Author Topic: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:  (Read 27947 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #90 on: February 23, 2013, 10:45:57 AM »
111. DIVINE VISIONS AND OTHER INCIDENTS:

.........

A devotee asked, 'Why does Bhagavan call Ganapati Muni, 'Nayana' (Nayana means father in Telugu)?

He replied: 'There is a reason for it. It is my custom to address all people with respect. Moreover, he was older than me.
I therefore always used to call him as Ganapati Sastri Garu. That was very distressing to him and so he begged me times
out of number not to do so, saying, 'Am I not your disciple?  You should call me by a familiar name. This is very unfair.'
I did not pay heed to his protests. At last one day, he insisted on my giving up the formal way of addressing him and adopting
a familiar one.  All his disciples call him 'Nayana'. 'Nayana' you see means a child, and a disciple could be addressed as one's own
child. I agreed because Nayana also means Father and hence it would not matter so far as I was concerned. I was still addressing
him in respectful terms. Whenever I asked him to come here or to go there he was still uncomfortable because after all he had done,
I continue to talk to him with respect due to the elders.

..........

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #91 on: February 24, 2013, 09:43:04 AM »
113. WHICH IS THE FOOT AND WHICH IS THE HEAD?

This afternoon at 3 O clock, a devotee stood near Sri Bhagavan's sofa and said, 'Swami, I have only one desire, namely to put
my head on Sri Bhagavan's foot and do namaskar.   Bhagavan must grant me this favor.'

'Oh! is that the desire!  But then which is the foot and which is the head?' asked  Bhagavan.  No reply.

After pausing for a while Bhagavan said, 'Where the self merges, that is the foot.'

'Where is that place?' asked the devotee. 'Where?  It is in one's own self. The feeling 'I', the ego, is the head. Where that
aham vritti (ego) dissolves, that is the foot of the Guru.'

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

Arunachala Siva.       

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #92 on: February 25, 2013, 10:34:48 AM »
114. SUICIDE:

This afternoon, a young man from Tiruchirapalli wrote a letter and handed over it to Bhagavan. The gist of that letter is,
countless people in the country are suffering for want of food, that there is any amount  of commotion, that we are unable
to to see their troubles, that Bhagavan must give out some plan to alleviate their suffering and that elders like Him should
not remain unconcerned like this.

Sri Bhagavan read it out and looking at him critically said, "Is that what you want? You say that you are suffering at the sight
of their troubles. Does that mean that you yourself are all right unlike them and be happy?" 

"No, I am also suffering in one way or the other", said the young man.

"Ah! that is the trouble. You do not know what is your own happiness, and yet you are worried about others. Is it possible to
make all people similar?  If all get into the palanquin, who is to carry it?  If all are kings, what is the point in saying that any one
is a king? Some people will be known as wealthy only if others are poor. A Jnani can be recognized only when there are ignorant
people. Darkness will be known only when there is light. Happiness will be known only when there is suffering. Food will be tasteful
only if there is hunger.  Hence, help can be rendered only to the extent possible. But if it is desired to make all people equally happy,
that is never possible. A number of leaders of the country are working. Some of them say the work that has been contemplated has
not finished properly and so they will lecture. What for? People become leaders one after another, and work goes on.  There must
be one shakti directing them all. If we throw the burden on that shakti with the confidence that it can do what is required and be free
from worry, things will somehow go on. some preach against killing of animals. If people do not listen to them, they say they will fast
unto death, 'We will commit suicide or will give up life.' If one says he will commit suicide, if others do not give up killing animals, is not
suicide itself a killing of a living being? They think suicide is merely leaving the body. Is not the body a part of the self? Atma is
always there, at all times and all places.  Instead of looking at the Self which is real and permanent, if one looks upon the body, etc.,
as one's own Self, it is suicide.  What other murder could there be than that?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #93 on: February 26, 2013, 10:59:43 AM »
114. SUICIDE:

Continues.....

He who is able to see his own Self by knowledge and wisdom will not be moved by whatever conflicts may come about.
He will look upon the sorrows and happiness of the world as mere acting on a stage. In his view the whole world is a stage.
On that stage the same man once puts on the dress of a king, another time of a minister, next a servant, washerman, barber,
and many other dresses, and acts appropriately on each occasion, but as he is conscious of his real Self and knows that
he is not any one of those parts he is acting, he does not worry about the various vicissitudes of life he depicts on each
occasion. In the same manner, he world is a stage of Isvara. In that stage you are an actor. You may help to the extent of
your ability, but you cannot make all people equal. It has not been possible in the past for anybody to do so and it will not
be possible in future either.

The young man said, 'Because of all this, there is no peace in this world. I am unhappy about that.' 

