Thursday, October 23, 2008

Through Knowledge or Through Practice?

I started to compose a response to some of the comments that appeared under the previous post, but then decided to start a separate post to take advantage of the more refined formatting tools that new postings offer.

For those of you who have not been following the comments, there was a discussion over the last day or so about the vedantic approaches of Swami Chinmayananda and Swami Dayananda, and how their ideas had led some people from this tradition to disparage the teachings and even the attainments of Bhagavan. The piece that started the discussion was a long interview, with an American student of Swami Chinmayananda, which gave an interpretation of Who am I?, and of Bhagavan's teachings in general. For those who are interested, it can be found at: http://www.shiningworld.com/Books%20Pages/HTML%20Books/Ramana's%20Teachings.htm.

My own response to this piece, along with the of comments of several readers of this blog, can be found in the
response section of the previous post, in entries dated October 22nd and 23rd. Ravi, one of the contributors to the discussion, read the original interview and then gave the following link (http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j14/dayananda.asp?page=1), which is an interview between Andrew Cohen and Swami Dayananda. Now read on...


* * *

Thanks, Ravi, for the link to the interview with Swami Dayananda in What is Enlightenment? magazine. I remember discussing this article with the president of Ramanasramam many years ago, when the article first appeared in print. He was understandably annoyed by its rather patronising attitude towards Bhagavan and his spiritual attainments, but we have to accept that there are some people in the world who judge Bhagavan by their own peculiar criteria. This extract from the introduction to the Swami Dayananda interview sums up the most contentious issues:
In fact, both in his writings and in one of our dialogues with him, he [Swami Dayananada] even went so far as to express doubt about the realisation of the widely revered but unschooled modern sage Ramana Maharshi—adding that there may be millions of Indian householders with a similar level of attainment! While such statements initially took us by surprise, we would later discover through dialogues with a number of leading Western Advaita scholars that similar sentiments are held by many Advaita traditionalists. Even one of the living Shankaracharyas—the head of one of the four monastic institutions allegedly established by Advaita's founder, Shankara—also denies the validity of Ramana's attainment, apparently for the simple reason that someone who wasn't formally trained in Vedanta couldn't possibly be fully enlightened!
In the course of the interview Swami Dayananda explained the logic behind the last statement when he said:
We have no means of knowledge for the direct understanding of Self-realisation, and therefore Vedanta is the means of knowledge that has to be employed for that purpose. No other means of knowledge will work.

That is to say, without a thorough study of the vedantic texts and the arguments they lay out, Self-realisation is impossible. The corollary of this is that people such as Bhagavan who never underwent such a course of study cannot possibly be enlightened.

Bhagavan, of course, took an entirely different view, saying on many occasions that scriptural learning is often an impediment rather than an aid to a direct experience of the Self. Here is an interesting story narrated by Kunju Swami:
I once went to Sri Santhalinga Math at Peraiyur, near Coimbatore, for the kumbhabhishekam of the Peraiyur Temple, which was being performed by the Naltukottai Chettiars. At their invitation, sadhus from Kovilur Math, Sadhu Swami and his group from Palani, and other learned sadhus had come and were staying in the math. Some of them were known to me since they had previously come to have Sri Bhagavan’s darshan. After the kumbhabhishekam we had our meal and then started conversing. The sadhus who had known me earlier introduced me to the other sadhus, saying that I had come from Sri Ramanasramam.

On hearing this, the other sadhus said, ‘Since we have all come together, let us discuss something’.

They first asked me to explain akhandakara vritti [unbroken experience]. As I could remember clearly the explanation Sri Bhagavan had given when devotees raised this question in his presence, I quoted the appropriate verse from Ribhu Gita and explained it. Then the sadhus asked me about pratibhanda [the three obstacles: ignorance, doubt and wrong knowledge]. This too I explained with a verse from Vedanta Chudamani. The sadhus were pleased with my explanation.

It occurred to me that I should know about the vedantic texts that were studied in the maths. I did not want to embarrass the ashram by being unable to discuss these matters when I was sent out by them as a representative. Sri Krishnananda Swami, who is presently the head of the Tirukhalar Math, and who was my boyhood friend, had also come to attend the kumbhabhishekam. He had taken lessons in Vedanta from Mahadeva Swami, the head of Kovilur Math. When I informed him of my intention, he said that sixteen texts, selected by Sri Narasimha Bharati Swamigal of Sringeri Math, were taken up for study. This swami had insisted that vedantins should not read secular literature and polemics.

My friend estimated that it would take many years for one to learn these texts in the proper way, so I asked him, ‘I want to learn all these texts, but not in the traditional way. I will read them by myself. It will be enough if you explain the portions I cannot follow. Is it then possible to learn their meaning within two months?’

Seeing my keenness he replied, ‘We will try to complete them all in three months. You must come to Tirukhalar, though, to study them’.

After telling my friend that I would come to study with him as soon as I could, I returned to Sri Ramanasramam.

A few days after my return to the ashram I told Sri Bhagavan about the events that had taken place in Peraiyur.

I concluded: ‘When people from other maths who have studied Vedanta find out that I have come from Sri Ramanasramam, they start asking me philosophical questions. I feel that if I do not give fitting answers to their questions, it will reflect badly on our ashram. Because of this I asked Sri Krishnananda of Tirukhalar to give me lessons on Vedanta. He has asked me to come to Tirukhalar and he has agreed to give me lessons on Vedanta, and to complete them as early as possible. I am now thinking of going of Tirukhalar to learn Vedanta.’

Sri Bhagavan replied with a mocking smile, ‘Now you are going to study Vedanta, then it will be Siddhanta, then Sanskrit, and then polemics.’

As he kept adding more and more subjects, I stood before him dumbfounded.

Seeing my depressed look Sri Bhagavan said, ‘It is enough if you study the One’.

He could see that his answer had puzzled me, so he added, with some compassion, ‘If you learn to remain within your Self as the Self, that will amount to learning everything. What Vedanta lessons did I take? If you remain as the Self, the echo from the Heart will be from experience. It will be in agreement with the scriptures. This is what is called “the divine voice”.’

