Author Topic: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi  (Read 18448 times)

Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2016, 11:00:07 PM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni - IV

It is interesting to note that Kavyakantha was a staunch devotee of Shiva, the formless father aspect of God. He had never worshipped God in the aspect of the Mother, Shakti or form. However, from the moment the Mother showed his guru to him, he became her devotee as well. (The side of the town with the Arunachaleshwara temple is called the front of the hill. The stretch from Nirudhilingam to the Eshanyalingam, south-west to north-east, is the back. A little known fact about Arunachala is that the front is the father aspect, while the back is the mother aspect. All miracles and powers?psychic, spiritual, physical, or worldly?stem from the mother aspect. In the lives of Bhagavan's devotees, miracles and visions took place between Nirudhilingam and Eshanyalingam. With Kavyakantha too, it was at Nirudhilingam that the Mother aspect guided him to his guru.)

He wanted to express his gratitude to the Mother by composing a thousand verses in Sanskrit in her praise. He surrendered to Bhagavan and began work after seeking his permission. He chose a sacred day to complete all thousand verses. Unfortunately he fell ill and could only write only around seven hundred verses. The night before his self-imposed deadline, he approached Bhagavan at Virupaksha cave with his problem. Bhagavan encouragingly reassured him, ―Do not worry, I will come and sit with you. It was a wonderful sight: the young Master sitting, radiating silence, his older devotee dictating extempore verses in a torrential flow, and his disciples writing them down late into the night, around the lantern light. Genius that he was, Kavyakantha started dictating the first line of the first verse to the first disciple, the first line of the second verse to the second disciple, the first line of the third verse to the third disciple and so on. Then he proceeded without stopping to dictate the second line of the first verse to the first disciple, the second line of the second verse to the second disciple, the second line of the third verse to the third disciple . . . until at one-thirty in the morning, the thousand verses were complete. Bhagavan, who until then was sitting with eyes closed, in rock- like silence, opened his eyes and asked, ―Have you taken down all that I dictated? Kavyakantha fell at his guru's feet and cried ―Yes Bhagavan, they are your verses!

This anthology of verses is called Umasahasranaamam. Uma is the Divine Mother, while Sahasranama in Sanskrit means thousand?therefore the title can be translated as ―Thousand Verses in Praise of the Divine Mother. Kavyakantha revised the first seven hundred and odd verses many times but left untouched the verses that he dictated that wonderful night, verses which he felt came from Bhagavan.
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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2016, 05:32:16 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni - V

When I went to Ramanashram some people, for whom I had respect, often spoke ill of Kavyakantha. They claimed that his accounts were figments of his imagination. I was influenced by their views on the genius. Even today there is a lot of literature that portrays Kavyakantha in a poor light. I approached Munagala Venkataramaia, a distinguished scholar and one of the recorders of the talks with Bhagavan. Now, Munagala had not seen Kavyakantha and was therefore neutral about him. ―Why do people pull down Kavyakantha so much? I enquired, listing out all the transgressions he is rumored to have made. ―Ganesan, stop! he exclaimed. ―How did you know all this? I revealed the names of the people who told me this. He replied, ―They have given an opinion and you have received it. Are you sure it is the Truth? I was puzzled. ―How can we know which opinion is correct? I asked. Munagala then said, ―Whatever Bhagavan says is trustworthy.
I was still not satisfied. I had read a tiff that Kavyakantha was not a Self-realized soul because he had so many sankalpas. His detractors often quoted this too, and I was convinced by this logic. I put forth my argument to Munagala. He told me, ―I asked Bhagavan the same thing?how come it is written in such and such a book that Kavyakantha was not Self-realized. Bhagavan told me, That is not what I said, but what the recorder must have expected me to say. Munagala then advised me, ―Go by whatever Bhagavan has said, and you will be near the Truth. Do not go by opinions, particularly if they divide people?whether saints or anyone else. Do not pay heed to them. Aspirants should never be carried away by negative statements made about any sage or saint. In order to progress, this is the first guideline to remember. What detractors say are just opinions and if we believe them, we fall victim to the mind.

It is true that Kavyakantha had very high ideals. However, they are not merely sankalpas, but satya sankalpas. A sankalpa is a concentrated desire of wanting to achieve something. A satya sankalpa is that sankalpa which comes to you?not that you have a desire for it. Kavyakantha had three satya sankalpas: His first sankalpa was that he wanted India to be free. Kavyakantha's second satya sankalpa was equal status for women in Indian society. With Christian and Muslim influences over many centuries, women were often subjugated and relegated to the kitchen. They were allowed no participation in society. However, Vedic culture stated that women must have equal rights. In the Vedic Age, many women like Vasishta's wife, Arundati, and Yajnavalkya's wife, Maitrayi, were considered jnanis or realized beings. Thirdly, he sought for Vedic culture to be revived.

He placed these before Bhagavan. In 1908, Kavyakantha had asked Bhagavan, ―Is aspiring to the source of the I-thought sufficient for the attainment of all my aims, or is mass incantation or mantra japa needed? Bhagavan replied, ―Aspiring to the source of the I-thought will suffice. Though this was the initial advice Bhagavan shared with him, Kavyakantha pressed on with his argument, ―What about my aims and ideals? Bhagavan replied, ―It will be better if you throw the entire burden on the Lord. He will carry it, and you will be free. He will do his part.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2016, 12:48:19 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
------------------------------------

Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni - VI

Munagala Venkataramaia told me, ―People quote these sentences. But Bhagavan told me what happened afterward. At first, Kavyakantha could not grasp the inner meaning of Bhagavan's counsel. After a few years, he came to Bhagavan and said, Bhagavan I am surrendering all my sankalpas at your holy feet. There was no greater guru than Bhagavan for him.

