Author Topic: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:  (Read 20228 times)

Subramanian.R

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Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« on: December 06, 2012, 12:29:59 PM »

Yesterdat, I was posting one Abhishekam and Tirtha Prasadam from Letters. Now I propose to give a general topic name Letters
from Sri Ramanasramam and cover important anecdotes (excerpts) from there.

153. Existence after Self Realization:

One another person remarked: It is said that the eyes of a Jnani appear to look at things, but in reality they see nothing.

Bhagavan: Yes. The eyes of the Jnani are likened to the eyes of a dead goat, they are always open, never closed. They glitter
but see nothing, though it seems to others that they see everything.  But what is the point?

The devotee continued. 'It is also said that for such adepts, siddhas, there is no conditioning or limitation (upadhi) of space
and time.

Bhagavan: That is right. It is true that there is no such thing as conditioning or limitation, but the doubt then arises,
as to how the day to day work is done. It has therefore to be said that they have limitation. It is also stated that that the
limitation will be there in a subtle way until there is deliverance from the body, videha  mukti. It is like a line drawn on water;
the line appears while it is being drawn, but it is not there immediately after that.


Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 09:27:29 AM »
160. The Holy Beacon:

When the Holy Beacon is lit on Arunachala, it is a sight well worth seeing. In the Asramam, in Sri Bhagavan's presence, a
small deepam is also simultaneously lit, sacramental offerings are distributed and Akshara Mana Malai and other hymns are
sung.

On this evening when Sri Bhagavan went out to the cowshed, the attendants placed His couch in the open space facing the summit
of the Hill, spread a bedding on it and put a stool with all things on it that Sri Bhagavan usually has by Him. Opposite the couch, a
large shallow iron pan was placed on a high stool and ghee poured into it and a wick placed in the center. Flowers and garlands were
strewn around it. Just as these preparations were nearing completion, Sri Bhagavan came from the cowshed with His attendants
and it was as though it were actually Lord Siva Himself arriving on the scene.

With the firing of crackers at the Temple, the light on the hilltop appeared. Immediately the akhanda jyoti light, opposite
Sri Bhagavan was lighted. The mantra na karmana naprjya dhanena was chanted. Kumkum and vibhuti were distributed to
all the devotees and a little bit of fruits were distributed as prasadam. After Bhagavan had partaken a little fruit and some
sweetmeats, the devotees divided themselves into two parties and sang Aksharamanamalai - one the hymn and the other the refrain.

Sri Bhagavan sat resting His cheek on His hand slightly reclining on the pillow - His characteristic pose. His face appeared as though
mirroring His Self Illumination., with His silence and His profound thought reflected on it. The moon rose in the east and cast its light
on him as though seeking its light from Him.

There was light on the summit, light from Sri Bhagavan's face, and the light lit at the Asramam. What a sight it was and how lucky
I felt that I had the three faced Light around me that night!


***

Arunachala Siva.                 
       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 01:39:47 PM »
100. No Waste:

While living on the Hill, Sri Bhagavan personally used to prepare ladles, cups, and the like from out of coconut shells. Till recently
He was making cups and spoons of coconut shells and polish them like ivory and tell the attendants, 'Look, keep them carefully.
They will be useful on occasions. How could we get silver and gold articles? These are our silver cups and golden spoons. The hands
won't get burnt. They won't be contaminated like metal ware. It will be pleasant to use them.' Not only that, when he takes any
refreshments  or Malayalam Kanji (gruel), Sri Bhagavan used only those articles.

Whenever Batavia or Kamala oranges and the like are received, the skins are not  allowed to be thrown away, and chutneys
and pickles are made out of them. They are also used in soap or put to other uses. Besides this, while taking food, by His own
example, that not a single useful item should be wasted.