On hearing Sri Bhagavan’s words, the desire to learn Vedanta in order to answer the questions of others left me for good. From that day onwards, if someone asked me questions related to Vedanta, I was able, through Sri Bhagavan’s grace, to get the appropriate answer from within. As Sri Bhagavan himself has written in Atma Vidya Kirtanam, verse three:

'Without knowing the Self, what is the use if one knows anything else? If one has known the Self, what else is there to know? When that Self that shines without differences in different living beings is known within oneself, the light of Self will flash forth. It is the shining forth of grace, the destruction of “I” and the blossoming of bliss.' (The Power of the Presence, part two, pp. 69-71)
In one of his responses to the last post Broken Yogi expressed a curiosity about how advaita Vedanta was perceived and taught in India nowadays, and in times past. I don't want to digress too much into this topic, but I would like to mention that the monasteries (maths) of the Tamil-speaking world have a syllabus of sixteen texts through which Vedanta is studied. These works are almost unknown outside the Tamil maths in which they are taught, and until recently copies of these texts were quite hard to find. Fortunately, the Kovilur Math (mentioned by Kunju Swami in the last story) is proposing to bring out all sixteen works in a Collected Tamil Vedanta Texts series entitled Kovilur Marabu Vedanta Noolgal. The first two volumes have already appeared and they contain the following works:

Nana Jeeva Vada Katalai, a very free rendering of a portion of the Taittriya Upanishad

Geeta Saara Talattu by Tiruvenkata Nathar

Sasi Vanna Bodham, by Tattvaraya

Maharaja Turavu, by Kumaradeva

Vairagya Satakam, by Santalinga Swami

Vairagya Deepam, by Perur Santalinga Swami


I mention these texts merely to show that the Tamil Vedanta tradition is substantially different from the Sanskrit one, where students are more likely to find themselves being instructed in the Upanishads and the works of leading Sanskrit commentators such as Gaudapada, Shankara and Suresvara.

The independent Tamil Vedanta tradition really began with Tattvaraya around the end of the sixteenth century. Bhagavan often told the story of Swarupananda, Tattvaraya's Guru, and he once included the Tamil advaita poem Sorupa Saram, Swarupananda's only known work, on a ‘six essential books’ reading list that he gave to Annamalai Swami. For those of you who have not read it before, I highly recommend it. There is a complete translation at: http://www.davidgodman.org/tamilt/sorupasaram.shtml.


I entitled this post 'Through Knowledge or Through Practice?' because there seems to be a fundamental division of opinion on this matter between the methods espoused by Swami Chinmayananada and Swami Dayananda on the one hand, and those promulgated by Bhagavan on the other. The former stress the necessity of undertaking a rigorous intellectual study of key vedantic texts, with little time set aside for practice or meditation, whereas Bhagavan minimised the importance of studying and instead recommended continuous inner enquiry. Swami Dayananda's ideas can be found in the interview I linked to earlier. Bhagavan's contrary views can be found in the following verses, which are taken from Padamalai, pages 300-305:


Scriptures

19

For all the myriad religious scriptures, the essential truth is only the supreme reality of consciousness.

20

The true love of the Vedas, the mother who declares your real nature to be ‘You are That’, is the bridge for you [to cross samsara].
Bhagavan: Each one knows the Self but is yet ignorant. The person is enabled to realise only after hearing the mahavakya. Hence the upanishadic text is the eternal truth to which everyone who has realised owes his experience. After hearing the Self to be Brahman, the person finds the true import of the Self and reverts to it whenever he is diverted from it. Here is the whole process of realisation. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 647)
21

Learning the jnana sastras is only an incidental cause for travelling the path to samadhi. You should understand that its value is limited.

22

It is the nature of the ignorant to feel proud and superior by mastering scriptural knowledge that consists of pretentious verbiage.

23

The rare benefit that accrues from the jnana sastras will only come to the jiva that possesses a longing to know the truth. Not for others.

24

Hoping to get a revelation of jnana through scriptural knowledge is like resolving to cross the ocean on an insignificant blade of grass.

25

The truth of the one who reads books is not in the books themselves. It is in the experience of [that] vedantic knowledge.
Question: Bhagavan, I have read much of the Vedas and the sastras but no Atma jnana [Self-knowledge] has come to me. Why is this?

Bhagavan: Atma jnana will come to you only if it is there in the sastras [scriptures]. If you see the sastras, sastra jnana [knowledge of the scriptures] will come. If you see the Self, Self-knowledge will shine. (
Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 217.)
True learning

26

When the mind, one-pointed and fully focused, knows the supreme silence in the Heart, this is [true] learning.

27

As a result of the knowledge obtained from this true learning, all false misery will fall away, and a profound peace will flourish.

28

Bear in mind that the benefit of scholarship is prompting the mind to turn about, enabling it to be captivated by the light of the Self.

29

The benefit of learning is simply to become established within the Heart, in the concept-free state of reality, which is your own nature.

30

As long as the holy feet do not touch and come to rest squarely upon the head [of the jiva] what benefit can scholarship give?

This verse is speaking obliquely of saktipata, the power that is transmitted by the Guru to the disciple.
Question: Saktipata is said to occur in karmasamya, i.e., when merit and demerit are equal.

Bhagavan: Yes. Malaparipaka [a mature state in which impurities are ready for destruction], karmasamya and saktipata mean the same. A man is running the course of his samskaras; when taught he is the Self, the teaching affects his mind and imagination runs riot. He feels helpless before the onrushing power. His experiences are only according to his imagination of the state ‘I am the Self”, whatever he may conceive it to be. Saktipata alone confers the true and right experience. When the man is ripe for receiving the instruction and his mind is about to sink into the Heart, the instruction imparted works in a flash and he realises the Self all right. Otherwise, there is always the struggle. (
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no 275)
31

Only the learning of akhanda-vritti [unbroken experience], one’s truth, the substratum, is true learning.

The true purpose of scriptural knowledge

32

Mere scholarship derived from copious learning, without putting it into practice, will harm the well being of the jiva.
Bhagavan: Ancients have said that the superabundance of book knowledge is the cause of the rambling of the mind. That will not carry you to the goal. Reading of sastras and becoming pandits may give fame to a person but they destroy the peace of mind which is necessary for the seeker of truth and deliverance. A mumukshu [a seeker of deliverance] should understand the essence of the sastras but should give up the reading of sastras as that is inimical to dhyana [meditation]. It is like accepting the grain and discarding the chaff. There will be many big almirahs [cupboards] with many books. How many of them can be read? There are so many books and religions that one life is not enough to read all the books relating to even one religion. Whenever then is the time for practice? The more you read, the more you feel like reading further. The result of all this is to go on discussing with other people who have books and spend time thus but that will not lead to deliverance. What books had I seen and what Vedanta discourses had I heard except to close my eyes and remain peaceful and quiet during the first two years of my coming here? (Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 2nd July, 1949)
33

Even if one has huge amounts of book knowledge, it is of no use unless the inner attachment [the ego] is destroyed.

