Sunday, December 30, 2007

Your most important objective



Your most important objective must be realizing the Self. If you have not done this, you will spend your time in ignorance and illusion.
You, your mind, this world - they are all maya. Don't become a slave of this maya. Instead, realize the Self, and let maya become your servant.
-- Final Talks, p.71.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Let go of the "I"

This is the teaching of Bhagavan Ramana, my Guru. I am passing it on to you.


You must understand who you are and what you are, and then you must remain as that. If you can manage this, this itself will suffice. Right now, you are under the impression that you are your body and your mind, but the truth is, you are the Self. Let go of the "I" that you imagine yourself to be, and catch hold of the real "I", the Self.
-- Final Talks, p.70.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Silent being-awareness

Abandon all thoughts, not only of the world, but of yourself also. Stay beyond all thoughts, in silent being-awareness.

Absorption of Swami Ramanananda



Swami Ramananda, nephew of Sri Bhagavan, was absorbed into Bhagavan just after Bhagavan's 128th Jayanthi.

See more on Arunachala Ramana and official website.

A story on him was published on Jan 30th. Visitors to the Sri Ramanasramam will remember him as the person sitting in orange robes on the left side of the Samadhi Hall on a chair, next to the door leading to the Mother's shrine (during Veda Parayana). May he remain blissful in Bhagavan Ramana.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Verses on the Celebration of Bhagavan's Birthday

Composed by Bhagavan Ramana in 1912.

1. You who wish to celebrate a birthday, enquire first who was born. One's true birthday is when one enters into the Eternal Being which shines forever without birth or death.

2. Of all days, on one's birthday, one should mourn one's fall (into samsara). To celebrate it as a festival is like adorning and glorifying a corpse. To seek one's Self and merge in it, is wisdom.

See The birth of our Beloved Lord.

Bhagavan Ramana's 128th Jayanthi

Better than viewing Him as Other,
Indeed the noblest attitude of all,
Is to hold Him as the 'I' within,
The very 'I'.

Abidance in pure being
Transcending thought through love intense
Is the very essence
Of supreme devotion.

-- From "The Essence of Instruction" (Upadesha Saram)
(Taken from Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi)

We would like to wish our readers a Happy Bhagavan Jayanthi on this glorious day, when our beloved Father Ramana Bhagavan was "born" 128 years ago.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Arunachala Ramana

Arunachala is Ramana in the form of a hill, and Ramana is Arunachala in human form.


Though Bhagavan Ramana has left his human form, he will always remain shining here in the form of Arunachala, giving guidance and solace to his devotees. Therefore, the power of Arunachala is the power of Ramana - the power of the Sadguru's grace.

See Arunachala Ramana.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bhagavan on Self-enquiry

This site Arunachala Ramana has an excellent post on Self-enquiry. An excerpt:

[Self-enquiry] is nothing to do with being aware of the contents of the mind. It's a very specific method that aims to find out where the individual sense of "I" arises. Self-enquiry is an active investigation, not a passive witnessing.

...

In that latter place you begin to experience the peace and stillness of the Self, and that gives you the incentive to continue.

Full article

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Karthigai Deepam


This year, 2007, the Karthigai festival commences on Nov 15th and Deepam is on November 24th.

There is no mind

Q: How to give up the false idea that the mind is real?

Annamalai Swamy: If this does not happen spontaneously when you hear the truth from the teacher, keep telling yourself, 'I am not the mind, I am not the mind. There is no mind; there is no mind. Consciousness alone exists.'

If you have a firm conviction that this is the truth, one day this firm conviction will mature to the point where it becomes your direct experience.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Having love for all creatures

Bhagavan Ramana's sense of equality was legendary. When visitors came to see him - it made no difference whether they were VIPs, peasants or animals - they would all be treated with equal respect and consideration. His egalitarian concern even extended to the local trees; he discouraged his followers from picking flowers or leaves off them and he tried to ensure that whenever fruit was taken from the ashram trees it was
always done in such a way that the tree only suffered a minimum amount of pain.


Taken from "Be As You Are", Introduction, edited by David Godman.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Rejoice abundantly

1. My devotees have the qualifications to rejoice abundantly,
like children of an emperor.


-- Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
See Arunachala Ramana.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I will protect you

2. Abandon the drama of the world and seek the Self within.
Remaining within, I will protect you, ensuring that no harm befalls you.


-- Sri Ramana Maharshi
See Arunachala Ramana.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

If you enquire and know me

3. If you enquire and know me, the indweller, in that state there will be no reason for you to worry about the world.

-- Sri Ramana Maharshi

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Entrust your burdens on me

4. For the cruel disease of burning samsara to end, the correct regimen is to entrust all your burdens on me.
-- Sri Ramana Maharshi
See Arunachala Ramana.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Place all your burdens on me

5. In order that your needless anxieties cease,
make sure that all your burdens are placed on me
through the brave act of depending totally on grace.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Surrender all to me

6. If you completely surrender all your responsibilities to me,
I will accept them as mine and manage them.

See Arunachala Ramana.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

why do you have any worries


7. When bearing the entire burden remains my responsibility,
why do you have any worries?


See Arunachala Ramana.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Long ago you offered ...


8. Long ago you offered your body, possessions and soul to me, making them mine,
so why do you still regard these things as 'I' and 'mine' and associate yourself with them?

See Arunachala Ramana.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I will show you the Light


9. Seek my grace within the Heart. I will drive away your darkness and show you the light.
This is my responsibility.

Arunachala Ramana

Sunday, October 07, 2007

True Practice of Sri Ramana's teachings

The true practice of Sri Ramana's teachings is remaining quiet, remaining in a state of inner mental quiescence that allows the power of Sri Ramana to seep into your heart and transform you. This can be summarized in one of Sri Ramana's classic comments: 'Just keep quiet. Bhagavan will do the rest.'

If you use the phrase 'practicing the teachings,' the following sequence is assumed: that Sri Ramana speaks of some goal that has to be attained, that he gives you some route, some practice, to reach that goal, and that you then use your mind to vigorously move towards that goal. The mind wants to be in charge of this operation. It wants to listen to the Guru, understand what is required, and then use itself to move in the prescribed direction. All this is wrong. Mind is not the vehicle one uses to carry out the teachings; it is, instead, the obstacle that prevents one from directly experiencing them. The only useful, productive thing the mind can do is disappear.

-- From Living the inspiration of Sri Ramana Maharshi

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Boundless love towards all beings

Just as a mother would risk her life
to protect her only child;
Similarly, one should cultivate
boundless love towards all beings.

-- Sutta Nipata 149 (Metta-suta)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Bhagavan Ramana and untouchability

When Bhagavan was living in Skandasramam I was once alone with him, sitting on the steps leading up to the Ashram, when a man came to the gate with his family and stopped and called out to me.

When i went there he asked me to ask the Swami whether they could approach him and receive his darshan. I was surprised and said: "Why do you ask permission?" And he said, "We are untouchables."

I started to go back to Bhagavan, but then it occurred to me that even to ask Bhagavan would be an injustice to him, so i told the man that caste had no meaning with Bhagavan and that they would be welcome. The whole party came and prostrated before Bhagavan, and I well remember how for about ten minutes his gracious look dwelt on that untouchable and his family; and how many rich and notable people have I seen fall at his feet without being vouchsafed such grace.

-- K.S.S. Ramanadasa

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sadhu Natanananda's question in 1918

Sadhu Natanananda came to Sri Bhagavan for the first time in 1918. With the fervent wish of an earnest sadhaka, he climbed the hill to Skandasramam and besought thus:

It is my great desire that I should experience your gracious wisdom. Kindly fulfil my desire.