If someone brings roses and presents them, Sri Bhagavan presses them against His eyes, put them on the clock, eats
the petals when they get dry and fall off and gives some of them who were near Him. Once someone brought a rose garland,
it was used to decorate the idol in the Mother's temple, and afterwards thrown out by priests into  waste basket along with
other flowers. Sri Bhagavan saw that when He went out and, getting angry with them, collected all the rose petals and had them
mixed with Payasam which thus got a delicious flavor and excellent taste. On his way to the Hill, if He chances to see any useful
leaves, He will pluck them with the help of those of His attendants who had come with Him, give instructions about cooking them and thus arrange for a delicious dish. He likes preparations which do not cost anything rather than those that are costly. All this may
appear to be quite commonplace, but if we think it over carefully, we will find it a good lesson for us. It means, He teaches us
that we could live comfortably on small means.

******

Arunachala Siva.                       

atmavichar100

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 09:04:43 PM »
Quote
No Waste:

Apart from Bhagwan the other person who refused to waste anything in his Ashram was Mahatma Gandhi .
We cant follow exactly like Bhagwan /Gandhi but can do our best to avoid wastage as much as possible -wastage of food /electricity /stationary/Clothes etc Many people in die still die of hunger ( lack of food ) , many places still have no electricity , many children do not have proper access to school and even if they have access to schools they cant afford to buy notebooks , pencils ,pens etc and many people still do not have proper clothes to wear .
So at least we must avoid wasting the above things as much as possible or at least be able to donate the excess we have to others in need .
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: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 09:29:05 AM »
Dear atmavichar100,

Yes.

115. The Sakti, that is is, One.

The questioner said, 'Swami, how can Jnanis like you sit quiet without moving? When there is strife and turmoil in the world,
should they not help in establishing peace?'

Sri Bhagavan replied: Yes, they should, but how do you know that Jnanis are not rendering any help? Their remaining where
they are is itself a help to the world. To all outward appearances they seem to be doing nothing. Supposing there is a wealthy
man. In his dream he goes about begging, works as a coolly and sweeps the streets. When he wakes up, he realizes that he is
not the sort of person and remains dignified in the thought that he is a wealthy man. In the same manner, a Jnani may do anything
according to his prarabdha but he remains unattached and maintains a dignified aloofness. His Sakti works in many ways but he
does not feel happy or unhappy over the success or failure of his efforts. That is because he sees the world as full of Brahman
and so nothing appears to him to be happy or unhappy. How can he have feelings of gratification or sorrow when he does not
feel that he is in this body, that he is in this man or that this is the world? Accordingly it is said: drishtim jnanamayaeem kritva
pasyeth Brahmamayam jagat, when a person gains the outlook of a Jnani that very moment, everything appears to be full of
Brahman. Where then is room for the feeling 'I am doing'? They will then realize that everything is going on through the force
of some Sakti, that is all.

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 12:51:56 PM »
199. ATMA BODHA;

In seems that Mr.  Minna Nuruddin, a competent Sanskrit scholar and Tamizh poet had written and published a translation
in Tamzh Verse on Sankara's Atmabodha.  He presented a copy of it to Sri Bhagavan on a visit to the Asramam. Sri Bhagavan
glanced at them and sent them to the library. We could however see from His face that something was wrong. He sent to the libraary
for Sankara's Atmabodha in Nagari script and every now and then He was looking into it. After doing so for two or three days, He
took a pencil and paper and began writing something of His own accord. We were wondering what He was writing. On the 16th instant,
He translaeted the first two slokas into Tamizh verse in Venba meter and showed them to us. All of us said it would be good if all
the other slokas also got translated.  In spite of saying, 'Why? Why?' He wrote some more during the next two days and said, 'Though
I have been disinclined and have been putting off writing them, they come to me. 'What am I to do?' I said, 'If you write down
whatever comes to you, the whole thing may be over in a month's time. That will be good. 'Several people have written it', said
Sri Bhagavan, 'Why should I do it?'

I said, 'Will a any of them be like Sri Bhagavan's writings?'

By the 19th, He wrote some more and said, 'These appear to be suitable to for children only, but I am unable to resist the urge
to write.'

'Are we not all your children?' I said.