34

The excellence of the subtle intellect is only its ability to enter the Heart – that which possesses great nobility – not its ability to research and understand anything.
Question: Bhagavan, I would like to read books and find out a path whereby I can attain mukti but I do not know how to read? What shall I do? How can I realise mukti?

Bhagavan: What does it matter if you are illiterate? It is enough if you know your own Self.

Question: All people here are reading books but I am not able to do that. What shall I do?

Bhagavan: What do you think the book is teaching? You see yourself and then see me. It is like asking you to see yourself in a mirror. The mirror shows only what is on the face. If you see the mirror after washing your face, the face will appear to be clean. Otherwise the mirror will say there is dirt here, come back after washing. A book does the same thing. If you read the book, after realising the Self, everything will be easily understood. If you read it before realising the Self, you will see ever so many defects. It will say, ‘First set yourself right and then see me’. That is all. First see your Self. Why do you worry yourself about all that book learning? (
Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 1st February, 1946)
35

Everything that one has learned is total falsehood if it does not become a means for [mind-] consciousness to subside within the Self.
Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 143, Pozhippurai: The knowledge of scriptures should prompt one to reach the Heart, the source of the ego, by taking the grace of God to be the primary support in such a way that the ego ceases to be. If it does not [help in this way] the knowledge borne as a burden by those who behave as if they are the body, the illusory lump of flesh, is nothing but the swinging, fleshy beard of the goat.

Vilakkam: The grace of God is that which springs forth naturally in every being all the time. Since knowledge that does not help one to reach the Heart is totally useless, it has been compared to a goat’s fleshy beard. Until one reaches the Heart, the ego will not cease. Hence it has been said, ‘To reach the Heart in such a way [that] … the ego ceases to be’. Any effort to reach the Heart that relies primarily on ego-consciousness will be utterly futile. This is why it has been said, ‘by taking the grace of God to be the primary support’.
36

The benefit of learning should be nothing less than to dwell upon the gracious feet of the one whose form is the wealth of pure consciousness.

Pandits and scholars

37

Only those who are dwelling in the land of Atma-swarupa, which is consciousness, the supreme, are scholars. The rest are madmen.

38

Even though they have acquired knowledge of other things, what have those lowest of people really gained, they who have not learned to enquire into and know the state of the Self in a fitting manner?

39

He who sees an object as separate from consciousness cannot be a pandit who has known consciousness.
Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 132, Pozhippurai: Why do many of you who have moved with me call me a pandit? The indispensable mark that should be present as a characteristic of the true pandit is only knowing the one who has studied, right from the beginning, all the arts and sciences that are apart from himself in such a way that they cease, being known to be ignorance.

Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 133, Pozhippurai: By enquiring deeply within oneself, ‘Who is the one who has known all the arts and sciences?’ the ego that says ‘I am a knowledgeable one’ ceases immediately, without raising its head. Along with it, the knowledge of arts and sciences that was known by the ego also ceases. Only he who has unerringly known, as it really is, his true state, the Self that remains after this enquiry, is a pandit. How can someone with an ego, who has not known the Atma-swarupa, become a pandit?
40

What can be accomplished by intellectual mastery, which overcomes opponents through clever arguments, humbling them and preventing them from opening their mouths?

41

Even if one studies and knows in minute detail the subtlest of books, unless there is [nishkamya] punya it will be impossible for the mind to enter the Heart. ‘

'Punya’ here refers to the merits that come from spiritual practices performed without any thought of a reward.


216 comments:

1 – 200 of 216   Newer›   Newest»
baxishta said...

David,

thank you for this post. i, of course, agree with Sri Bhagavan on the primary importance of experiencing the self, rather than just studying it.

it seems to me, though, that once one has had a clear glimpse of self (something upon which we are not all agreed), understanding of the direct experience takes on an important role.

previously, one had known of only one way to experience, as mediated by the mind via the subject-object relationship. now, as if for the first time, one has seen that there is an entirely different way to experience: directly.

at this point, the idea of what practice is changes. now, only another glimpse of the self will satisfy.

and now it is clear that there is absolutely no connection between self and world, and therefore also clear that nothing one can do or not do will have the slightest impact on That which is experientially prior to onesself.

all that is left to do while waiting for the next glimpse is to gradually accept that the earlier glimpse has not really ended.

another way to look at it is that opportunities to have a glimpse occur as often as one has a thought.

in fact, between the end of one thought and the beginning of the next, one is guaranteed such a glimpse. we say that it is not clear, but upon reflection, it seems more and more likely that It is clear and the rest is in question.

this 'new' type of experience gradually becomes a background for the 'normal' one, and it is only a matter of 'time' before one's point of view shifts in order to identify with it.

please forgive my unapologetic statements but this is my experience these days, and i believe that a worthwhile discussion of truth must include attempts to describe what is happening right now.

michael

Sankar Ganesh said...

Great Masters, fully established in Sahaja Sthithi (natural state), have always advised practice over reading scriptures.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to say that scriptures are like a mixture of sand and sugar. One has to take the sugar (the essence) and throw away the rest. He always stressed on practice rather than spending time reading scriptures.

Even the great Adi Sankaracharya wrote the song "Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam..." advising people to make efforts to realize God/Self quickly rather than wasting time reading scriptures as death can come anytime.

Umesh said...

"Through Knowledge or Through Practice?" The question applies only to seekers who are not devotees of Bhagavan. (or those who have not fully surrendered to him. Those who do not have faith in Him.). Bhakti marga Saints like MeeraBai & Tukaram have easily proved that even an iota of Vedantic knowledge is NOT needed for self realization. One who cannot abide in himself until he realises himSelf will obviously pick other paths that are more suited to his mind. Bhagavan advised neither knowledge or practice. He clearly said "Be as you are". We are considering this to be practice and then debating on it.Just my thoughts.

Sankarraman said...