In those days Sri Ramana was not speaking much. Still he spoke kindly as follows:

"Is it the body in front of me which wished to obtain my Grace? Or is it the awareness within it? If it is the awareness, is it not now looking upon itself as the body and making this request?

If so, let the awareness first of all know its real nature. It will then automatically know God and my Grace. The truth of this can be realized even now and here."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bhagavan Ramana Advent Day

Today is once again August 29th, anniversary of the day in 1896 when our beloved Lord, Bhagavan Ramana left his home for Arunachala (Tiruvannamalai).

He reached Arunachala on September 1st, a day now known as the Advent Day.

The following quotes from the Ashtavakra Gita are dedicated to the Supreme Lord, Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.

Just as a mirror exists everywhere
both within and apart from its reflected images,
so the Supreme Lord (Arunachala Ramana) exists everywhere
within and apart from this body.

Just as one and the same all-pervading space exists
within and without a jar,
so the eternal, everlasting Ramana exists
in the totality of things.

At peace, having shed all desires within,
and realising that nothing exists here but Lord Ramana,
the Creator of all things,
one is no longer attached to anything.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Egg production caused unbelievable cruelties


This link is not for the faint of heart. But if you eat eggs, i would be grateful if you would give it a read.

Egg production—including free-range and organic—involves multiple cruelties, such as the killing of 250 million newborn chicks each year in the United States.


Abundant undercover video footage shows bored or frustrated poultry slaughterhouse workers pulling the heads and wings off live birds, slamming them against a wall, and crushing them to death with their boots.

When you go vegan, it's a great feeling knowing you're eating as moral a diet as possible; that you're no longer making excuses or going into denial about unnecessarily contributing to the suffering and killing of animals; that you're no longer paying others to breed animals, manipulate their bodies, and kill them as soon as economically profitable.


Some people mistakenly think that there is no death involved in the egg business, but they are sadly mistaken. To begin with, for every laying hen there is a dead male chick. At some hatcheries, if the males are not thrown away to suffocate to death in trash containers, they are ground up alive, mixed with grain and fed to the females.

Please read this link: noeggs.org.

Update: This link has even more. Had no idea of the amount of killing that happens in egg-production! Please see this.

Much love to all of you.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Self-enquiry for all people ?

The questioner: “Is it possible for all people to hold on to that path of Self-enquiry?”

Bhagavan: “It is true that it is only possible for mature minds, not for immature ones. For the latter, repetition of a prayer or holy name under one’s breath (japa), worship of images, breath-control (pranayama), visualising a pillar of light (Jyotishtoma) and similar yogic and spiritual and religious practices have been prescribed. By those practices, people become mature and will then realize the Self through the path of Self-enquiry. To remove the illusion of immature minds in regard to this world, they have to be told that they are different from the body. It is enough if you say, you are everything, all-pervading.

The Ancients say that those with immature minds should be told that they must know the transcendent Seer through enquiry into the five elements and reject them by the process of repeating, ‘Not this, not this (Neti, neti)’. After saying this, they point out that just as gold ornaments are not different from gold, so the elements are your own Self. Hence it must be said that this world is real.

See Letter 141.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Mindfulness, Awareness

The bhikkhu who delights in mindfulness (awareness),
who sees danger in negligence,
is not likely to fall back.
He is in the presence of nirvana (enlightenment).

- Dhammapada 32

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hurting the Lord within us or within others

The following verses from the Bhagavad Gita confirm that hurting other living beings amounts to hurting none other than the Lord.

They who practice severe austerities without following the prescription of the scriptures, who are full of hypocrisy and egotism, who are impelled by the force of desire and attachment, who senselessly torture the elements in their body and also Me who dwells within the body, know these ignorant persons to be of demonic nature.
-- Bhagavad Gita (17.05-06)

See also: non-violence and Their suffering is mine.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Seeing the Lord in all beings


He who sees the Supreme Lord, residing equally in
all beings -- the Imperishable One among the perishables -- sees (truly).
-- Bhagavad Gita xiii:27

See also: The Song Celestial v. 15

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Lord is in all

I am the Self, O Gudakesa*,
dwelling in the Hearts of all beings.
I am the beginning and the middle and the end of all beings.

-- Bhagavad Gita, X: 20

[* - Arjuna]

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna,
and is directing the wanderings of all living entities,
who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy*

-- Bhagavad Gita, XVIII: 61

[* Maya or illusion]

Please see The Song Celestial.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

All is Self

O people who are longing and grieving so much, not knowing in the least the means to destroy the mind so that it will function no more, the means is to experience clearly that the seen (the world appearance) and the seer (the jiva) are nothing but oneself (the Self).

Like ornaments (seen) in gold, like water in a mirage, and like a dream city with battlements, everything that is seen is nothing but Self alone. To take them as being other than Self is wrong.

-- Guru Vachaka Kovai 922, 923

Wishing all readers joy on the anniversary of Bhagavan's enlightenment. Please see this and this..

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The nature of the mind - II

D.: So one need not seek to control the mind?

Maharshi: There is no mind to control if you realise the Self. The mind vanishing, the Self shines forth. In the realised man the mind may be active or inactive, the Self alone remains for him. For the mind, the body and the world are not separate from the Self. They rise from and sink into the Self. They do not remain apart from the Self. Can they be different from the Self? Only be aware of the Self. Why worry about these shadows? How do they affect the Self?

--Talk 97

Friday, July 06, 2007

Is knowledge of any use?

Is it any use reading books for those who long for release?

Bhagavan: All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent therefore their conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent once this has been understood there is no need for endless reading. In order to quieten the mind one has only to inquire within oneself what one's Self is how could this search be done in books? One should know one's Self with one's own eye of wisdom. The Self is within the five sheaths but books are outside them.

Since the Self has to be inquired into by discarding the five sheaths, it is futile to search for it in books. There will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned.
--Collected Works - Who Am I?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The nature of the mind - I

D.: Mind always wanders. I cannot control it.

Maharshi: It is the nature of the mind to wander. You are not the mind. The mind springs up and sinks down. It is impermanent, transitory, whereas you are eternal. There is nothing but the Self. To inhere in the Self is the thing. Never mind the mind. If its source is sought, it will vanish leaving the Self unaffected.
--Talk 97

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The nature of the mind

What is called `mind' is a wondrous power residing in the Self. It causes all thoughts to arise. Apart from thoughts, there is no such thing as mind. Therefore, thought is the nature of mind. Apart from thoughts, there is no independent entity called the world. In deep sleep there are no thoughts, and there is no world. In the states of waking and dream, there are thoughts, and there is a world also.

Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and again withdraws it into itself, likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself. When the mind comes out of the Self, the world appears. Therefore, when the world appears (to be real), the Self does not appear and when the Self appears (shines) the world does not appear. When one persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self (as the residue). What is referred to as the Self is the Atman.
--Collected Works - Who Am I?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Prophet Muhammad - compassion, love, non-violence

Today, we present some inspiring snippets from the life of Prophet Muhammad.

The Islamic Prophet led a life of simplicity and poverty. His house, built of mud walls and thatched with date-palm leaves, often remained dark for want of oil for the lamp. At times he did not even have the flour with which to prepare bread.

When he grew up he earned a great reputation for his honesty and integrity. He always fulfilled his promises. Because he was extremely trustworthy, he became known as Al-Amin.

