aspirant sticks to the path tenaciously, this is the grace of the Guru. If he resists when temptation assails him, this is the grace of the Guru. If people receive him with love and reverence, this is the grace of the Guru. If he gets all bodily wants, this is the grace of the Guru. If he gets encouragement and strength when he is in despair and despondency, this is the grace of the Guru. If he gets over the body-consciousness and rests in his own Ananda Svarupa, this is the grace of the Guru. Feel his grace at every step, and be sincere and truthful to him.

How The Guru Teaches

The Guru teaches through personal example. The day-to-day conduct of the Guru is a living ideal to the disciple who is observant. The life of the Guru is a living sermon to the sincere disciple. By constant contact, the disciple imbibes the virtues of his Guru. He is moulded gradually. Study Chhandogya Upanishad. You will find that Indra stayed with Prajapati for a period of a hundred and one years and served him wholeheartedly.

The Guru only knows the spiritual needs of his disciples. He will give Upadesa according to the disciple?s temperament and evolution. This Upadesa should be kept a secret. Discussion among disciples will lead to criticism of Guru and slackness in Sadhana. There will be no spiritual progress. Follow the Guru?s Upadesa to the very letter. Remember it is meant for you only. The other disciples have received Guru-Upadesa, too. Let them follow it. Do not impose the Upadesa you have received on others.

The student can imbibe or draw from his teacher in proportion to his degree of faith. When the Guru comes to the aspirant to give spiritual instructions, if the aspirant does not pay any attention, if he is self-sufficient and heedless, if he bolts the door of his heart, he is not benefited.

Guru?s Tests

The Satguru communicates the secret knowledge of the Upanishads to his trusted disciples only after repeated entreaty and severe testing. Sometimes, the Guru may even tempt his disciple, but the latter should overcome by firm faith in the Guru.

In days of yore, the tests were very severe. Once Gorakhnath asked some of his students to climb up a tall tree and throw themselves, head downwards, on a very sharp trident or Trisula. Many faithless students kept quiet. But one faithful student at once climbed up the tree with lightning speed and hurled himself downwards. He was protected by the invisible hand of Gorakhnath. He had immediate Self-realisation.

Once Guru Govind Singh tested his students. He said: ?My dear disciples! If you have real devotion towards me, let six of you come forward and give me your heads. Then we can have success in our attempt.? Two faithful disciples offered their heads.

Guru Govind Singh took them inside the camp and cut off the heads of two goats instead.

The Guru tests the students in various ways. Some students misunderstand him and lose their faith in him. Hence they are not benefited.

Four Classes Of Disciples

The best disciple is like petrol or aviation spirit. Even from a great distance, he will instantly react to the spark of the Guru?s Upadesa.

The second class disciple is like camphor. A touch awakens his inner spirit and kindles the fire of spirituality in him.

The third class of disciple is like coal. The Guru has to take great pains in order to awaken the spirit in him.

The fourth class of disciple is like a plantain stem. No efforts will have any effect on him. Whatever the Guru may do, he remains cold and inert.

Two things are necessary for a beautifully finished idol or image. One is a perfect, faultless, good piece of marble; the second is the expert sculptor. The piece of marble should but unconditionally remain in the hands of the sculptor in order to be carved and chiselled into the fine image. So too, the disciple has but to cleanse himself, purify himself, and make himself a perfectly faultless piece of marble, and placing himself under the expert guidance of his Master, allow to be carved and chiselled into the Image of God.

~ Swami Sivananda
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta