Author Topic: Editorial - Mountain Path - April- June 2016:  (Read 729 times)

Subramanian.R

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Editorial - Mountain Path - April- June 2016:
« on: February 22, 2017, 12:25:23 PM »
Participation:

The question is often asked by the newcomers to the Asramam: when is the teacher they can turn to now that Ramana Maharshi left this world in 1950? The normal response is what need to look elsewhere when Bhagavan is still there? 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 experience who are in desperate need for guidance, this is an unsatisfactory answer.

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

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 
   
 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 10:33:23 AM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - April- June 2016:
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2017, 10:47:24 AM »
The question the direct devotees of Bhagavan asked was what do we have now 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 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 who came to him with a sincere heart,  There are a few today who are alive 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 ourselves for a moment whole and alive with the familiar but fleeting happiness of recognition.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - April- June 2016:
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 10:24:06 AM »
Each time we open a page of His writing, verses or 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 of 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 it 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 our 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 that 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

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - April- June 2016:
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2017, 11:03:10 AM »
There is a well known quote from Albert Einstein that say it best:

'The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the 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 are 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 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 ever 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 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.  (Cf.  Thammapada, Trans. Sangharakshita. Ch.  1, Verses 1 & 2):

contd.

Arunachala Siva.
           
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - April- June 2016:
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2017, 11:12:13 AM »
Bhagavan's poetry embraces us all.  Though the original is in Tamizh, even if we chant
the verses with little initial understanding, we can soon enter the thrust of the 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 fullness. Even after the full has been fully drawn upon this full remains full. (Brihad. 5.1.1.).

Our understanding of Bhagavan is mediated 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 all 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 right relationship with Arunachala.  One way to strengthen this relationship is to set aside time and listen each day to the Asramam recording of Tamizh Parayana.

This 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.  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 has 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

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - April- June 2016:
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2017, 10:36:17 AM »
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 Akshara
Mana Malai 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 ir conceited explanations can subdue.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva,.     
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 12:09:24 PM by Subramanian.R »

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - April- June 2016:
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2017, 12:29:37 PM »



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 person, an individual soul like the rest, and not die)?  (Verse 24 of Arunachala Akshara Mana Malai, a detailed commentary by Mukavai Kanna Muruganar. Translated by Robert Butler.)

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

(The name Ardha Nariswara literally means 'The Lord who is half woman.')
This form of Lord symbolizes the unity of opposites; the synthesis of Purusha
and Prakrti).
   
concluded.

Arunachala Siva.