The 20th instant, was Vyasa Purnima (full moon, Guru Purnima Day). By then thirteen verses were completed. Addressing
Venkataratnam Sri Bhagavan said, 'This won't leave us now. Stitch them into a book,' and so saying He wrote a verse by
way of an introduction.

'Anmavin bodhamarul asaanam Sankaran...'It means,

Could Sankara, who wrote the Atmabodha, be other than the Atma? Who else could it be than Himself that was in my
Heart, and made me write this in Tamizh?

By the 27th instant, all the sixty eight verses, got translated into verses in Tamizh and on concluding the work, Sri  Bhagavan
said: 'These verses were written in Malayalam script in that small note book which, as I said, was our first  possession forty
years ago. But somehow it never occurred to me then to translate them (into Tamizh).

A devotee said: For everything, the right time must come.'

Sri Bhagavan said, with a smile, 'Yes. That is so. If I write one thing now another presents itself. How is it I feel I have
read this before? Is it possible that someone has already written this?'

Muruganar: No one has written it in Venba meter. What surprise is there if one verse after another occurs to Sri Bhagavan?
It is saikd that in every kalpa the Vedas appeared  as though they were standing before Brahma. This is also like that.

***
Arunachala Siva.                                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 08:51:25 AM »
200. Appropriate Teaching:

As Sri Bhagavan was going out this morning, at a quarter to ten, His body faltered a little. The attendants hesitated to touch Him
to enable Him to steady Himself as they knew He would not like it.  An old devotee who was walking by His side at the time, tried
to hold Him up. Warning him against that, Sri Bhagavan coolly said, ' You all try to hold me from falling down, but actually throw me
down. Enough if it.  Please take care that you don't fall down yourself.' These words are pregnant with great meaning. Though it
would appear that Sri Bhagavan was saying something commonplace, there was a great truth in those words, and I therefore
made a note of them then and there.

***

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 09:41:41 AM »
124. Upanayanam:

One morning two or three days back some people came with a young boy whose Upanayanam had been recently performed
and went away after prostrating before Sri Bhagavan. Soon after they left, some devotees asked Him about the significance
of Upanayanam and Sri Bhagavan related it to us as follows:

Upanayanam does not mean just putting round the neck three strands of cotton thread. It means that there are not only two
eyes but a third also. That is the Jnana Netram (wisdom eye). Open that eye and recognize your swa-swarupa (own form);
that is what taught. Upanayanam means additional eye. They say that the eye must be opened and for that purpose they give
training in pranayamam (breath control). After that they give Brahmopadesam (initiating about Brahman), give the boy a begging
bowl, and tell him to go about begging. The first bhiksha is from mathru (mother's). When the father gives Brahmopadesam, the
mother gives three handfuls of bhiksha (rice) to enable the young boy to do manana (repeat inwardly), the updesa given by the
father. He is expected to fill his stomach by begging, stay in the Guru's house for training  and realize his Self by opening the
Jnana Netram. That is the significance of Upanayanam.

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 04:03:01 AM »
153. ONE POINTEDNESS:

...........

Remarked some other person: 'It is said that the eyes of a Jnani appear to look at things, but in reality they see nothing.'

Bhagavan: Yes, the eyes of the Jnani are likened to the eyes of a dead goat. They are always open, never closed. They
glitter but they see nothing, though it seems to others that they see everything. But what is the point?

The devotee continued: It is also said that for such adepts, siddhas, there is no conditioning or limitation (upadhi) of
space and time.

Bhagavan: That is right. It is true that there is no such thing as conditioning or limitation, but the doubt then arises as to
how the day to day work is done. It has therefore to be said that they have limitation. It is also stated that the limitation
will be there in a subtle way until there is deliverance from the body, (Videha Mukti). It is like a line drawn on water;
the line appears while it is being drawn, but is not there immediately after.

The devotee: If that is so for emancipated souls (siddha purushas), there will be no upadhi (support) after their mortal body
falls away. But Sri Bhagavan Himself has said that there are several emancipated souls on this Hill. If they have no support
(upadhi) how could they remain in existence?

Viveka Chudamani, Verse 567:

Those who have attained complete emancipation (Jnana siddhi) merge with the universe after their bodies fall off, just as
milk merges with milk, oil with oil, water with water.

In the case of lower souls, because of some samskaras or latent tendencies remaining unexpired, they stay in this world,
taking whatever form they please, and ultimately become merged.

The devotee: Why does that difference arise?

Bhagavan: It arises because of the strength of their desires (sankalpas).

****

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 10:10:16 AM »
154. Vairagya, Bodha, Uparati (non attachment), Illumination, Desirelessness:

I have recently been reading the Vasudeva Mananam. Yesterday, I read in the chapter of "Vairagyabodhoparati" that, if
Realization be attained, then liberation (moksha) can be gained even without Vairgaya (non attachment) and uparati. I
asked Bhagavan how that could be, as according to the Ancients, the sign of a Realized Soul (Jnani) is non attachment.

Bhagavan replied: It is true that non attachment is the sign of a Realized Soul. But it is also stated in the same book that
any apparent attachment one may be conscious of pertains to the body only and not to the Self. That attachment is a deterrent
to the complete happiness of a Jivan Mukta i.e. of one delivered from worldly bonds during his lifetime. Whereas for the Vidheha
Mukta (one who is delivered from worldly bonds only at death), Realization alone is important. When it is stated that liberation
can be gained by obtaining realization even without attachment and desirelessness, it means that liberation is gained only at the
time of death. It cannot be said, however, that it will be all a waste if one has non attachment and desirelessness yet no realization,
for they will enable one to attain heaven (punyaloka). It is all mentioned in Vasudeva Mananam.

I then asked how realization could ever be attained without non attachment and desirelessness.

Bhagavan explained: Non attachment, Illumination and Desirelessness -- these three, will not remain separate from one  another.
After attaining realization one may continue outwardly to show attachment, inwardly non attachment will necessarily be there.
It is however said to be a hindrance to the complete enjoyment of bliss by a Jivan Mukta. Owing to the strength of the results of
past actions (prarabdha), he acts as one having inherent tendencies (Vasanas); but strictly speaking, attachment will not touch
him. That is why it is said to be the result of past action.

I asked whether that meant that, even though one attained Self knowledge, one would not be able, were past actions to remain
too strong, to discard inherent tendencies, and that, until those inherent tendencies were destroyed, one could not attain
undisturbed peace.

Bhagavan replied: Yes, those who are firm in their Vairagya, Bodha, and Uparati are indeed in a high state of realization, that
means they are Jivan Muktas. If instead those for whom Self realization alone is the most important, but out of prarabdha they
move about as if they have attachments, they remain conscious of the fact that they actually do not affect them. That is why
in Vasishtam it is said that even in the third stage, vasanas get exterminated and the mind gets destroyed. If it is asked, when the
fourth stage is reached, and where is the need for the fifth and sixth stage, some vague replies are given. So long as there is a
doubt, there is an explanation. The disappearance of all doubts is realization.

'For a Realized Soul,' I asked, 'to the extent to which he has non attachment, will he to that extent have tranquility and peace;
while to the extent that his attachment grows, will he to that extent be further removed from tranquility?'

'Yes', said Bhagavan, 'that is the meaning'. And so saying, He was again silent.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2012, 10:24:44 AM »
163. Six Kinds of Samadhi:

............

Taking up the thread of the conversation, another devotee said: 'Samadhi is said to be of several kinds such as Savikalpa (absorbed
in the thought) and Nirvikalpa (thought-free). Can you tell us about them?' Thereupon, Sri Bhagavan explained thus:

'Yes. Sankara described the six kinds of Samadhi in his Vivekachudamani and his Drig-drisya-viveka. The six are divided into two
main categories namely, Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa. The former is divided into two, namely, Drisyanuviddha and Sabdanuviddha
and these are two again subdivided as under:

1. Antar Drisyanuviddha Savikalpa Samadhi: Meditating upon one's own Self as a witness of desires and other visible attributes
of the mind.