While Mohammed was serving a sick slave, the latter asked, "Has my master sent you to look after me ?"
"Yes," said Mohammed, "the master of masters has sent me to serve you."

One day, a dying dog approached a follower of Mohammed. The man had no means with which to procure water for the dog, for wells in the desert dry up quickly. He noticed a small pool of muddy water in the vicinity. He tore his shirt, soaked it in the water, placed the dog in his lap and moistened its mouth with the wet cloth. Another Arab who saw this went to the Prophet and said, "One of your followers has touched a filthy animal, a dog, and should therefore not be allowed back here again."

Mohammed questioned, "What was he doing to the dog ?"

"I do not know, but I saw him moistening its mouth with a torn piece of cloth dipped in muddy water," replied the man.

"He is a better Muslim than you are, because he is kind to animals," said the Prophet.

When Mohammed was in Mecca once, a poor shepherd from the hills came to worship in the mosque. He worshipped in his own simple way, performing the necessary ablution, kissing the stone and bowing before the sacred spot. Tears flowed from his eyes as he prayed:

 "O adorable Lord of love, show me Thy face. Let me be thy servant. Let me mend Thy shoes, apply oil to Thy hair, wash Thy soiled clothes and bring Thee daily the milk of my goat. Let me kiss Thy hand and shampoo Thy sacred Feet. Let me sweep Thy room."


Such simple words of the honest and straightforward shepherd offended the priests who stood near him. They said to him, "What blasphemy is this ? There is no need of such gifts for the omnipotent Lord."

They were ready to drive him out of the temple, when the Prophet called them to him and asked, "When you are in distant lands, in which direction do you turn your faces ?"

"We turn our faces to Mecca," they answered in reply.

He further asked, "When you are within this sacred walls, in which direction do you turn your faces ?"

"All is holy here," they replied. "It does not matter which way we turn."

The Prophet then said, "Your answer is beautiful indeed. Within the mosque it does not matter how you pray, as long as you have love and reverence. This poor shepherd's simple prayer entered directly into the ears of Allah more clearly than yours, as it was uttered from his heart with intense love, faith, sincerity and reverence. Make room for God's poor lover near me. Let no one be ashamed to have his company. He is humble, pure and an exalted soul."

Mohammed had great compassion and love. He served the widows and orphans, the poor, sick, aged and homeless. Once, he met an old, impoverished widow. Mohammed said to his wife, "My beloved, give food to this old woman first and then you may eat."

When the Prophet saw a blind woman stumbling in the street in Mecca, he led her gently home and thereafter took meals to her daily.

One day, he saw a woman with a heavy load on her head. At once he relieved her of her burden and carried it on his own head to her house.

Mohammed was humble and simple. Although he was a Prophet with a large following he worked along with others like an ordinary labourer during the construction of the first mosque at Medina. He mended his own shoes, milked the cows, swept the house, purchased provisions, tethered and fed the camels. He never laughed loudly but simply smiled. He had an attractive face and a charming smile. He respected the poor and restored freedom to many slaves.

The holy Koran, divided into more than one hundred chapters, opens and ends with the subject of the unity of God. The religion of Islam is essentially a religion of peace, for Mohammed was a lover of peace and non-violence. (Complete article)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Worshipping the form of God

Let those who have become a prey to the delusion of action, being unable to follow the original path of the light of Self, existence-consciousness, worship the form of their beloved God. Then they will gradually lose their delusion (towards names and form and action) and finally attain the Supreme Self.
--Guru Vachaka Kovai, Sri Muruganar.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Faith in the Guru's words

The point when the mind accepts the words of the Guru as true and lives by them spontaneously and in every detail of daily life, is the threshold of realization.

In a way, it is salvation by faith, but the faith must be intense and lasting.

(From: I Am That)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Question your beliefs

We believe in so many things on hearsay. We believe in distant lands and people, in heavens and hells, in gods and goddesses, because we were told. Similarly, we were told about ourselves, our parents, name, position, duties and so on. We never cared to verify. The way to truth lies through the destruction of the false. To destroy the false, you must question your most inveterate beliefs. Of these the idea that you are the body is the worst. With the body comes the world, with the world -- God, who is supposed to have created the world and thus it starts--fears, religions, prayers, sacrifices, all sorts of -systems --all to protect and support the child-man, frightened out of his wits by monsters of his own making. Realize that what you are cannot be born nor die and with the fear gone, all suffering ends.

What the mind invents, the mind destroys. But the real is not invented and cannot be destroyed. Hold on to that over which
the mind has no power. What I am telling you about is neither in the past nor in the future. Nor is it in the daily life as it flows in the now. It is timeless and the total timelessness of it is beyond the mind.
(From I am That)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Animals can be bhaktas, jnanis and seekers


Recent picture of an animal devotee at the ashram

Bhagavan's love for Lakshmi is legendary, how He always called her Mother, how he held her head as she passed away, giving her liberation. Bhagavan's treatment of animals is a lesson to us, that animals can be devotees, seekers and jnanis too, and thus equally deserving of love and respect (and darshan , too).

We wish our readers joy and grace on the anniversary of Lakshmi's absorption into Bhagavan Ramana.

Thought-free Self awareness

To worship the formless reality through thought-free thought (that is by attending to the thought-free Self-awareness, 'I am') is best. If one is incapable of doing this formless worship of God, to worship God in form is proper.
--Guru Vachaka Kovai, Sri Muruganar.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Abandon self-identification

If you seek reality you must set yourself free of all backgrounds, of all cultures, of all patterns of thinking, and feeling. Even the idea of being man or woman, or even human, should be discarded. The ocean of life contains all, not only humans. So, first of all abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such, so-and-so, this or that. Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual, abandon every desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind.

You are complete, here and now, you need absolutely nothing.

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That (All search for happiness is misery)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Why do you persecute me?

Animal being slaughtered for your meal

Look into Her eyes.

Feeling the suffering of others, the Lord said, "Why persecutest thou Me ?"

I am the Self dwelling in the Heart of every being; I am the beginning and the middle and also the end of all beings. (BG 4:22)

"It is not they who are receiving the beatings, it is I. The suffering is mine." - Bhagavan Ramana (source)

See also: Animal Cruelty, Alternatives to wool, Do Animals have rights?

QOTD (SNM)

All depends on you. It is by your consent that the world exists. Withdraw your belief in its reality, and it will dissolve like a dream. Time can bring down mountains; much more you, who are the timeless source of time. For, without memory and expectation there can be no time.

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Monday, June 18, 2007

Watch your mind

Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. This will clear your vision. You must watch yourself continuously -- particularly your mind -- moment by moment, missing nothing. This witnessing is essential for the separation of the self from the not self.
-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That
See also this.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Kindness to Animals

A rabbit snuggles with Bhagavan
"When you protect others from suffering you Awaken to your True Self. You no longer put yourself first. You no longer feel angry. You begin to feel joyful...the animal kingdom was not created to serve you. For you to eat. In the animal kingdom you find purity. This is why Christ was symbolized by a lamb. Krishna was often with a deer. Ramana had his beloved cow. Go beyond yourself. Compassion is not centered on what seems to feel good for you. Yet you will find that it is joyful "
-- Robert Adams

Lives of Saints: St Francis


Touching is this story of a beautiful soul, a lover of God and His children, and a servant of the poor. Read this inspiring piece on St. Francis of Assisi.

