Author Topic: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues  (Read 9706 times)

atmavichar100

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Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« on: November 20, 2012, 03:50:04 PM »
Dear Forum Members

I am starting a separate thread regarding the "Authenticity" of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues and thanks to Ravi for giving a link to David Godman's blpg regrading the same  in another thread .
There is an article by David Godman on the authenticity of sri Bhagavan's writings and dialogues.Those interested may visit:
http://sri-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.in/2008/05/authenticity-of-bhagavans-writings-and.html

The basic thing is that sometimes in the dialogues of Bhagwan there is a danger of misinterpretation ,wrong communication even when the intention was not that as Bhagwan's dialogues were never recorded  nor people were allowed to take notes in his presence .
So go through that thread to understand how Bhagwan's works came to be published .
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: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 05:20:31 PM »
Quote
I am very well aware of this! Its not easy to understand a Realized person and his teaching unless he himself expresses in his own words.

Bhagwan Ramana has documented whatever he wanted to convey in Classical Tamil and all his Tamil Works Prose and Poetry can be considered to be authentic as they were composed by him and the Guru Vachaka Kovai composed by Muruganar has been well corrected by Bhagwan . In Bhagwan Ramana's Circles : the Ramana Prasthana Traya are : 1) Updadesa Undiyar 2) Ulladu Naarpadu 3) Guru Vachaka Kovai and there is no doubt regrading the authenticity of the same as they are written in Classical Tamil .
Why Classical Tamil ?
Few years back I was talking to one great Ramana Devotee who himself is an expert in Classical Tamil and have written commentaries on some of Bhagwan's works and he said Classical Tamil is always used to preserve authentic works in Tamil Culture as there is very little scope for tampering once the verses are composed in Classical Tamil . So while Guru Vachaka Kovai is basically the written response of Bhagwan to his devotees the  English form of it took the name of "Talks with Ramana Maharishi " , "Day by Day with Bhagwan" etc but the authentic essence of the same is contained in Guru Vachaka Kovai which was written by Murugnar who was a witness to the dialogue and after Bhagwan gave an answer , Muruganar composed a verse and submitted it to Bhagwan and Bhagwan did correct the same ( correction for grammar , correction for right meaning etc ) and Muruganar then made the final draft .
Why Muruganar ?
While hundreds and thousands of devotees came to meet Bahgwan and asked him his advice .They did not ask him his advice but told what they are doing and asked how they can proceed further . So each one came with his / her own backlog and wanted to improve from that and none questioned the validity of their own backlog and Bhagwan not intending to Upset anyone just told them to proceed from where they are .It was only Muruganar who came to Bhagwan and asked him "what is your teaching and sat silently by his side " and as the saying Goes when the student is ready the teacher comes along , Bhagwan allowed Muruganar to record his teachings in Classical Tamil . Again Bhagwan had no problem with people writing in English but he choose not to correct the same but he choose to correct Muruganar's Classical Verses in Tamil .
In this context I wish to point out that Sri Kavya Kantha Ganapathi , a great Sanskrit Scholar did translate Bahgwan's Ulladu Naarpadu in Sanskrit as Sad Darshanam but he belongs to the Shakti Upasana lineage and hence he was interpreting everything from that angle and when Bhagwan corrected his SAsnkrit verses , he again changed it and after few times Bahgwan got fed up and told let him write what he wants . :)

So in conclusion : I am no authority of Bhagwan's works but I consider Bhagwan's propse and Poetry works written by him along with Guruvacha Kovai of Muruganar that was corrected by Bhagwan himself to be authentic works of Bhagwan( based on my information above ) and only problem is one must know some amount of Classical Tamil to understand it properly .I have no idea about what all he wrote in Telugu /Malayalam/Sanskrit . I enjoy reading the English works related to Bhagwan and will continue to do so as but for serious study ,I will only refer his Classical Works in Tamil and have started to study his works seriously starting with Aksharama Mana Malai .Of course this is my interpretation and I have nothing to argue for or against this and people are free to make their own interpretations of what is authentic /not authentic with respect to Bhagwan's works .
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Subramanian.R

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 05:25:58 PM »
Dear all,

I am of the view that excepting Sri Bhagavan's own works - all others are subject to authenticity, execepting of course,
Muruganar's work since these have been fully verified by Sri Bhagavan. As regards Annamlai Swami's works, these are all
again conversations. The questioner invariably asked in English and Sundaram Swami translated them for Annamalai Swami
and he replied in Tamizh. This was again translated into English and given to the questioner. So there could be some mistakes.

