Monday, November 13, 2006

The Eternal Sadguru

In His final words of assurance to devotees in 1950, Bhagavan Ramana said, "They say I am going, but where can I go? I am Here."

In the days leading to His leaving the body, Bhagavan did not make any attempt to appoint a successor, or to send seekers to another guru. Had there been a need to transfer seekers, Bhagavan, out of His deep compassion, would have certainly done so.

Never when He was in the body did He seek glory, and thus there is no reason to think He would do so at this moment (by saying that He is here). (For example, we know that He never claimed to having devotees)

Additionally, knowing His honesty, one cannot doubt the statement that He would always be here, to guide seekers.

Thus, his final spoken statement has to be taken literally. Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi is here, guiding those who consider Him to be their sadguru.

He is the eternal sadguru.

Bhagavan's Feet always with us

"I wanted to show my gratitude to Bhagavan by touching His feet, but I knew this was not allowed by His attendants. I confided this desire to Mrs Talyarkan, thinking she would keep it a secret. But in the hall, in front of everyone, she told Bhagavan, "Roda has a strong desire to touch your feet." I was so embarrassed.

Bhagavan said nothing at the time, but after lunch that day, He stopped near me, said something in Tamil to a nearby devotee, and asked him to translate it for me.

The devotee said, "Bhagavan says, "Why should she want to touch my feet? My feet are always on her head."

Forwarded by a kind reader - an account of Ms Roda McIver from Power of Presence by David Godman

Purity of Mind

Bhagavan Ramana explains about purity of mind and we link it with another question on why some seekers get a glimpse of the Self, but it is not permanent.

Mr K. R. V. Iyer (Talk 337, Jan 22, 1937): How is the mind to be purified?

Bhagavan: The sastras say: "By karma, bhakti and so on". My attendant
asked the same question once before. He was told, "By karma
dedicated to God". It is not enough that one thinks of God while
doing the karma, but one must continually and unceasingly think
of Him. Then alone will the mind become pure.

The attendant applies it to himself and says, "It is not enough that I
serve Sri Bhagavan physically. But I must unceasingly remember Him".

A question was raised as follows by Maj. A. W. Chadwick (Talk 95, Nov 13, 1935):-
Mr. Edward Carpenter, a certain mystic, has written in a book that he
had Self-Realisation on some occasions and that its effects lasted
sometimes afterwards, only to be gradually lost. Whereas Sri Ramana
Gita says, "Granthi (knot = bondage), snapped once, is snapped for
ever." In the case of this mystic, the bondage seems to have persisted
even after Self-Realisation. How can it be so?

Dev.: Having once experienced the Supreme Bliss, how can one stray
away from it?
Bhagavan: Oh yes! It happens. The predisposition adhering to him from time
immemorial will draw him out and so ignorance overtakes him.
D.: What are the obstacles to remaining steady in unbroken Bliss?
How can they be overcome?
B.: The obstacles are:
(1) Ignorance which is forgetfulness of one's pure being.
(2) Doubt which consists in wondering if even the experience was
of the Real or of the unreal.
(3) Error which consists in the "I-am-the-body" idea, and thinking
that the world is real. These are overcome by hearing the truth,
reflection on it and concentration.

The talk goes on ... and comes to the necessity for purity.

Devotee.: It looks then as if even hearing the Truth is limited to a very few.

Bhagavan: The seekers fall into two classes; kritopasaka and akritopasaka.
The former having already overcome his predisposition by steady
devotion, his mind thus made pure, has had some kind of experience
but does not comprehend it; as soon as instructed by a competent
master, permanent experience results.

The other class of seeker needs great effort to achieve this end.
How will the hearing of the Truth, reflection and concentration
help him?

(By a strange coincidence, this conversation happened exactly 71 years back)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mental Connection with Guru

This flow of power from the Guru can be received by anyone whose attention is focused on the Self or on the form of the Guru; distance
is no impediment to its efficacy. This attention is often called sat-
sanga, which literally means `association with being'. Sri Ramana
wholeheartedly encouraged this practice and frequently said that it
was the most efficient way of bringing about a direct experience of
the Self. Traditionally it involves being in the physical presence of
one who has realized the Self, but Sri Ramana gave it a much wider

Sri Ramana Maharshi said that the most important element in sat-sanga was
the mental connection with the Guru; sat-sanga takes place not only
in his presence but whenever and wherever one thinks of him.

- Be As You Are, Chapter 9, Silence and Satsanga

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sri Shardamma to Lakshmana Swamy

A letter to Swamy (source):

Sri Lakshmana Bhagavan. You are God who gives me bliss. I cannot leave you even for a minute. You are my mother, father, Guru, God. Whatever you say I will do. I wish to stay always with you, and i am only happy when I am with You. I have no other direction to go. I cannot forget your name, and i shall always be thinking about your name and form. You are the foundation for me, and my burden is yours forever. If i realize the Self i shall have no business with you. Till then i have to stay with you. You attracted my mind, and now you have stolen it.

A poem at the end of the letter:

In my difficulties you will hear my words and you will help me. In leaving me you cannot go anywhere for you are the Self. Please don't cast me aside. I am surrendering my life to you. What use is this life without looking at your form?

Monday, November 06, 2006


Following are some quotes of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi on Surrender.
Excerpted from Be As You Are.

(The second way of transending the personal self is) Completely
surrendering all responsibility for one's life to
God or the Self. For such self-surrender to be effective
one must have no will or desire of one' own and one must be
completely free of the idea that there is an individual person
who is capable of acting independently of God.

