Author Topic: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:  (Read 24112 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #120 on: March 23, 2013, 01:26:24 PM »
119. Nididhyasana:

continues....

Bhagavan continued:  If the outlook changes, the troubles of the world will not worry us.  Are the waves different from the ocean?
Why do the waves occur at all?  If asked, what reply can we give?  The troubles in the world are also like that. Waves come and go.
If it is found out that they are not different from Atma, the worry will not exist.

The devotee said in a plaintive tone.  'However, often Bhagavan teaches us, we are unable to know understand.'

'People say that they are not able to understand Atma that is all pervading. What can I do? Even the smallest child says, 'I exist.
I do. This is mine.' So everyone understands that the thing 'I'  is always existent. It is only when that 'I' is there, the feeling is there
that you are the body, he is Venkanna and this is Ramanna and the like. To know that the one is always visible is one's own self.
Is it necessary to to search it with a candle?  To say that we do not know the Atma swarupa, which is not different but which is one's
own self, is like saying 'I do not know myself.', said Bhagavan.

That means that those who by sravana and manana become enlightened and look upon the whole visible world as full Maya, will
ultimately find the real Swarupa by nididhyasana', said the devotee.

'Yes, that is it.  Nidi means swarupa; nididhyasana is act of intensely concentrating on the swarupa with the help of sravana
and manana of the words of the guru. That means to meditate on that with undeflected zeal.  After meditating for a long time,
he merges in it. Then it shines as itself. That is always there. There will be no troubles of this sort if one can see things as it is.
Why so many questions to see one's own self that is always there?' said Bhagavan.

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Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #121 on: March 24, 2013, 10:57:02 AM »
120.  AJAPA TATVAM - (THE MEANING OF INVOLUNTARY JAPAM)

This morning at 8 'O clock, an ochre robed person asked 'Swami, for controlling the mind, which of the two is better,  performing
Japa of the ajapa mantra or of Omkar?  Please tell me which is more useful?'

Bhagavan replied: 'What is your idea of ajapa?  Will it be ajapa if you go on repeating aloud Soham, Soham? Ajapa means to know
that Japa which goes involuntarily without being uttered through mouth.  Without knowing the real meaning of that Japa, people
think that it means repeating with mouth the words, soham soham, lakhs of times, counting them on the fingers or on a string of
beads.  Before beginning a japa, 'pranayame viniyogah' is prescribed.  That means, first do pranayama (regulating of breath) and
then begin repeating the mantra.  Pranayama means first closing the mouth, doesn't it?  If, by stopping breath, the five elements
in the body are bound down and controlled and what remains is the real Self.  That Self will by itself be repeating always aham,
aham.  That is ajapa.  To know that aspect is ajapa.  How could that which is repeated by mouth be ajapa?  The vision of the
real Self which performs Japa of its own accord involuntarily and in a never ending stream like the flowing down continuously of ghee
is ajapa. Gayatri and everything.  At the time of the upanayanam itself, pranayama is taught by anganyasa, karanyasa and other
methods of stopping the breathing, and people are asked to understand that ajapa by practice with suitable accompaniments.
Without thinking of it, people talk of ajapa. It is the same thing in regard to Omkar. Om is all pervading and complete by itself.  How
can one do japa of that word with the voice?  The Sutra is always there: Omityekaksharam brahma adviteeyam sanatanam.' - Om
is the invisible and primordial Brahman.

continued....

Arunachala Siva.               

     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #122 on: March 25, 2013, 05:02:16 PM »
120. AJAPA TATTVAM:

continues....


Bhagavan further said: "Without understanding that elementary thing, big books have been written stating the number of
times each name should be repeated, such as many thousands for Ganapati in mooladhara and for other chakras, so many
thousands for Brajhma, so many for Vishnu and Sadasiva. If you know who it is that is doing japa you will know what this
japa is.  if you search and try to find out who it is that doing japa, that japa itself becomes the Self."         

Another person asked, 'Is there no benefit at all in doing japa with mouth?' Bhagavan replied, 'Who said no?  That will be
the means for chitta suddhi.  As the japa is done repeatedly the effort ripens and sooner or later leads to the right path.
Good or bad, whatever, is done, never goes to waste.  Only the differences and the merits and demerits will have to
be told, looking at the stage of development of the person concerned." 

