Author Topic: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts  (Read 4113 times)

Subramanian.R

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Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« on: March 03, 2015, 09:49:00 AM »
Q:  This behavior, these things that Jada Swami did, they are not the sort of thing that one would expect from a Sadhu living
on Arunachala.

Annamalai Swami:  Guhai Namasivaya, who lived on the Hill several centuries ago, was also well known for his bad temper. In
one famous incident, he cursed a group of weavers who had been causing him trouble.  Within a short time, all their business
failed. The curse was apparently a long lasting one, for in the years that followed, all attempts to start weaving business in
Tiruvannamalai failed.

Q: So would you say that Bhagavan was very tolerant of people who treated Him badly?

A.S. Yes. He never responded in a negative way to criticism.  Sometimes He would even laugh when people said bad
things about Him. He was indifferent to praise and blame.  They did not touch Him.

When Perumal Swami printed  his insulting book about Bhagavan, He simply said, 'Keep the book in front of the Asramam
so that people can read it there.  The good people won't believe it, but when the bad people read it, they will stay away
and leave me in peace.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 11:49:19 AM »
Annamalai Swami does not mind meeting with sadhakas who want to discuss important spiritual matters, but he does
not like these functions, where lots of people come.  He is very weak most of the time, and he wants to save his
energy for important matters. 

Annamalai Swami: (laughing) I just give vibhuti to most of the people who come. But no matter how much I discourage
visitors, they still come, often for no good reason at all.  I am physically weak, so I can deal with people for short periods
nowadays.  I am bit like a well that is fed by a small spring.  A few people taking buckets of water out at the same time
will empty the well.  Then they will have to wait sometime for the water to flow in again before they can take more water.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2015, 07:53:44 AM »
A devotee who came to Annamalai Swami had so much pain in one of his legs, he found it very difficult to sit comfortably
on the floor.  Observing his difficulties, Annamalai Swami made the following remarks:

Though the body is needed for Sadhana, one should not identify with it.  We should make good use of it and look after it well,
but we should not pay too much attention to it.

There are so many thoughts in the mind.  Thought after thought after thought.  They never stop.  But there is one thought
that is continuous, though it is mostly subconscious.  'I am the body' - this is one string on which all other thoughts are
threaded.  Once we identify  ourselves with the body by thinking this thought,  Maya follows. It also follows that if we
cease to identify ourselves with the body, Maya will not affect us anymore.

Maya is fundamentally non existent.  Bhagavan said that Maya literally means 'that which is not.' It is unreal because everything
that Maya produces is an outgrowth of a wrong idea.  It is a consequence of taking something to be true that is not really       
true. How can something that is not real produce something that is real?  If a barren woman says that she has beaten by
her son, or that she has been injured by the horns of a hare, we would rightly take her to be deluded. Something that does
not exist cannot be the cause of suffering or of anything else.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2015, 12:47:22 PM »
Annamalai Swami:  How to get rid of this 'I am the body' feeling and of the Maya that is produced by it?  It goes when there
is 'saman bhava'  the equanimity  or equality of outlook that leaves one unaffected by the extreme opposites such has
happiness and unhappiness, pleasure and pain.  When 'saman bhava' is attained, the idea 'I am the body' is no longer present
and Maya is transcended.

Question:  Is the body to be regarded as unreal, as 'not me'?  What attitude should I have towards this body and all the sensory
information it provides me with?

A.S:  By itself, this body is jada, inert and lifeless.  Without the mind, the body cannot function. And how does the mind
function?  Through the five senses that the body provides. 

Mind and body are like the tongue and teeth in the mouth.  They have to work in harmony with each other.  The teeth do
not fight with tongue and bite it.  Mind and body should combine in the same harmonious way.

However, if we want to go beyond the body, beyond the mind, we have to understand and fully accept that all the information
the senses provide is not real.  Like the mirage that produces an illusory oasis in the desert, the senses create information
that there is a real world in front of us that is being perceived by the mind.  The apparent reality of the world is an illusion.
It is merely a misperception.  When the mind perceives a snake where in reality there is only a rope, this is clearly a case
of the senses projecting an imaginary image onto a real substratum.  This, on a large scale, is how the unreal appearance
of the world is projected by the mind and the senses onto the underlying reality of the Self.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2015, 07:49:12 AM »
Question:  Is fasting beneficial?  I have heard that thoughts diminish when one restricts one's food.

