Friday, December 29, 2006

Bhagavan Ramana always with us

As I leave for Beloved Arunachala in just a few minutes, I have these (hurried) words to say to the reader who stumbles by here.

The reminiscences of Bhagavan's fortunate devotees are constant reminders that Bhagavan Ramana is not only with us each moment when we live, but will also be us when we leave this body. You have only to read the reminiscences of Sri Natesa Iyer in Power of Presence 3, or Ramana Smriti to know what I mean.

There is really no need to be unhappy ever, or ever to fear 'death'. Happiness for the devotees of Bhagavan is here and now. When we recognize Ramana as our sadguru, that is truly the end of all our suffering (whether we are "realized" or not).

Ramana's presence is not some imagined feeling, some illusion of the desperate mind; the mind sunk in love and surrender to Prabhu Ramana feels His presence as tangibly as it feels anything else around it.

For those of us, for whom this life is but a continuation of a previous one lived in His love and devotion, for those of us whose mind and soul has completely identified with His bhakti, for us Lord Ramana is the only one present.
-  Offered at His Blessed Feet.

Web versions of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi Books

Several web versions of the Ramana Maharshi's books are available at  this location with more appearing in end January. Some works have been hyperlinked for ease of reading and research, and hyperlinking will continue when the team returns from Arunachala.

If you like the format, and would like to request some titles to be put up, please leave a comment here. Feedback may be posted here, too.

Wishing you the best of bhakti in the new year.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Everlasting prostration at His Feet

Sri GV Subbaramayya's words in praise of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi beautifully epitomise the devotion of followers for Bhagavan. Some excerpts (p163):

O my Divine Love! People run to the forests and mountain caves for solitude to practice meditation, but You drew me to meditate on You, without effort, everywhere.
People renounce their possessions, mortify their flesh, and do hard penance to achieve self-control. But without the least deprivation, denial or suffering, You control me.
People seek a Master and serve him, longing for initiation into spiritual mystery. But You, my master, seek and serve me in order to reveal Yourself fully to me.
People after strenuously striving for many lives, attain Self-realization. But You made me, here and now, without the least effort, realize myself in You.
What a wonder! What seems so difficult to all people is easiest for You.

I know not what other people call love. My love is only to serve and suffer and die for You.
I know not what other people term devotion. My devotion is only to bind my eyes to Your blessed feet and follow them always .

I know not what other people name heaven and hell. My heaven is only in Your smile, amd my hell is only in Your tear.
I know not what other people call life and death. My life is only in Your presence, and my death is only in Your disappearance.

I know not what other people mean by war and peace. My war is only to fight against the obstacles in my way to You, and my peace is only to reach You, and fall at Your feet in one everlasting prostration.

Indeed i know nothing. I only know that You are everything to me.

See also: Sri Ramana reminiscences and Power of Presence.

Be like me ... remember me

Bhagavan Ramana spoke these words to G V Subbaramayya (p155):

Why can't you be like me ... this ashram has grown around me but I am ever the same. The sun rises and sets. To me there seems no other change. Through all the ups and downs of life, be like me, and ever you are prone to sadness, remember me.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Name superior to form

Once a devotee (p 71) said to Bhagavan: Bhagavan, earlier whenever I thought of you, your form would appear before my eyes. But now it does not happen. What am i to do? Bhagavan advised:

You can remember my name and repeat it. Name is superior to form. But in the course of time, even the name will disappear. Until then repeat the name.

Leave it to the Guru

Once a visitor wept to Bhagavan that he felt no improvement in himself despite coming to Bhagavan. Bhagavan replied:
On this road there are no milestones. How can you know in which direction you are going? Why dont you do what the first-class railway passenger does? He tells the guard his destination, locks the doors and goes to sleep. The rest is done by the guard. If you trust your Guru as much as you trust the railway guard, it would be enough to make you reach your destination. Your business is to shut the door and windows and sleep. The guard will wake you up at your destination.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Offer yourself to God

Echammal once wished to perform a puja which required a very large number of tulsi (similar to basil) leaves.
One day (circa 1942) Bhagavan told her:

People will not allow the leaves to remain where they are, beautiful and alive. They pick them, pierce them, thread them. The poor leaves and flowers and mercilessly maimed and killed. Does God need such worship? Don't they belong to him when they are on their trees? We do these horrible things to flowers, but we would not offer our own selves to God
(Letters, letter 42. Also p88)

Remembering Bhagavan

Sambasiva Rao once overheard Bhagavan telling someone: If you must get angry, get angry with good people. For if you get angry with bad people, you may get it back with interest.

He asked Bhagavan whether there was really no danger in abusing good people.

Bhagavan replied smiling: "When good people are abused, they may not retaliate. However, they are hurt, and so the abuser may have to suffer. There is also a saying that he who curses good people, gets all the bad that may still be left in them. If you want to curse at all, curse Bhagavan. He will not be hurt and he is without sin. You are safe in cursing Him.

"He wants only to be remembered. The mood in which you remember Him is of less importance. Were it otherwise, how could Ravana and Sishupala get salvation?" (p91)