It is interesting to see how all three of Nayana's satya sankalpas were, in time, fulfilled. Nayana passed away in 1936, and India gained her independence in 1947. The Chief Minister of Madras State was a devotee of Bhagavan. Therefore he wanted the national flag to be hoisted not in the state capital Madras, but at Ramanashram. This created a furor in the state, but the Chief Minister adamantly said, ―I will go to my Master. He approached Bhagavan and insisted, ―You must hoist the national flag. It is a little-known fact: to the delight of all present, Bhagavan hoisted the flag. Then he turned to my Teacher, T. K. Sundaresa Iyer and said, ―Our Nayana's sankalpa is fulfilled.

Nayana's second sankalpa was also fulfilled by Bhagavan when he recognized Maha Samadhi for a woman, his mother. At that time it defied Hindu tradition. Now we venerate Anandamayi Ma, Mother Krishna Bai, Godavari Maatha, Shobanamma and many others. The exalted status of these women sages and saints, amongst others, was accepted by Hindu society only after the advent of the Ramana Gita. Now Bhagavan's words are quoted: that there is no difference between male or female. We must not forget that it was Kavyakantha, because of whom this wisdom was drawn out from Bhagavan. His second sankalpa found further fulfillment when Ramanashram appointed a woman as its manager of the School for the Vedas. This was to Kavyakantha's credit. He also contributed to her predecessor Major Chadwick's appointment, as the Vedapathashala's first manager. Being a westerner, this was unthinkable back then in India.

Nayana and his disciples plied Bhagavan with questions. Though the answers were not immediately noted down, Nayana had such a clear memory that later he condensed Bhagavan's answers into verses and recited them, saying, ―This is from the third chapter of Ramana Gita, or ―This is the eighth verse from the second chapter in the Ramana Gita. He had not yet written Ramana Gita and people used to wonder at his claims. Then, finally one day, he sat down and wrote the entire Ramana Gita of three hundred verses. He wrote the questions with their answers and showed them to Bhagavan, who verified each one of them and remarked, ―Perfectly correct.

Devotees of Bhagavan are universally grateful to Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni: Firstly, he was the one who recognized and shared with the Master his celebrated, sacred name. Secondly, he was the first person who persuaded our Master to start talking. Before him, Sivaprakasam Pillai, Gambhiram Seshayya, and others assumed Bhagavan was in formal silence and received Bhagavan's answers in writing. It was only to Kavyakantha that Bhagavan started giving answers orally. He was also the one who insisted that Bhagavan write a poem in Sanskrit in the arya meter. Bhagavan replied that he knew very little of Sanskrit and its meters. Kavyakantha explained the rules of the arya meter and repeated his request. A day later, Bhagavan presented to an amazed Kavyakantha, two flawless verses. Then, on the following day, he presented three more. These five verses are none other than Arunachala Pancharatnam, a hymn that is chanted daily in front of Bhagavan's Samadhi.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2016, 10:10:23 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni - VII

In the Ramana Gita, one of Bhagavan's answers about women is most revealing. Nayana questions Bhagavan, ―Are not women equal to men?Bhagavan answers, ―What is woman or man? It is based on the body. For the soul, there is no difference. Then Kavyakantha asks, ―Then is it possible for women to Master the scriptures? Bhagavan replied, ―Without a doubt. Nayana went on, ―Can women get Self-realization? Do they become jnanis? ―Without a doubt, the guru said. ―For the soul, which has to achieve realization, there is no difference.

In 1922, when Bhagavan's mother realized Maha Samadhi, it was not Bhagavan who wanted to entomb her, glorify her, or build a temple for her. It was Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni who helped carry her body to the present Ramanashram. He told Bhagavan, ―According to the scriptures and your words in the Ramana Gita, she is a realized soul. Therefore, she should be entombed with all sanctity. He administered this task, and it was around her Samadhi that the Matrabhuteshwara temple in Ramanashram was constructed. He even assigned the temple its name: Matrabhuteshwara, meaning ―the Lord who has become the mother. Thus, the idea of the temple, the nucleus, around which Ramanashram was built, came from Kavyakantha. We therefore owe a great deal to this saint, who silently and gracefully worked in the background all the while.

Kavyakantha was a lofty man. Due to his intense penance, his kundalini rose, and, according to the scriptures, when the kundalini goes to the sahasra, the crown of the head, its power passes through the head and reaches the sun. Kavyakantha did not want this. Being Bhagava's disciple, he wanted the energy to go to the spiritual Heart. The phenomenon of the kundalini energy reaching the brain is called kapala bheda?kapala is the ―head or ―skull and bheda is ―to break. This is the highest achievement in kundalini yoga. When the pain grew unbearable, he knew this was going to happen. He ran to Bhagavan, who placed his hand on his head. Kavyakantha said, ―The moment Bhagavan put his hand on my head, it was like cool moon rays raining down on me. The pain completely subsided. Prior to this, some of Bhagavan's other devotees reported to have seen a faint vapor-like substance rising from the top of his head.

