Author Topic: What the Maharshi means to me - An article by J. Jayaraman in the Centenary of  (Read 6434 times)

Subramanian.R

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If God be the one that does things and lets everyone else take credit, then I cannot imagine a better example of God
playing the role of man playing God than Sri Ramana. Here was an entity incarnated, in mortal coil moving as one among
us, concerned intimately with each of our concerns and yet simultaneously above it all, much like the mountain remaining
at once earth-and-heaven bound.

From the Centenary of the Advent Souvenir, 1996.


Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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The advent of the Maharshi is, to me, to say the least,  the mysterious embodiment of Self that is, Silence, that is Space.
By His own admission there was never a period of Sadhana during His life at Arunachala.  There was no difference for Him,
between the instantaneous 'death' experience' at  sixteen years of age,  little thereafter, and the excruciating, slow death at
seventy one.

The gist of His teaching is contained in His teen-age replies to His mother and Sivaprakasam Pillai.  There was no evolution
in His teaching or the mode of communication till the last breath.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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The inquiry Who am I?  is not another technique, or even a better technique.  For, technique presupposes motive. Rather it is
the natural movement, the inevitable Hobson's choice of one confronting one's awareness, one's extinction, in the Now. Atma
Vichara is therefore not another path, but a passionate engagement with an entity unique in Creation,the feeling 'I', a shadow
that is at once subject and object and which exists centrally and solely through a relationship of 'mine' and 'not mine' with
everything else in Creation. Whatever be the activity of body and mind, the ego entity tends to rise up at the end of the movement
to claim credit. Absent during the movement itself, its arising after is irrelevant to the activity itself.  The child in us engaged
in activity for no motive other than the joy inherent in such play.  Laughter and song and learning was for the joy of laughing,
singing and knowing.  Grown up, these acquire motive. Our lives are centered around actions which become means to ends
which we erroneously presume will secure our control and ownership of joy!

Maharshi says, 'Success or failure depends only on prarabdha and not on exercise of will or the absence of it. Equanimity under
all circumstances is the exercise of will'.  The Maharshi's message is a call to take heed of the role played by ego, by its arrogation
of 'doership' in nullifying progress be it through the path of Bhakti, Karma, Yoga or Jnana.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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The path of Self Knowledge which is central to a final apprehension of the universe, has been extricated from dense overgrowth
of technical jargon and illusion, by the Maharshi.  Philosophy and Religion, the well meaning and sound custodians of Truth
had, become overburdened and made insensitive by feckless growth, become vehicles that seemed to further the very falsehood
they sought to negate. It was in such a scenario of a thorough mix up of priorities of cart put before horse in a ridiculous if
scientific hunt for the Tenth Man, that the Maharshi demonstrated in a living example that with ego apprehended all was in
proper place and that both the baby and the bath water were a package deal.

There was no need to cut down the Tree;  the diverging branches of Religion, Philosophy and Science were complementary
and derived sustenance and sap of meaning and reality from the root I. Without negating any of past traditions, all natural
growths relevant to their context in time, the Maharshi put them all in proper perspective for modern living aloft this Torch
which must be crucial at any age, at any moment in time.  And hold it aloft He did, with dogged, delightful monotone
throughout His earthly sojourn.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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The Maharshi put to rest much speculation and bandying about the nature and varieties of Samadhi.  Much mystery surrounded
the nature of Nirvikalpa Samadhi and its compatibility with daily life.  The 'ultimate' experience is widely but erroneously understood
to arise when one's mind is fixed in the Sahasrara Lotus Center within the cranium in the body.  It was the Maharshi who pointed
out without mincing words, that any Samadhi ascribed to an area within the body was mental construct, since the body itself
was mental construct. Dream experience is sufficient to prove  that the reality of a self consciousness within the body which in
turn is located within a world, is a mental construct.  Mind is nothing but thoughts.  Every thought is centered around 'I'.
The 'I' issues from the heart.  The Heart is thus transcendental beyond location.  The Maharshi's  reference to the Heart on the
right side is a concession along the path, much as the reflection in water pointed out, to someone looking below for the Sun.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               
     

