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?


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


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?

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?

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.