My Teacher, T. K. Sundaresa Iyer, Kunju Swami, and Viswanatha Swami experienced another incident involving Bhagavan's grace upon Nayana. At one time, while doing penance in a Ganesa temple in Tiruvotiyur, near Chennai, Kavyakantha felt he was unable to progress spiritually. He prayed to Bhagavan, ―Help me! Help me! In response, he felt Bhagavan appearing before him, putting his hand on him, releasing him from his spiritual stagnation and then disappearing. Immediately Kavyakantha told his disciples about what happened. At the same time, Bhagavan at Skandashram collaborated, ―I was lying down, and all of a sudden, my body started floating. I heard the word Tiruvotriyur and walked in the main streets. I saw a Ganesa temple and entered it. Then, suddenly, I was back at Skandashram.
Then my Teacher, T. K. Sundaresa Iyer, asked, ―How did this happen, Bhagavan? Bhagavan replied, ―It is the sankalpa of Nayana. It was not my desire to go. He continued, ―With this experience I also understood how Siddhas?the legendary sages and saints?would seem to travel in the astral realm. Perhaps it was the same for me. Still, it was not mine, but Kavyakantha's desire made it transpire.

One day when Bhagavan was coming down the hill along with Nayana, Sundaresa Iyer, as well as some other devotees, he suddenly stopped and said, ―Nayana, look at me right now! The sun, moon, stars, and planets are revolving around my waist. The onlookers could not see the spectacle but they did see Bhagavan's body glowing with brilliance. Overawed, the devotees prostrated in front of the Master and chanted the sacred Purusha Suktham, a chant sung by ancient sages, praising the Lord of the Universe, where the sun and the moon are described as the two eyes of the Lord.

Bhagavan vouchsafed that after the kapala bheda and Tiruvotriyur experiences, an electric current, Shaktipat, had begun to pass through Kavyakantha's body. Therefore he could not walk barefoot on the earth without getting an electric shock. He began to wear wooden slippers but would reverently take them off in his Master's presence. Bhagavan would compassionately say, ―Nayana is coming. He cannot walk barefoot. Place a nonconductor, a wooden plank, for him to sit on. Give him also a woolen blanket that he can walk on without getting a shock. We must respect Bhagavan's relationship with Kavyakantha. How the Master looked upon his disciples is more important than how a fellow disciple looked upon another. A sincere saint like Bhagavan admired Nayana, and that is all aspirants and devotees of Bhagavan should consider.
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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2016, 01:17:31 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Sadhu Natanananda - I

While Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni was a colossus, Sadhu Natanananda can be compared to the tortoise in the ―tortoise and the hare fable. An unlikely spiritual giant, he rose from being an ordinary elementary school teacher to a man of deep wisdom and realization. Sadhu Natanananda is the author of Spiritual Instruction, which is one of the most important books for spiritual aspirants.

While still a teacher, he had studied Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, and the Vedas. He yearned for a guru; for he understood that it was through a true guru's guidance that he could know exactly what Truth meant. While he was searching for a Master, his friends told him of a young ascetic up on Arunachala hill who could guide him.

Nateswara Mudaliar, as he was known then, visited Bhagavan at Skandashram and seated himself near him. Since he was well-versed with the scriptures, he thought the guru would talk to him. However, Bhagavan very rarely spoke unless someone asked him a question. After spending hours in silence with Bhagavan, Nateswara went home disappointed. ―Perhaps he is not a saint, he thought, ―I will go to other saints. He visited many other saints and sages but was disappointed there, too, and wanted to visit Bhagavan again on his return as his friends reproached him, ―Why did you give up? Go again!

He then wrote many letters to Bhagavan, requesting his grace. He even sent a registered letter, on which he wrote, ―If you are not going to give me grace, I will die without realization. In my next birth I will demand grace from you again, and you will have to be born once more just to give me realization. You might as well give it to me now!

After this, Bhagavan appeared to him in a dream and said, ―You are demanding grace from me. You must first worship the Lord seated on the bull. In his small room, there was one picture which he had hung, and it was a picture of Shiva seated on the bull. Natanananda worshipped the image for a few days but was still not happy. He went again to Tiruvannamalai and visited Arunachaleshwara temple. ―Perhaps Bhagavan has guided me to this in the dream, he thought. This time, some people tried to dissuade him saying, ―Do not go to that silent ascetic. He will not talk to you! However, he was a stern, serious, persevering man. So much so, that even Muruganar pointed out that austerity was Natanananda's amour.