Subramanian.R

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The Maharshi is modern  proof of the utter possibility of continuous advaitic experience being consistent with the worldly
activity.  Vasishta's instruction to Rama (in the verse of Yoga Vasishta included by the Maharshi in his
Forty Verses Supplement) urges him to feign initiative,exhilaration and anxiety during the performance of his role as king,
while ever sporting as the Heart, witnessing the drama of the waking and deep sleep of the ego.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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It was the Maharshi who gave living meaning to the forgotten word Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the effortless inherence of the
ego in the Heart.  The Maharshi is unique example in modern times of the possibility within the reach of all, of living an utterly
normal life with body, sense and mind, all active and yet remaining transcendent.  Of a life where nothing need be rejected
except the phantom ego.  His own life demonstrates contrary to the current consumeristic cliches about the necessity of ego
for drive and achievement, that abundant lasting and wholesome work gets done through one who dissolves ego and
with it personal petty initiative.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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The Maharshi is unique in His non proclamation of any purpose behind His advent. A child among children, a prince
among the beggars, and a monarch among kings, the Maharshi's laser gaze of  Silence made sturdy questioners
stand in awe, dissolving them along with their questions.  His answers are direct, free from the fine print and so complete
in themselves as to be largely independent of the need to be studied in context. He sought no disciples, yet the world
is increasingly drawn to Him.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Sri Bhagavan was most casual about the miracles (of relief from bodily distress or worldly anxiety) that were
constantly happening to those who reached out for succour to a seemingly unresponsible Maharshi.  Raising
the dead, appearing in two places etc., are all recorded.  With child like innocence coupled with bubbling banter
He related to others in the Hall, of such miracles as were credited  to Him by the beneficiaries.  He held that Christ
and Krishna did not 'perform' miracles.  Such happenings the Maharshi said, were automatic in the presence of
the realized one. To the Sage every incident is a miracle of coincidence.  He is at once the Lord and Lover, Actor and
Audience, Will and Circumstance.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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In the absence of a mission, the Maharshi needed no middle men.  In the absence of the ego, the Maharshi needed no hours
of privacy, to be 'Himself'.  He was the same, whether alone, or attended  upon amidst a crowd.He was thus accessible to
all creatures, man and beast, at all times of day and night during His entire life at Arunachala. Extraordinary in being so utterly
ordinary, He is unattainable in being so utterly normal as to lack even those harmless mechanisms and quirks of body and speech
adopted by all of us, great and small. Merciless even from youth as He showed Himself to be towards 'His' ego, He remains an enigma through the abundance of consideration and complete non violence He showed in His relationship with others, lest 'their ego'should be
hurt!  Lasting change, He said, could only occur from within.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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The Maharshi, a master cook, calligraphist, and caricaturist, and naturopath, reconteur, editor, and engineer extraordinaire, spoke
little and wrote even less. His poems in Tamizh, Sanskrit, Telugu and Malayalam are not only mystic and magnificent mantras,
but also potent seeds sown for the integration of a people, who are presently so asleep as to consider as weakness the timeless
strength inherent in the bewildering bewitching diversity of their culture.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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The Maharshi is the ultimate 'outer guru' Dakshinamurti, going as he does out of his way to make the people self reliant.
The Maharshi is also the ultimate 'inner guru' shining as He does within, shedding light, through the window I, without.

When the ego has a petty life of its own, inner will is pitted against outer circumstance.  When the ego, in dissolving, embraces
all, universal Will operates as Universal Circumstance.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.
   

Subramanian.R

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This is also an article from Souvenir celebrating the Advent  of Bhagavan, 1896-1996.

GRACEFUL BHAGAVAN:

Saroja Krishnan.

When I was young, may be in my teens I used to sit in the Hall, watching with interest the happenings around me.Who
comes into the Hall, who goes out, what they say, what Bhagavan does and at whom He directs His gaze were all
matters of interest to me. I would feel elated and proud whenever His gaze rested on me. One day I was seated near
the second door under the windows idly watching, as usual, when Bhagavan's eyes turned to me and rested there.
The usual first feeling of pride and elation fell away and my eyes were locked in His unable to turn away.How does
one describe the indescribable?  Dark and wide, cool and bright, melting with mercy and kindness,those heavenly
orbs seem to expand and fill the room and all space, engulfing me and everything else.

Time stood still. I can't say how long I gazed like this. May be a minute, may be an hour. Looking back, I understand
that this was His Nayana Diksha (Initiation by Look). This has the power to scorch all our  vasanas and lead to liberty.
I did not know anything of this,then, but merely felt happy.  Surely Bhagavan's Look of Grace never goes waste.
The seed that was planted then is sure to bear fruit sometime; but when is the burning question. I wait.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
       

Subramanian.R

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I was about fifteen or sixteen.  I was undergoing mental suffering. People around  were avoiding me.  My husband was not in town.
In despair I tried to put an end to my life by fasting continuously for four or five days but did not succeed. It was at that time that
uncle Rajagopala Iyer engaged a taxi to take aunt Thangammal, my mother Gowri and others to Tiruvannamalai.  With my
mother in law's permission, he took me along.  Even here, my mental agony continued.  The time came for us to return home.
In the Hall, Bhagavan was seated on the sofa, leaning against the cushions. One by one, they prostrated and took leave.
I was the last.With a heavy heart, I prostrated to Him. When I raised my head, my eyes fell on Bhagavan's Feet planted firmly
together on a low stool placed in front of the sofa. My hands shot forward of their own volition, as if propelled by some powerful
force, and grasped those feet!  It was only for an instant. I rose and almost ran out of the Hall, in trepidation, startled at
my own  temerity. Even though I had a feeling that Bhagavan was looking at me I could not summon the courage to look
up at Him.A font of happiness seemed to burst forth from somewhere deep within me.  Wave after wave of Bliss washed over
me and I seemed to be floating in it.  I was oblivious for everything else.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     
   

Subramanian.R

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On the journey back, others were singing songs on Bhagavan and talking.  But nothing seemed to register in my mind.
Thoughts of Bhagavan and the surging happiness absorbed every nook and corner of my being. Pain had disappeared
without a trace. At home,even though the old situation continued, nothing touched me.  The song in my heart stayed with
me for quite some time, but gradually started waning. External circumstances also changed.  Thinking back now at this
point of time, I feel that Bhagavan had granted me His Sparsa Diksha (initiation by touch).  I had never seen Bhagavan
place  His feet like that on the stool. But for Bhagavan's Will,I would not have dared to place my hands on His feet.
Bhagavan gave me the courage to hold them.  Above all, whence came that overwhelming happiness,how and why?
What was it? In my life time I have never experienced anything remotely resembling it.  Were this a common occurrence,
all His attendants would have experienced it.That was not the case. The fruit of Bhagavan's Grace is deliverance and is
sure to be mine some day.  I am sure that it was only with the purpose of mitigating the suffering of this helpless girl,
that my Bhagavan in His infinite mercy, lent me those sacred feet to hold and the courage to hold them.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.