Here is another piece from Robert Adam's site:

Father Francis and his companions were making a trip through the Spoleto Valley near the town of Bevagna. Suddenly, Francis spotted a great number of birds of all varieties. There were doves, crows and all sorts of birds. Swept up in the moment, Francis left his friends in the road and ran after the birds, who patiently waited for him. He greeted them in his usual way, expecting them to scurry off into the air as he spoke. But they moved not.

Filled with awe, he asked them if they would stay awhile and listen to the Word of God. He said to them:



“My brother and sister birds, you should praise your Creator and always love him: He gave you feathers for clothes, wings to fly and all other things that you need.

It is God who made you noble among all creatures, making your home in thin, pure air. Without sowing or reaping, you receive God’s guidance and protection.”

At this the birds began to spread their wings, stretch their necks and gaze at Francis, rejoicing and praising God in a wonderful way according to their nature. Francis then walked right through the middle of them, turned around and came back, touching their heads and bodies with his tunic.

Then he gave them his blessing, making the sign of the cross over them. At that they flew off and Francis, rejoicing and giving thanks to God, went on his way.

Please see St. Francis of Assisi

Look within

Do your work. When you have a moment free, look within. What is important is not to miss the opportunity when it presents itself. If you are earnest you will use your leisure fully. That is enough. p206

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Vegetarian Quotes

Some info about vegetarianism, and a whole bunch of quotes that brought tears to my eyes. A few:

Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. -- Albert Einstein.

All creation has the same right to life.

Whenever we cause suffering or death to any other being, we cause suffering to the Great Life Force. -- Shik Po Chih.

Thou shall not kill.

Animals are my friends--and I don't eat my friends. -- George Bernard Shaw.

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. -- Mohandas Gandhi.

Whatever you do unto the least of my brothers, you do it unto me.

We stopped eating meat many years ago. During the course of a Sunday lunch we happened to look out of the kitchen window at our young lambs playing happily in the fields.
Glancing down at our plates, we suddenly realized we were eating the leg of an animal who had until recently been playing in a field herself. We looked at each other and said: "Wait a minute, we love these sheep - they're such gentle creatures. So why are we eating them?" It was the last time we ever did. --
Paul and Linda McCartney

I went snorkeling and noticed how gently the fish welcomed us into their world ... as compared to the violence with which we welcomed them into ours. I became a vegetarian.

"I would not eat if no one kills the animal", said the meat eater. "I would not kill if no one eats the animal", said the butcher.


Of what use are all your sacrifices to Me? I have had enough of the roasted carcasses of rams and of the fat of fattened beasts. I take no pleasure in the blood of calves, lambs and goats. ... When you spread out your hands, I close My eyes to you; despite however much you pray, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before My eyes and stop doing evil. -- Isaiah 1:11, 15-16.

Once I was fishing and caught the hook in the fish's eye. That was the last time I ate a killed creature.

Your body is not a grave yard.. you were not created to eat meat. This causes immense suffering. -- Robert Adams, Ramana devotee

You cannot become Awakened while you are causing suffering to others. -- Robert Adams

Source.

Please see this incident from Bhagavan's life, Their suffering is Mine.

Bhagavan on Vegetarianism

"the eating of meat extinguishes the seed of Great Kindness" -- Buddhist quote
In general, although attaching little importance to physical aids to meditation, the Maharshi was insistent on the advantages of limiting oneself to sattvic, that is vegetarian and non-stimulating food.

Regulation of diet, restricting it to sattvic food, taken in moderate quantities, is the best of all rules of conduct and the most conducive to the development of sattvic (pure) qualities of mind. These in turn help one in the practice of Self-enquiry. (The Teachings of Bhagavan in His Own Words)

From Talk 24, Sri Bhagavan on the consumption of eggs:

Mrs. Piggott: Why do you take milk, but not eggs?

Maharshi:
The domesticated cows yield more milk than necessary for their calves and they find it a pleasure to be relieved of the milk.

Mrs. Piggott: But the hen cannot contain the eggs?

Maharshi:
But there are potential lives in them.

From At the Feet of Bhagavan comes this moving story on how Sri Bhagavan strives to save a cracked egg:

IT was the early hours of the morning in the Hall of Sri Bhagavan. He had had His bath, and now went to the farther end of the Hall to take His towel that hung from
a horizontally suspended bamboo, at one end of which a sparrow had built her nest and laid therein three or four eggs.

In the process of taking His towel Sri Bhagavan's hand came against the nest, which shook violently, so that one of the eggs dropped down. In this way the egg was cracked; Sri Bhagavan was taken aback, aghast. He cried out to Madhavan, the personal attendant. "Look, look what I have done today!" So saying, He took the cracked egg in His hand looked at it with His tender eyes, and exclaimed: "Oh, the poor mother will be so sorrow-stricken, perhaps angry with me also, at my causing the destruction of her expected little one! Can the cracked eggshell be pieced together again? Let us try!"
See Full Story

Other quotes on Vegetarianism:
According to the Roman poet Ovid (43BC), Pythagoras (580 BC) said: "As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."

Both poet Percy Bysshe (1792-1822) and Mary Shelley were strong advocates of vegetarianism. Shelley wrote several essays on the subject, the most prominent of which being "A Vindication of Natural Diet" and "On the Vegetable System of Diet".

Shelley wrote: "If the use of animal food be, in consequence, subversive to the peace of human society, how unwarrantable is the injustice and the barbarity which is exercised toward these miserable victims. They are called into existence by human artifice that they may drag out a short and miserable existence of slavery and disease, that their bodies may be mutilated, their social feelings outraged. It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery."

Shelley was a strong advocate for social justice for the lower classes. He witnessed many of the same mistreatments occurring in the domestication and slaughtering of animals, and he became a fighter for the rights of all living creatures that he saw being treated unjustly.

How do you know you are

I am driving you to the source and would be satisfied with your knowing what you are. I want to find out from you with what it is you know you are. Confine yourself to this area. Focus only on your knowing that "you are." How do you know you are? Just be there. You have been shadow-boxing with the many concepts you have collected from the world — you are fighting with all that. What is the use of it?

You know you are. How do you know it? And with what did you know it? This is the sum total of my teaching needed to put you on the right track, its very quintessence.
-- Nisargadatta Maharaj

Friday, June 15, 2007

Who is thinking?


When you ask the question, ‘Who is thinking?’ you arrest the process of thinking and return back to your true nature, your inherent nature, your spontaneous nature, the pure source that is empty. This is your own nature, and this is what you are always. The mind does not enter there. Time does not enter. Death does not enter. Fear does not enter. This is your inherent, eternal nature. If you stay there, there will be no fear. If you step out of it, you step into samsara, manifestation, and there you are in trouble all the time.


A new book of Papaji’s teachings, published by Avadhuta Foundation and edited by David Godman, is now available. Entitled The Fire of Freedom, it comprises dialogues Papaji had with visitors in the middle of 1991. At that time Papaji was relatively unknown.

In these conversations Papaji explains the practical teachings of his Master, Ramana Maharshi, in a simple and forceful way. As he engages his visitors in discussions about the nature of spiritual freedom and the means by which it can be discovered, he is always looking for an opportunity to take his questioners back to the source of their minds so that they can find out for themselves, by direct experience, what he is trying to show them. The first three pages of the book can be read here.

Bhagavan Ramana's Promises

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stay in silence

Nisargadatta Maharaj: It is the mind that tells you that the mind is there. Don't be deceived. All the endless arguments about the mind are produced by the mind itself, for its own protection, continuation and expansion. It is the blank refusal to consider the convolutions and convulsions of the mind that can take you beyond it.