Without giving up hope, this school teacher went to Bhagavan again and pleaded, ―Bhagavan I want to experience your gracious wisdom. Kindly fulfill my prayer! Bhagavan looked at him for a full fifteen minutes. When a question was put to Bhagavan, he would usually not answer immediately. Instead he would prepare the questioner with silence and only then give the answer, so that it remained with the aspirant as direct experience. He was more interested in communing with the questioner than in the question. He gazed at Natanananda for fifteen minutes and then said, ―Is it the body in front of me which desires to obtain grace, or is it the awareness within it? If it is the awareness, is it not looking upon itself as the body and making this request? If so, let the awareness first of all recognize its nature. It will then automatically recognize God and grace. The Truth of this can be realized even now and here. Wave after wave of pure ecstasy pulsed through Natanananda, and he stayed in Bhagavan's presence for hours. He too had been blessed by Bhagavan's glance of grace. God sees God.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2016, 12:33:38 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Sadhu Natanananda - II

He once told me that even Bhagavan's glance did not permanently fulfill him, and there were some residual tendencies in him, despite being austere. Once when he was in Bhagavan's presence, Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni and other scholarly devotees were sitting with Bhagavan and speaking in Sanskrit about Hindu scriptures. He felt utterly dejected that he could not follow a single word about the lofty subjects that were being discussed and began to feel sad silently. He closed his eyes, with tears streaming down his cheeks. When he opened his eyes, everyone had left and only Bhagavan was there. Bhagavan looked at him compassionately and asked, ―Why are you so dejected? If you were really unfit to realize the Self in this life, you could not have come to this place at all. (This applies to everyone) Bhagavan continued, ―The power that drew you here will make you realize the Self. If not today, then at some other time, it is bound to fulfill its commitment. There is no reason why you should be dejected. This sealed any form of imperfection in Sadhu Natanananda and drove out all his ignorance. With this, he, too, became a Self-realized sage.

The day he understood his realization, he went incognito. The outward symbol of his becoming Self-realized was his obscurity. He lived alone, quite happy to be so and was immersed in the Self all the time. After Bhagavan's Maha Samadhi in 1950, and until 1967 or 1968, many did not even know if Natanananda was still alive. Though he stayed in a cottage in Tiruvannamalai, no one knew where he was. I thought, like most of the old devotees did, that he had passed away.

I had spent nine years in the Ashram, when suddenly one day someone said, ―Do you know, Natanananda is alive? I jumped with joy because I loved his book, Spiritual Instruction. I paid him a visit. He was an austere man with nothing in his room except for a few loin cloths. He blessed me and asked, ―What are you doing? Are you practicing Self-Enquiry? I replied, ―I am not capable of doing Self-Enquiry. I only chant Arunachala Shiva, Arunachala Shiva, Arunachala Shiva, Arunachala . . . His face clouded over with rage. I was taken aback because this was my very first meeting with him, and I was accustomed to people indulging me whenever they met me. Not Natanananda! He was a stern and serious man. He raged, ―What a fool you are! Why do you think you have come to Bhagavan? For what function has he chosen you? It is only to make you as he! Read his Forty Verses on Reality, practice Self-Enquiry, be the Truth. That is why you have been chosen! I was rapt.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2016, 02:15:26 PM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Sadhu Natanananda - III

He refused to come into the limelight or even stay at the Ashram. I found a cottage next to Mr. Osborne's house, and he stayed there until 1981. I was very fortunate that he allowed me to visit him and talk with him whenever I liked. Once, I drew him out of his reticence by asking him to give me an article for a souvenir I was bringing out for the Ashram. He obliged and handed it over to me. Unfortunately, I misplaced it. I assumed he would have a copy. I went to him and said, ―Swami, I am sorry, but I lost your article. Please give me your copy. I will very carefully note its contents down and then return it. He laughed at me and said, ―Look around you, Ganesan. My environment gives you an idea about me. Look at my room, there is nothing here?no books, no clothing, no utensils, nothing. Puzzled, I asked, ―What do you mean, Swami? He replied, ―Ganesan, you must have come to know that I have written many verses on Bhagavan. However, do you see any book here, even though they were all printed? The moment I would write my adoration about my Master either in verse or in prose, I would place it at my Master's holy feet. As far as I was concerned, my job was done. After Bhagavan dropped the body, a few people have asked me to write for them, just like you. I would comply by writing and submitting it to the management. There ended my responsibility. However, he did oblige me by writing that article again, which one can find in Ramana Pictorial Souvenir, published in 1967.

I once took a family which was popularizing Bhagavan's name by dance, singing, drama, and entertainment, to meet Natanananda. They were proud of the fact that they were doing the work of spreading Bhagavan's name and renown. When Natanananda met them, he was furious and cried, ―You talk such nonsense, thinking you are going to spread my Master's fame! The way you can do it is by becoming the Truth yourself. Put the teachings into practice right here, right now, and that is the best way you can serve the guru. My Master is the teaching. Therefore, if you put his teaching into practice, you also become my Master. This can be your deepest symbol of devotion to Bhagavan. This family got frightened and never afterward went back to meet Sadhu Natanananda.

In Natanananda's last moments, Sadhu Om, Kunju Swami, a few others, and I prayed before him. In every devotee's death that I witnessed, the one common factor was that none was bothered about his or her body. Just before Natanananda dropped the body, I asked, ―Swami, how do you feel? ―I am happy, he replied. Physically, he was suffering deeply. Every doctor that I took him to diagnosed him to be severely ill. Yet he said he was happy. I asked, a little surprised, ―What do you mean by happy? Natanananda replied, ―Look at Bhagavan's picture, and you will understand. Those were his last words. He directed my attention to Bhagavan and then happily closed his eyes. When he died it was a privilege for me to help build the Samadhi for this jnani's body.

