Author Topic: Participation - Editorial Mountain Path, April - June 2016:  (Read 1300 times)

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43604
    • View Profile
Participation - Editorial Mountain Path, April - June 2016:
« on: March 31, 2016, 12:53:09 PM »
The question is often asked by newcomers to the Asramam:  Who is the teacher they can turn now
that Ramana Maharshi left this world in 1950?  The normal response is:  what need to look elsewhere
when Bhagavan is still here?  It is all very well for those who are convinced because of their own intimate
experience of Bhagavan's Grace but for the sceptics, more especially those who are in desperate need
of guidance, this is an unsatisfactory answer.

Al of us who are devotees of Bhagavan know there is a subtle radiance ever available if one but remains
still and listens quietly with an open heart and mind.  The fact that people come again and again is ample
proof that they do 'get' something so fulfilling that they eagerly want to return.  What is this grace that
satisfies the heart and quietens the mind.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43604
    • View Profile
Re: Participation - Editorial Mountain Path, April - June 2016:
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2016, 12:40:59 PM »
The question the direct devotees of Bhagavan asked was what do we have to know that the physical
body of Bhagavan has been laid reverently and with great sorrow into the earth?  All those close to
Him were lost in disbelief that their rock of certainty and wisdom had apparently disappeared.  It should
be remembered that being in Bhagavan's presence was not a grave affair where everyone sat around Him
in hushed, fearful silence.  Yes, there were times when He withdrew and everyone automatically kept
quiet.  And yes, during the chanting of Vedas in the morning and evening, Bhagavan 'went' somewhere
far beyond the powers of anyone's mind to follow. But otherwise He was easily approachable.  His kindness
and spontaneous, welcoming smile were immediately apparent to all those who came to Him with a sincere
heart.  There were a few today who were alive then and remember those cheerful times with a contented
smile.

For most of us, all we have are historical facts and none of the joy of being in His company nor the poignancy
of His physical departure.  What we do have today are the photographs, His published words and writings,
the stories and the Asramam.  All these contain the possibility that could kindle a flame of inspiration in us.
Perhaps with one of these forms we feel in ourselves for a moment whole and alive with the familiar but
fleeing happiness of recognition. 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43604
    • View Profile
Re: Participation - Editorial Mountain Path, April - June 2016:
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2016, 12:40:47 PM »
Each time we open a page of His writing, verses and songs there is an opportunity for affirmation.
We believe that by reading or chanting we engage with the same truth He endowed on those who
surrounded Him in the days of His physical presence.  But words Bhagavan wrote or said are not dead
if we allow them to enter us. With our breath we make sounds that create anew the truths He revealed.
With our intention we make fresh in the heart the words which empower us.  It does not matter how
many explanations, commentaries, anecdotes are available, they count for nothing if we fail to capture
their intent and spirit.

What we are doing in fact is engaging in an inner adventure of wonder and participation.  By this act
of remembrance we are not repeating by mindless rote but are giving birth in ourselves to a sense of
wonder, joy and a profound mystery.  Because in the end., we do not find the 'answer' but rather, engage
in a perpetual mystery.  Those who think there is a magic pill that solves all misery are mistaken. There is
however a growing inner confidence that Bhagavan's Grace will carry us forward though we are blind to
the next step.  We learn to trust with all will be well.  Did He not say that if we take but one step then
He will take the other nine?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43604
    • View Profile
Re: Participation - Editorial Mountain Path, April - June 2016:
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2016, 11:30:22 AM »
There is a well known quote from Albert Einstein that says it best: 

'The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is source of all true art and science.
He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe,
is as good as dead - his eyes closed.  The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear,
has also given rise to religion.  To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as
the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their
most primitive forms -- this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.  (Einstein - Living
Philosophies.) 

We are reminded of some photographs taken of Bhagavan on sacred Arunachala where He gazes up at the
Hill in stunned awe.  The 108 verses of Aksharamanamalai is a way of inscribing that feeling of wonderment
in our hearts.  It makes sense of the swirl of emotions we experience in Arunachala's divine presence
when it casts off the cloak of stone and reveals its majesty.

