Author Topic: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi  (Read 7131 times)

Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #75 on: April 30, 2017, 06:09:04 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Ramaswami Pillai - III

Even while he was working in the garden or going to town by cycle, he was unconsciously doing Self-Enquiry. Whenever I met him at the Ashram after 1960, he would advise me very fervently, ―Do not get involved in any of these pujas and other activities. They will not take you anywhere. Do only Self-Enquiry.

A few years before he passed away, he would talk to my friends, like Anuradha, and say, ―We must have a room or a hall where only Self-Enquiry is done. Once, on losing his keys, he went to Bhagavan saying, ―My keys are lost, Bhagavan. Bhagavan smiled and said, ―The keys are not lost; they are where they are. You have forgotten where you have left them. Then, as he often did, Bhagavan supplemented what he had said with his teachings: ―It is just like the Self. It is always where it is. We forget it and take so many paths searching for it, saying, I am not able to find the Self; I don't know what the Self is, or where it lies. We are searching for it even though it is always here. The Self is not lost, it is only forgotten. With the help of anecdotes, Ramaswami Pillai would give me Bhagavan's teachings.

Those who have been to Ramanashram and Skandashram must have seen the smooth, rock-paved path connecting the two. It was laid single-handedly by Ramaswami Pillai. I want to share with you a humorous incident. In an English version of Bhagavan's biography, there is mention of this path: ―A path paved with smooth rocks was laid from Ramanashram to Skandashram single-handedly by a devotee. Later, it was translated in a French edition as: ―It was laid by a man who had only one hand. Ramaswami Pillai would say, ―See! I have two hands, but this French book says I have only one hand, and yet I laid the path with it!

Wherever Bhagavan walked, Ramaswami Pillai would silently spread sand evenly, like velvet. Every day, even in the hot noon sun, he would go and even out the paths that Bhagavan would regularly walk on. He was so unassuming that many people neither recognized him nor knew anything about him. One day, while Bhagavan was going up the hill from Ramanashram, he scraped himself against a rock. Bhagavan was unmindful of it, but one of the attendants noticed it and told Ramaswami Pillai. From the next day onward, Ramaswami Pillai started taking greater care to even out a soft path for Bhagavan.

Rarely would Ramaswami Pillai go into the hall where Bhagavan sat. He would normally prostrate before Bhagavan early in the morning and leave for his long, grueling day of work. He had a unique sense of humor. One day when he came into the hall, he found two groups of traditional Hindus having an animated discussion. One group affirmed that according to the scriptures, Shiva, the male God, reigns supreme. The other group asserted that Shiva's wife, Shakti, is supreme. (Shakti means form and power. As a matter of fact, one section of the scriptures says that even Shiva gets his power from Shakti.) The two groups kept arguing in Bhagavan's presence while Bhagavan looked on unsmilingly. Bhagavan's interest was aroused when he saw Ramaswami Pillai because he was such a humorous and frank person. When Ramaswami Pillai learned what the argument was about, he said, ―Oh! That is very simple. The female group is strongest because, he said, quoting in English, ―He is contained in She. So she is the most powerful. What is the problem? So the entire Shakti group clapped and exclaimed, ―Ah! We have won!

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #76 on: May 07, 2017, 10:46:37 PM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Ramaswami Pillai -IV

But Ramaswami Pillai continued, ―Wait! Wait! Wait! He can remain independently as He. But She cannot remain independently as She. He has to be there; otherwise She can't exist. The Shiva propagators applauded and exclaimed, ―Oh! We have won! Bhagavan laughed uproariously, admiring Ramaswami Pillai's sense of humor. Whenever Ramaswami Pillai came into the hall, Bhagavan would take great interest. Bhagavan liked unpretentiousness, and this was Ramaswami Pillai's greatest quality.

With all his humor, Ramaswami Pillai used to din into my ears, ―You must do Self-Enquiry. In the presence of Bhagavan we could feel that the mind was only a shadow, a shadow of the Self. The ego, the mind, is only a shadow of the Self?an unwanted accretion, a state of ignorance. Then he would say humorously, ―Nothing will be lost by its destruction. This falseness has to be and can certainly be dissolved by steady enquiry into one's Self. Such Self-Enquiry itself is the grace of the Satguru. All other efforts are definitely a waste of time.

