Author Topic: A Study - Swami Siddheswarananda  (Read 1527 times)

Subramanian.R

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A Study - Swami Siddheswarananda
« on: April 07, 2013, 11:35:40 AM »
(from Jayanti - 2013, Mountain Path.)

Sri Ramana Maharshi expounds a system of thought and philosophy of life which incarnates the essence of Vedantic teachings.
In Indian philosophy life can have absolutely no influence except when it is reflected in  the life of the one who expounds it.
We ought also to say that it is the life of an individual and his 'realizations' which give opportunity for the construction of a
philosophical system, when this life brings an understanding and opens a horizon which affect society as a whole and improves
the relationship amongst men.  When prophets of ancient India had attained the ultimate truths which they expressed forth in
Vedic hymns and the teaching of the Upanishads, they were looked upon as the salt of the earth, because they became lighthouses
which guide the hesitating humanity on its path.  The truths which these great beings discovered are hidden in their soul. and
what they teach mankind is only the means of penetrating into themselves to bring forth into the day the secret of treasures which
all possess.

It is this aspect of the right of each one to make his own introspection which gives dignity on man's efforts, because truth is our
legitimate inheritance. The Upanishads address themselves in these terms to all those who aspire after Truth: 'O you inheritors
of immortal bliss!'  Can anything more encouraging exist than these words of hope?  It is not in the original sin that man finds the basis
of his existence it is in the golden flame of the Light of Atman.

contd.,           

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: A Study - Swami Siddheswarananda
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 12:39:34 PM »

continues......

The Maharshi has discovered  this.  He found it of His own accord, without any exterior help. A very young student, He was
overtaken by a fear of death.  Each child thinks about this problem one day or other, but few have the courage of Nachiketas
to up to the very gates of death themselves, to find the solution.   Maharshi did it. He threw away books, which veil more than
they reveal the truth.  He extended himself on the ground, closed His eyes and imitated all the symptoms of death.  Then He
told Himself: 'Now death has come, what does it mean?  What is it that has died?  The material body dies.'  I at once dramatized
the scene of death. I extended my limbs and held them rigid. I held by breath.  'Very well,'  I told  myself, 'this body is dead. They
will come and take it to the cremation ground and reduce it to ashes. But when the body is dead, am I dead?, I?  This body, is it I?
It is inert and moreover I feel all the force of my personality independent of it. I am the the eternal spirit, transcending the body,
which alone lives and dies.' 

'All this rose before me intensely without having to be expressed, like a living truth perceived immediately and almost without
argument.  The fear of death disappeared entirely and immediately.  This conscious and immediate presence of 'I', altogether             
independent of the physical body, has continued ever since.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: A Study - Swami Siddheswarananda
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 01:54:40 PM »

continues...

This direct experience of 'I' is called aparokshanubhuti.  It is distinct from all knowledge obtained by intellectual effort.,
which always implies a connection between subject and object and consequently is limited by space-time and without
any transcendental value.   He who has had this direct experience of 'I' is considered to be liberated even while he is
still alive. One calls such a Jivan Mukta. The existence of such individuals who are living incarnations of the Truth, render
this Truth demonstrable.  The Vedantic realization of these great beings promises the possibility of a practical application,
and their realizations raise the level of the human consciousness.

In this aspect of Vedanta which has attracted the attention of savants towards its teachings.  Vedantic research  goes much
deeper than all objective analysis of matter.  It goes to the fundamental perception and as such gives us a synopsis of the
Truth rather than a curtailed view.  The interest in the West takes in the life and teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi proves the
universal attraction of Vedanta, which one can see materialized in he Sage of Tiruvannamalai.

It is not long since the outside world learnt the existence of the Sage, but thanks to the popular work of Mr. Paul Brunton and
new section created by Mr. Jean Herbert in his collection of Hindu philosophy, people are now greatly interested in the
philosophy of life that the Maharshi applies and teaches.  In an article on the Indian Yoga, M. Lacombe of Paris University has
written about the Maharshi.  "His person sheds a force consisting of intelligence and mastery of the self.  A flashing eye, intense
and fixed without hardness, Olympian softness of gesture, slender and delicate in an immobile body.   He is taken by excellent
judges to be a very authentic Yogi and to have reached the highest realizations."

It is however very difficult for a European formed   in the traditions of theology and Western philosophy to come to grips with
the Maharshi's conception of life.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: A Study - Swami Siddheswarananda
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 11:30:56 AM »

continues....

In another part of his study, M. Lacombe observes: 'Like many spiritual Indians he has, if I may say so, exalted the experience
of the individual self in the experiences of the Universal Self.' I would respectfully observe to the learned professor that the
Maharshi is much rather a tattva-jnani than a Yogi,  His conception of life embraces all life, which for an Indian embraces the three
states of jagrat, svapna and sushupti.  The Yogic is the experience of 'I' as cosmic identification which takes the jagrat as the
essential field of experience. If one would find example of this cosmic and universal experience of the 'I' as M. Lacombe calls it,
there is no lack of mystics in India who have reached sufficient realization on this basis of experience.  But the Maharshi is before
all a tattva-jnani.  And the field of his search and experience is much greater than a mystic. The Sage transcends the limits of the
three states which I have already inidcated.  It is not exact to say that His experience is like that of those who magnify that which
realizes the individual 'I'.  The Maharshi in effect goes to the root of of the individual 'I' and touches there even the basis of the ego       
and all the perceptions and sensations which result from it, reaching their origin.