2. Anta Sabdanuviddha Savikalpa Samadhi: To know that the Self is Asanga (contact free), Swaprakasa (self luminous), Sat
Chit Ananda (Existence-Consciousness=Bliss) and Advaita (non dual).

3. Antar Nirvikalpa Samadhi: With the exalted feeling of the Self gained as a result of enjoying the ecstasy of the above two
states and discarding both of them and remaining motionless like an unflickering light in a windless place.

4. Bhaya Drisyanuviddha Savikalpa Samadhi: As in the case of the Self that is in the heart, to be able to discard with indifference
the outer things in the world which have their names and forms and which are visible, and to meditate on the underlying Reality.

5. Bahya Sabdanuviddha Savikalpa Samadhi: To know and be aware at all time that the Thing which manifests itself as
Sat Chit Ananda (Existence-Consciousness and Bliss) is the universal Brahman.

6. Bahya Nirvikalpa Samadhi: With the experience of the above two, to overcome all desires and to remain calm and motionless
like the waveless ocean.

By constantly practicing these six kinds of Samadhi, at all times and without a break, one can attain a state of thought free
awareness. Unless one attains that state, the ego will not be completely destroyed. Persons whose ego is destroyed are all
so detached that even if they appear to see they do not really see; thought they appear to eat they do not really eat; though
they appear to sleep they do not really sleep. Whatever they do is not really 'doing.'

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 09:16:35 AM »
164. Greatness of Non attachment.

When yesterday, during some conversation, Sri Bhagavan was describing the greatness of non attachment (Vairagya), I said that in
the Telugu Bhagavatam, in the second canto, apropos of Suka Maharshi, there is a nice verse about non attachment, explaining
the path of deliverance. At Bhagavan's request, I read aloud the verse, of which the following is a translation:

Are there not nice places on the earth on which to lie down?
Why the cotton bedding?
Are there not hands which nature has given?
Why all the various implements for eating and drinking?
Are there not fiber cloth, deer skin and kusa grass for wear?
Why fine cloth of different varieties?
Are there not caves in which to live?
Why these houses and palaces?
Do not the trees yield juicy fruits?
Do not the rivers give sweet water?
Do not good housewives giver alms?
Why then serve those who have become blind and proud
On account of their wealth?

Having listened with great interest, Sri  Bhagavan said emphatically, 'That is right. In this part of the country, one of our
Ancients wrote almost similarly. 'O Lord, Thou hast given me a hand to use as a pillow under my head, a cloth to cover my
loins, hands wherewith to eat food; what more do I want? This is my great fortune!' That is the purport of the verse. Is it
really possible to say how great a good fortune that is? Even the greatest kings wish for such happiness. There is nothing
to equal it. Having experienced both these conditions, I know the difference between this and that. This bed, sofa, articles
around me --- all this is a bondage.'

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2012, 10:34:20 AM »
165. Self Inquiry: Essential in all Walks of life.

Recently some people in responsible positions in Madras, came here and stayed for some days. On one of the days, they went
to the Gurumurtham and Pavalakunru caves on the Hill, where Sri Bhagavan had lived a long ago, and returned in time for the
evening Veda Parayanam. After the Parayanam, when Bhagavan was telling about His life at the Pavalakunru Temple, and inquiring
whether they had seen this or that there, one of the party said to Him: 'Bhagavan tells us most interestingly about those places we
have just seen, but by the time we reached the Pavalakunru Temple and went into the room there, we were thoroughly exhausted.
Bhagavan stayed there for a long time and we now realize how completely Bhagavan must have felt that the body was not His.
'Swami, how can people like us be saved from out materialistic outlook? If we ask, you will surely say, 'It is enough if you go on with
Self Inquiry  - Who am I?' How is that possible for us who are family people and are doing our respective jobs. If the mind goes on
with worldly affairs, how can we get peace of mind?' Sri Bhagavan simply remained silent, listening to them quietly.