Q: Sir I am an humble seeker, while you are the Supreme Reality itself. Now the seeker approaches the Supreme in order to be enlightened. What does the Supreme do?

Maharaj: Listen to what I keep on telling you and do not move away from it. Think of it all the time and of nothing else. Having reached that far, abandon all thoughts, not only of the world, but of yourself also. Stay beyond all thoughts, in silent being-awareness.

Q: So you say I should try to stop thinking and stay steady in the idea: 'I am'.

Maharaj: Yes, and whatever thoughts come to you in connection with the 'I am', empty them of all meaning, pay them no attention.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Abala Bhava

Arunachala seen from Sri Ramanasramam, 2006

Though the Paramatma who is neither man nor woman manifested Himself in this universe in the shape of Bhagavan, still in the worship of Lord Arunachaleswara, Bhagavan addressed the Lord with abala bhava (feelings of a woman towards her husband). I therefore felt indescribable pride at this. It appears Manikkavachakar sang those songs when he got abala bhava towards the Lord. Bhagavan too wrote his Aksharamanamalai with the same abala bhava. Do you see how exalted a place is accorded to the abala bhava!

From Letters from Sri Ramanasramam (76) by Suri Nagamma.
For more on Manikkavachakar, see Letters from Sri Ramanasramam (176), Spiritual Stories (55) and this.

Dedicated to Bhagavan's Mother, Allagamal on Mahapooja day (June 9th, 2007)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bhagavan's final teaching

I ask you to put all your attention, all your interest on realizing the final teaching:

'I am not the body or the mind.
I am Self.
All is the Self
.'

This is Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's final teaching. Nothing more needs to be added to it.

-- For more, see Final Talks (Annamalai Swami, 1995)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Bhagavan's true son

In the 1930's I received a telegram that my father had passed away. Soon after, the ashram manager asked me to take a purificatory bath, as per Hindu tradition.

I told him, 'My father has not died. Bhagavan (Ramana Maharshi) is my father. He is still here. The man who has just died was my father in my last birth. My father in this birth is Bhagavan, my Guru. I don't need to take a bath.'
Annamalai Swami standing on left of photo with arms crossed. Photo copyright Sri Ramanasramam.

-- Final Talks, p 61.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Abide in the immediate

Abide as That in which there are no sense organs or anyone to use them, That in which transcendent bliss is experienced, That which is absolutely immediate, That by realizing and attaining which one becomes immortal, That by becoming which one does not return to this cycle of births and deaths – and be always happy, without the least trace of thought.

-- Ribhu Gita
Visit bhagavan-ramana.org

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Own effort

One is solely responsible for one's own liberation or bondage, since the choice of destroying the restless mind or allowing it to roam at large rests with that one only.

Therefore one should conquer the restless mind by steady abidance in the pure thought-free Alert-Awareness-Self only. This steady abidance is moksha.

-- Ribhu Gita, Ch.38, v.7

Monday, May 28, 2007

Constant enquiry


To one who is fond of enquiring (constantly) 'What is this vast universe?' and 'Who am I?' this world becomes quite unreal.

-- Yoga Vasishta Sara, Ch.5, v.5

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sacrifice of the mind

The total discarding of the mind is alone victory, achievement, yoga, wisdom and liberation. The sacrifice of the mind is, in fact, the totality of all sacrifices.

-- Ribhu Gita, Ch.15, v.7

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Destruction of latent impressions

Latent impressions (vasanas) cease to be active when one associates with sages, discards all thoughts of samsara and remembers that the body has to die.

-- Yoga Vasistha Sara Ch.5, v.9

Friday, May 25, 2007

I am Consciousness


Burn the forest of duality with the fire of the conviction, 'I am the one pure Consciousness' and remain happy.

You are bound firmly on all sides by the idea, 'I am the body'. Cut that bond by the sword of knowledge 'I am Consciousness'.

-- Yoga Vasistha Sara Ch.7, v.4, v.5

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Abide as That

Photo taken inside Skandasramam, 2006.

Abide as That in which there is nothing of the elements nor even an iota of their derivatives, no sense of “I” or “mine”, no fantasies of the mind, no blemish of attachment, no concept whatsoever – and be always happy, without the least trace of the thought.

-- Ribhu Gita

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Self-abidance

Abide as That in which there are neither thoughts nor a thinker, neither the arising nor the preservation nor the dissolution of the world, nothing whatsoever at any time – and be always happy, free from all traces of thought.

-- Ribhu Gita
Visit http://bhagavan-ramana.org/ribhugita.html

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The body

Photo taken inside Virupaksha Cave, Arunachala, 2006.

O Raghava, what have you to do with this dumb and inert body? Why do you feel helpless and miserable by joys and sorrows on account of it?

The mere knowledge that this body is like a piece of wood or a clod of earth enables one to realize the Supreme Self.

-- Yoga Vasistha Sara Ch.7, v.12, v.14

Monday, May 21, 2007

Remain always as ...

Remain always as pure Consciousness which is your constant (i.e., true) nature beyond the states of waking, dream, and deep sleep.

-- Yoga Vasistha Sara Ch.7, v.7

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Abide as oneself

Abide as That, on realizing which to be oneself, there is nothing else to be known, everything becomes already known and every purpose accomplished – and be always happy, without the least trace of thought.

-- Ribhu Gita
Visit bhagavan-ramana.org

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pursue enquiry relentlessly

One should relentlessly pursue Self-enquiry until all conceptual forms of creature, world and creator merge and disappear into the pure thought-free, alert Awareness-Self, enabling one to abide in that bhavana of the experience, 'I am the Brahman-Self'.

-- Ribhu Gita, Ch.32, v.27

Friday, May 11, 2007

Destruction of latent impressions

I am pure awareness though through ignorance I have imagined myself to have additional attributes. By continually reflecting like this, my dwelling place is in the Unimagined.

-- Ashtavakra Gita

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Who Am I?

The conscious introspective concentration of Self Enquiry ('Who am I?') kills all thoughts and destroys the dense darkness of nescience; it effaces all worry; it illuminates the intellect with the radiance of pure awareness; it wipes out all conceptual confusions; it fixes one in Siva-Self; it transforms a host of impending disasters into auspicious events; and lastly it destroys the ego-mind utterly with all its afflictions.

-- Ribhu Gita (Ch.32, v.24)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Only seven days left to live

If you are having trouble with your enthusiasm for sadhana, just tell yourself, 'I may be dead in seven days'. Let go of all the things that you pretend are important in your daily life and instead focus on the Self for twenty-four hours a day. Do it and see what happens.
-- For more, see Final Talks.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Non-enquiry

In short, non-enquiry will steep one for ever in the ocean of samsara (earthly suffering). There is no greater enemy for one than non-enquiry. Therefore, this habit must be overcome in order to fix the mind the bhavana which leads to abidance in the Self.

-- Ribhu Gita, Ch.32, v.20

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mind is not you

Remember that nothing that happens in the mind is 'you', and none of it is your business.