Bhagavan replied:  Look you have come again to the point where you began. Instead of feeling concerned about there being
no peace in the world, it is better to inquire and find out how you will get peace in this world.  If you give up that objective, what
is the use of worrying yourself about the lack of peace in the world? If one's mind has peace, the whole world will appear peaceful.
Tell me, have you that peace?

That person said, 'No.'

Bhagavan said: 'Ah! that is the thing. You do not have peace.  You do not know how to secure that peace. If instead of trying
to gain that peace, you attempt to secure peace for the world, it is like one who has no food, asking for food himself which, if given,
he says he will use to feed any number of other people. something like the lame man who said, 'If one someone holds me up,
can't I beat the thieves? !

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #94 on: February 27, 2013, 05:17:33 PM »
115. The Shakti that is, is One:

Another person asked; Jnanis are said to be capable of cursing and giving boons. You are saying that they have nothing to do.
How is that?'

Bhagavan said: Yes Who says that they are not capable? But they do not have the feeling that they are one thing and the Shakti or
Isvara is another. The force, that is, is only One. They realize that they are moving because of that Shakti and keep themselves
from feeling that they are doers. Their presence itself is of use to the world., They do whatever acts they have to in accordance with
their prarabdha. That is all.

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #95 on: February 28, 2013, 02:09:31 PM »
154.  EXISTENCE AFTER REALIZATION:

.......

The devotee: If that is so for emancipation 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 upadhi
(support) how could they remain in existence?

Bhagavan:

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.

                                                      Viveka Chudamani Verse 567.

The devotee: Why does that difference arise?

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

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #96 on: March 01, 2013, 10:37:20 AM »
154. VAIRAGYA, BODHA, UPARATI (NON ATTACHMENT, ILLUMINATION, DESIRELESSNESS)

I have recently been reading the Vasudeva Mananam.  Yesterday, I read in the chapter of Vairagyabohdoparati that, if
Realization be attained, then liberation can be gained even without vairagya (non attachment) and uparati (desirelessness0.

I asked Sri 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 in the same book that any
apparent attachment one may be conscious of pertains to the body only not to the Self.  That attachment is deterrent to
the complete happiness  of a jivan mukta i.,e. of one delivered from worldly bonds during his life time.  Whereas for the
Videha 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  non 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 waste if one has non attachment and desirelessness
yet no realization, for they will enable to attain heaven (punya loka). It is all mentioned in Vasudeva Mananam.

continued......


Arunachala Siva.     
     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #97 on: March 02, 2013, 01:01:41 PM »
154. Vairagya, Uparati, and Bodha:

continues....

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

Bhagavan explained: Non attachment, Illumination, and deisrelessness (Vairgya, Bodha, Uparati) these three, will not remain
separate from one another. After attaining realization, though 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 of the result of past actions.

I asked whether that meant that, even though one attained knowledge of the Self, 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.

continued....

Arunachala Siva.     

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #98 on: March 03, 2013, 03:27:15 PM »
154. Vairagya, Bodha and Uparati:

continues...

Sri 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 most important. But 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 the sixth stage, some vague replies are given.
So long as there is a doubt, there is an explanation. The disappearances of all doubts is realization."

'For a Realized Soul,'  I asked, 'to the extent to which he has no 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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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #99 on: March 04, 2013, 12:52:31 PM »
156. Turiya Avastha:

This morning, a young Tamizhian asked Bhagavan: "Swami, it is said that there is no world without the individual soul and God.
What is the meaning of it?"

"Yes," Bhagavan said, "the world, the individual soul, and god are the embodiment of the three qualities or gunas." 

"Is the Personal God, Ishwara, to be included in the three qualities?" asked the young man.

"Certainly," said Bhagavan, "In that group, goodness (sattvam) is the personal God, activity (rajas) is the individual and heaviness
(tamas) is the world. It is said that the Self is pure goodness, suddha sattvam."

........

Arunachala Siva.

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #100 on: March 05, 2013, 01:47:10 PM »
157. UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD:

Until some time ago, the evening Veda Parayana was held in the little hall (Old Hall) but for sometime past, many people,
for lack of space, have had to sit outside. Now that Golden Jubilee Hall has been constructed, the evening Veda Parayana
has been shifted there. It was after this change that the Maharani of Baroda presented a white peacock to the Asramam.

During the early days after its arrival, Bhagavan watched over it with great care, for it was very young. It slept  at night
in Bhagavan's Old Hall; being summer time, Bhagavan Himself slept out in the Jubilee Hall at night, and hence, the morning
scripture chanting was held there.

But now with the onset of winter, the attendants moved Bhagavan back to the Old Hall at nights. The peacock at night rested
on a beam in the Hall wit the consequence that the floor underneath became very dirty by the morning and much inconvenience
was felt at the early morning parayana, some being actually obliged to sit outside.  This disgusted the attendants, and on expressing
their disgust, Bhagavan said, 'Why are you disgusted? Why not get a cage made and keep the peacock in it in the Jubilee Hall?'