The second method, of surrendering responsibility for one's life to God,
is also related to self-enquiry since it aims to eliminate the 'I-
thought by separating it from the objects and actions that it constantly
identifies with. In following this practice there should be a
constant awareness that there is no individual `I' who acts or desires,
that only the Self exists and that there is nothing apart from the Self
that is capable of acting independently of it. When following this
practice, whenever one becomes aware that one is assuming
responsibility for thoughts and actions - for example, `I want' or `I
am doing this' - one should try to withdraw the mind from its
external contacts and fix it in the Self
. This is analogous to the
transfer of attention which takes place in self-enquiry when one
realizes that self-attention has been lost. In both cases the aim is to
isolate the 'I'-thought and make it disappear in its source.

Sri Ramana himself admitted that spontaneous and complete
surrender of the `I' by this method was an impossible goal for many
people and so he sometimes advised his followers to undertake
preliminary exercises which would cultivate their devotion and
control their minds. Most of these practices involved thinking of or
meditating on God or the Guru either by constantly repeating his
name ( japa) or by visualising his form. He told his devotees that if
this was done regularly with love and devotion then the mind would
become effortlessly absorbed in the object of meditation.
Once this has been achieved complete surrender becomes much
easier. The constant awareness of God prevents the mind from
identifying with other objects and enhances the conviction that God
alone exists. It also produces a reciprocal flow of power or grace
from the Self which weakens the hold of the 'I'-thought and destroys
the vasanas which perpetuate and reinforce its existence. Eventually
the 'I'-thought is reduced to manageable proportions and with a little
self-attention it can be made to sink temporarily into the Heart.
As with self-enquiry, final realization is brought about automatically
by the power of the Self. When all the outgoing tendencies of the
mind have been dissolved in the repeated experiences of being, the
Self destroys the vestigial `I'-thought so completely that it never rises
again. This final destruction of the `I' takes place only if the self-
surrender has been completely motiveless. If it is done with a desire
for grace or Self-realization it can never be more than partial
surrender, a business transaction in which the 'I'-thought makes an
effort in the expectation of receiving a reward.
Complete surrender does require that you have no desire of your own. You must be satisfied with whatever God gives you and that means having no desires of your own.
Q: I want to know what the steps are by which I could achieve surrender. 

A: There are two ways. One is looking into the source of `I' and
merging into that source. The other is feeling `I am helpless by myself,
God alone is all-powerful and except by throwing myself

completely on him, there is no other means of safety for me.
By this
method one gradually develops the conviction that God alone exists
and that the ego does not count. Both methods lead to the same goal.
Complete surrender is another name for jnana or liberation.
 ... But the fact is that you can have no likes or dislikes after your surrender;
your will should
become completely non-existent, the Lord's will taking its place. The
death of the ego in this way brings about a state which is not
different from jnana. So by whatever path you may go, you must
come to jnana or oneness.

You must only trust God.
Surrender to him and abide by his will whether he appears or
vanishes. Await his pleasure. If you ask him to do as you please, it is
not surrender but command to him. You cannot have him obey you
and yet think that you have surrendered. He knows what is best and
when and how to do it. Leave everything entirely to him. His is the
burden, you have no longer any cares. All your cares are his. Such is
surrender. This is bhakti.
When one has completely surrendered oneself at the feet of Siva,
thereby becoming of the nature of the Self, the resulting abundant
peace, in which there is not even the least room within the Heart for
one to make any complaint about one's defects and deficiencies,
alone is the nature of supreme devotion. One's thus becoming a slave
to the Lord and one's remaining quiet and silent, devoid even of the
egotistical thought `I am his slave', is Self-abidance, and this is the
supreme knowledge.

Bhagavan on Destiny

There are only two ways to conquer destiny or be independent of it. One is to enquire for whom is this destiny and discover that only the ego is bound by destiny and not the Self, and that the ego is non-existent.

The other way is to kill the ego by completely surrendering to the Lord, by realising one's helplessness and saying all the time, `Not I but thou, O Lord ', giving up all sense of `I' and `mine' and leaving it to the Lord to do what he likes with you. Surrender can never be regarded as complete so long as the devotee wants this or that from the Lord. True surrender is love of God for the sake of love and nothing else, not even for the sake of liberation. In other words, complete effacement of the ego is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this effacement through self-enquiry or through bhakti marga.
Quote of Sri Ramana Maharshi by  D Mudaliar, also last page of Be As You Are

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The purpose of Creation

(Excerted from Be As You Are - The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, p264)
Q: What is the purpose of creation?

A: It is to give rise to this question. Investigate the answer to this
question, and finally abide in the supreme or rather the primal source
of all, the Self. The investigation will resolve itself into a quest for
the Self and it will cease only after the non-Self is sifted away and
the Self realized in its purity and glory.

There may be any number of theories of creation. All of them extend
outwardly. There will be no limit to them because time and space are
unlimited. They are however only in the mind. If you see the mind,
time and space are transcended and the Self is realized.
Creation is explained scientifically or logically to one's own
satisfaction. But is there any finality about it? Such explanations are
called krama-srishti [gradual creation]. On the other hand, drishti-
srishti [simultaneous creation] is yugapat-srishti. Without the seer
there are no objects seen. Find the seer and the creation is comprised
in him. Why look outward and go on explaining the phenomena
which are endless?