Author Topic: The Past is Past, Now Be Here - John Grimes - April June 2015 Mountain Path:  (Read 504 times)

Subramanian.R

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There is no Jnani, only Jnana.  There is only the Self, the Heart.  The One Pristine Self.
Be still.  Find out who you are.

                             - Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Shortly after having moved back to Chennai, I paid a visit to Prof. R. Balasubramanian, one of my Vedanta professors at the University of Madras.  He said, 'I can't seem to find someone write a volume on Sri Ramana Maharshi, for a series I am the General Editor of, The Builders of Indian Philosophy Series. Would you like to do it?  I would like the finished manuscript in nine months time.'

I immediately said yes.  Not only was I thinking about the love and respect for Sri Ramana Maharshi and His teachings but, I felt something special would happen in the writing.  To be presented with the opportunity to plunge deeply into Sri Ramana Maharshi's teachings was too good to pick up.

All the books in this Series have a philosophical format.  The first chapter is a short history of the philosopher's life.  The second chapter is an overview of what will follow. Then come chapters on epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, spiritual practices, Jivan Mukti and an evaluation vis a vis the philosopher being covered in the traditional sense of the word.

As Sri Ramana said, 'I was indeed fortunate that I never took to philosophy.  Had I taken to it, I would probably be nowhere, but my inherent tendencies led me directly to inquire, 'Who am I? How fortunate!'  What is astonishing is Sri Ramana's teachings emerged spontaneously as the fruit of His Great Awakening and only subsequently,
almost by accident, did He learn of the ancient Upanishadic and philosophical teachings.  Even more astounding is that His words, almost, word for word, identical with those found in the Scriptures.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           
   
 

Subramanian.R

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Every time I had a question in my mind as how to approach or deal with relating
Sri Ramana to Advaita philosophy, I would drive to the Asramam and, sit in Sri Ramana's shrine or on the slopes of Arunachala, and contemplate.  I was given nine months with which to complete the book and thus I was extremely focused during that time.

In the beginning I had the thought that Sri Ramana had called me to write the book. After it was completed, I understood that Sri Ramana did not need another book written about him and that it was really Arunachala that was calling for me, not my book.

Since 1973, my sister, Farion, had made numerous trips to Sathya Sai Baba.  She would fly into Bangalore, taxi to Puttaparthi and / or Whitefield and then fly out to Bangalore back to California.  This visit she asked me if I would take her to Tiruvannamalai.

After spending a few days in Puttaparthi, my sister and I drove together to Chennai.
Along the drive we had a rather deep discussion about the nature of Reality and whether Advaita presented an accurate description of It.  There are most definitely any number of philosophical theories.  All are true and all are false.  There are those who say, 'Take the one that most appeals to you.'           

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Theories are but ways of putting words together.  Theories are neither right or wrong.
They are attempts to explain the inexplicable.  The theory does not matter half so much as the way it is being tested, put into practice.  Sincerity, earnestness, and full concentration are what counts, not the theory itself.

After a few days in Chennai, we drove to Tiruvannamalai.  For the first two hours of the drive, our intense discussions continued.  Back and forth our presuppositions flew, often wrestling like two mad monsters!.

At once moment, about five or so kilometers from Arunachala, we simultaneously looked up and, there it was.  Arunachala, looming auspiciously through the front windshield, towering right in front seen it on numerous occasions, seen it exclusively as a mountain. 

We both went dead silent.  The silence hung thick in the air for a few minutes.  Then, I said to my sister, 'Do you feel that?' She replied, force field all around me.  The silence is overpowering.'  I said, 'I feel pulsing through it.  It is like liquid, tangible Consciousness.'  I really cannot come up with a physical example that accurately depicts this force field.

We drove to the Sri Ramana Asramam. The force field was still palpably felt.  It was so strong and so tangible that it was easily felt wherever we went.  It was as though we had entered into the aura of Arunachala and the experience continued.  The incredible thunderous silence continued.

We went into Sri Ramana's Shrine and it was there.  It was there in the Mother's Temple. It was there in the accommodation office.  Then we walked up to the Caves
where Sri Ramana had spent twenty three years.  We entered the Virupaksha Cave and it was there. We entered Skandasramam and it was there.  The force field and silence ever present, a physical Presence.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       

Subramanian.R

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Interestingly, while in Skandasramam, my sister remarked that the energy in the Cave began vibrating in a horizontal manner. In the Cave I remarked that the energy seemed to start vibrating in a vertical manner.  In Virupaksha Cave, our experiences reversed with my sister feeling the energy vibrating horizontally, with blue light, and myself horizontally.  Except in these two instances, the force field vibrated in all directions, simultaneously. 

We remained in this force field for two days.  As we drove away from Arunachala and back to Chennai, the force field gradually dissipated. 

Bhagavan Sri Ramana sang a song about Arunachala in His Eight Stanzas to Sri Arunachala, verse one:

Look, oh, great wonder!  There it stands as if insentient. Mysterious is the way it works, beyond all human understanding. From my unthinking childhood the immensity of Arunachala had shone in my awareness, but even when I learned from someone that it was only Tiruvannamalai, I did not realize its meaning.  When it stilled my mind and drew me to itself, and I came near, I saw that it was the Immovable, stillness absolute.

For thirty five years I had been visiting Tiruvannamalai solely for Sri Ramana and
Sri Ramanasramam.  I came to sit in Sri Ramana's shrine and to absorb Sri Ramana's teachings. I paid little attention to the Hill.  It is true that I had performed many a pradakshina around Arunachala.  However, I did this, mainly because Sri Ramana highly recommended people to do it.

By luring me, again and again, as I worked on the Sri Ramana's book, and by the good fortune of having a sister whose presence was required, I eventually had Arunachala's darshan. As Sri Ramana sang,

The mountain is mysterious and mysterious in the way it works. It is not just an insentient pile of earth and rocks.  It is Lord Siva, the One Self, standing there in all its glory for those who are given eyes to see.

At times seekers ask the question: 'How does the Sage gave instruction?  It is from the state of ignorance?' If this were so, the mind would not have been dissolved, the threefold differentiation  of the knower, knowledge, and the known could not have been merged. So what would the Sage be able to give you?  Where could He lead you?
But there is a stage where this question does not arise.  It is the body that is the obstacle to Supreme Knowledge?  Is there even a question of whether the body exists or not?  At a certain level this question is simply not there. On the plane where this question arises, one is not in the state of pure Being, and one thinks question can be raised and also replied to. But the answer lies where there is no such thing as questioning and answering where there are no 'others', no divisions -- only the Self,
Sri Ramana, Arunachala.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.