The examples of Nayana and Natanananda are assurances for us who put Self-Enquiry into practice. It is an assurance from Bhagavan himself that this is our last birth, and the true guru will take us unto himself, to be the eternal Truth. Once, a man came to see Bhagavan in Virupaksha cave. He stayed for a week. During that time, he composed and sang four songs in praise of Bhagavan. He said his name was Venkataraman Iyer and that he was from Satyamangalam, a small village close to Tiruvannamalai. Later, he sent a fifth song, the famous hymn, Ramana Satguru. When Bhagavan read them, he was struck by their beauty and ever since then, many Tamil speaking devotees of Bhagavan have been singing these. Strangely, when some of the old devotees went to Satyamangalam to meet him, nobody in the village knew anything about him. Later on, while devotees were discussing this, Devaraja Mudaliar remarked, ―While at Virupaksha cave, Bhagavan had written five hymns in praise of Arunachala. To this Muruganar replied, ―Father Arunachala wanted to express his gratitude. He came in human form as Venkataraman Iyer and sang five hymns to Bhagavan.

One of the verses in Ramana Satguru means that Bhagavan has hoisted his flag of wisdom to call all beings to liberation from carnal existence. What is a billion? One followed by many zeroes. If you remove all the nonexistent zeroes that the billions of individual egos in reality are, what remains is the one. That One is the symbolism of Arunachala: that One is Ramana, and that One is what every One of us already is. We are not what we think we are; we are One.

Bhagavan emerged to charm us into remembering our original, nonphysical existence. No one was excluded from his grace?be it man, woman, or beast. But until recently, all his devotees were Hindus. It was destiny for the teaching to also ripple across the divide of nations, cultures, and religions, edifying each One. And unfold indeed; it did, without disturbing the beliefs of the thousands who came in faith, from all corners of humanity.
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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2016, 03:58:40 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Frank Humphreys - I

Frank Humphreys was a British police officer and a Catholic. Transferred from England, he arrived in Bombay with high fever and had to be admitted in a hospital. Frank Humphreys seemingly possessed psychic and occult powers. While in the hospital, he used these powers to relieve himself of the intense pain he was in. He then transported his subtle body to Vellore, a town near Tiruvannamalai where he had been posted, to meet one Narasimayya who was to teach him the local Telugu language. When he arrived in Vellore, Narasimayya introduced himself, saying, ―I am your Telugu tutor. ―I know, replied the Englishman. ―How do you know? asked the puzzled tutor. ―I have seen you, though you have never visited Bombay. I traveled in my astral realm and met you, replied Humphreys. Now Narasimayya had tutored many Britishers, most of whom were spiritually disinclined. He presumed that this man was just crazy.

Humphreys then requested Narasimayya, ―I would like to read a book on Hindu astrology in English. Can you help me? Narasimayya presumed that this was yet another crazy question from him and ignored it. Seeing this, Humphreys continued, ―Are there any mahatmas here? (Mahatma means great soul). This last question startled Narasimayya a little but he was not fully convinced and wanted to test Humphreys. He left without giving any reply. The next day he returned with a number of photographs of sages and saints and went to Humphreys' room. Seeing no one there, he left them on the table and went away.

When he came back, Humphreys had returned as well. Taking one photograph from the pile he asked, ―Narasimayya, is this not your guru? He was referring to a photograph of Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni. Kavyakantha was Narasimayya's guru. Thrilled, Narasimayya concluded that Humphreys was genuine, or there could not have been so many coincidences. Humphreys revealed, ―Last night your guru came into my dream. He sat next to me in my bed and said something in a language that I could not understand. This convinced Narasimayya. Unfortunately, Humphreys fell sick and had to be taken to a hill station, Ooty, where he stayed for a few months. When he returned he told Narasimayya, ―Last night I had a dream. Since you might not believe my verbal description, I am going to draw what I saw. He then drew a hill, a cave in it, a small waterfall running, and a sadhu standing there. It was the pictorial depiction of the Virupaksha cave and Ramana Maharshi. Narasimayya was speechless, ―This is my Master's Master! Kavyakantha's Master!

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2016, 01:21:01 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Frank Humphreys - II

Now completely convinced about Humphreys, he wanted to take him to Bhagavan. First, he introduced him to Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni who was then at Vellore. Kavyakantha was also surprised to see a Britisher who was twenty-one years old and already a superintendent of police. There was a Theosophical Society conference in Tiruvannamalai, in which Kavyakantha was to take part. All the three of them left for Tiruvannamalai.

Upon reaching their destination, Humphreys became restless; he wanted to see the saint whom he had seen in his dream. They went to Virupaksha cave and seated themselves in front of Bhagavan. Bhagavan's gaze locked on Humphreys for a long time. This is what Humphreys has recorded of his first encounter with Bhagavan:

―At two in the afternoon we went up the hill to see him. On reaching Virupaksha cave, we sat before him at his feet and said nothing. We sat there thus for a long time, and I felt lifted out of myself. For half an hour, I looked into the Maharshi's eyes, which never changed their expression of deep contemplation. I began to realize somewhat that the body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. I could feel that this Master's body was not the man; it was the instrument of God, merely a sitting motionless corpse, from which God was radiating terrifically. My own feelings were indescribable. The Maharshi is a man beyond description in his expression of dignity, gentleness, self-control, and calm strength of conviction. You can imagine nothing more beautiful than his smile. It is strange what a change it makes in one to have been in his presence.