With regard to the views of Dayananda on the spiritual status of Bhgahvan, none should be perturbed, as Dayananda is merely a scholar on advaita, especially, the traditional lore. Strangely enough, Dayananda says that one should be able to interpret the teachings of advaita with the help of the intellect, based on the Upanishadic knowledge, which is the only pramana. Further he subscribes to the wrong notion that samadhi is not necessary to understand oneself which is a death knell to all spirituality, as Bhghavan has clearly stated that only in Samadhi the realization is possible, all other states being mind-bound and casting a veil on the Self. Unfortunately, Daynanda does not seem to have understood that the term, " Upanishadic Knowledge, " refers only to the Self, and not the mere texts, a wrong notion that many of the traditional scholars are labouring under.Only one scholar by name, Sachidananda Saraswaty, whose books have been translated by A.G.Alston, has clarified the correct position that the upanishadic knowledge is not a pramana, but refers to the intuitional knowledge of the self obtained through Akandhakara vritti. But he too has not made any mention of Ramana. True Ramana followers should not be unsettled in their moorings of Bhghavan by such outlandish statements as, " Even some house wives are in the state of Bhaghavan", made by Dayananda. These scholars are only indulging in ego trips. It is only Bhghavan who has not made any distinction between the waking and dream states, attaching some reality to it ( Waking state), as is the fashion of the traditional scholars. Nor Bhghavan has subscribed to the view that during the deep sleep state ignorance supervenes. Bhaghavan is averse to all intellectual classification. Because Bhghavan's message deals with the bare self, scholars don't get any titillation out of it, as they are zealous of acquiring and accumulating more and more concepts. We have only to ignore them. Bhghavan has made the remarkable statement that during deep sleep even the existence of prana is from the viewpoint of onlookers, a view not acquiesced in by the traditionalists as their stand and search is only through the objective knowledge, rarely touching the essential subject of the self.

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
More than viewing it as 'Knowledge' Vs 'Practice' ,it is useful to see it more objectively.
We have the Story of Suka Brahmam who although a Full Blown Gnani by Birth was sent to King Janaka to be CONFIRMED IN HIS UNDERSTANDING.
We also recently know How Poonjaji was told by Sri Bhagavan That HE HAS ARRIVED!
Michael has expressed this in his post-Regarding the recognition of the 'Interval between two Thoughts'.
So,these do have a validity.I remember reading somewhere that Sri Bhagavan Said that one needs to read the Scriptures after Realization!
Certainly SWADHYAYA,a reading of the Scriptures ,does help.Yet,As David has Rightly mentioned,there are Different Texts Advocated by Different Groups.
It is a Mistake to consider that the VEDAS are in Sanskrit Language and that any other Text that expresses the Philosophical Import in any other Language is its Effective Equivalent.Even The Tamil Saivaite Saints of the Periya Puranam that Sri Bhagavan so relished to recount,admitted the Vedas as the Supreme Source of All Knowledge.Ditto with The Alwars.THE VEDAS ARE TO BE CHANTED and this is done in Sri Ramanashramam.Vedanta(The Upanishads)can be Studied as well.

Notwithstanding Dayananda's Foolish Statements on Sri Bhagavan,He does make a point in that interview regarding the Value of Tradition-How Westerners lacking the Tradition of Vegetarian Cooking has to Rely on only Alfalfa or Salads as 'Vegetarian Cooking'!This is quite a valid Point.
The Key thing why The Vedas are considered as a Supreme Authority is not to Belittle the 'Direct Experience of A Great Seer' but to Guard against People getting carried away by the Whims and Fancies of an 'Individual'.This is Basically to Say that 'Principles' are more Important than 'Personality'.It is to say that Even the 'Great ,Direct Experience of a Great One' is only 'Subjective' and cannot serve as a Guide for others who may Take it only after checking whether it conforms to the 'Vedic Standards'.

Otherwise,we already see how People get Cheated in Chasing their 'Gurus',Each one with his own USP(Unique Selling Proposition),since there are no Yardsticks that are deemed Necessary.This is the Downside of Doing away with Traditional Wisdom.

Th Other Important Thing that Dayananda is Trying to Say is not to view 'Learning' and 'Practice' as two Different Things.The Learning itself can be a Practice.This is indeed True.'Pracice' is born of 'The Do It ' approach which is born of Ignorance -the sense of Doership.Learning may help to drop this False Idea.This is Quite in line with the Vedic Tradition wherein Listening to the Guru can Help to clear the cobweb instantaneously.Remember how Sub Registrar Narayana Iyer listened to Sri Bhagavan Reciting the 'Ulladu NaRpadhu'and could immediately get everything Clear.

I should say that Dayananda is quite an Intelligent person and quite Knowledgeable-He has also written a commentary on Sri Bhagavan's works-I think it is on Sat Darshan.'Name and Fame' is the Great obstacle, and Egoism and Pride are often the Pitfall of many an aspirant,and I am Afraid this is the case with this Swami.I also suspect that he relishes and revels in administering such 'Shocks'-Cheap Publicity Stunts!
Some of my near Relatives are Disciples of This School- a couple of Months Back,They asked for a Copy of 'The Talks '.I had been To Sri Ramanashramam and got a copy of 'Be as You Are'.Subsequently,I gave them a Copy of the Talks.As part of Their Satsangh,they are Listening to "ulladu NaRpathu"!
I used to be a 'Quiet' listener whenever they used to Refer to 'Dayananda's Talks.Recently,In the course of a Discussion,One of them said-'Dayananda is Traditional,Maharshi is Practical'!
That Said it all!

Ramana Rajgopaul said...

I believe that Swami Dayananda has either been misquoted or quoted out of context. I understand this entire matter as one of being able to communicate realization through words, which is possible only through knowledge gained through a pramana. Even Bhagwan, subsequent to his enlightenment, studied our shastras to be able to explain our philosophy.

Why should it surprise anyone that there are thousands of enlightened souls going about living their lives? This too is a reality that many of us have seen in our lives. This too is covered well by our shastras which in fact emphasize that having understood the Self, one should simply live his life and not go about showing off!

David Godman said...

Ravi

I should say that Dayananda is quite an Intelligent person and quite Knowledgeable-He has also written a commentary on Sri Bhagavan's works-I think it is on Sat Darshan.

***

I have listened to Swami Dayananda talk on Bhagavan's writings and I have to say that I found him to be an outstanding and entertaining public speaker. However, I do feel that he occasionally throws the baby out with the bathwater when he says that the words of jnanis cannot be accepted unless they are in agreement with the scriptures.

Ravi said...

David,
" when he says that the words of jnanis cannot be accepted unless they are in agreement with the scriptures."
This seems to be in line with the Traditional view.I also felt this to be completely Dogmatic and Fundamentalist until I happen to go through a Speech of The Sage of Kanchi-wherein he examines the Pros and Cons of this approach.I typically found the Sage Pitching in Weightier Arguements than what I had in Mind and Balancing it with an Equally Weighty counter Arguements-Generally,I am not interested in this sort of a Hairsplitting,but after going through the Sage's speech,I found that things were not that simple after all!It was a thoroughly balanced Dispassionate view.

