Author Topic: Ramanashram Letters - Suri Nagamma  (Read 7205 times)


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Re: Ramanashram Letters - Suri Nagamma
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2013, 07:30:32 AM »
10th April 1947

This morning, an Andhra youth handed over a letter to Bhagavan in which it was written:
“Swamiji! They say that one can obtain everything if one takes refuge in God wholly and
solely, and without thought of any other. Does it mean sitting still at one place, and
contemplating God entirely at all times, discarding all thoughts, including even about food
which is essential for the sustenance of the body? Does it mean that when one gets ill, one
should not think of medicine and treatment, but entrust one’s health or sickness exclusively to
Providence? From the definition of sthitha prajna given in Gita,

The man who sheds all longing and moves without concern, free from the sense of ‘I’
and ‘mine’, he attains peace. (II:71)

“It means the discarding of all desires. Therefore should we devote ourselves exclusively to
the contemplation of God, and accept food, water etc. only if they are available by God’s
grace, without asking for them? Or does it mean that we should make a little effort?
Bhagavan! Please explain the secret of this saranagathi.”

Bhagavan saw that letter leisurely and told the people near him: “ Look! ‘Ananya
saranagathi’ means to be without any attachment of thoughts, no doubt, but does it mean to
discard thoughts even of food and water etc.
which are essential for the sustenance of the
physical body? He asks, ‘should I eat only if I get anything by God’s direction, and without
my asking for it? Or should I make a little effort?’ All right! Let us take it that what we have
to eat comes of its own accord. But even then, who is to eat? Suppose somebody puts it in our
mouth, should we not swallow it, at least? Is that not an effort? He asked ‘if I become sick,
should I take medicine or should I keep quiet leaving my health and sickness in the hands of
God?’ ‘Kshudvyadeh aaharam’, it is said. There are two meanings to this. One is, since
kshuth i.e. hunger, is also like sickness, so for the sickness called hunger, the medicine called
food must be given; the other is: like medicine for vyadhi (sickness), food for kshuth (hunger)
must be given. In the book ‘Sadhana Panchaka’ written by Sankara, it is stated,
kshudvyadhischa chikitsyatam pratidinam bhikshoushadham bhudyatam’. It means, for
treatment of the disease called hunger, eat food received as alms. But then, one must at least
go out for bhiksha. If all people close their eyes and sit still saying if the food comes, we eat,
how is the world to get on? Hence one must take things as they come in accordance with
one’s traditions and must be free from the feeling that one is doing them oneself. The feeling
that I am doing it is bondage. It is therefore necessary to consider and find out the method
whereby such a feeling can be overcome, instead of doubting as to whether medicine should
be administered if one is sick or whether food should be taken if one is hungry, such doubts
will continue to come up and will never end. Even such doubts as, ‘May I groan if there is
pain? May I inhale air after exhaling?’ also occur. Call it Iswara or call it karma; some Karta
will carry on everything in this world according to the development of the mind of each
individual. If the responsibility is thrown at him (the Karta), things will go on of their own
accord. We walk on this ground.

While doing so, do we consider at every step whether we should raise one leg after the other
or stop at some stage? Isn’t the walking done automatically? The same is the case with
inhaling and exhaling. No special effort is made to inhale or exhale. The same is the case
with this life also. Can we give up anything if we want to or do anything as we please? Quite
a number of things are done automatically without our being conscious of it. Complete
surrender to God means- giving up all thoughts and concentrating the mind on Him. If we can
concentrate on Him, other thoughts disappear. If mano-vak-kaya karmas i.e. the actions of the
mind, speech and body are merged with God, all the burdens of our life will be on Him. Lord
Krishna told Arjuna in the Gita:

To those men who worship Me alone, thinking of no other, to those ever harmonious,
I bring full Security and attend to their needs. (IX:22)

Arjuna had to do the fighting. So Krishna said, ‘Place all the burden on Me, do your duty;
you are merely an instrument. I will see to everything. Nothing will bother you.’ But then,
before one surrenders to God, one should know who it is that surrenders. Unless all thoughts
are given up there can’t be surrender. When there are no thoughts at all, what remains is only
the Self. So surrender will only be to one’s Self. If surrender is in terms of bhakti, the burden
should be thrown on God, and if it is in terms of karma, karma should be performed until one
knows one’s own Self. The result is the same in either case. Surrender means to enquire and
know about one’s own Self and then remain in the Self. What is there apart from the Self?”