His 'upadesa undiyar'   itself is an authority on the subject.

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #123 on: March 26, 2013, 12:50:27 PM »
121.  Why Any Secrecy?

Often it happens that in Sri Bhagavan's presence, fruits and sweets are brought and placed before Him.  Sometimes
they are served on His leaf while taking meals and at times, they are brought into the Hall and Sri Bhagavan is asked to
eat them in the presence of all the people there. It is all right if they are new people but if they are old devotees, Bhagavan
would remark:  'What more is there to do ?  Naivedya is over.  Perhaps, camphor will also be burnt?' or 'Will Swamitvam (the
role of a Swami) be lost unless I eat whenever asked and do as requested?  If they are Asramites, He would even administer
a mild rebuke, saying, 'Why all this, instead of looking to the purpose for which you have come?'

It is, I believe, a year back, that one morning, I brought fried jowar at the breakfast time, gave it to the people in charge of the
kitchen and said nothing.  What of that?  As soon as I went to the Hall Sri Bhagavan complained, 'I have eaten all sorts of food grains.
Why do you take all this work on yourself?  From that time on wards, I have not been giving the Asramam anything prepared   
at home. Recently when you sent figs and other fruits, I gave them to Sri Bhagavan's attendants secretly as I was afraid of
what Bhagavan would say if I gave them in the presence of all the people.  They waited for a suitable opportunity and gave them
to Sri Bhagavan.   He did not say anything at the time. But you know what happened four five days later?  I went to the Asramam
in the afternoon at 2.30. There was no one else with Bhagavan except the attendants. Squirrels were scrambling about the sofa
and indirectly demanding their food.  Bhagavan was emptying the tin and was saying, 'Sorry, nothing in it', and turned towards me,
He said, 'The cashew nuts are finished. They do not like ground nuts. What am I to do?' I looked at the attendants enquiringly.  They
said that there were no cashew nuts even in the store room. The squirrels did not stop the fuss. I had to do something.  At the
same time, I was afraid what Bhagavan would say if I got some from the bazzar.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #124 on: March 27, 2013, 12:42:00 PM »
121. Why any secrecy?

continues.....

In the evening, when someone was going to town, I gave him money to bring ten palams (1.50 kgs) of cashew nuts. The
person who brought them did not give them to me immediately but gave them the next morning at 9 O'clock. Afraid of what
Bhagavan would say if I gave them in His presence, I gave the packet to the attendant, Krishnawamy, after Sri Bhagavan had
gone out at 9.25 am. I do not know what happened in the noon. I went to the Asramam at 2.30 pm. and stayed on till 4 pm.
The topic never came up. I felt greatly relieved, went home, came back in the evening at 6 pm. and sat in the Hall at a distance.
Veda Parayana was over. Krishnawamy was pouring into a tin the cashew nuts I ave him. Bhagavan saw and asked him who
gave them.  He said Nagamma. Bhagavan asked, 'when?'  'At 9.45 am when Bhagavan went out, said the attendant.

'Is that so? Why not give it in my presence? Why this secrecy?  Because I suppose she was afraid Bhagavan would be angry.
These pranks have not been given up yet. Perhaps it is at her instance, that Subbulakshmi brought cashew nuts a short while
ago and gave them secretly to Satyananda  through a window and slipped out. In addition, she gave an excuse to the effect
that Athai (aunt - Bhagavan's sister) had asked them to be given. She put it on to Athai as she thought I would not say anything
in that event. These are the silly acts of people here.  Why do they indulge in these things instead of confining themselves to the
purpose for which they have come here?  They try to hoodwink Swami.  They do not know that they themselves are getting
hoodwinked.  This weakness has not left them in spite of years of stay here. Have they come here for this purpose?  said Bhagavan
in a thundering voice.

As I sat there, I became still as a statue.  I never told Subbulakshmi amma nor did I know of her giving the cashew nuts. But I could
not venture to open my mouth to mention the facts. I was however reminded of the purpose for which I had come. I thought that the lion's dream known as Guru Kataksha was like this.  The clock struck the half hour.  Startled by it, I looked at it and found it was
6.30 pm. As that is the hour at which ladies have to leave the Asramam, all of them were slowly going away. I got up somehow and
bowed before Bhagavan.  He was looking at me with piercing eyes indicating anger coupled with sympathy.  I could not look at the
majestic personality and so without raising my head, I came home and went to sleep. Next morning it was broad daylight by the time
I woke up. I realized that the reason for the rebuke, which was like a precept, was not merely the cashew nuts but my forgetfulness
of the purpose for which I had come to the Asramam, namely, the acquiring of Jnana. There must be some instances  such as forgetfulness and so I prayed to Bhagavan in my mind to forgive me.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #125 on: March 28, 2013, 01:24:06 PM »

121. Why any secrecy? 

continues....