Such misinterpretations may vary from  1% to 50%. For example, when Sri Bhagavan answered in Tamizh mostly, Mungaala
Venkataramiah wrote them in English. Again when Sri Bhagavan spoke in Tamizh and Telugu, Suri Nagamma wrote them in
Telugu. Only Kanakamma understood Sri Bhagavan's teachings fully since she was a Tamizhian. Devaraja Mudaliar heard Sri
Bhagavan in Tamizh, though he was a Tamizhaian he wrote them in English.

One can say these things with regard to various Reminiscences also.

I only wish to point out that instead of wasting our time in finding out the authenticity or other wise of various works, let us
trust Sri Bhagavan and read them in full faith. Again Sri Bhagavan gave replies to suit the questioners' maturity. All His replies
are contextually correct. But His own teaching as based on ajata vada.

Take another example. Ulladu Narpadu has been rendered in Sanskrit both by Lakshmana Sarma and earlier by Kavyakanta
Ganapati Muni. Both Sanskrit versions differ in content and style. According to Nochur, Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni's translation
is better.

I suggest, we of the poor knowledge compared to these stalwarts, should not engage ourselves in finding out authenticity
of these works. This is acadamicians' job. Our job is to do self inquiry or self surrender.

Even in ancient works like Valmiki Ramayanam and Kamba Ramayanam, there are interpolations. Scholars found 500 slokas
of Valmiki as interpolations, 650 verses of Kamban as interpolations.  What to take and what not to take.

Let us not venture into this job.

Arunachala Siva.   
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 05:29:26 PM »
Dear Atmavichar 100,

I agree with you. There is no point in investigating these.

Dear Tuisnim,

Regarding Upadesa Saram, at least there is a corresponding work in  Tamizh by Sri Bhagavan Himself so that we can verify
the Sanskrit version.

Arunachala Siva. 

atmavichar100

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 05:36:45 PM »
Dear atmavichar,
          :) Even Upadesha saram was written by Ramana himself in Sanskrit right ?

But then with respect to all these, also interpretations and doubts can be raised always!
someone may simply say "upadesha saram is like that coz ramana was asked to write it within the context of a particular incident in the puranas" .

Why can one not say that Murgnar was very devotional and Ramana taught him in accordance with his devotional temperment not to disturb his faith ??

These are all interpretations arent they ?

BTW, just out of curiosity, what are the differences between sat-darshanam and the tamil version ? Can someone comment ?

Tushnim

As my knowledge of Classical Sanskrit /Classical Tamil is quite poor I cant give a judgement on it or with regard to any of Bhagwan's works .
As for Sad Darshanam ( Sanskrit ) and Tamil ( Ulladu Naarpadu ) , I have Swami Paramarthananda's Talks for the Sasnkrit Version and Nochur for the Tamil Version and once I have listened to both in depth ,I will let u know . But that will take a long time as now I have started only with Bahgwan's Akashra Mana Malai chanting and slowly memorizing it and step by step  :) Might be Subramaniam Sir and Ravi who are good in Classical Tamil can help you out .
Ok time for my evening Satsang with Bhagwan Ramana .
Om Peace .
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Subramanian.R

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 05:46:03 PM »
Dear Tusnim,

Upadesa Saram and earlier Upadesa Undiyar were written by 'Sri Bhagavan Himself. Hence there is very little chance for
variation. Whereas Sad Darsanam was translated by Kavyakanta and Lakshmana 'Sarma. There are misinterpretations in
both. Only the degree varies.

Arunachala Siva.   

ramana_maharshi

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 05:57:28 PM »
Quote
Our search is for TRUTH, not for what RAMANA SAID.
when what Ramana said leads us to Truth, we take that and live it.


Yes i agree with the above quote with udai garu.

In our search for TRUTH guru ramana for me has provided the most ideal method.

Ravi.N

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 06:55:46 PM »
Friends,
I will post a few comments from David regarding this Topic;(This is an excerpt from the Open thread on Vichara in David's Blog)

"Subramanian

Quote
'But I believe that [the text of] Who am I? is adequate for the entire civilization and all the scriptures and treatises of Hindu and other faiths are only details.'