Annamalai Swami: This may happen, but one should be careful not to take it to extreme lengths. Bhagavan said that sattvic food
in moderate quantities was the best external aid for sadhakas.  Starving oneself will not produce long term benefits. Bhagavan
also advised that we should starve the mind of thoughts rather than starve the body of food.  We need to keep the body in good
health in order to do good sadhana.  Depriving it of food and making it weak is not a step in the right direction.

One of Bhagavan's devotees, Lakshmana Sarma, was a great advocate of  naturopathy and fasting.  He was a good devotee
who wrote an excellent commentary on Ulladu Narpadu.  Bhagavan gave him many lessons on this work, and Lakshmana Sarma's
commentary incorporated the explanations that Bhagavan Himself gave

During the 1940s a boy of about 20 years of age came from London.  A bomb blast had affected his hearing. Lakshman Sarma
wanted to treat him through naturopathy.  Usually this involves going on a fast,although there are several  other aspects to
the treatment as well.  The boy was put on fast of several days, but unfortunately in this case there was no improvement.
The fasting treatment was extended but the boy became weaker and weaker. Eventually he became so weak, he died. Right
until the end the boy was expecting that this treatment would cure him, but  in the end it brought about his death.

These treatments have to be taken carefully. There  are  many people who will not be benefited by them.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2015, 09:09:15 AM »
Self Inquiry is the  process by which attention is put on the substratum instead of on names and forms that are habitually
imposed on it. Self is the substratum out of which all things appear to manifest, and the  Jnani is the one who is continually
aware of the real substratum.  He is never deluded into believing that the names and forms that are perceived by the senses
have any  real existence.

Whatever we see in this room, for example, that picture of Bhagavan over there, is unreal. It has no more reality than objects
we perceive in our dreams. We think we live in a real, materially substantial world, and that our minds and bodies are real
entities that move around in it. When the Self is seen and known, all these ideas fade away and one is left with the knowledge:
Self alone exists.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2015, 05:09:53 PM »
Question:  So we should make sure that we eat regularly?

Annamalai Swami:  We should not force ourselves to eat if we are not hungry. Eat food when you feel hungry. Food always
tastes better if you have an appetite for it.  Eating food at times directed by others is far less satisfactory.  If we take food at
times when we have an appetite for it, we won't get sick.  This is not my advice. Avvaiyar, a great Tamizh saint, gave this advice
in one of her poems, and Tiruvalluvar, another of our great poet saints, wrote 'If you take your food only when you are hungry
you won't get sick. If you live like this, you will have to go out and search for medicine.'

Arunachala Siva.         

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2015, 08:31:42 AM »
Question:  I want to ask Swamiji a question.  I want to relax more into the present and surrender to Bhagavan's will,
but I am not sure that is really within my power.  In Swamiji's book (Talk No. 5), Swamiji gave this answer: 'According
to one's prarabdha, the efforts that are destined to happen will  arise in one's mind.'
This is an extremely significant remark for me.  As I understand it, all activities that happen in this world happen according
to Bhagavan's will. But the thoughts that instigate the actions also seem to come from Bhagavan  and also are pre-determined.

Annamalai Swami:  Yes.Everything comes from Bhagavan. All our activities play themselves out as a manifestation of the divine
will. Our karma  is part of this destiny.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 01:52:32 PM »
Q: OK. But I would still like to relax in the present and surrender to Bhagavan's Will.  I find that throughout the day thoughts
are coming up. A thought comes up: 'I want to realize the Self.' I remind myself,'Here and now I am the Self. This desire does
not come from the Self because the Self has no need of realizing itself. So this must be my vasanas coming up. I will ignore this
thought.'.....

Annamalai Swami:  Your thoughts arise on a moment to moment basis because of your vasanas. But it is a mistake to think
that you can do nothing about them.You can be interested in them, or you can ignore them. If you show interest in them,
they will persist and you will be caught up in them. If you ignore them and keep your attention on the source, they will not develp.
And when they don't develop they disappear.