Taking the hint, a devotee immediately had a cage made. The cage was placed in the Jubilee Hall next to the stone couch of Bhagavan
and this automatically became the home of peacock. The day it was moved out to the Jubilee Hall, Bhagavan who had been sleeping
in the Old Hall until then, insisted on His bed too being shifted outside top the Jubilee Hall. But, as it was now very cold at night,
it was feared that sleeping in the open hall would adversely affect Sri Bhagavan's health. On the devotees expressing their fears,
Bhagavan laughed and said, "The peacock came to us from somewhere.  What respect is it to that guest if we make him sleep outside
while we sleep inside?  If a relative comes to your house, is it proper to make him sleep on the verandah while you sleep inside the
house?  If possible, we have to take him inside, or else we too should sleep outside on the verandah."  Turning to the attendants, He
said, "If you are afraid of the cold outside, you can sleep inside."

The attendants said, 'Sleeping outside will be bad for Bhagavan's health.  If necessary, one of us will sleep there to keep[ the
peacock company.'

'Enough, enough of this!' said Bhagavan. 'Will that not affect your health? If you want to, you can sleep inside."

However much they pleaded, Bhagavan was adamant and slept that night out in the Jubilee Hall.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #101 on: March 06, 2013, 10:57:54 AM »
157. Universal Brotherhood:

continues.....

Next afternoon, as soon as Sri Bhagavan went out for His walk at about 4.45 pm, His attendant Krishnaswami removed
Sri Bhagavan's things from the Jubilee Hall back into the Old Hall and arranged for Veda Parayana to be held there. Seeing
this, on His return, Bhagavan said: "This is what I don't like, keeping the peacock a prisoner in its cage and leaving it there
outside, while we are all here inside. Not only that, it was because this Hall was found to be insufficiently small for Veda
Parayana, that we shifted outside to the Jubilee Hall. Has the Hall then grown any bigger?  Are we again to allow some
people into this Hall while others are forced to be outside?  Why is all this?  If everything is done there in the Jubilee Hall,
the peacock will not feel lonely and we shall have ample space.  From tomorrow, arrangements should be made accordingly.
If you shift my seat here, I will not sit here, so take care!" Having spoken thus, Bhagavan had His bed  transferred after food
to the Jubilee Hall and slept there keeping the peacock company.

The next day, Bhagavan went back to sit in the Old Hall, but on going out in the afternoon, Bhagavan looked at the peacock's
cage and again said, "It is all right if, by the time I return, you have arranged for the Veda Parayana to be held in Jubilee Hall.
Otherwise, I will spread my towel and sit here alone. If you find it difficult to change my seat from one hall to the other, I will
stay all day long in this Jubilee Hall only. It is just as you please. After all, what do I need. This towel is enough for me."

By the time Bhagavan returned from His walk, His seat was shifted into Jubilee Hall.  It was after this incident that the Old Hall
was extended and that Bhagavan continued to stay there all the time. Treating all living beings that come to His presence as near
and dear relatives is possible for Bhagavan alone., Is it possible for us?

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #102 on: March 07, 2013, 01:43:58 PM »
159.  THE PATH OF SELF ENQUIRY:

This afternoon, a devotee asked Bhagavan: 'Swami, for gaining Realization, is the inquiry Who am I? the only way?'

Bhagavan answered him: Enquiry is not the only way. If one does spiritual practice (sadhana) with name and form, repetition of
holy names (Japa) or any of these methods with grim determination and perseverance, one becomes That. According to the
capacity of each individual, one spiritual practice is said to be better than another and several shades and variations of them
have been given. Some people are a long way from Tiruvannamalai, some are very near; some are in Tiruvannamalai, while some
get to Bhagavan's Hall itself. For those who come to the Hall, it is enough, if they are told as they step in, 'Here is the Maharshi.'
and they realize Him immediately. For others, they have to be told which route to take, which trains to catch, where to change, which
road to turn into.  In like manner, the particular path to be taken must be prescribed according to the capacity of the practicer.

These spiritual practices are not for knowing one's own Self, which is all pervading, but only for getting rid of the objects of desire. When
all these are discarded, one remains as one IS.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       
             

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #103 on: March 08, 2013, 01:43:24 PM »
159.   The Path of Self Inquiry:

continues.....

"That which is always in existence is the Self --- all things are born out of the Self. That will be known only when one realizes
one's own Self. So long as one has not the knowledge, all that is seen in this world appears as real. Supposing a person
sleeps in this Hall. In his sleep he dreams of going somewhere, loses his way, wanders from one village to another, from one hill
to another, and during that time, and for days together, searches without food or water.  He suffers a good deal, enquires of
several people and finally finds the correct place.  He reaches it, and feeling that he is stepping into the Hal, greatly relieved, he
opens his eyes with a startled look. All this will have happened within a short time, and it is only after he wakes up that he realizes
that he had not been anywhere.  Our present life is also like that. When the eye of knowledge is opened, a person realizes that he
remains ever in his own Self." 
 