Nor can I agree with M. Lacombe when he writes: 'It was only necessary to provoke in himself a psychological shock (by some
hypnotic procedure for the artificial example) which would be equivalent of what for him was a sudden fear of death by which
he was completely and literally turned back, introverted.'  In fact the Maharshi did not provoke any psychological shock because
He had no preconceived idea of the result of what He did. He did not worry Himself in the least about the philosophic or psychological
problems.  He was hardly sixteen years old.  The illumination which He attained was the indirect result of what He did in analyzing the
fear of death.  When I asked Him, Maharshi often told me that at that time He did not even know the most common Vedantic terms
such as Brahman or Atman.  He had had no religious education.  He had passed no examination of catechism on the Hindu conception
of life. His understanding was practically a blank page as concerns religious instruction and philosophical terms, which He started
to use after people, attracted by His life, flocked around Him.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: A Study - Swami Siddheswarananda
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 11:21:06 AM »

continues.....

When the young Venkataraman grew up and His experience was transformed into an instantaneous and permanent
realization, He could see, thanks to a very lively intelligence, how others had given a literary form  to the expression of
this same experience. Differing from J. Krishnamurti, who perhaps expresses (although with an entirely different vocabulary)
the same way of approach towards the analysis of the self, and the understanding of what he calls the process of the 'I',
the Maharshi accepts the terminology sanctified by tradition and always employed by the sages of India since the time of
the Upanishads.

Whoever has the opportunity to know the Maharshi at first hand will know full well that he is neither an 'extrovert' nor an
'introvert'.  He is the most normal man that one could ever find.  He is in effect stithaprajna, a man whose intelligence is solidly
founded.  I have seen Him apparently plunged in Himself, when everybody believed Him to be absorbed in His own Self but when
at any moment someone at the end of the Hall made a mistake in the repetition of certain Tamizh verses, the Maharshi opened His
eyes, corrected the mistake, then again closed His eyes and returned to His former state.  I have already stated that one cannot
say that the exterior world does not interest Him. He has reached an extraordinary degree of concentration  and as that concentration
perpetually rests on an habitual state of life in Jnana, or the Sage calls it sahaja-stithi, He is neither an introvert nor an extrovert.
Just simply He is.  And by His knowledge of the ultimate reality, He is one with it in every expression of multiplicity in its manifestation,
He is one with the universe as a whole.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   

Subramanian.R

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Re: A Study - Swami Siddheswarananda
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 11:27:21 AM »

continues......

When I saw Him I found in Him a perfect example of the description which Sri Sankara gives in his Vivekachudamani,
where he explains what characterizes a Jivan Mukta.  In Verse 429 we read:  'He who, even when his thought is merged
in Brahman, is nevertheless entirely awake, but at the same time free from the characteristics of the waking state, and whose
realization is free from all desire, should be considered as a man liberated while still alive.'

The notion of introversion and extroversion cannot be applied to one whose philosophy of life reposes uniquely on the
experience of the waking state.  To say that someone has beyond the ego does  not signify that he is dead to all feeling.
In the process of realization one is not content with denying the false relative ideas of relativity; the positive element is the
most important, and this is to recognize the place of the ego with respect to the All.

This discovery of Vedanta is expressed in the formula Aham Brahmsmi, 'I am Brahman'.  The 'I' considered as  separate is
the source of all ignorance. In the Panchadasi, which is an authoritative work on Advaita, we find in the verse 13 of Chapter
6, a statement which is extremely important on this point. The author Vidyaranya there says:  'The destruction of the world and
of the Jiva does not signify that they should become unperceived by the senses but knowledge of their real nature should appear.
If such is not the case, people would find emancipation without making any personal effort, as in dreamless sleep or in a swoon
(when all perception disappears completely.)'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           
     

Subramanian.R

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Re: A Study - Swami Siddheswarananda
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2013, 11:00:10 AM »


continues.....

As the Gita says, Atman, forgetting its real nature, believes that it is the ego and the author of all actions, which is the cause
of all misunderstanding.  A man like the Maharshi, who has gone beyond the ego, or who in other words, has understood the
process of the ego in reaching its origin, has 'touched', as the Maharshi says, the basis of Reality, from which all experiences
spring.  The Upanishads consider such a man to be the 'I' of All.

To understand the experience of the Maharshi from the philosophical point of view one must read and meditate on the
Mandukya Upanishad and the Karika of Gaudapada with the commentary of Sri Sankara. In this way one can better understand
what the Maharshi represents.  A simple visit to the Asramam where the sage lives does not enable one to understand. One
can see during such a visit His mystic aspect, because the silence in which He is plunged often exercises a profound influence on
the visitor, even if he only remains a very short time.  But this mysticism of the Maharshi has its effect on a profound and intelligent
understanding of life and its problems.  And to understand that one must place the Maharshi in His philosophical and cultural
mileu.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.