(The above statement within quotes is by our Friend ,Subramanian and david is responding to him-Ravi)

I agree that this small text contains everything one needs to know about the nature of the Self and the means for discovering it. During his lifetime Bhagavan insisted that subsidised copies be available in the bookstore in many languages, and he often asked new people to read if if they asked general questions about his teachings.

I have a friend who was a Bhagavan devotee for seventeen years. For the whole of that period the only book on Bhagavan she ever read was Who am I? That pamphlet, along with a photo of Bhagavan, was, she said, all she needed.

comment by David Godman

Subramanian.R

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 07:47:26 PM »
Dear Ravi,

Yes. Sri Bhagavan's Who am I? was written on sand and M. Sivapraksam Pillai noted it down. It is one book that considers
every thing for self inquiry and devotion.

Arunachala Siva.

Ravi.N

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 07:59:03 PM »
Friends,
I am posting the conversation I had with David in his Blog ,a few years back:

Quote
Yes,I am Brahman is also one type of Meditation. Sri Annamalai Swami advised us to Practice the Traditional-"I am not the Body;I am not the Thoughts; Verily I am Atma. ALL is Atma". I have treasured these letters with me. They used to be accompanied by Kumkum and Vibhuti Packets. (Swami is a Gnani,yet he recognized the validity of this approach/practices).
Yet,this is not the Pure Vichara taught by Sri Bhagavan
.

(I had addressed the above comment to our Friend Subramanian and david responded as posted below-Ravi)


This is an interesting case. Bhagavan asked Annamalai Swami to do this sadhana because he could see that it would be effective for him. To almost everyone else he said that it was just an intellectual exercise that would not lead to liberation.

The 'added ingredients' here that I think made this an effective path for Annamalai Swami were twofold: (1) Bhagavan was a powerful jnani whose words had a fulfilling power of their own. If he said 'Do this and it will work for you,' then it would work. (2) Annamalai Swami had an unassailable faith in the necessity of following Bhagavan's words to the letter. His whole sadhana revolved around doing what Bhagavan told him with the absolute conviction that unquestioning obedience would bring him benefits. It was not for nothing that I entitled his book 'Living by the Words of Bhagavan'. When I suggested that title to him, his face lit up with a huge smile of appreciation.

I think any sadhana would have worked for Annamalai Swami because he had such faith in Bhagavan. I think Bhagavan picked this practice for him because he could see that it was the one that Annamalai Swami had the most affinity with.

What Annamalai Swami did and taught was most definitely not self-enquiry as taught by Bhagavan. However, it worked for him because of his maturity and his immense faith in Bhagavan's words.

Udai was saying that only Annamalai Swami understood Bhagavan's teachings.Fact is that only annamalai swami practised the Traditional Neti,Neti Style of Meditation and taught this approach.For those who practise the traditional way,this type of meditation will appeal.This type of approach is equally effective,as long as earnestness is there.
Self Enquiry does not assume 'Brahman' but questions the 'I'thought,the very sense of oneself.As Anil said in one of the posts this has a dynamic element that sustains the inwardness of the mind towards the source and merging it there.
Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 08:04:47 PM »
Subramanian,
I am not referring to the sivaprakasam pillai's question and answer version.I am referring to the essay version that was written by Sri Bhagavan later on.
Namaskar.

atmavichar100

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 08:05:37 PM »
Quote
I have a friend who was a Bhagavan devotee for seventeen years. For the whole of that period the only book on Bhagavan she ever read was Who am I? That pamphlet, along with a photo of Bhagavan, was, she said, all she needed.

According to TMP Mahadevan - Bahgwan's Upadesa Saram was more than enough for him .
According to Sadhu OM , he considered Bhagwan's Ulladhu Naarpadu as the essence of Bhagwan's teachings .
I do not know about Annamalai Sawmy but in one picture of David Godman's book "Living by the words of Bhagwan" , I saw the entire "Ulladhu Naarpdahu" written on the walls of Annamalai Swamy  house .I do not know whether it is still there or white washed after his passing away .