As we saw earlier, from the very first day he met Bhagavan, he had started memorizing Bhagavan's written works and verses. As the days went by, Bhagavan wrote many more verses. All the verses were mainly four-line verses. In the evenings, chanting was done in two groups. One group would chant the first two lines and the other group would sing the next two.

Ramaswami Pillai was a very excited man. The parayana (chanting) was set to a particular raga or tune, and everyone was expected to follow it. However, Ramaswami Pillai would suddenly take off on a tangent and then start ―shouting the parayana in a totally different tune.

This created a lot of problems for the people in the parayana group, and so they approached Bhagavan, as they always did, with their problems. They complained, ―Bhagavan, this Ramaswami Pillai does not follow the group. He goes off on a tangent. We are not able to solve this problem, and this is a big problem for us. Bhagavan replied, ―What is the problem? He has got such a stentorian voice. So let him sing on one side of the group and all of you sing on the other side. Ramaswami Pillai continued to ―shout out his own tune and the members of the other group stuck to the tune of the parayana!

During his last days, since Ramaswami Pillai had lost all his teeth, he could not eat the Ashram food. He would eat only Bombay halwa made out of wheat and sugar. Since it was soft, like jelly, he could easily swallow it. The halwa provided him energy, since it contained both wheat and sugar. I would provide him with the sweet. He was staying inside the Ashram, and I assigned him a room with an attached bathroom; I also appointed an attendant to look after his needs.

On one occasion, a yoga guru by name Desikachari came from Chennai, along with his group of teachers. He is a reputed yoga teacher and teaches me yoga and prana yama. I had invited him to Ramanashram. Anuradha and I took the group round the Ashram, and we also took them to Skandashram.

On the way, I was telling Desikachari that the road we were walking on was laid by a single man who was now more than one hundred years old. Desikachari's father had lived to be a hundred years old, and Desikachari would gloat over this fact. Anuradha confronted him saying, ―You used to say that your father lived to be one hundred years old. We have a man who is living now and is more than a hundred years old. On coming back from Skandashram, Desikachari asked me, ―Could I meet the hundred-year-old man?

I took him to Ramaswami Pillai's room; as always, he was excited when he saw me. ―Ganesan! he said, ―Come! Come! It was time to have his halva so he clasped his hand around my neck and started feeding me the halva. When I put out my hand, he gave it a pat and said, ―You are my child; you are asking me by holding out your hand! Come here. Thus saying, he started feeding me. This happened in 1995. I was not a child, but he was feeding me! Desikachari enjoyed the scene and then said, ―You used to say that he does parayana and has a beautiful voice. Could we hear him sing some songs? I said, ―Ramaswami Pillai, they want to hear you sing. So sing some song of Bhagavan. At this, he got very angry and declared, ―What do you mean by some song of Bhagavan? For me, there is only one song and that is Bhagavan's Arunachala Shiva.

He sang in his beautiful voice. When he came to the tenth verse, he started panting. I immediately said, ―Ramaswami Pillai! Stop! That is enough. ―Oh! You want me to stop? Yes, I will stop, he responded. It was three-thirty in the afternoon when we took leave of him, and as soon as I disappeared from the scene, he started singing Arunachala Shiva again. His attendant later said that he sang until five o?clock in the evening. Then he told the attendant, ―Sit me up on my bed. He continued singing Arunachala Shiva with full consciousness until he dropped the body. I was not present at the time, but the next day, we laid him to rest. I made the arrangements and interred him, since that is what he had wanted. After it was over, the President said, ―Hand me the keys. That was the day I left Ramanashram.