In Who am I? Bhagavan compared this process to laying siege to a fort.  If you cut off, one by one, the heads of the
thoughts as they appear out of the fort of the mind, sooner or later there will be none left.  The way to do this,is by
self inquiry. As each thought rises, you ask yourself, 'To whom does this thought appear? If you are vigilant in doing this,
the forest of thoughts will lessen and lessen until there are none left. When the thoughts have gone mind will sink into its
source and experience that source.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2015, 08:00:13 AM »
Question:  I was not here yesterday, but I was told that someone asked the following question:'I have been following Bhagavan's
teachings for many years, but without any obvious benefits.I don't feel any peace. What am I doing wrong? Why am I not  getting
any results?

Annamalai Swami:  Self inquiry must be done continuously. It does not work if you regard it as a part time activity. You may
be doing something that does not hold your interest or attention, so you think, 'I will do some self inquiry instead.'  This is
never going to work. You may go two steps forward when you practice, but you go five steps backward when you stop your
practice and go back to worldly affairs. You must have a life long commitment to establish yourself in the Self.  Your determination
to succeed must be strong and firm, and it should manifest as continuous, not part time, effort.

For many lifetimes you have been immersed in ignorance. You are habituated to it. All  your deep rooted beliefs, all your
patterns of behavior reinforce ignorance and strengthen the hold it has over you.  The ignorance is so strong, so deeply
enmeshed in all your psychological structures, it takes a massive effort over a long period of time to break free from it.
The habits and beliefs that sustain it have to be challenged again and again.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2015, 12:22:04 PM »
Question: How can we recognize  a Jnani?

Annamalai Swami: For a mature seeker there is one principal symptom of being in the presence of a Jnani.  If the seeker's mind
becomes quiet, without any effort, then this is a good indication.  But this is not a test that is valid or  conclusively for
every one.  If an immature seeker sits in the presence of a Jnani, his or her mind will probably  remain just as active as ever.
It is very difficult for ordinary people to determine who is and who is not a Jnani. There are no consistently reliable tests.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2015, 12:00:22 PM »
Annamalai Swami: Remember, nothing happens in the mind is 'you' and none of it is your business.You don't have to worry
about thoughts that rise up inside you.It is enough that you remember that the thoughts are not you.

Question: That goes for all kinds of thoughts?

Annamalai Swami:  Whatever kind of thought arises, have the same reaction: Not me.  Not my business. It can be a good
thought or a bad thought.  Treat them all the same way.To whom are these thoughts arising? To you. That means that  you are
not the thought. You are the Self.Remain as the Self, and don't latch onto anything that is not the Self.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

 


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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2015, 11:23:48 AM »
Question: So you are saying that believing that I am the body and a particular person is purely imagination. Or better still,
a bad habit that I should get rid of?

Annamalai Swami:  Correct. This habit has become very strong because you have reinforced and strengthened it over many
lifetimes.  This will go if you meditate on your real Self. The habit will melt away, like ice becoming water.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2015, 04:20:07 PM »
Question:.............Or taking my own case, if I make an effort to listen to the sound 'I-I' is this
God's Will or is it an individual effort?

Annamalai Swami:  Forgetfulness of the Self happens because of non inquiry. So I say, 'Remove the forgetfulness through inquiry.'
Forgetfulness and non forgetfulness is not part of your destiny. It is something you can choose from moment to moment.  That
is what Bhagavan said. He said that you have freedom either to identify with the body and its activities, and in doing so forget
the Self, or you can identify with the Self and have the understanding that the body is performing its predestined activities,animated
and sustained by the power of the Self.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   

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Re: Annamalai Swami - Final Talks - Some Excerpts
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2015, 01:19:50 PM »
Question:  The outside world is miserable, confusing place. There is not much going on there that helps us to remember
who we really are.

Annmalai Swami: Yes.You can say that this state of affairs is also Bhagavan's grace, Bhagavan's compassion.  You could
say that He keeps the world like this as an incentive to go inwards.  This state of affairs sets up a real choice: if we go outwards
there are problems. If we go inwards there is Peace.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.