I found it presumptuous of Dayananda to say that he had encountered several Housewives with the same Realisation as Sri Bhagavan!Such an intelligent person could make such a stupid Statement is something Beyond my Understanding.Also his mentioning as to what he would have done if he were Sankara!or Ramana!Rather,he should have focussed on what he was doing when he was Talkng to Andrew Cohen!He would have avoided such Blabberings.

Namaskar.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

...Through Knowledge or Through Practice?...

Both. It depends what the person understands by "knowledge" or "practice". There is a understanding of this words which could be a hindrance both for true knowledge and true practice.

I'm ever aware of what Bhagavan said (I forgot where, I try to translate it):

"The **few successful** own their success their patience and steady endeavour."

Without years over years contemplating the true meaning of the holy scriptures and steady practice (in the sense of understanding and transforming the ego) it is (in my eyes) impossible to have jnana.

The sufis say: "Understand your soul (ego), and then you will know what God is not."

Many people had glimpses of cosmic conciousness. But afterwards they fall as it were into this gigantic trap of Maya, the world-appearance. They try to "become someone", or they suffer not to be what they like to be, or they cannot rest within themselves - and this is a sign of a misleaded consciousness.

A true awakened person sees no "others" he needs to impress - that is my conviction.

.

Ravi said...

Ramana Rajgopaul,
"I believe that Swami Dayananda has either been misquoted or quoted out of context."
I wish what you say is True but this is not so.I have heard the same thing from several different sources quite close to Dayananda.You may read the Article from the Link provided by David in his post.

"Even Bhagwan, subsequent to his enlightenment, studied our shastras to be able to explain our philosophy."
This is another statement that is doing its rounds in the Dayananda Circle.I have heard this from several of his Ardent Followers.

Sri Bhagavan needed no such Sastra/Scripture to explain TRUTH.The Devotees like Palani Swami used to carry some scriptural Books and ask him to Explain.Sri Bhagavan used to go through the same and Explain it on the STRENGTH OF HIS REALIZATION.
This has been the Case with his choosing some verses from The Bhagavad Gita,Translating Adi Sankara's Atma Bodha wherein Sri Bhagavan says that It is Sankara , Being one with the Atma, is the one who is offering this Translation into Tamil!

The Other Story that does its rounds in the Dayananda circle is that Sri Bhagavan Learnt all these from Kavyakanta Ganapathi Muni!

Dayananda says that words are necessary to Explain Truth.He says that if the Student does not understand,it requires more Explaining until it becomes clear!can he cite a single case Study to illustrate how this works?If this were so all the Scholars would have been Gnanis since they have perfected this art.

So,That is it!

Arun said...

This may be of interest:

http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2002-April/023659.html

baxishta said...

re the question of a glimpse and what to do with it:

we have debated whether or not there is such a thing as a valid glimpse of the self before realization. further, even if such a glimpse can and does occur, there are two mutually exclusive views regarding the most useful attitude one may have towards it.

on the one hand there is the idea that, even if one has had such a glimpse, one should no more dwell on it than on any other thought. i have earlier suggested that those who do not heed this advice commit a type one error. i believe that Sri Ramana, as well as our host, David, and several others have expressed this opinion clearly.

i am also in agreement with this view with one caveat: if what we are left with post-glimpse is an indirect experience in the form of a memory of an earlier direct experience, then i agree that we should not dwell on it.

however, i wonder if a direct experience can truly be said to engender an indirect one

if one has indeed glimpsed the self, should he not regard whatever remains as prasad?

to do otherwise would be to commit the worst kind of type 2 error: failing to value a most precious finding. on this point Sri Papaji is truly compelling when he speaks of the difference between students who have "held onto" his gift versus those who have not.

we live in doubt because we are afraid of claiming an untruth. but, sooner or later, we will be forced to doubt the doubt, to doubt our ignorance rather than our insight.

i've always tended to be a contrarian. if someone tells me that a movie is great, then i probably will not like it, and vice versa. although most people are in agreement that it's far worse to commit a type one error (claiming an untruth) than a type two one(overlooking a valid claim), i don't care.

i'm with you, Papaji. you've given me a diamond and i'm keeping it.

michael

David Godman said...

Maneesha

I agree with you that Swami Chinmayananda had the greatest respect for Bhagavan and his attainment. When ‘The Call Divine’ – a magazine dedicated to Bhagavan and his teachings – started in the early 1950s, Swami Chinmayananda was its first editor. The tone of the magazine exuded extreme respect towards Bhagavan. Someone can correct me on this if I am wrong, since it is not my area of expertise, but I think the questioning of Bhagavan’s status and state is restricted to Swami Dayananda and his followers.

Next, I want to comment on two other responses:

Ramana Rajgopaul

I believe that Swami Dayananda has either been misquoted or quoted out of context. I understand this entire matter as one of being able to communicate realization through words, which is possible only through knowledge gained through a pramana.

Ravi

Dayananda says that words are necessary to Explain Truth. He says that if the Student does not understand, it requires more Explaining until it becomes clear!

* * *

This is the crux of the difference between Swami Dayananda’s approach and Bhagavan’s. Swami Dayananda believes that a disciple must understand a particular sequence of vedantic premises and arguments in order to discover the directly experienced truth of Brahman; Bhagavan, on the other hand, minimised the importance of words and explanations, saying that such a transmission was a much-diluted and indirect mechanism for transmitting true knowledge. Here are some well-known statements by Bhagavan on this topic:

Silence is never-ending speech. Vocal speech obstructs the other speech of silence. In silence one is in intimate contact with the surroundings. The silence of Dakshinamurti removed the doubts of the four sages. Mouna vyakhya prakatita tatvam (Truth expounded by silence.) Silence is said to be exposition. Silence is so potent.

For vocal speech, organs of speech are necessary and they precede speech. But the other speech lies even beyond thought. It is in short transcendent speech or unspoken words, para vak. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 68)

Language is only a medium for communicating one’s thoughts to another. It is called in only after thoughts arise; other thoughts arise after the ‘I-thought’ rises; the ‘I-thought’ is the root of all conversation. When one remains without thinking one understands another by means of the universal language of silence.

Silence is ever-speaking; it is a perennial flow of language; it is interrupted by speaking. These words obstruct that mute language. There is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electric energy. Similarly also, silence is the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 246)

D.: Why does not Sri Bhagavan go about and preach the Truth to the people at large?

M.: How do you know that I am not doing it? Does preaching consist in mounting a platform and haranguing to the people around? Preaching is simple communication of knowledge. It may be done in Silence too.