You will remember that Mother Krishna Bai asked me if I had attended fifty devotees. ―But Mother, under your command I have even taken them to the crematorium. ―Any one left? she asked me at the time, and I replied, ―Yes, two people are left. ―And who are they? she enquired. ―Kunjuswami and Ramaswami Pillai, I replied. I then requested, ―Please bless me. She said, ―You have some more work to do. I will bless you. I will give you this final state, but you have some more work to do. I did not understand what she meant at that time, but it soon became very clear. In 1992, Kunjuswami passed away, and in 1995, Ramaswami Pillai passed away. I was asked to give the keys after interring Ramaswami Pillai. I recall that I was neither upset nor angry at the request because I at once saw Mother Krishna Bai saying, ―Your work here is complete, now you can hand it over.

Ramaswami Pillai, a very sturdy rock, arrived at Arunachala. I love him because Bhagavan loved him, and he loved Bhagavan. He served not only in the Ashram, but also every devotee of Bhagavan. The path to Skandashram will remain for hundreds and hundreds of years, and every rock will talk about Ramaswami Pillai. Whether we human beings are grateful to him or not for the service done by him, every coconut tree in Ramanashram will remain grateful to him and never forget him. I pay homage to Ramaswami Pillai.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #77 on: May 10, 2017, 08:08:00 AM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Kunju Swami - I

The Upanishads say, ―One will get into the state of awareness or atmanishta only when the Self calls. The awareness itself has to call you. Whenever I meet a devotee, either in Ramanashram or outside, I always ask, ―How did you come to spiritual life? What made you turn to this? The sole function behind the question is to make them aware that they have been called. Even if this became a physical reality through the chance reading of a book, or suggestions from a friend, the Truth is these things happen because we have been called.
The main function of studying the lives of sages and saints and the early devotees of Bhagavan is to examine how each one of them had a turning point, a conversion.

Kunju Swami was one such remarkable saint. Kunju means ―baby in Malayalam, and he was so precious to his parents, they named him Kunju. He was chosen by God, just as, be assured, God or awareness or Self has chosen each of us. Do not exclude yourself, because if this were not true, you would not be reading and digesting this.

Kunju Swami resided in joy, cheerfulness, friendliness, happiness; in fact, no one has seen him in any other state. Any devotee who met Kunju Swami could never forget him. He was born in a so-called lower caste family. According to the caste system in India, people from lower castes were ostracized from society. On his birth, when his horoscope was cast, the astrologer predicted that this child was divine, and advised that special care be given to him. The parents paid heed to this counsel, and out of their five or six children, gave him the most attention.

Kunju Swami was very fond of his father, and accompanied him wherever he went. He would often go with him to bathe in a small pool. By the time he was three years old and was able to understand things, he would observe Brahmins and sannyasins, standing waist-deep in water and doing japa of mantras. ―Father, may we also chant a mantra like them? Why don't you teach me one? he asked eagerly.
His father shook his head, ―No, we are considered outcasts. Mantras are meant for Brahmins?the highest caste?and sannyasins. We cannot repeat them. The little boy was utterly dejected, and secretly shed tears at this prejudice. That night Lord Shiva appeared to him in a dream and said, ―My child, I am initiating you into a mantra. Chant Om Namah Shivaya.

The boy started chanting this as soon as he woke up. After a few days when he was again carried to the pool, he saw people taking sacred ash from a small cloth bag and smearing it on themselves. He told his father excitedly, ―Father, I would also like to have a sacred ash bag like that!―No, my child, we are all outcasts. We are not supposed to wear sacred ash or carry those sacred ash bags, his father replied. Kunju Swami once more was really upset on hearing this.

Lord Shiva appeared to him in a dream again that night, showed him a tree and said, ―My child, go to that tree and underneath you will find some coins. Take them and buy a bag of sacred ash. The next day he rushed to the spot, found three quarter annas (the Indian currency then), and showed them to his father, telling him what happened. ―Then it is Shiva's commandment, his father said. ―Go to the shop and buy that bag. Kunju Swami happily obeyed.

After a year, he (then a five-year-old boy) felt he must have a rosary. Hindus, particularly sannyasins, use a rosary made of rudraksha (natural seeds found only in Nepal) beads and consider it very sacred. He was afraid to tell his father, for fear of being told he could not have it because they were considered outcasts. He fervently prayed to Shiva, ―Please give one to me.