I got up, finished my morning routine quickly and went to the Asramam.  No sooner did I step into the Hall than Sri
Bhagavan, with a face radiant with smiles, brought up the case for inquiry.  It became clear that I never told Subbulakshamma,
and that Alamelu Athai herself sent those nuts through Subbulakshammma for the squirrels as they were left over after
the 60th year celebrations of her husband.  'Is that so!  The story has now taken a different turn.  Even so, why the secrecy?
Anyway, it is all over now.'

So saying Sri Bhagavan changed the topic and tried to cover up the whole incident by consoling words. But I have not been
able to forget it even now.

Men are bound down by desire, activity and much worry; they do not realize the shortening of life span. Hence awake, awake!

These words of the ancients are worth remembering. So far I am concerned, the words that Sri Bhagavan spoke, the looks He
cast with a feeling that this child, without realizing how fast time flies, was wasting her time on trivialities, were imprinted on
my heart.

After all, Sri Bhagavan is a Jnana datha, the giver of Jnana!

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #126 on: March 29, 2013, 12:57:51 PM »
122. Kriti Samarpana - Dedication of a book:

After leaving your house in Madras, the day before yesterday night, I reached the Asramam yesterday morning by 7 O'clock.
Though it was only four days since I had left the Asramam, I felt as if it was four centuries. So I went straight to the Asramam
from the Railway Station. Sri Bhagavan was taking His breakfast. When I prostrated before Him and stood up, He said, 'You have
come back so soon?'  I said, 'Yes' and told Him that ten copies of Lekhalu (original Telugu version of Letters from Sri Ramanasramam)
were ready, that I had brought them with me and the printers said that they would send the remaining copies to the Asramam
direct. Sri Bhagavan said, 'Yes' and remained indifferent.

After finishing my bath, etc., I took the bundle of books to and went to the Asramam office, but Sarvadhikari was not there.

So I thought I could as well show them to Sri Bhagavan and then bring them back an d so went into the Hall. I did go into
the office first, in accordance with the rules, to give books there, but the desire to show them to Bhagavan first was dominant in
my mind

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #127 on: March 30, 2013, 02:00:51 PM »
122. Kriti Samarpana:

continues....

Whatever it be, taking advantage of the absence of the Sarvadhikari from the office, I went to the Hall first. Bhagavan was
reading the newspaper and appeared not to notice me.  Afraid of giving the books into His hands, I placed them on the stool
nearby. In dedicating a book, it is usual to honor the person to whom it is dedicated by offering him fruits, flowers and presents
according to the author's ability.  But you know the proverb: 'For a God as big as mountain, can you offer flowers, etc., mountain
high?'  For Bhagavan, what is it that we could offer for worship?  Even so, if I wanted to offer any of the classical puja articles
such as patram (sacred green leaves), pushpam (flowers), phalam (fruits) and thoyam (water), I was afraid Bhagavan would again
scold me as He had done recently.  So I merely folded my hands to salute Him.  You know what a nice thing happened then?  As I
bent down to prostrate, a devotee came there with a group of Brahmins and with a plate full of flowers, fruits and agarbathis,
arecanuts, betel leaves etc., and placed it by the side of of the books.  When I got up and saw them, I felt extremely happy at the
coincidence.  All of them stood in a group and chanted the Vedic hymn beginning with "na karmana napraja dhanena".

After chanting was over, we all got up after bowing before Bhagavan.  Krishnaswami sent them away and said to me leisurely,
'Today it is Sashtiabdhapurthi for him, it seems.'  'Is it so?' said I.  Whatever it is, I was satisfied that though I never bought anything,
unexpectedly someone else had brought flowers and fruits to make up the omission.

