Author Topic: Hridaya - John Grimes:  (Read 940 times)

Subramanian.R

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Hridaya - John Grimes:
« on: March 08, 2016, 12:35:14 PM »
(This article appeared in Mountain Path, Jan.- Mar. 2016)

*


Reflect for a moment.  Bhagavan Ramana was just sixteen years old;  basically a normal village boy
virtually devoid of any religious vocabulary.  He had never heard the terms:  Brahman, Atman, Moksha,
Sadhana.


One day, at the age of sixteen, He spontaneously lay down in a first floor room of His uncle's house,
held His breath, kept His lips tightly closed, and a death experience happened to Him.  He did none
of this consciously.  As the experience unfolded, He inquired, 'Who am I who is dying?' and a force arose
in Him.  'Well then,' I said to myself, 'this body is dead and will be reduced to ashes. But with the death of
this body, am 'I' dead?  Is the body 'I'?  This body is silent and inert.  But I felt the full force of my
personality and even the sound 'I' within myself, apart from the body. So 'I am a Spirit, a thing transcending
the body.  The material body dies, but the Spirit transcending it cannot be touched by death.  I am therefore,
the deathless Spirit.'  (B.V.Narasimha Swami:  'The Life and Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Chap.
'Born Anew.')

From that moment on, the 'I' or Pure Consciousness was experienced as the only Reality.  And this
never ceased.  Years later, when Sri Ramana was speaking of this event, He said:  'Absorption in the
Self has continued from that moment right up to this time.   (ibid.)

Whether His body was engaged in talking, walking, sitting, eating, or anything else, it would forever more
be centered on the Imperishable.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Hridaya - John Grimes:
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 04:19:48 PM »
Incredibly, Sri Ramana's experience was unmotivated.  He recalled: 'I knew nothing of life and had no idea
that it was full of sorrow;  and I had no desire to avoid rebirth or seek release, to obtain detachment or
liberation. (ibid. p.12) True, His awakening was set in motion by a 'sudden fear of death', but it should
be noted that this fear appeared suddenly, spontaneously.  The boy was not consciously seeking to avoid
death or seek a solution to life's problems. From that moment on Sri Ramana remained perpetually,
continuously absorbed in that force.

Bhagavan Ramana's life and teachings were an incredible confirmation of both the Upanishadic teachings
as well as the teachings of Advaita Vedanta. However, in an interesting twist in this instance, Sri Ramana's
teachings are primary revelation of Advaita are a confirmation of His awakening because they are found to be
in accord with His teachings!  It is a wonderful phenomenon that the words of Lord Ramana, in numerous
instances, are virtually the exact words in the Upanishads, in the teachings of the Sages, and a host of others.
What is remarkable is that Lord Ramana had no knowledge of the ancient teachings before His Self Realization
and only came to learn of them many years after.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Hridaya - John Grimes:
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2016, 10:51:12 AM »
Without a vocabulary to describe what happened to Him, it took sometime for Him to develop one.
He said, 'I had read no books other than Periyapuranam, my Bible lessons, and bits of Tayumanavar
or Tevaram.  My notion of God (or Isvara as I called the Infinite but Personal Deity) was similar to that
found in the Puranas. I had not heard then of Brahman, samsara, etc.,  I had no idea then that there was
an Essence or Impersonal Real underlying everything, and that myself  and Isvara were both identical with
it.  (Self Realization, B.V.Narasimha Swami)

As we know, following Sri Ramana's great awakening, He moved to Arunachala.  After about two years
there, due to Palaniswami, a young spiritual aspirant,  Bhagavan acquired a familiarity with some basic
texts of Advaita Vedanta.  It was through these texts that He discovered corroboration of His own experience
and a vocabulary began developing.