What do you think of a man listening to a harangue for an hour and going away without being impressed by it so as to change his life? Compare him with another who sits in a holy presence and leaves after some time with his outlook on life totally changed. Which is better: To preach loudly without effect or to sit silently sending forth intuitive forces to play on others?

Again how does speech arise? There is abstract knowledge unmanifest). From it there rises the ego which gives rise to thoughts and words successively. So then:

Abstract Knowledge
¯
Ego
¯
Thoughts
¯
Words

Words are therefore the great grandson of the original source. If words can produce an effect, how much more powerful should the preaching through silence be? Judge for yourself. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no 285)

Siva appeared before them sitting under the sacred banyan tree. Being yogiraja should He practise yoga? He went into samadhi as He sat; He was in Perfect Repose. Silence prevailed. They saw Him. The effect was immediate. They fell into samadhi and their doubts were at an end.

Silence is the true upadesa. It is the perfect upadesa. It is suited only for the most advanced seeker. The others are unable to draw full inspiration from it. Therefore they require words to explain the Truth. But Truth is beyond words. It does not admit of explanation. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 569)

* * *

According to Bhagavan, it is the power of the Guru’s Self-abidance that brings about an awareness of the Self in his disciples. The spoken words are, at best, secondary.

Swami Dayananda does not seem to accept this silent transmission as a valid revelatory vehicle for the transmission of true knowledge. The following dialogue is from the article I cited in my original post:

Andrew Cohen: In one of your books, you make a distinction between a mystic and a Vedantin. When referring, for example, to Ramana Maharshi as a mystic, you seem to be distinguishing him in some way from a Vedantin, and since many people consider him to be the quintessence of Vedanta, I'm curious to know what that distinction is.

Swami Dayananda: The only difference here is that a mystic has no means of communication to make you a mystic, an equally great mystic as himself.

AC: To clear up empirical confusion—is that what you mean?

SD: Yes. Suppose this mystic has got the knowledge of his being always All—that kind of a mystic's experience. So that person is a mystic, but he has no means of communication to share that experience. If he has a means of communication by which to make another person equally a mystic, then there is nothing mystical about what he knows. Therefore, I will not call him a "mystic"; I will call him a "Vedantin."

AC: In Ramana's case, everybody said that he communicated through silence.

SD: Again, this is an interpretation, because there are a lot of people I know who went to him and then came back saying that he didn't know anything.

AC: But there are also many people who said that they had profound experiences in his presence.

SD: Each one has to interpret in his own way. But we can only say someone is a Vedantin as long as they teach Vedanta!


* * *

By labelling Bhagavan a ‘mystic’ and by defining a mystic as someone who cannot transmit his knowledge or his experience to someone else, Swami Dayananda is implicitly negating Bhagavan’s chosen method of transmission: silence. He is not (on this occasion at least) saying that Bhagavan is not enlightened because he didn’t study the Vedanta texts properly prior to his Self-realisation, but he is saying, indirectly, that Bhagavan’s chosen method of transmission is ineffective.

I should now like to include one of my favourite ‘transmission’ stories: the occasion when Akhilanadamma went to Bhagavan and asked for some verbal teachings, and received more than she bargained for:

* * *

Once, while Bhagavan was at Skandashram, I [Akhilanadamma ] went up the hill with all the required foodstuffs to serve a bhiksha. I could not see Bhagavan there so I asked Akhanadanandar, who was also known as Appadurai Swami, where he was.

He told me, ‘Today is the day when Bhagavan has his shave. So please wait.’

He also told me that since it was full moon day, it was a very auspicious time to receive upadesa [verbal teachings] from great souls.

He added, ‘When Bhagavan comes, please request him to impart some upadesa to you through his gracious words’.

By inclination I am a person who has neither the desire nor the capacity to make such a request. To see Bhagavan, to think of him and to do service to him – these alone were sufficient for my happiness. Furthermore, as someone who had no education, I felt ill qualified to ask him about anything. And even if I did ask, I felt apprehensive about my ability to understand his reply. However, for some reason, on that particular day, I felt like following the course that Akhandanandar had suggested.

When the shaving was finished Bhagavan came and sat near us. He had not yet taken his bath.

While he was sitting there I approached him, bowed, stood up and then said, ‘Bhagavan, kindly tell me something’.

Bhagavan stared at me and asked, ‘About what am I to tell you?’

I was both puzzled and nonplussed. A mixture of fear and devotion along with an eagerness to hear Bhagavan’s gracious words welled up within me, rendering me incapable of speech. I just stood there mutely.

Bhagavan understood my predicament. No one can hide anything from him. He can understand the state of mind of anyone who approaches him, merely by looking at him.

On this occasion he looked at me graciously and said, ‘Be without leaving yourself [unnai vidamal iru]’.

I could not comprehend the meaning of this high-level upadesa, and had no idea how to practise it, but as soon as the words came from Bhagavan’s mouth I felt an immense satisfaction and a wonderful effulgence in my mind. These gracious words welled up in my mind again and again like the rising of the tides. The feeling they produced gave me an indescribable happiness. I stood there delighting myself in the feelings produced by this one phrase. Even today, the sound of that upadesa rings in my ears and bestows immense peace on me. How is it possible to describe Bhagavan’s grace?

What was told? How to be without leaving myself? What is the state of leaving? What is the meaning of ‘yourself’? Let the spiritual teachers, the vedantins, explain all these things. To me they are all incomprehensible. What is more, I have no desire to understand them. The happiness that can be attained not only by understanding this sentence, but also by practising it, that same happiness Bhagavan gave me at the moment when the words came from his mouth. I didn’t need to understand with my mind because I immediately experienced the state that the words were indicating without ever really understanding what the words themselves meant. I took this immediate experience, this perfect satisfaction, as the fruit of that upadesa. I came to understand through this experience that in Bhagavan’s benign presence a single gracious utterance can produce the fruit and the fulfilment of all spiritual practices such as sravana [hearing], manana [thinking or reflection] and nididhyasana [contemplation or abidance].

After imparting this instruction Bhagavan continued to sit there for a very long time. I also continued to stand before him. There appears to be a great significance in this. The meaning is that after giving upadesa through the words ‘Be without leaving yourself’, Bhagavan gave a practical illustration of how it could be done by remaining in this state himself. (The Power of the Presence, part one, pp. 86-7)

* * *

Akhilandamma was clearly incapable of understanding the high-level upadesa that Bhagavan had given her, and Bhagavan knew this. By giving her a complicated instruction that she couldn’t understand and couldn’t put into practice, while simultaneously giving her the experience that the words denoted, he demonstrated to her the limitations of words and the primacy of having a direct experience in the Guru’s presence through his non-verbal power.