This was a twenty-one-year-old Catholic Britisher's first experience of Bhagavan. Later, Kavyakantha suggested that he put some questions to the Master. Humphreys, being very young, enthusiastic, and wanting to serve the world, readily agreed. His very first question was, ―Master, can I help the world? Bhagavan: ―Help yourself, and you will help the world. Humphreys: ―I wish to help the world. Shall I not be helpful? Bhagavan: ―Yes, helping yourself, you help the world. You are in the world, you are the world. You are not different from the world. Nor is the world different from you. Humphreys, after a pause: ―Master, can I perform miracles just as Sri Krishna and Jesus Christ did before? Bhagavan: ―Did any one of them, when he performed them, feel that it was he who was performing the miracle? Humphreys: ―No, Master. This was the first hint Bhagavan shared with him suggesting that he should not be captivated by his occult powers and sense of doership.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2016, 12:50:43 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Frank Humphreys - III

He was unable to stay for too long in Vellore. He returned whenever he could, and traveled fifty miles in the hot summer sun on his motorcycle. When he reached Virupaksha cave, the first thing Bhagavan invariably asked him was, ―You have not yet eaten? Are you not hungry? Humphreys usually was hungry. Bhagavan would immediately arrange for food to be given to him. Bhagavan knew westerners ate with a spoon so he crafted a spoon made out of a coconut shell ready for him. This surprised Humphreys even more.

Once, Humphreys had finished his entire meal but was still hungry. Bhagavan remarked, ―You are still feeling hungry. He then asked somebody to give him more food. Lunch over, the young Englishman was now feeling very thirsty?thanks to the burning tropical heat?but his innate British reserve prevented him from asking for anything. Knowing this, Bhagavan immediately looked at one of the other devotees and said, ―Give him lemonade. He is very thirsty. All this impressed upon him that Bhagavan's love was not only that of a spiritual Master, but also that of a nurturing mother.

Many a time, he saw small children at the cave, neither talking nor playing, but just sitting peacefully. As a Britisher, he was baffled. He had never seen children sit so silently, so quietly, and for so long. The Truth was that these children could also share the spiritual peace of Bhagavan and responded in a like manner. Bhagavan knew of his inclination toward the occult sciences and dissuaded him. ―Pursue that which is superior to all the occult powers, he told him, ―Your aim should be higher than this. Not only higher, it should be the highest, and the highest is to recognize that you are the Truth. All these occult powers will delude you. You should give them up!

Bhagavan helped him wean himself off the usage of occult powers. Humphreys was a very strong man with a strong constitution. Just as he had the capacity to acquire occult powers, he also had the strength to practice his Master's teachings. Slowly, he gave up the occult sciences. When he relinquished his chosen vocation, the occult sciences, Bhagavan directed him with the teachings of Self-Enquiry, surrender, and taught him to go within.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2016, 11:12:32 PM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Frank Humphreys - IV

His descriptions of the Master, which he recorded in a letter and sent to his friend in England, were published in the International Psychic Gazette: ―The phenomena we see are curious and surprising, but the most marvelous phenomenon of all is one that we do not realize. That is that one and only one illimitable force within, which is responsible for all the phenomena we see and the act of seeing them. Do not fix your attention on all these changing things of life, death, and phenomena. Do not think of even the actual act of seeing or perceiving them, but only of that which sees all these things as that which is responsible for it all. This will seem merely impossible at first, but by degrees the result will be felt. It takes years of studying and daily practice; that is how a Master is made. Give a quarter of a day for this practice. Try to keep the mind unshakably fixed on that which sees. It is inside you; do not expect to find that that is something definite, on which the mind can be fixed easily?it will not be so.

Though it may take years to discover that, the result of this concentration will be seen in all sorts of unconscious clairvoyance, in peace of mind, in power to deal with troubles, and in the power all around, but always the unconscious power. I have given you these teachings in the same words that the Master gives to his intimate disciples. From now onward, let your whole thought in meditation be not on the act of seeing, nor on what you see, but immovably on that which sees.

What powerful instructions! Humphreys received everything after getting established in the Heart. He found it difficult to keep up with his job and pursue meditation as well. He came to Bhagavan, who advised him to stay on longer. The Master recognizes when you are completely ready; the Master cook needed to ―cook him for sometime longer so he made him stay. After a few months, he came again to Bhagavan. This time Bhagavan said, ―Now you can go. Humphreys has recorded, ―I went back as a better and deeper Catholic. There was no conflict in him at all. After some time, he turned away from all worldly things, entered a monastery, and became a monk. Established in the Heart, there was no Hindu, Christian, or Muslim; there was no male or female, just pure being.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2016, 11:45:46 PM »
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Masthan Swami - I

Masthan Swami was a staunch Muslim. His parents observed all religious codes, rituals, and disciplines rigorously, and brought Masthan Swami up in the same manner. Even as a child of eight years, Masthan would enter into Samadhi (a state of repose and silence) without knowing what it was. He had the natural ability to be detached from people and things from childhood. This remarkable devotee followed all the Islamic injunctions and was very much devoted to Allah and Prophet Mohammed. His natural inclination toward the Samadhi experience coaxed him to read, though he was mostly uneducated. He started reading and picking up Tamil and soon studied books like Kaivalya Navaneetam and Sukhar Vashistam.