Krishnaswami left the books there. So I myself handed them over to Bhagavan. Turning over them this said, and that Bhagavan said:
'Give them to office, let them come top me with the office stamp.' I opened a copy and showed Bhagavan that under His photo the
press people had forgotten to print the name.  'Oh, A mistake has been made. It does not matter. The namam (name) has merged
in the rupam (form). Give them to office.,' said Bhagavan.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #128 on: March 31, 2013, 01:39:51 PM »

122. Kriti Samarpana:

continues....

I took them to office and came back after handing over them to Sri Niranjanananda Swami,  the Sarvadhikari.  After 9 am.
Mounaswamy brought two copies of the book and gave them to Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan saw them and inquiring if one was
for Him and one for Nagamma, He told a devotee nearby, 'Please give the copy to her.  She wrote it and her brother got it
printed. She herself brought and gave us some copies and from out of them we are giving her a copy. It is just like making
an idol of Pillaiyar (Lord Ganesa) with jaggery and, after puja, pinching a little of that jaggery and using it for naivedyam.
When fruits are brought and given to us, do we not give prasadam?'

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Arunachala Siva.

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #129 on: April 01, 2013, 06:32:46 PM »
123. Karathala Bhiksha (Alms in the palms)

Four or five days back, a notebook of Madhavaswami was found. As Bhagavan was looking into it, He saw a Tamizh
verse written by Him long ago.  It was in Malayalam script and while transcribing it into Tamizh, He told us its meaning:

When a man attains Jnana, he will not have any regard for this body.  Just as, after taking food, the leaf on which it was
taken is thrown away however nice it may be, so also after attaining Jnana one will be waiting eagerly for the time when         
it can be thrown away. This is the essence of what is stated in this verse.

One devotee asked:  For what reason Bhagavan did write this verse?'  In Tamizh, in a book called Prabhulinga Leela,
the same idea was expressed in a verse of four lines, and so, seeing it I thought it better to write in a similar verse of
two lines', said Bhagavan. He then wrote it in Tamizh and began telling us as follows:  The symbol of the used leaf has been
given by many people. However nicely leaf plate is stitched, it is useful only until the meal is over. After that will there be any
regard for it?  It is immediately thrown away.  Rich people have food on silver plates with gold flowers inlaid in them. Why are'
such things when we have hands given by the God?

When I was on the Hill, someone got a leaf plate made of silver and requested me to eat from it. I sent it back saying that I
did not require it. When  the food can be eaten out of the hands, why silver and gold?  For a long time, I did not eat food from
a leaf. If anybody brought food, I used to stretch out my palms of my hands, and when the food was put in them, I used to
eat it.  It is only of late that I have begun eating food served on a leaf.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #130 on: April 02, 2013, 05:29:45 PM »
123. Karadhala Bhiksha:

continues.....

Another person asked: 'Is it because of  that Ganapati Muni praised you by saying, 'Karathamarasena supatravata'?

Bhagavan replied:  'Yes, When  you have hands, why all these things?  When I was going for bhiksha, I used to take alms in the
palms of my hands and go along on licking my hands.  I never used care for anything. I used to feel shy to ask anyone for anything.
Hence that karathala bhiksha used to be very interesting. There used to be big pundits this side and that; sometimes big government
officials also used to be there. What did I care who was there?  It would be humiliating for a poor man to go out for bhiksha, but for one
who has conquered the ego, and become an Advaitin, it is a great elevation of mind. At that time, he would not care if an Emperor came
there. In that way, when I went out for bhiskha and clapped   my  hands, people used to say, 'Swami has come.' and give me bhiksha
with fear and devotion.  Those who did not know me used to say, 'You are strong and sturdy. Instead of going out like this as a beggar,
why don't you go out to work as a cooly?  I used to feel amused.  But I was a Mouna Swami and did not speak.  I used to laugh and go
away feeling that it was usual for ordinary people to talk like that.  The more they talked like that the more they exhilarated I felt.
That was great fun.'

'In Vasishtam, there is a story about Bhagiratha before he brought Ganga down to the earth.  He was an Emperor but the empire
seemed to him a great obstacle to Atmaignasa.  In accordance with the the advice of his Guru and on the pretext of a yagna, he
gave away all his wealth and the other possessions.  No one would, however, take the empire. So he invited the neighboring King
who was an enemy and who was waiting for a suitable opportunity to snatch it away and gifted away the empire to him. The only thing
that remained to be done was to leave the country.  He left at midnight in disguise so as not to be recognized and went about begging
alms at night.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #131 on: April 04, 2013, 02:54:46 AM »
123. Karathala Bhiksha:

continues......