If we experience for a second that feeling of oneness it remains indelibly imprinted on our minds.  It is
always a beginning for there can be no possibility of accumulation and complacent satisfaction.
Bhagavan's grace is not a material we gather like some possession and hoard.  It is a living presence.
Each day,  each moment we dedicate to our relationship with Bhagavan is a renewal of creative identification
with His form and words.  Each day is a new creation and with it we are brought back each time to the present
and the right place by a gentle and sometimes, if needed, sharp jerk on the rope of remembrance to sustain
ourselves.  Right thoughts, right emotions are vital if we are to successfully follow Bhagavan's instructions.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43604
    • View Profile
Re: Participation - Editorial Mountain Path, April - June 2016:
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 12:44:16 PM »
Bhagavan's poetry embraces all.  Though the original is in Tamizh, even if we chant the verses with a little
initial understanding, we can soon enter the thrust of verses till they throb in our veins.  Poetry starts
in silence, the silence of expectation, and it ends in another silence, -- if it speaks the truth  -- a fullness
without measure.  From out of our solitude we read or speak or chant till, in a subtle way we cannot explain,
we are joined with something greater than whom we think we are, with our fixed memories, desires and fears.
The walls dissolve and we experience fullness (purna).  We are reminded of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:
'That is full, this is full.  Fullness gushes forth from fullness.  Even after the full has been fully drawn upon,
this full remains full.'  (Brihad 5.1.1.).

Our understanding of Bhagavan is meditated through words. His words are the vessel to express our longing,
heart ache, love and joy towards that which we know in our heart of hearts to be true.  It is the way of
connecting when our own collection of carefully accumulated words to describe the world and ourselves fail.
It is an act of reciprocity and brings us into the light relationship with Arunachala. One way to strengthen
this relationship is to set aside time and listen each day to the Asramam recording of the Tamizh Parayana.

The remarkable aspect of these songs is that they resonate and give us the gift of belonging to something
far greater than we normally expect, hindered as we are with our unconscious Vasanas or tendencies.
(There is a saying: 'There are none so blind as those who will not see.')   It is an intimacy that is both
private and participatory.  It is a family feeling of belonging.  Bhagavan joked that He left His family in
Madurai and renounced the world and yet look at the family He now at Arunachala.  This is the paradox
of Ramana Maharshi:  a sadhu absorbed in sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi, yet a keen participant in the lives
of those who came for solace.  Nobody is left out who comes with a sincere heart.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43604
    • View Profile
Re: Participation - Editorial Mountain Path, April - June 2016:
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 12:41:07 PM »
When we read or speak the words they should come out of our body and mind.  When we recite a verse
we inhabit it.  Through direct intention we bring the words alive and they leap out of our hearts. We
become its speaker, its instrument.  We let its heart-beat pulse through us as embodied experience.  We
now engage in a mutual participation with Bhagavan who is the precipitator of the verse.  The words are
the catalyst which breaks down the doors of separation for we have called from one side of the door to the
other side and there is a response if we but listen, uplifts us.

Have you noticed that we cannot control the words once we start reciting them?   They control and guide
us if we but let go and trust.  One cannot technically say Bhagavan's words are mantras, but His hymns
to Arunachala can  have the same mesmeric effect.  Even Bhagavan was profoundly affected when He
composed Aksharamanamalai as if a dam had burst and a surge of divine inspiration overwhelmed Him
with a torrent of graciousness.

The problem, if it can be called that, is Arunachala is no meek mass of weak pity and saccharine empathy.
It is a raw, remorseless power that buries itself in stone.  it is not for the fainthearted.  There is a mythic
element to its presence which no reasoning or conceited explanations can subdue.

We know that Arunachala will devour us so there is a dance between us:  we take two steps forward then
hastily one step back after realizing how hot the lave of grace burns.  And so it should be because we would
splinter into a thousand pieces if confronted directly with its naked eminence.

(Arunachala!) To stand opposed to your devotees, as if you raised the flag of battle, to kill them without
killing, is your firm resolve.  Having married you, how will I survive (after that as a person, an individual
soul like the rest, and not die?  (Verse 24)

Luckily for us, kindness is the second nature of Arunachala.  The myth of Parvati who merges with Arunachala
Siva, indicates to us, that the masculine domination is softened with feminine grace and compassion.
Joined as one, Ardhanariswara, is a perfect expression of that elusive fullness we seek within us.  It is there
before us as we sing Arunachala's praise.  Arunachala's mysterious action in the cave of our hearts opens up
so that we may see we are truly joined in one heartbeat.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.                 
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 12:58:50 PM by Subramanian.R »