That young man said, “What is the path by which it can be known?” Bhagavan replied: “In
the Gita several paths are indicated. You are asked to do dhyana. If you are not able to do it,
then bhakti or yoga or nishkama karma. Many more have been indicated. And one of the
paths must be followed. One’s own self is always there. Things happen automatically in
accordance with the samskaras (the fruits of the actions of previous births).

The feeling that the doer is ‘I’ is itself bondage. If the feeling is got rid of by vichara, these
questions do not arise. Saranagathi is not the mere act of sitting with closed eyes. If all sit
like that, how are they to get on in this world?” While Bhagavan was speaking the bell of the
dining hall rang. “There goes the bell; should we not go?” So saying with a smile, Bhagavan
got up.
Salutations to Bhagawan


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Re: Ramanashram Letters - Suri Nagamma
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2013, 03:23:16 PM »
(Vairagya, bodha, uparati)
28th October, 1947

I have recently been reading the ‘Vasudevamananam’. Yesterday I read in the chapter of
‘vairagyabodhoparati’ that, if Realization be attained, then liberation, (moksha) can be gained
even without vairagya (non-attachment) and uparati (desirelessness). I asked Bhagavan how
that could be, as according to the Ancients, the sign of a Realized Soul (jnani) is nonattachment.

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
‘jivanmukta’, i.e., of one delivered from worldly bonds during his lifetime; 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 all be 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 Vasudevamananam.”

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

Bhagavan explained, “Non-attachment, Illumination and desirelessness (vairagya, bhodha,
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 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.

Bhagavan replied, “Yes, those who are firm in their vairagya, bodha and uparati are indeed
in a high state of realisation, that means they are jivanmuktas. If instead those for whom Selfrealisation
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 have attachments.
Strictly speaking such attachments 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
disappearance of all doubts is realisation”

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

“Yes,” said Bhagavan, “that is the meaning”. And so saying, he was again silent.
Salutations to Bhagawan


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Re: Ramanashram Letters - Suri Nagamma
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2013, 08:32:50 PM »
16th September 1947

The day before yesterday, an Andhra lady with her husband came to Bhagavan and asked:
“Swami, I have heard several discourses on Vedanta; I also do some meditation. Sometimes
while in meditation, I feel blissful and tears come to my eyes; at other times I do not have
them. Why is that?”

Bhagavan with a smile, said: “Bliss is a thing which is always there and is not something
which comes and goes. That which comes and goes is a creation of the mind and you should
not worry about it.”

The lady: “The moment the bliss that comes with a thrill of the body disappears, I feel
dejected and desire to have the experience over again. Why?”

Bhagavan: “You admit that ‘you’ were there both when the blissful feeling was on and when
it was not? If you realize that ‘you’ properly, those experiences will be of no account.”

Another questioner: “For realizing that bliss, there must be something to catch hold of,
mustn’t there?”

Bhagavan: “There must be a duality if you are to catch hold of something else; but what IS, is
only one Self, not a duality. Hence, who is to catch hold of whom? And what is the thing to
be caught?”

No one replied, and with a kindly expression, Bhagavan said, “The inherent vasanas are so
strong. What can be done?”

A young man came in, sat down, and gave a note to Bhagavan.
Bhagavan, after reading it, said, “See, in this note is written, ‘Is peace of mind Liberation
(moksha)?’ The reply is contained in the question itself. What else can be said? He must have
asked after knowing what Mind (chitta) is”.

Someone asked the young man, “You know what is meant by chitta, don’t you?”

The young man: “Chitta means Mind”.

Bhagavan: “Yes, but what about it? Your question itself states that peace of mind is

The young man: “The mind is at times peaceful and at other times distracted. How are we to
prevent those distractions?”

Bhagavan: “For whose mind is that distraction? Who is it that is enquiring?”

The young man: “For my mind. The enquirer is myself”.

Bhagavan: “Yes, that is the real thing. There is a thing called ‘I’. Peace being experienced
now and then, it must be admitted that there is a thing called peace; moreover, those feelings
called desires are also of the mind; and if desires were banished, there would be no wavering
of the mind; and if there is no wavering, that which remains is peace. To attain that which is
always there requires no effort. Effort is required only for the banishing of all desires. As and
when the mind wavers, it must be diverted from those matters; if that is done, peace remains
as it is. That is Atma, the Self, that is Liberation and that is Self”.

Restraining the restless and fidgety mind from all those objects after which it runs,
one should repeatedly concentrate on the Self.
(Bhagavad Gita,VI:26)

Salutations to Bhagawan