You don't have to worry about the thoughts that rise up inside you. It is enough that you remember that the thoughts are not you.
-- For more, see Final Talks.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Self-enquiry

Self-enquiry must be done continuously. It doesn't work if your regard it as a part-time activity. ...
You must have a lifelong commitment to establish yourself in the Self. Your determination to succeed must be strong and firm, and it should manifest as continuous, not part-time effort.
-- For more, see Final Talks, p18.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

QOTD (SNM)

Separate the observed from the observer and abandon false identifications.
-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Friday, May 04, 2007

Namaskar

The benefit of performing namaskaram (prostrating) to the Guru is only the removal of the ego. This is not attained except by total surrender. Within the Heart of each devotee the gracious Guru is giving darshan in the form of consciousness. Since to surrender is to offer fully, in silence, the subsided ego, which is a name-and-form thought, to the aham sphurana (the effulgence of "I"), the real holy feet of the gracious Guru.
Since this is so, Self-realization cannot be attained by a bowing of the body, but only by a bowing of the ego.
--Final Talks p28, 1995

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Guru

The Guru demands one thing only; clarity and intensity of purpose, a sense of responsibility for oneself.

The very reality of the world must be questioned.

Who is the Guru, after all? He who knows the state in which there is neither the world nor the thought of it, he is the Supreme Teacher. To find him means to reach the state in which imagination is no longer taken for reality. Please, understand that the Guru stands for reality, for truth, for what is. He is a realist in the highest sense of the term. He cannot and shall not come to terms with the mind and its delusions. He comes to take you to the real; don't expect him to do anything else.

The Guru you have in mind, one who gives you information and instructions, is not the real Guru. The real Guru is he who knows the real, beyond the glamour of appearances. To him your questions about obedience and discipline do not make sense, for in his eyes the person you take yourself to be does not exist. Your questions are about a non-existing person. What exists for you does not exist for him. What you take for granted, he denies absolutely. He wants you to see yourself as he sees you. p205

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Feet of the Lord

Only the supreme Self, which is ever shining in your Heart as the reality is the Sadguru. The pure awareness, which is shining as the inward illumination "I", is His gracious Feet. The contact with these [inner holy feet] alone can give you redemption.

Joining the eye of reflected consciousness (which is your sense of individuality) to these holy feet, which are the real consciousness, is the union of the feet and the head which is the real significance of the verb asi (in tat tvam asi, "that thou art").

As these inner holy feet can be held naturally and unceasingly, hereafter, with an inward-turned mind, cling to that inner awareness which is your own real nature. This alone is the proper way for the removal of bondage and the attainment of the supreme truth.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Virtue

Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When you realize the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it. Go for it resolutely.

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That, p204

Monday, April 30, 2007

The one asking questions is not you

(In reply to a question) The one who is asking is not you. The thoughts that come and go are not you. Whatever comes and goes is not you. Your reality is peace. If you don't forget that, that will be enough.
-- Annamalai Swami

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bhagavan is always present


Bhagavan is always present, inside you and in front of you. If you don't cover the vision of Bhagavan with your ego, that will be enough. The ego is the 'I am the body' idea. Remove this idea and you shine as the Self.

-- Annamalai Swami
(Photo of the room where Bhagavan's mother attained Nirvana)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

sadhana -- a battlefied


Sadhana is a battlefield. You have to be vigilant. Don't take delivery of wrong beliefs and don't identify with the incoming thoughts that will give you pain and suffering. But if these things start happening to you, fight back by affirming, 'I am the Self; I am the Self; I am the Self;'.
These affirmations will lessen the power of the 'I am the body' arrows and eventually they will armour-plate you so successfully, the 'I am the body' thoughts that come your way will no longer have the power to touch you, affect you or make you suffer.
-- Annamalai Swami p33, Final Talks.

Friday, April 27, 2007

They happen to you

You are not in the body, the body is in you! The mind is in you. They happen to you. They are there because you find them interesting. p203

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Casual search for enlightenment

This blog prefers not to print any views of the author. However, questions often are raised about various paths and persons who mislead naive seekers.
There are several ways this question can be answered. One of them is the "casual seeker". Today one sees gurus who on one hand describe the liberated state in a manner that is extremely attractive even to the average person sunk in/captivated by maya. This description is totally different from the simple "deep sleep with awareness" or "no worlds" description of Sri Ramana.
These attractive gurus and their attractive packages seems to be (IMO) creating and/or attracting the "casual seeker". The unliberated guru dilutes the pure teachings and attracts the casual seeker. The casual seeker runs from guru to guru, never finding what was promised.
Whether this phenomenon is to be condemned, or whether it actually hastens the progress of those who are "bewildered by maya" (as the scriptures so picturesquely put it) is not clear to this blogger.

If the desire for liberation is accompanied by efforts for achieving the purpose, if the aspirant can recognize and discard the pleasures and other impediments to progress, if there is a growing indifference to material and other attainments, then it can be said that dispassion is strong and abiding results will follow.
Or to put it simply, if the prime and overriding priority is liberation, and consequently one's sadhana, then the desire for liberation is true and strong. Somewhere i recall reading that hurdles to one's practice are indicative of a lack of total commitment in the seeker. Hurdles are truly attachments by another name.

Symptoms of the casual seeker are: wanting liberation along with other pleasures, wanting liberation without effort or for a fee, wanting the guru to put in the effort, and being attracted to guru's who promise the above.

This post was triggered by some links I was mailed by readers such as Careless Seeking for enlightenment and The battle for your mind and comments.

Misery


If you love others only for their bodies or their souls (egos) you will suffer from grief when their bodies die and their souls depart. Therefore, in order to be free from such grief, have true Love towards Self, which is the real Life of the soul.
--GVK 370
(Photo of Skandasramam, taken by author, free to use)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Misery

If the jiva who is ever deluded and is always suffering from a feeling of deficiency, wants to get rid of all miseries and to be happy, he need only know the Supreme One, his Lord, and be his own Self.
--GVK 367

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What will make you happy

To imagine that some little thing like food, sex, power, fame will make you happy is to deceive yourself. Only something as vast and deep as your real self can make you truly and lastingly happy.

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That, p203

Monday, April 23, 2007

Self-Enquiry - the method and its fruit

Excerpted from http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/news_self_enquiry.htm since the link has changed and could change again:


First and foremost Bhagavan stated that self-enquiry should be performed with the same intensity as that of a drowning man struggling for air, only then can it succeed.

Self-enquiry is holding on to the awareness of being that ‘you already are’. There is only one awareness, the one who is reading this article is the ego and the Self all in one, but the ego is the apparition covering the pure Self and that has to die to the real Self in order that self-realisation can take place. This is a mystery at first, but once accomplished it is very clearly understood.

Bhagavan often made the comparison of the actor in a Play - during the Play the actor assumes a completely different role, yet retains his true nature and combines the two. A good actor truly believes he is the role that he is playing, but after it is finished he discards the role and reverts to his original nature. In our case we have forgotten who we are and believe that our role is the reality. Just as the actor is not two Beings, not two ‘I’s’, nor are we two ‘I’s’. It really is that simple. However, our ingrained belief that the role we play is in fact the Reality is so strong, that it requires intense and prolonged effort to remove it.

To do this you must concentrate totally upon the awareness of ‘you’, without thought of any kind, or (alternatively) try to catch the ‘I-thought’ as it rises from within and then hold on to that firmly to the exclusion of all else.

The ‘I’ thought that you have to catch is a tangible and distinct force that rises from within the apparition created by the ego. It is this force that sustains the apparition and gives it life, just as the actor gives life to his part in the play through his own personality. There is however an acute difference. The pure ‘I’ thought is devoid of personality as we normally understand it – it just IS. This process requires intense, unbroken concentration, and in the majority of cases takes many years of hard effort and should be carried out, if possible, with eyes open. This does not involve physical or emotional strain of any kind, and strain should always be avoided.

