Author Topic: The Quest - Reminiscences - Lucia Osborne - Aradhana 2012, Mountain Path.  (Read 1282 times)

Subramanian.R

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On the Hill above the path leading to Skandasramam, I found a hideout, a flat place, for a few yards, among the rocks
surrounded by boulders and shrubs like a screen.  I would lie down there, a clump of scented grass for a pillow, meditating
and watching the sun rise heralded by a rosy then crimson foreglow.  One memorable dawn the sun appeared under the
horizon and in a breathless moment entered the earth through me.  I became the earth, a blissfully slumbering earth. 
Trampled upon by all sorts of creatures, all sorts of vehicles moving on the surface, cars rushing at high speed, the earth -
myself and everything on it completely unaffected, at peace in a state of indescribably blissful awakened slumber which
continued, though everything came to life quickened by the sun.  This description is inadequate.  The blissful slumber, its
best remembered feature.  'The earth meditates as it were', I read somewhere.  The earth is alive.

Another morning, Bhagavan was perusing the mail brought from the Asramam Office, scrutinizing even the envelopes. I
was sitting a few yards away meditating and was flooded with light in ecstasy, blissful well being, in waves. It was not
steady.  Busy as Bhagavan was, He at once turned His luminous eyes on me as if trying to help, letters and the rest
seemingly forgotten.  How did He know busy and surrounded with people from the office?  How could He not know?

Bhagavan the indweller in hearts.
Like a hawk whose wings
Darkened the sky
Thou pouncest on me
A worm in the dust             
To carry me off'
Into limitless all knowing radiance.
Lost in Freedom, Resplendence Bliss
In ecstasy undreamt of
I lost myself
I found THYSELF.

In the early years, long before the books on the Maharshi were written, we were sitting one evening, as usual in the Hall
after the Vedic chantings were over. It used to be a truly wonderful hour of perfect eloquent Silence 'cur cares thrown among
the lilies'.  The Maharshi calls such Silence the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words, more potent and vast than all
the Sastras put together. So eager were the devotees not to miss this best hour of the day that when the Asramam manager
(Sarvadhikari) gave an order sometime later for women devotees to leave the premises before dark, one of them, a French
women devotees, sat down among men in man's garb with a shaven head.  Well, usually one would sit down and meditate
with closed eyes but that evening I could not turn them away from Bhagavan's face,  so movingly beautiful, so pure and radiant,
it gripped the heart with its innocence and unfathomable wisdom.  Could anything, anyone be nearer, dearer?  Suddenly in a
moment, an indescribable tenderness He was in my heart.  He became my heart.  Whether still seated on the couch or not I
do not know buy I do know that He was the very core of my being,  the I AM.  And so He always is but we do not always know.
Later I came across such statements with a thrill of recognition that it was so, it was true.


contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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continues.....

In other traditions this truth is couched in different terms but it means the same. In the Siva Puranam, Saint Manikkavachagar prays
for unbroken state of experience adoring the feet of Him, 'who is really not apart from me in my heart, not even for a moment.'

The form of Sadguru is a sort of decoy.   Out of compassion He assumes a form and name.  Sri Bhagavan says: 'You imagine Him
to be like yourself with a body.  His work lies within.  The Guru is God or Self incarnate who is imminent, and who out of Grace
takes pity on the devotee and manifests Himself and guides him in the right path until he realizes the Self within.  The Guru is
both within and without  so He creates conditions to drive you inwards and exerts a pull within.'

In the verses selected by Sri Bhagavan, Saint Tayumanavar says: 'In order to enlighten me Grace took shape.  In every respect
like myself, eating and sleeping, suffering and enjoying, bearing a name and born somewhere, it appeared as the silent Guru,
a deer used to decoy another of its species.'

Enticement also comes in.  Tayumanavar says that when overcome by Absolute Consciousness [White Expanse] all ours will
prosper, nothing will suffer, all undertakings will succeed to perfection...... Naturally, the world is a shadow of our own mind.
In a state of Perfection above suffering and sorrow whatever one projects will be perfect.  It is like Christ's saying, 'The Kingdom
of Heaven is within you' if one attains it all else will be added.  'Attaining' is a figure of speech.  The Kingdom of Heaven is always
present, there is only the Self.  We do not exist apart from It.  We only cease to be deluded that it is not so.  It is like waking up
from dream wanderings, Bhagavan says.  The dream belongs to the dreamer or it is nothing......