I don’t know what Swami Dayananda would say about this story, but if the following extract from the Andrew Cohen interview is a guide to his views on spiritual experiences, I am guessing that he would dismiss it as irrelevant:

Andrew Cohen: Why is it that you feel the study of the scriptures, rather than spiritual experience, is the most direct means to Self-realization?

Swami Dayananda: Self-realization, as I said, is the discovery that "the Self is the whole"—that you are the Lord; in fact, you are God, the cause of everything.

Now nobody lacks the experience of advaita, of that which is nondual—there's always advaita. But any experience is only as good as one's ability to interpret it. A doctor examining you interprets your condition in one way, a layperson in another. Therefore, you need interpretation, and your knowledge is only as valid as the means of knowledge you are using for that purpose.

As the small self, we have no means of knowledge for the direct understanding of Self-realization, and therefore Vedanta is the means of knowledge that has to be employed for that purpose. No other means of knowledge will work because, for this kind of knowledge, our powers of perception and inference alone are not sufficient.

So I find that by itself there is nothing more dumb than experience in this world. In fact, it is experience that has destroyed us.

* * *

I am not disparaging vedantic study under a qualified teacher for those who feel inclined to seek knowledge in this way. However, to claim that this is the sole route to Self-realisation flies in the face of the evidence provided by the lives of many great beings who attained it through surrender to God, devotion to a Guru, and so on. Does anyone know what Swami Dayananda thinks of Bhagavan’s statement that Lakshmi the cow was enlightened?

baskar said...

I feel that this quote is the crux of the post.

"We have no means of knowledge for the direct understanding of Self-realisation, and therefore Vedanta is the means of knowledge that has to be employed for that purpose. No other means of knowledge will work."

No doubt this statement is dogmatic and verging on the fanatical, and excommunicates those outside the traditional vedantic system as unconscious frauds at best.

But I feel to pit Ramana or any other against some other saint/ person does a disservice to the approach of Bhagavan.

Therefore some of the personal remarks against Dayananda could perhaps have been made in silence.

Seriously speaking, I feel the question "Through Knowledge or Through Practice" should be explored further. Because it seems to me that in some aspects knowledge and practice are not as different as they are made out to be.

So a future post on what exactly is knowledge and what constitutes practice could be of help.

Regards,

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
" Does anyone know what Swami Dayananda thinks of Bhagavan’s statement that Lakshmi the cow was enlightened?"
This is always something that has fascinated me-Lakshmi's example has been more a lesson for me than all the Vedanta put together.Lakshmi is the perfect example that Words are not at all necessary.

I have nothing against Dayananda having his personal views in all these matters.I am certainly do not like his misleading others with his half baked Knowledge.

Murali said...

Dear All,

Swami Chinmayanada also had an institute and a residential program teaching the scriptures for years. Here is what he has to say on Sri Ramana Maharshi. It might be noted that Swami Dayananda was once a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda.

Relevant to the context, please see the last two paragraphs below, where he says that Ramana is the cream of all scriptures

"I was just emerging from high school, exams were over. On a package railway ticket I was roaming through south India. As the train steamed through the country side at a halting speed, most of the passengers in my compartment suddenly peered through the windows in great excitement and bowed revertentially to the elaborate temple beyond. Inquiring about it, I was told that it was the Tiruvannamalai temple.
Thereafter, the talk of my fellow travellers turned to Ramana Maharshi. The word "Maharshi" conjured up in my mind ancient forest retreats and superhuman beings of divine glow. Though I was at that time a convinced atheist, I was deeply drawn to visit the Maharshi's Ahsram. I chose to take the next available train to Tiruvannamalai.

At the Ashram I was told that the Maharshi was in the hall and anybody was gree to walk in and see him. As I entered, I saw on the couch an elderly man, wearing but a loincloth, reclining against a round boster. I sat down at the very foot of the couch. The Maharshi suddenly opened his eyes and looked straight into mine. I looked into his. A mere look, that was all. I felt that the Maharshi was, in that split moment, looking deep into me - and I was sure that he saw all my shallowness, confusions, faithlessness, imperfections and fears.
I cannot explain what happened in that one split moment. I felt opened, cleaned, healed and emptied! A whirl of confusions, my atheism dropping away, but scepticism flooding into question, wonder, and search. My reason gave me strength and I said to myself, "It is all mesmerism, my own foolishness.". Thus assuring myself, I got up and walked away.

But the boy who left the hall was not the boy who had gone in some ten minutes before. After my college days, my polical work, and after my years of stay at Uttarkashi at the feet of my master, Tapovanam, I know that what I gained on the Ganges banks was that which had been given to me years before by the saint of Tiruvannamalai on that hot summer day - by a mere look.

Sri Ramana is not a theme for discussion; he is an experience, he is a state of consciousness. Sri Ramana was the highest reality and the cream of all the scriptures in the world. He was there for all to see how a master can live in perfect detachment. Though in the mortal form, he lived as the beauty and purity of the infinite"

Ravi said...

David,
I love every bit of that Akhilandamma's story that you narrated.
It is the purity of Heart that matters. Learnings and intelligent explanations are often pointless and ineffective.They only serve to add to the Load of Ignorance.

Scriptural study is rewarding if pursued with Humility and Earnestness.The Traditional approach laid a great deal of Stress on the Service of The Guru and more than learning THE BLESSING OF THE GURU IS PARAMOUNT.
We have the classic case of Totakacharya,one of the Disciples of Sri Adi Sankara.
Totakacharya had neither the learning of Sureshwara and Padmapada nor the realisation of Hastamalaka. But he was unrivalled in scrupulous personal attention to the Acharya. He found pleasure in looking after the personal comforts of the Acharya as a devoted servant. His co-disciples naturally entertained a lesser idea of his intellect. Even Padmapada was not free from this misconception.

Once when Totaka had gone to the river for washing clothes, the Acharya waited for his arrival before he would begin his exposition. The other disciples were impatient. Padmapada could not restrain himself. He said: 'Why should we wait for one who is no better than a wall?' Sri Shankara naturally did not relish this remark. His heart welled up with compassion for the absent Disciple. So by a mental flash, he endowed Totaka with all the knowledge of the sastras.