A grand Sufi mystic named Gunangudi Masthan, who lived in the nineteenth century in those areas, was a powerful influence. He wrote simple Tamil poems extolling Allah, the Prophet, Islam, and the right way of living. But though Masthan Swami participated in Islamic festivals like Moharram, his Mind and Heart were tuned to the inward Self, going into Samadhi, reading and singing Tayumanavar's songs. (Tayumanavar's songs were extolled by Bhagavan because they dealt purely with the Truth. Other saints have brought in Shiva and other Gods but Tayumanavar stuck to the teaching of going into silence, and Masthan Swami was well versed in that.)

In 1914, Masthan Swami was living in Desur, a village forty miles away from Tiruvannamalai and from where Desurammal hailed. Being two of the only people in that village who shared a similar spiritual ―madness, the two became friends. One day she told him, ―Masthan Swami, you must meet my guru. She then brought him to Virupaksha cave to Bhagavan.

After this staunch and devoted follower of Islam came to see Bhagavan at Virupaksha cave, this is what he recounted: ―He was seated like a rock; his unswerving gaze was filled with grace, compassion, and steady wisdom. I stood by his side. After giving me a look, the gate of my Heart opened, and I was also established in that state in the very first encounter. Just one look from Bhagavan and I stood like that for eight hours, absolutely without fatigue, and filled with total absorption and peace. In those days at Virupaksha cave, Bhagavan would open our Hearts with a single gracious look, and we would be transformed. There was no need for any questions, since, by his look, he revealed inherent divine wisdom.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2016, 11:48:05 PM »
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Masthan Swami - II

What a wonderful man Masthan was! In the very first encounter he instantaneously, like all the others whom we have known about, took Bhagavan as his guru. He had already read about the qualifications and marks of a guru. He could see that seated in front of him, in human form, was not only his guru, but God as well. When he was ready to go back to his village, Bhagavan gave him a very steady look.

When he returned, Masthan Swami experienced some conflict within himself. Until then his Master had been Prophet Mohammed. Though Allah was God, and Prophet Mohammed was his guru, here was a living guru, Ramana Maharshi. ―Am I disloyal to my other guru, Mohammed, who is no more? he wondered.

This was his conflict?he was filled with Bhagavan's presence, but as he was brought up in the Islamic tradition he had this feeling, ―Am I brushing aside my Master Mohammed because he is no more in the body? Fortunately he was bold enough to go to Bhagavan and confess, ―Bhagavan, this is my problem. Please help me.

Bhagavan looked at him for sometime because Bhagavan was never interested in the question. Bhagavan was always more interested in the questioner. He looked at Masthan Swami for a full fifteen minutes, showering all his grace and replied, ―Do you take this body to be Bhagavan? Do you think the Prophet is dead? Then is Buddha dead? Is Jesus Christ dead? Is Adi Shankara dead? Are they not guiding, hundreds of thousands of people even today? Are they not living in the Heart? A living guru means the one living in one's Heart as a guru. A living guru does not mean somebody living in a body at a given historical time, and at a given geographical space. The guru ever lives in your Heart. Heart is Allah, Heart is Mohammad, Heart is Jesus Christ, Heart is Buddha, and Heart is Bhagavan. Live in the Heart as the Heart by diving into the silent Heart.

These words were recounted to me by Viswanatha Swami. I could not grasp them immediately, so I requested Viswanatha Swami, ―Please explain it so that I can understand. He said, ―The guru is timeless. To talk of the guru in time, you bring in death, birth, living, all this. There is no outer guru and inner guru. There is the guru principle, which is the Heart of every one of us. I said, ―Swami, how do you say this? He replied, ―A devotee once came from Lahore. Tiruvannamalai and Lahore are more than one thousand miles apart. In the 1920s and 1930s, travel was almost impossible in India. He could stay for a month or so. He was so beautifully blessed by the Master because he had already hoisted the flag. Everyone was to be enlightened. When he was to leave he wept before Bhagavan, ―How can I leave you and go, Bhagavan? Bhagavan asked, ―Where are you going? Can you go away from Bhagavan? Bhagavan is always with you, Bhagavan is in you. In fact you yourself are Bhagavan.

It is the same state of ―I am in Viswanatha and Ganesan that is Bhagavan; the living Master is always in the Heart as still awareness. This awareness that is in you and you in it, in me and in every one of us, is Arunachala Ramanan, God, Self, Heart, Jesus, Buddha . . . We can give it any name or no name. Love makes no claim of its own.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #43 on: September 21, 2016, 09:51:39 PM »
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Masthan Swami - III

Masthan Swami was a multifaceted personality. By birth he was a Muslim and by profession he was a weaver. It was said of Masthan Swami that he was the Kabir of Bhagavan. He was totally devoted to the Master just as Kabir was so devoted to his Master. Masthan Swami began coming regularly to Bhagavan. He relinquished weaving as a profession and wove to make loincloths and towels for Bhagavan. Being a true ascetic, he never married. He begged in the streets of his own village. When he came to Tiruvannamalai, he often would come with Desurammal. Desurammal had money and brought lots of food because she wanted to feed Bhagavan. Masthan Swami would carry rice and dhal on his head and walk the long distance from Desur happily. It was not a burden for him because he was going to meet his Master. At Arunachala, instead of sitting down and eating, he would go begging for alms.