So each person resonates differently to Bhagwan's teachings .For me I found Annamalai Swamy's Final Talks and Living by the Words of Bhagwan as the best books that helped me understand Bhagwan Ramana and his teachings better .I am yet to study Bhagwan's Classical Tamil works seriously and have just started with Akshara Mana Malai .
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 08:27:21 PM by atmavichar100 »
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: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2012, 08:31:22 PM »
Krishna(Atmavichar),
That quotation is from David Godman.I agree with you,that annamalai swami's teachings are downright simple and are of Great value to any Sadhaka.Living by the words of Bhagavan is indeed one of the most inspirational books and every seeker will benefit and feel inspired by it.
All the same,Sri Bhagavan taught Vichara or Self-enquiry to most aspirants who could not abide in The Self(summa Iru).This would mean a vast majority of seekers.There is no doubt about the directness of this approach,in taking the Ego sense head on so to say.Not for nothing did he call it the straight path.Annamalai swami was prepared by Bhagavan's Grace and his sense of 'Ego' was already effaced through the many Selfless works that he did in utter obedience to Sri Bhagavan's commands.This should be borne in mind.With this degree of preparation and earnestness ,any method would have worked for him as David Rightly said.
Sri Bhagavan, like all Great ones admitted the efficacy of all other paths and insisted on Spiritual earnestness as key requisite.Each seeker has to get hold of what appeals to him to start with and as he gets to grips with it,he will be guided by Divine Grace.
Namaskar.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 04:39:28 AM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 10:51:19 PM »
Friends,
I am sharing a letter that Sri Annamalai swami Wrote to me on 12.05.83

Quote
பேரன்பு மிகுந்த ஸ்ரீ ரவி மற்றும் அன்புள்ளவர்கள் அனைவருக்கும் ஸ்ரீ ரமண பகவான் அருள் சக்தியின் ஆசீர்வாதம் மேன்மேலும் உண்டாக கோடிமுறை பிரார்த்தனை செய்து எழுதும் கடிதம்.நாங்கள் நலம்.மேற்கண்டபடி என் ரூமுக்கு ரிப்பேர் செய்ய வேண்டி இருக்கிறது.இந்த பணிக்கு உங்களால் முடிந்த நன்கொடை அனுப்ப வேண்டும்.புண்ணியம் செய்வார்க்கு பூ உண்டு நீர் உண்டு.அணணல் அதை அறிந்து அருள் செய்வான்.அறங்கள் எல்லாம் குவிந்தோர்கே மெய்ஞானம் எளிதாய் தோன்றும்.விதை நாசமாகாமல் மரம் உண்டாகாது.அதுபோல 'நான்' 'எனது'  என்பதை விடாமல் ஞானம் உண்டாகாது . தீவினையை நல்ல புண்ணியத்தினால் தான் ஒழிக்க முடியும்.எல்லாவித துன்பத்திற்கும் மூல காரணம் தேகம் நான் என்னும் எண்ணமே.எண்ணங்கள் நாம் அல்ல.நமது உண்மை சொரூபம் அகண்ட ஆனந்த ஆத்மாவே ஆகும்.அதை மறைப்பது தேகம் நான் என்னும் எண்ணம் தான்.வாழ்க அன்பர்கள் எல்லாம் வாழ்கவே.

இப்படிக்கு அண்ணாமலை ஸ்வாமி


To Dear Ravi and all other Devotees,writing this letter with the prayer that may the Blessing of Sri Bhagavan's Grace be upon you.We are well.As mentioned above(Sri sundaram's letter)my room is to be repaired.For this work,please send what you can as Donation.For those who do punya,there is Flower,there is water.(Swami is saying that those who do good deeds,will develop Bhakti).The Lord will grace such people.Only to those who are steeped in Dharma ,jnana will manifest easily.unless the seed gets destroyed,it cannot become the Tree.Likewise without giving up 'I' and 'mine' jnana will not manifest.Bad Karma can be destroyed only by virtuous Karma.The Root cause of all misery is the thought -'I am Body'.Thoughts are not 'us'.our true swarupa is verily the undivided Blissful Atma.It is the thought 'I am Body' that hides this. Live,May all the devotees Live.

Herein, Annamalai swami

Namaskar

Subramanian.R

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Re: Authenticity of Bhagwan's Writings and Dialogues
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 09:05:44 AM »
Dear Ravi,

Nice to see the correspondence between Annamalai Swami and yourselves. It takes us to his days of Palakottu.


Arunachala Siva.