When successful, awareness withdraws from the body into the crown of the head – this is usually very fast and experienced as receding from the feet upwards. At this point the breath becomes automatically controlled separate from that awareness of ‘being’ and it might even stop altogether. Even in this minor stage there is no concern whether the breath stops or not, because the body is already perceived as a heavy, cold and totally lifeless thing, not ‘you’, but something alien to you, a burden that you do not want. The awareness focussed in the crown of the head is however pristine in clarity and thought is suspended. This expansion of consciousness though devoid of bodily attachment is still the dark ego/mind complex.

At this point and in all of the following experiences the attention should be carefully, but powerfully turned towards the witness of all of this, with an intense thought-free longing to know who it is that sees it. The focus of attention will now move to the nape of the neck and then after further enquiry to the middle of the spine above the solar plexus, but the body and outer world are still apparent, though dreamlike.

Once again attention must be turned back to the one who witnesses all of this and it is at this point that a full expansion of consciousness takes place and the awareness moves to the so-called heart-centre, which is NOT within the body. This heart-centre is the seat of dark ignorance, the point from which the ego rises. The body, world and everything else has now vanished, to be replaced by a perception of vast energy proceeding forth to give rise to the universe. This energy is perceived as darkness, a profound ignorance covering the light of Pure Being, but is arising from ‘you’, the witness, and it is to that source that the attention has to be turned and the enquiry continued. This is the point reached by those who experience the stars and the universe withdrawing into them, it is not the finality, not self-realisation, merely one more illusion, but a very powerful one.

When attention is once more silently focussed on the one who witnesses all of this, the final stage of the enquiry takes place. The transition through the knot of ignorance at the heart-centre is accomplished and the purity of the unlimited deathless Self is known. Yet even here at the fifth stage of the quest the mind remains potential. The light of pure consciousness is perceived, but it is still only ‘perceived’. This is NOT self-realisation, but a very seductive state to remain in for those who seek the finality.

Only when this final stage is transcended is Self-realisation complete. This cannot be accomplished by the same enquiry as the previous steps, but only by complete surrender, the total dissolution of the mind into the ‘being-consciousness-bliss’ of the One Reality. This is in fact the most difficult, yet the easiest of all; how it is accomplished can be understood only when it is reached.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi remained permanently in the Supreme State. It is the state of Supreme Solitude, where death is an impossibility, where time and timelessness are one, where a billion years and a fraction of a second are the same, where immeasurable energy and absolute stillness are one, where difference is impossible and bliss alone is. Where light brighter than a billion suns pervades all, yet pervades nothing, where awareness of Being, beyond measure, pristine and unchangeable is known as you! This is the supreme state … your true state! It is not a void, but is immeasurably full, it is pure awareness, pure Being, perfect bliss, without beginning, middle or end. You are all of That and more!

To overcome the cycle of birth and death this latter state has to become permanent, and nothing less should be accepted by the true seeker.

Bhagavan’s death experience is a clear pointer to the method of enquiry, but the English version published so far is a far cry from the reality of it. Krishna Bhikshu continuously verified the accurate version with Bhagavan over many years (in Telugu) and nowhere in that version is it mentioned that Bhagavan mimicked a corpse.

The complete article lies here.
Also see:

Chapter 7: Self Enquiry

Chapter 8: Technique

body identification - Maya

There are so many thoughts in the mind. Thought after thought after thought. But there is one thought that is continuous, though it is mostly sub-conscious: 'I am the body'. This is the string on which all other thoughts are threaded. Once we identify ourselves with the body by thinking this thought, maya follows. It also follows that if we cease to identify with the body, maya will not affect us anymore.
-- Annamalai Swami p14, Final Talks.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Neither mind nor body

To know that you are neither body nor mind, watch yourself steadily and live unaffected by your body and mind, completely aloof, as if you were dead. It means you have no vested interests, either in the body or in the mind. p201

... I am not asking you to commit suicide. Nor can you. You can only kill the body, you cannot stop the mental process, nor can you put an end to the person you think you are. Just remain unaffected. This complete aloofness, unconcern with mind and body is the best proof that at the core of your being you are neither mind nor body. What happens to the body and the mind may not be within your power to change, but you can always put an end to your imagining yourself to be body and mind.

Whatever happens, remind yourself that only your body and mind are affected, not yourself. The more earnest you are at remembering what needs to be remembered, the sooner will you be aware of yourself as you are, for memory will become experience. Earnestness reveals being. What is imagined and willed becomes actuality--here lies the danger as well as the way out.
-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Obstacles

Discriminating and knowing well that all the sufferings that come by prarabdha in his life are send to him by God's Grace in order to make his mind stronger and thereby save him, let an aspirant bear with them patiently as tapas without being alarmed even in the least.

-- GVK 618, Sri Muruganar

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Obstacles

The many afflictions which occur with severity like thunderbolts in the life of the great devotees are only to establish their pure mind more and more firmly (in tapas, that is Self-abidance) and not to shake them down from it.

-- GVK 617, Sri Murugunar

Continuous enquiry

If you can give up duality, Brahman alone remains, and you know yourself to be that Brahman, but to make this discovery continuous meditation is required. Don't allocate periods of time for this. Don't regard it as something you do when you sit with your eyes closed. This meditation has to be continuous. Do it while eating, walking and even talking. It has to be continued all the time.
-- Annamalai Swami p8, Final Talks.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Look at yourself

Before you can accept God, you must accept yourself, which is even more frightening. The first steps in self-acceptance are not at all pleasant, for what one sees is not a happy sight. One needs all the courage to go further.

What helps is silence. Look at yourself in total silence, do not describe yourself. Look at the being you believe you are and remember --you are not what you see. 'This I am not--what am l?' is the movement of self-enquiry. There are no other means to liberation, all means delay. Resolutely reject what you are not, till the real Self emerges in its glorious nothingness, its 'not-a-thing-ness.' .

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Who Am I?

The individual who enquires into his real nature, "Who Am I?", will die as the I-less Self.

-- GVK 388

See also this thing called mind
When the mind appears every morning don't jump to the usual conclusion, 'This is me; these thoughts are mine'. Instead, ...

Bhagavan still at the ashram

Sadhu Arunachala (Major Chadwick) remembers the days after the maha-samadhi of Bhagavan Ramana:

At first people felt lost, they had relied too much on the personal form, though Bhagavan himself had repeatedly warned them, "You attach too much importance to this body."

Still it was only natural that this body should be missed, although as time went on, the loss became gradually less keen.

His presence was felt so strongly in the Ashram, and daily the feeling of this actual presence grew. A visitor remarked to me lately, "One does not miss the presence of Bhagavan in the Ashram, he is there just as he was before." And this is true. He is there and he is surely working and the Ashram will grow in strength and renown as time goes on. There have been dark days since that night three years ago,but those days are now past. The Ashram takes on a new life. There is a new feeling in the air and the stagnation is over. The school has been revived and pujas are performed so carefully and enthusiastically that the whole place rings with the vibrations thus set up.

I went away never to return, but he brought me back. And now I thank him every day that I have been allowed to take part in this renaissance. It is thrilling to the core to feel it happening.

One should have known that it was bound to be like this all the time. How could anything happen to the place he had sanctified with his presence for so long? The whole of India was blessed by his life, how much more so the place in which he made his home.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Kali Yuga

“This is the Kali Yuga,
Even Rakshashas (demons) will incarnate as teachers to mislead you.
Those who must be destroyed by these demons will be.

Test the Guru by the teaching:
without inquiry there is no teaching.
Shun every teacher who does not teach inquiry.
Directly looking at your own face is the only teaching.