The questioner asked further: Is it true that all spiritual practices, as is said, merge into the path of Self Inquiry?

Bhagavan replied: Yes, the inquiry Who am I? is the beginning and the end of the teachings of Vedanta.  It is said that only he
who has the assets of four kinds of spiritual practice is fit for Vedantic inquiry. Of the four categories of spiritual practices, the
first is the knowledge of he Self and non Self - Atma and anatma. That means a knowledge that the Self is eternal (nitya) and that
the world is unreal (mithya).  How to know this is the question.  It is possible to know this only by inquiry as to
Who am I? and what is the nature of my self !  Usually this procedure is suggested at the beginning of the spiritual practice, but
it does not carry conviction. So all sorts of other spiritual practices are resorted to and it is only ultimately, as a last resort, that the
practiser takes to Self Inquiry. The alphabet A B C D etc., are learnt while young. If it is stated that these letters are the fundamentals
for all education and that there is no need to study for B.A. or M.A.will people listen to such advice?  It is only after studying and
passing these examinations that it will be realized that all that has been studied is contained in those fundamental letters, A B C etc.,

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Re: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam:
« Reply #104 on: March 09, 2013, 11:01:36 AM »
161.  POOR MAN'S MITE:

I had already written to you that on the night of the festival of the Holy Beacon, (Deepam Festival) when the Beacon at the
top of the Hill was lighted, we took the permission of Bhagavan and went round the Hill.  Hitherto, the usual practice had
been to round the Hill before the festival, not after.  This time, however, we started at night, after the evening meal.  There was
about a hundred of us.

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

I asked Kunju Swami, "How long ago was it that Bhagavan gave up going round the Hill?"

"Till 1926, Bhagavan used to do it. That was an exhilarating experience," said Kunju Swami and narrated many incidents.

...........

On one occasion, we started to go round in the morning with the intention of returning the same evening. We stopped at the
Gautama Asramam, cooked our food, ate it and after taking some rest, packed all the milk, sugar, buttermilk etc., that remained
and started walking again. As we were approaching Adi Annamalai, Sri Bhagavan began walking off on a side road and  very fast.
Thinking that He wished to avoid the crowd on the main road, we followed Him.

After gong  along the path for about half a furlong, we came to a tank. At the edge of the tank and under a tree, sat an old man,
his body covered by a blanket and holding a small pot in his hand. This old man, whenever he heard that Bhagavan was coming
round the Hill, would await Bhagavan's arrival on the road and bring him something to eat.  Not seeing him on the road, and lest
the poor man should be troubled  at missing Him, Bhagavan had made the detour.

Bhagavan on seeing him, called him by name and began talking with him very freely. The old peasant prostrated before Bhagavan,
then stood with folded hands, saying nothing. 'What is the matter?' said Bhagavan. 'Why is it that I do not see you anywhere these
days?  Are crops and cattle all right?  How are the children?'  And  then, 'What is in the pot?'  queried Bhagavan.

Very hesitantly, the old man said, 'Nothing particular, Swami. I came to know that you were coming. I wanted to bring something
as usual to offer you, but there was nothing in the house.  When I asked my old woman, she said, 'There is ample food in the cooking
pot.  You can take it to them.'.  Unable to decide what to do, I put some of the food into this small pot, but ashamed, to face you with
only this sort of food to offer you, I was sitting here, Swami.'

Bhagavan seemingly very pleased, exclaimed, 'Oh ! Cooked food, is it? That is excellent. Why be ashamed?  It will be very good.
Let me have it!' As the old man was still hesitating, Bhagavan took the pot from him, sat down under a tree and told His followers
to put down all the things they had brought.  We did accordingly.  Bhagavan took out from among the cooking things, a big open
mouthed tin lined vessel into which He put all the food, poured in a lot of water, and mixed it well into paste with His hand.  Then
from some left overs among our things, He took out some lime and butter milk, and made the whole thing into a liquid.  Finally He
mixed some salt and dry ginger powder, then took out a tumblerful of the liquid, drank it and said, 'Oh, this is delicious!'  Then
looking at us all, He said, "All of you, mix some sugar with that milk and drink it. our luggage will be lighter. I have this food; so what
need have I for the milk?  This is the first rate food for me in this hot weather. It is also very nourishing, and has many other good
qualities too. But you would not like it, so drink the milk and please give my share of it and the sugar to this old man."                                 

Vyasa wrote in glowing terms in the Bhagavatam about the beaten rice that Kuchela presented to Lord Krishna.  Had he seen this
Lord's kindly act, how much more, glowingly would he have written!

******

Arunachala Siva.