This morning when I got to the Asramam, one of the Asramites was speaking freely with Bhagavan and was saying, 'Yesterday
evening, the people who came from Madras asked you some questions, but you did not answer. Why was that? In the past
when Sivaprakasam Pillai wrote a verse beginning udalinai veruthum (even disliking the body), I am told that you were also silent.
Why, Bhagavan? Does it mean that no one can become a Realized Soul, a Jnani, unless he lives in a lonely place like that?'

'Who said that?' Bhagavan replied: 'The nature of the mind is determined by its former actions, its samskaras. People are able
to continue to do all their work and yet pursue their Self Inquiry and ultimately become Realized Souls. Janaka, Vasishta, Rama,
Krishna, and others like them, are examples to do this and they have to go to solitary places to become Realized Souls through
Self Inquiry. Of these, Sanaka, Sananda, Suka, Vamadeva, are amongst the examples. Self Inquiry is essential for whomever it
may be. It is called 'human effort' (purushakara). The course of the body follows according to our fate, prarabdha. What more can
we say about it?, added Sri Bhagavan.

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2012, 09:05:42 AM »
148. BONDAGES:

A devotee who had been listening to all that Bhagavan had said yesterday morning about past  bondages, came and sat near
Sri Bhagavan today.

The devotee spoke; 'Yesterday, Bhagavan was pleased to tell us about past bondages. But He did not tell us anything about
present and future bondages.'

'That is so', said Sri Bhagavan, 'but then has not Sri Vidyaranya in his Panchadasi explained in detail about future bondages
and the way in which deliverance from them can be had?'

'I have not read Panchadasi', said the devotee.

'Then I will tell you,' said Bhagavan and proceeded to expound it.

'Present Bondages are said to be of four types -- vishaya asakti lakshnam, buddhi mandyam, kutharkam and viparyaya
duragraham. The first of these means great desire for material things; the second, inability to grasp the teachings and
expositions of the guru; the third means to understand perversely the teachings of the Guru; the fourth is to feel egoistically
that 'I am learned in the Vedas', 'I am a Pandit', 'I am an ascetic.' These four are called present bondages. If it is asked how
these can be overcome, the first one can be overcome by tranquility (sama), by curbing the evil propensities of the mind (dama),
by detachment (uparati) and by indifference to external things (titiksha).

The second can be overcome by hearing the teachings of the Guru over and over again. The third by reflection or contemplation.
And the fourth by profound meditation on a thought. If in this way, the obstacles are removed and destroyed, seekers get confirmed
in their belief that they are themselves the embodiment of the Self - Atma Swarupa.

contd.

Arunachala Siva.           

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 09:59:22 AM »
120; Bondages:

continues.......

Maharshi continued:

As for future bondages, they arise from acts done without anyone knowing that they are sinful. How can this be discovered?
A seeker should recognize it as a future bondage when some action presents itself which makes him feel that he wishes to
do it because the doing of it is an act of human kindness and sympathy; and so he is tempted into doing it. He does not
realize that the act will be the cause of future bondage. If he thinks that, by being a non doer (akarta) and worldly detached
(asanga), the fulfillment of desire will not affect him and he can therefore do the act, he will become bound all the same and will
be freed from the bondage only after several more births. That future bondages result  in rebirths is authoritatively states in the
Scriptures (srutis and smritis). Vasudeva, for example had one more birth. Bharata had two more, and others many more. Hence
a seeker must bear in mind the three bondages and carefully avoid them. If he does not avoid them there can be no doubt that he
will have more births. 'Whosoever is released from these three bondages, for him deliverance is certain', said Vidyaranya. All this
is mentioned in Vasudeva Mananam in which, in addition to this, a number of stories are related. The story of Bharjuva and that
of Yajnapasu are particularly interesting, as also that of Asura Vasana. For each aspect of these bondages, a separate story is
given by way of illustration. Have you  not read even that?

"I did read it when young, but did not realize that it contains such important matters. I will look into it again, Bhagavan"

With that the devotee took his leave of Sri Bhagavan.

*******

Arunachala Siva.