If the Guru says 'I am enlightened,'
it means the ego is enlightened so stay away.
Western teachers who say this are preachers so stay away
and only write books to load more garbage on seekers,
and more money in their pockets.

They will attract so many students,
but in Kali Yuga it is the falsehood which will draw the crowds.
The Truth and the true Gurus will be neglected."

(Source)

I Am unimagined

You are a creature of memories; at least you imagine yourself to be so. I am entirely unimagined. I am what I am, not identifiable with any physical or mental state.

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That, p507

Self Enquiry

When one thus inwardly enquires, "Is it not to me that this thought has arisen -- then who am I?", the mind will subside in its Source, and the already risen thought will also vanish.

-- Guru Vachaka Kovai, 398

Chadwick Day (April 17th)

Major Chadwick was a well-known and ardent devotee of Sri Bhagavan, who stayed at the Ashram for over a quarter of a century without any thought of return to England. He used to spend many hours in meditation adhering strictly to a regular time-table. He was a model of steadfast sadhana which he kept up after Bhagavan's Mahasamadhi till the end of his life in 1962.
April 17th is observed at the Sri Ramanasramam as Chadwick Day.

The above picture of Major Chadwick's shrine was taken in January 2007.

The site Arunachala-Ramana pays him a tribute on "One of Us".

Various articles of his are available on this link.
I might add that April 14th was the date of the Mahasamadhi of Bhagavan as per the Gregorian Calendar. The Akshara Mana Malai was chanted outside the Nirvana Room at 8pm this April 14th. This year Bhagavan's aradhana will be observed on May 14th as per the Indian Calendar.

The photograph of Major Chadwick (also known as Sadhu Arunachala) is taken from arunachala.org.

His reminiscences (A Sadhu's Reminiscences) are available in pdf format (220kb) here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I Am

Whoever is puzzled by his very existence as a conscious being and earnestly wants to find his own source, can grasp the everpresent sense of 'I am' and dwell on it assiduously and patiently, till the clouds obscuring the mind dissolve and the heart of being is seen in all its glory.

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Thinking of Arunachala


'Those who think of Arunachala will gain mukti' - the scriptures say this. But even though one may stay at Arunachala, one may not feel any devotion towards the hill. One may not regard it as God. Many people are living here without giving more than a passing thought to the mountain. How can we conclude that such people are living at Arunachala?

The truth is, one is where one's mind is.
-- Annamalai Swami

Friday, April 13, 2007

Identification with the body


The mind and the body are both inert. Any energy or peace you experience can only come from the Self. Drop the identification with the body. These experiences are making you too body-conscious. Just be aware of the Self and try to pay as little attention as possible to the body.
The Self is pure energy, pure power. Hold onto that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Mental tendencies



In the peace of the Self, there are no vasanas. If you can establish yourself in the Self, all vasanas will be destroyed.
Witness the vasanas as they arise but don't identify with them or act on them. If you want to get rid of your vasanas you must learn to practice non-involvement.

If you feel yourself identifying with a vasana when it starts to rise, remind yourself, 'This vasana is not me' and withdraw into the Self. If you learn to ignore your vasanas in this way they will eventually stop rising.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bhagavan is the Self


One must keep one's attention on the Self if one wants to make progress on the spiritual path. But since Bhagavan is also the Self, you can also make progress by thinking of Him. It is good to feel love and devotion towards Bhagavan. The more we love Him, the more His grace flows to us in return.

When I used to look at Bhagavan's picture He seemed to say to be saying to me, 'I went beyond this body and established myself as consciousness. Now you try and do the same.'

Bhagavan is the Self. If you concentrate on His image, He will call you towards Him. He will try to pull you towards the real Self.

It is always good to worship the Guru, but abiding in the Guru's teachings is far better. ...
You should not jump to the conclusion that you are not making progress with self-enquiry because you find it hard to do. And you should not think that you will make more progress as a bhakta simply because you find it easy to generate joyful states of mind.

There is nothing wrong with looking at Bhagavan's picture. It is a very good practice. But you should not get sidetracked from you main objective which is establishing yourself as consciousness. Don't get attached to states of bliss or give them priority over the quest for the Self.
-- Annamalai Swami

Monday, April 09, 2007

Keep up the enquiry


You have to keep up the enquiry, 'To whom is this happening?' all the time.
If you are having trouble remind yourself, 'This is just happening on the surface of my mind. I am not this mind or the wandering thoughts.'
Then go back into enquiry 'Who am I?'.

By doing this you will penetrate deeper and deeper and become detached from the mind. This will only come about after you have made an intense effort.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Arunachala is the Self


Attachments and desires generally produce bondage. But a desire to stay here at Arunachala is a good desire and may be encouraged. It is very good to be attached to Arunachala because Arunachala is the Self. When you think about Arunachala you are turning the mind towards the Self.
-- Annamalai Swami

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Arunachala is pure conciousness

For liberation there must be continuous remembrance of Arunachala. One must also have faith in Arunachala and surrender to it.
Arunachala is pure consciousness, it is not an inert lump of rock. If you have faith that Arunachala is a Guru who will guide you, it will respond with the appropriate guidance. But to get this guidance one must surrender to the mountain and have strong faith in it.


Arunachala is like a fire; if you come near it you may get warm or even burnt. But if you are wearing insulation, even though you are physically near, you may not feel the fire.
-- Annamalai Swami

Photo of Arunachala taken from Sri Ramanasramam in Feb 2006

Friday, April 06, 2007

Arunachala is the paramatman


Arunachala radiates the grace of the Self. If you walk around it with reverence, keeping your mind quiet or thinking of the Self, you are having satsang of the Self. There is a great spiritual power emanating from Arunachala. You can feel it if you approach the mountain with humbleness, with reverence, and with a quiet mind.

If one does pradakshina of Arunachala with the right attitude, both the mind and the body are purified. If you feel like doing pradakshina, then go. Meditate while you walk.

At all times, whatever the body may be doing, one should keep a steady awareness of the Self. The main point of both pradakshina and meditation is to give up the identification with the body, to lose the I-am-the-body idea.
-- Annamalai Swami

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A tiny point

The world disturbs you because you think yourself big enough to be affected by the world. It is not so. You are so small that nothing can pin you down. It is your mind that gets caught, not you. Know yourself as you are - a mere point in consciousness, dimensionless, and timeless.

You are like the point of a pencil - by mere contact with you the mind draws its picture of the world. You are single and simple - the picture is complex and extensive.

Don't be misled by the picture - remain aware of the tiny point - which is everywhere in the picture.

-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Loving all equally

You can start with people you know. Bhagavan taught by example that we should only see good in other people. Virtually all people are a mix of good and bad. It is very rare to find someone who is wholly good or wholly bad. If you have to come in contact with a lot of people, try to make yourself aware of their good points and don't dwell on their bad points.

If you see good in people you radiate a harmonious, loving energy which uplifts those who are around you. If you can maintain this habit, this energy will soon turn into a steady flow of love.

Try to be aware at all times that everything you see and perceive is the Self. If you see the Self in other people, your love automatically flows towards them.

You gain nothing by thinking that someone is a bad person. If negative thoughts arise each time you see or think of a particular person, these thoughts will draw you away from the Self. Try to radiate your love equally to all people instead of just a few.

Try to feel that the whole world is your Self, your God. Try to see that Self in all people. Spread your love in all directions as an act of worship and surrender, because everything in the world is a manifestation of God.

-- Annamalai Swami