Masthan had many conversations with Bhagavan. Of one such conversation, Masthan Swami recounts, ―Once while I was on my way to see Bhagavan, I prayed for his grace. On arrival at Virupaksha cave he asked me, ―Do you like saguna upasana, worship of God with form, or do you prefer nirguna upasana, worship of the formless God? I replied, ―I choose nirguna upasana. Bhagavan then shared with me this beautiful instruction, ―Fix the Mind in your Heart. If you keep your attention on the source from where all thoughts arise, the Mind will subside there at the source, and reality will shine forth. Though I have come across similar teachings in other books, these words of wisdom coming from the holy voice of my guru penetrated my Heart and implanted themselves as the way for me. After this meeting with Bhagavan, I had no further doubts about this. In fact no doubts arose at all after this.

Bhagavan guided him to be established in the Heart. Many a time he went around the hill with Bhagavan. Once, Masthan was divinely intoxicated. Bhagavan asked him to sing the Sufi saint's and the Gunangudi Masthan's songs. Bhagavan enjoyed those songs. Masthan says, ―I sang in the highest voice because it was my Master who had made the request.

Another interesting incident Masthan Swami relates is about Bhagavan and a large golden colored mongoose. That it was golden colored itself was unusual considering these shy creatures are grey in color. It was the Karthikai Deepam festival time. Hundreds of people were climbing up the hill. Running through the crowds, this mongoose went into Virupaksha cave. It began searching every nook and corner of the cave. At that time Palani Swami, an attendant of Bhagavan, was not there and was taking a bath in a stream nearby. Not finding Bhagavan inside, the mongoose went outside and licked Palani Swami's feet. Then it started climbing up further toward Skandashram where Bhagavan was. On reaching Skandashram, the mongoose royally jumped onto his lap and sat gazing at Bhagavan.

Bhagavan caressed it and looked at it, pouring his grace. Though the Ashram was crowded with people, the attendant present was Masthan Swami. He took care that this creature didn't get hurt and didn't hurt the peacocks there. Wherever the mongoose went, he followed it, unnoticed, and after a while it disappeared. When the Ashram manager, Perumal Swami returned, Masthan Swami related what happened. Perumal Swami said, ―You should have caught that mongoose and kept it tied down here! Bhagavan smiled at them, ―Can you catch him? Can you tie him down? He is a Siddha Purusha. Arunachala is home to so many Siddha Purushas. One of them wanted to come and spend some time with me. He came here. Can you ever think of catching him and tying him down here?

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2016, 02:46:35 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Masthan Swami - IV

During Bhagavan's lifetime, some of the serious aspirants were living in Palakothu, a grove of jack fruit trees near the Ashram. Sometimes they would decide to go to other towns, beg, and sing praises of Bhagavan. Whenever they went to Bhagavan to get his permission for doing so, Bhagavan would enquire, ―Where are you going? Where will you stay?

They would reply, ―Bhagavan, we are not concerned about that. We are going to lead the lives of parivrajakas, begging for food and staying without shelter. Bhagavan would not be very happy about this until they said, ―We shall inform Masthan Swami about where we plan to go. This was because Masthan Swami, once informed, would go after them, give them food, or beg for them, and make them take rest.

They would go to Porur, Desur, Chengam, or Gingee, all within a radius of thirty to forty miles. Masthan Swami would follow, or go ahead of them, wait on them, and serve them everywhere, saying ―I am the devotee of devotees in the most genuine way. They would ask him, ―Masthan Swami, you serve us so well. What can we do for you? ―You can do one thing for me, he would reply, ―Narrate without omitting one single word, whatever my Master spoke in my absence. This is the reward this devotee wanted.

Masthan Swami was very humble. Bhagavan himself said that except for Kunju Swami and Viswanatha Swami, the other devotees never knew who Masthan Swami was. He preferred to remain unobserved. The words humble, devoted, and pious aptly describe him.
Once a robbery took place in the old hall at Ramanashram while Bhagavan, Masthan Swami, and some others were present. There was no reaction from Masthan Swami though one sadhu actually took a crowbar to kill the robbers. Bhagavan stopped him and said, ―We are all sadhus, our duty is to keep quiet; the robbers' duty is to rob. We are sadhus; our duty is to follow our dharma. Let them follow theirs.

When Masthan Swami became ill, he moved from his village to another village because he did not want to give anyone trouble. Rarely did Bhagavan go out of his way for anybody, but in this case, Bhagavan called Desurammal and said, ―Wherever Masthan Swami goes; you be with him and look after him. I have rarely heard Bhagavan giving this kind of instruction for the sake of any other devotee.

Masthan Swami's last days were very beautiful. After he dropped his body, Desurammal came to Bhagavan and narrated, ―Bhagavan, in his last days we thought he was in delirium. He was saying, ―Nandi has descended and Shiva's celestial devotees, the bhutaganas, are dancing, saying, Masthan! Come, come to us.' Akhilandammal continued, ―Perhaps he was blabbering in his delirium but Bhagavan, in his last moment he stood up. It was absolutely impossible for him to stand up in that state. We were there. He stood up and then with tears in his eyes said, Apitakuchalambal herself has come to receive me, I am going Desurammal,' and he dropped dead.

When this was told to Bhagavan, he commented, ―Maybe the Universal Mother personally came to take him. All his descriptions tally with the world of Shiva described in the Puranas. Masthan Swami was an unassuming devotee. He had a wealth of hidden spiritual experiences.

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