Sri Bhagavan continues the story in Vasishtam:

Ultimately, he felt confident that his mind had matured sufficiently to be free from egoism.  Then he decided to go to his native
place and there went out begging in all he streets.  As he was not recognized by anybody, he went one day to the palace itself.
The watchman recognized him, made obeisance and informed the then King about it, shivering with fear. The King came in a great
hurry and requested him (Bhagiratha) to accept the kingdom back, but Bhagiratha did not agree.  'Will you give me alms or not?' he
asked. As there was no other alternative, he gave him alms and he went away highly pleased.  Subsequently he became the King of
some other country for some reason and when the King of his own country passed away, he ruled that country also  at the special
request of the people.  That is the story given in detail in Vasishtam. The kingdom which earlier appeared to him to be a burden did
not trouble him later when he became a Jnani. All that I want to say is, how do others know about the happiness of bhiksha?  There
is nothing great about begging or eating food from a leaf which is thrown out after taking food from it. If an Emperor goes out begging
there is greatness in that bhiksha.  Now,  bhiksha here does not mean that you must have have Vada and Payasam.  In some months,
there will be several  such things.  Even the pada puja (worshipping the feet) money is demanded. Unless the stipulated money is
tendered before hand, they refuse to take upastaranam ( a spoonful of water taken with a prayer before beginning to take food).
The unique significance of karathala bhiksha has now degenerated to this extent, concluded Sri Bhagavan.

Living only under trees, eating food out of their palms, disregarding even the Goddess of Wealth, like an old rag, fortunate indeed
are those dressed in a codpiece.

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #132 on: April 05, 2013, 11:29:42 AM »

124. Upanayanam - Ceremony of the Sacred Thread:

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 devotee 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 and but a third eyed also.  that is the Jnana netram (wisdom eye). Open that eye and recognize your swa-swarupa (own
true form).  That is what is 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 about begging. The first bhiksha is 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 upadesa 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.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #133 on: April 06, 2013, 01:17:04 PM »
124. Upanayanam:

continues.....

Sri Bhagavan further said:  Forgetting all that, what is done at present is this: pranayama has come to mean just closing
the nose with the fingers and pretending to control breath. Brahmopadesam means just to cover both the father and the son
wit a new dhoti when the father whispers something in the ear of the son.  Bhiksha means just filling up the begging bowl with
money.  What could they preach to the boy when the father who gives upadesa and the priest who gets this done, do not
know the real significance of Upanayanam?  Not only that.  After receiving the required knowledge by staying with the Guru
for a sufficiently long time, the Guru used to send the boy to his parents to find out whether his mind would get caught in worldly
affairs or turn sannyasa.  After staying in their own homes for some time, the boys used to start on a pilgrimage to Kasi, devoid of
worldly desires and with a view to renouncing them completely.  At that time, parents having girls of marriageable age dissuade
the boys from going to Kasi and offer them their daughters in marriage.  Those that are strongly inclined towards renunciation
wold go without caring for the offers of marriage and those that are otherwise, return home and accept of the offer of marriage.
All this is forgotten now.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva,.               

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #134 on: April 07, 2013, 02:23:47 PM »
124. Upanayanam:

continues....

Pilgrimage to Kasi at present means the young man puts on silver-lined silk dhoti, his eyes are colored black, his forehead
bears a caste mark, his feet are ornamented with yellow and red paste, his body is smeared with silver paste, his neck is
adorned with flower garlands, an umbrella is spread over his head and wooden sandals are worn on his feet and he walks
on stylishly to the accompaniment of music. 

When the girl's brother comes and offers his sister in marriage and presses him to accept the offer, he says, 'I want a wrist
watch. I want a motor cycle. I want this and and I want that. If you give them, I can marry, otherwise not.'

Afraid that marriage which is arranged may fall through, the parents of the bride give whatever is demanded.  Then they have
photos, feasts, and presentation of clothes and the like.

Nowadays bhikshas are used for filling up the begging bowl with rupees and pilgrimages to Kasi  are used for extracting dowries.'

******

Arunachala Siva.