One day, while returning with a friend after a bath in the pool, his friend suddenly remembered that he had some work and had to go back. Kunju Swami continued walking alone and suddenly noticed a strange sight?a lotus in full bloom on the street. He bent to pick it up, and in the lotus flower, there was a rudraksha bead necklace held together with a golden thread! This time he ran back excitedly to his house and showed it to his father. His father was very happy, and, understanding that this child was special, he put it around Kunju Swami's neck with his own hands.

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Krishnan

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Re: The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #78 on: June 10, 2017, 08:25:13 PM »
Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya
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Kunju Swami - II

By the age of ten, this boy was totally absorbed in his devotion to Shiva. His father took him to the next village to listen to the stories of Shiva, called Thiruvilayadal Puranam. Thiruvilayadal means ―play in Tamil and these stories related everything the Lord did, including how he played with devotees and blessed them. Kunju listened to them intently, soaking in every word.

On returning home, his father would ask him to tell his mother what he had heard, and the boy could repeat the stories verbatim. His family was flabbergasted at his extraordinary memory. His father gathered the villagers the next day and the boy stunned them with his recital. Soon the other villagers would take him along to attend spiritual discourses, and he began to perform the role of a human tape recorder! Even more astounding is that he could recall speeches not only in his mother tongue, Malayalam, but in any language, including Tamil and Sanskrit.

His father became increasingly concerned with the miraculous occurrences that surrounded Kunju's life. He felt that he must be properly trained, and therefore took him to one Swami who had come to their village. The Swami, called Kuppandi Swami, ridiculed these siddhis and told Kunju, ―Do not indulge in them. They are not going to help you. This is not the purpose for which the Lord came to you in your dream, gave you all this and called you.

The boy fell at the Swami?s feet and begged, ―Please guide me.

Kuppandi Swami, who was a Master of several arts such as magic, astrology, medicine, and Vedanta, acceded. He told the child, ―Choose any one art and I will teach it to you. ―Swami, you choose for me, the child humbly replied.
The teacher said, ―I won't choose for you. You must be involved. They finally wrote the subjects down on chits of paper and drew lots. The child drew Vedanta and that became his subject of instruction. To me, this is confirmation that the Lord completely animates you. Only, one must have trusting faith to recognize it. The Swami started teaching him Kaivalya Navanita, which means ―the churned butter of emancipation. Knowledge is like yogurt. When we churn it enough, we get butter. Therefore anything that we read, including the scriptures, when it is understood and faithfully put into practice, gives us the real ―butter, or the Truth, through direct experience. That is spiritual practice. Bhagavan was very fond of this book. Kunju Swami meticulously studied it, and because of his phenomenal re-call, could learn twenty verses on the very first day. Kuppandi Swami did not know about the ―human tape recorder and said, ―You will study them at home, and when you come tomorrow, you must recite them to me. Only then will I teach you the rest. Though he had already memorized the verses, Kunju obediently left without saying anything. Within five days he had memorized the entire book, but his father said, ―This is not enough. You must know the meaning. Kunju went back to Kuppandi Swami and was taught the meanings. When Kuppandi Swami had to leave, he entrusted Kunju to another Swami who was well-versed in Yoga Vasishta. His new teacher taught him this and advised, ―It is not enough that you memorize and understand it. You will practice it, too.

Therefore he began putting these teachings into practice; yet he did not feel fulfilled. After a few years, Kuppandi Swami returned from his pilgrimage and found Kunju in a depressed state. ―Why are you like this? He questioned Kunju. ―Swami, whatever I practice is not giving me satisfaction. I have read in the scriptures and in our Puranas that in the ancient Vedic period there were many Maharishis, who could, with just one look, share an experience of Self-realization. Are there not any such Maharishis now? Kunju inquired.

Kuppandi Swami said, ―Yes, there is one such sage, now. His name is Ramana Maharshi. The moment Kunju heard the name Ramana Maharshi, he went into a state of ecstasy. After a few minutes he collected himself and asked, ―Swami, have you seen this Ramana Maharshi? ―Yes, I went to Arunachala and saw him, the teacher replied. ―I would like to go there, Kunju stated.

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