Sri Ramana began to use many terms to indicate the Reality (all of which were synonymous).  He called
it the Self, Sat Chit Ananda, Jnana, Turiyatita, Swarupa, Sahaja Sthithi, and the hridaya  (Heart).  A
literal translation of hridaya is, 'This is the center'  (hrit /center  + ayam / this.)  Bhagavan said, 'The
Heart is not physical; it is spiritual; ... It is that from which the thoughts arise, on which they subsist and
where they are resolved. The thoughts are the content of the mind and they shape the universe.  The
Heart is the center of all.... That is the Heart.  Brahman is the Heart.  (Talks No. 97)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Hridaya - John Grimes:
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2016, 04:56:58 PM »
A devotee raised a question about the Heart.  Did Bhagavan feel the Heart as the point of Realization in
His first or early experience? Bhagavan replied, 'I began to use the word after seeing the literature on
the subject.  I correlated it with my experience.' (Talk No. 134).  Another devotee asked, 'How do you say
that the Heart is on the right, whereas the biologists have found it to be on the left?'  Sri Ramana replied,
'Quite so.  The physical organ is on the left; that is not denied. But the Heart which I speak is non-physical
and is only on the right side.  It is my experience, no authority is required by me.  Still you can find confirmation in a Malayalam Ayurvedic book and in Sita Upanishad.'(Talk 4).

Bhagavan said:  'I had been saying all along that the Heart center was on the right, notwithstanding the refutation by some learned men that physiology taught them otherwise.  I speak from experience.  I knew
it even in my home during my trances.'  (Talk $ 408).  This was further confirmed by Bhagavan after a subsequent death experience on the Hill.  He related, 'I had a very clear vision and experience.  All of a
sudden a light came from one side erasing the vision of the world was completely cut out. I felt the muscular
organ on the left had stopped work, I could understand that the body was like a corpse, that the circulation
of blood had stopped and the body became blue and motionless.  Vasudeva Sastri embraced the body, wept
over my death, but I could not speak.  All the time I was feeling that the Heart center on the right was
working well as ever.  This state continued 15 to 20 minutes.  Then suddenly something shot out from the right to the left resembling a rocket bursting in air.  The blood circulation was resumed and normal condition
restored.  (Talks #  408)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Hridaya - John Grimes:
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 10:26:03 AM »
Sri Ramana used the term Hridaya not to imply that there is a particular location or center for the Self
but merely to indicate that the Self is the source from which all appearances manifest.   He experienced
the spiritual Heart on the right side of His body while maintaining that in reality it is 'located' both everywhere
and nowhere.  It is like Bhagavan's being everywhere but more powerfully here. He is nowwhere for He never
had a form. 

According to Sankara, one's Heart is the temple (adhishtana) of Brahman, of the Self, and it is there that
Brahman is experienced;  it is the seat of Brahmanubhava. (Taitt. Up. Bhashya II. 6.1); Brahma Sutra Bhashya I.3.25: Brah. Up. Bhashya III. 9.23)  Sri Ramana said, 'Therefore, it is stated, that what is called the Heart is no other than Brahman.  Moreover, for the reason that Brahman shines in the hearts of all souls as the Self,' the name   'Heart' is given to Brahman. (Self Inquiry Section 9).

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Hridaya - John Grimes:
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2016, 12:27:57 PM »
'In the recesses of the lotus shaped heart of all, from Vishnu downwards, there shines as Absolute
Consciousness the Paramatman (Supreme Spirit) who is the same as Arunachala or Ramana. When
the mind melts with love of Him and reaches the inmost recess of the Heart wherein He abides as the
Beloved, the subtle eye of Absolute Consciousness opens and He reveals Himself as pure Knowledge.'
(The Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi, 'Arunachala Ramana'.

Sri Ramana said in regard to where the Heart is located, 'The Heart is used in the Vedas and the scriptures
to denote the place whence the notion 'I' springs.   Does it spring only from the fleshy ball?  It springs within
us something right in the middle of our being.  The 'I' has no location.  Everything is the Self.  There is nothing but that. So the Heart must be said to be the entire body of oneself and of the entire universe, conceived as 'I'.  But  to help the spiritual practiser, one has to indicate a definite part of the universe, or
of the physical body.  So the Heart is pointed out as the seat of the Self. But in truth we are everywhere,
we are all that is, and there is nothing else.  (Talks, Op.cit Talks $ 29)/

Again, regarding the location of the Heart:  "The Heart is not physical.  Meditation should not be on the right
or left. Meditation should be possible on the Self.  Everyone knows 'I am'. Who is the 'I'?  It will be
neither within or without, neither on the right nor on the left. 'I am' - that is all. The Heart is the center
from which everything springs.  Because you see the world, the body and so on, it is said that there is a
center for these, which is called the Heart.  When you are in the Heart, the Heart is known to be neither
the center nor the circumference.  There is nothing else. Whose center could it be? (Talks $  273).


concluded.

Arunachala Siva.