'To the extent that the soul is progressively separated from all diversity there is revealed in it the divine realm.  The soul is
able to do this with the help of divine Grace.  When it makes this discovery, it has been helped thereby.  And then it enjoys
all things and has control of them like God.  Finally it has discovered that it is in itself the divine realm.'  (Thelogia Germanica)

Bhagavan said, 'The mind turned inwards is the Self; turned outwards, it becomes the ego and all the world.  But the mind
does not exist apart from the Self i.e. it has no independent existence.  The Self exists without the mind but never the mind
without the Self.'                           

St. Simeon speaks of a realized man as if risen from the dead and one awakened from sleep, risen above the limits of the
senses and the whole world, filled with unspeakable delight.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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continues.....

As mentioned in my husband Arthur's autobiography, his life ran in cycles of four years.  He also spent four years in the
detention camp in Bangkok after the Japanese invasion.  Then the war ended and he was released.  On the way to
Tiruvannamalai, the train halts for several hours in Katpadi so I went there to meet him.  All the letters which we had
written to each other and never received during those four years, came in two bundles a few days later.  The homecoming
was not only to the family but also to his spiritual Home, as he was to discover later.

In camp one Luis Hartz from Holland became interested in Sri Bhagavan's teaching through Arthur and later followed  him
to Tiruvannamalai.  He told Sri Bhagavan after a few days: 'When I am here I am in heaven but when I leave I will be in hell.'
The reply was:  'Even if you are in hell Bhagavan will go after you.'  He was a bon viveur, one day a millionaire next day losing
or gambling away his fortunes with no will power.  Bhagavan made a tremendous impression on him.  When Hartz wanted to
be sure about his initiation, Bhagavan told him: You have it already.'  Now also devotees receive it in dreams by look or touch
or in silence as recorded by a few of them in my chapter on "Glimpses."

A Persian Professor present in the Hall, wanted to know whether 'going to hell after you' applied only to Hartz and Bhagavan
replied, 'To all'. 

A diplomat from Czechoslovakia stationed in China was so attracted after coming to Tiruvannamalai, that he straightaway
bought a house near the Asramam to settle there after retirement; a simple guileless man who became a seeker because
he felt insecure.  The atmosphere at Arunachala near Bhagavan he found helpful to stabilize his mind.

On the Hill one day, he took a picture of Bhagavan with me and the children.  It came out well.  Then I took a picture of
Bhagavan with him.  It was a blank.  He never settled in Tiruvannamalai.  Shortly afterwards, he was shot by the communists               
in Czechoslovakia.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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continues.....

Sujata Sen was a French woman doctor married to a Bengali doctor. She settled in Tiruvannamalai to follow Sri Ramana
Maharshi, while practicing her profession.   Her mother came from France to visit her.  A typical Parisian beautifully dressed
and made up she was not interested in spiritual matters or religion.  She used to come with her daughter to sit in meditation
hall observing people in preference to sitting alone at home.  After sometime, she started practicing religion, going to mass
and becoming an ardent Catholic. She said that it was due to Ramana Maharshi's silent influence. 

Somerset Maugham came on a visit to Tiruvannamalai having heard of Sri Ramana Maharshi.  He first went to see Major
Chadwick in his room and there he suddenly became unconscious.  Sri Bhagavan was passing that way on His daily walk
so Major Chadwick asked him to see the unconscious visitor.  Sri Bhagavan complied, sat down and looked at him. After a
while, he regained consciousness, saluted Sri Bhagavan and both sat facing each other in silence.  Major Chadwick told
Somerset Maugham that he could ask questions when the latter inquired rather nervously whether he should do so but
Sri Bhagavan said that silence is best, smiled and left the room. 

A record of many of the vast number of devotees and visitors is contained in the chapters on 'Glimpses of Reality', 'Questions
and Answers' and 'How Bhagavan came to me'.

Truth is very simple so is the teaching.  However, what is simple is also difficult for complicated minds thus the same Truth
has to be expressed in different ways to suit the capacity of the questioner-devotee, and with inevitable repetitions.

****

Arunachala Siva.