When Totaka returned from the river, he was literally in bliss. He addressed the Acharya in a few brilliant stanzas in Totaka metre. Since then, known before as Giri, he got the title of Totakacharya. He was counted among the foremost disciples of Sri Shankara. He condensed the essential teaching of the Upanishads in a small treatise. This is called Sruti Sara Samuddharana composed in the same Totaka metre.The Totaka Metre is supposed to be a difficult one to handle.The Totakashtakam is a Rapturous Hymn describing the Glory of Adi Shankara.

The pseudo Traditional approach now in vogue dispenses with all the Vital Ingredients and is PACKAGED AS SELF STUDY COURSES!

Namaskar.

G.Sankarraman said...

With reference to the quote attributed to Dayananda,"the words of jnanis cannot be accepted unless they are in agreement with the scriptures," it is to be stated that it smacks of improper understanding of advaita even based on the yardstick of traditional vedanta. Does not the Bradhaharanyaka Upanishad say, " Even the Vedas become the Aveda," in the state of deep sleep. When even in the state of deep sleep, the veda loses its significance, what to speak of the enlightened consciousness. It is only from the mouth of the enlightened persons that the vedas come. To say that one should be learned in the veda to be an enlightened sage is like putting the cart before the horse. J.Krishnamurthi has not studied any of the vedas. The Buddha did not accept the authority of the veda. When Ramana explained the meaning of ardous texts like vivekachudamani to the others, it is because it corresponded with his realization. It is not as if he studied these texts to get stabilized in the true state.

G.Sankarraman said...

It would be better if we discussed the exalted teachings of Bhghavan,especially the practical implication of, " Who am I," the difficulties encountered, instead of quoting the stale and insipid statements of people like Dayananda full of scholarly ambition and thirst for name and fame. Otherwise this blog will become a hotbed of intellectual gossip.

Ravi said...

G.Sankarraman,
" Otherwise this blog will become a hotbed of intellectual gossip."
This is the Guru warning.
Friend,Thanks very much.
I did not agree with Swami Dayananda on this particular point of view.
I do recognise that we should respect everyone and more so someone like this Swamiji who is doing what he thinks is in the best interest of Spiritual Living.
Godspeed to him and his devotees.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I want to share the Totakashtakam.Interestingly in Totaka,I find a sweet parallel to the way Lord Ganesha outwitted his younger Brother Lord Subhramanya in going around his parents and claiming the Fruit of Knowledge!While the Other disciples of Sri Sankara were busying themselves with the Teachings ,Totaka(Giri)busied himself with the Acharya(Source of all Knowledge)and leap frogged over the rest through service and Devotion to his Guru!Totaka established the Jyotir Mutt in Kashmir and Swami Gnanananda Giri is from this lineage.
Here is the wonderful Totakashtakam:
TOTAKASHTAKAM

VIDITAKILA SASTRA SUDHA JALATHE
MAHITOPA NISATKATHI TARTHANIDHE
HRDAYEKALAYE VIMALAM SARANAM
BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||1||

O THOU, THE KNOWER OF ALL THE MILK-OCEAN OF SCRIPTURES! THE EXPOUNDER OF THE TOPICS OF GREAT UPANISADIC TREASURE-TROVE! ON THY FAULTLESS FEET I MEDITATE IN MY HEART. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

KARUNA VARUNALAYA PALAYA MAM
BHVASAGARA DUKHA VIDUNAHRDAM
RACAYAKHILA DARSHANA THATVANIDAM
BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||2||

O THE OCEAN OF CAMPASSION! SAVE ME WHOSE HEART IS TORMENTED BY THE MISERY OF THE SEA OF BIRTH! MAKE ME UNDERSTAND THE TRUTHS OF ALL THE SCHOOLS OF PHILOSOPHY! BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

BHAVATA JANATA SUHITA BHAVITA
NIJABODHA VICARANA CHARUMATE
KALAYESHVARA JIVA VIVEKAVIDAM
BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||3||

BY THEE, THE MASSES HAVE BEEN MADE HAPPY. O THOU WHO HAST A NOBLE INTELLECT SKILLED IN THE INQUIRY INTO SELF-KNOWLEDGE! ENABLE ME TO UNDERSTAND THE WISDOM RELATING TO GOD AND THE SOUL. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

BHAVA EVA BHAVANITI ME NITARAM
SAMAJAYATA CHETASI KAUTUKITA
MAMAVARAYA MOHA MAHAJALADHIM
BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||4||

KNOWING THAT THOU ART VERILY THE SUPREME LORD, THERE ARISES OVERWHELMING BLISS IN MY HEART. PROTECT ME FROM THE VAST OCEAN OF DELUSION. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

SUKRTE DHIKRETE BAHIDHA BHAVATO
BHAVITA SAMA DARSHANA LALASATA
ATIHINAMIMAM PARIPALAYA MAM
BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||5||

DESIRE FOR THE INSIGHT INTO UNITY THROUGH THEE WILL SPRING ONLY WHEN VIRTUOUS DEEDS ARE PERFORMED IN ABUNDANCE AND IN VARIOUS DIRECTIONS. PROTECT THIS EXTREMELY HELPLESS PERSON. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

JAGATIMAVITUM KALITAKRITAYO
VICHARANTI MAHAMANA SASCHALATAH
AHIMAM STURIVATRA VIBHASI GURO
BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||6||

OH TEACHER! FOR SAVING THE WORLD, THE GREAT ASSUME VARIOUS FORMS AND WANDER IN DISGUISE. OF THEM, THOU SHINEST LIKE THE SUN. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

GURUPUNGAVA PUNGAVA KETANA TE
SAMATAM AYATAM NAHI KO’PI SUDHIH
SARANAGATAVATSALA TATTVINIDHE
BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||7||

O THE BEST OF THE TEACHERS! THE SUPREME LORD HAVING THE BULL AS BANNER! NONE OF THE WISE IS EQUAL TO THEE! THOU WHO ART COMPASSIONATE TO THOSE WHO HAVE TAKEN REFUGE! THE TREASURE TROVE OF TRUTH! BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

VIDITA NA MAYA VISHATAIKAKALA
NACHA KINCANA KANCANAMASTI GURO
DRUTAMEVA VIDEHI KRUPAM SAHAJAM
BHAVA SANKARA DESIKA ME SARANAM ||8||

NOT EVEN A SINGLE BRANCH OF KNOWLEDGE HAS BEEN UNDERSTOOD BY ME CORRECTLY. NOT EVEN THE LEAST WEALTH DO I POSSESS, O TEACHER. BESTOW ON ME QUICKLY THY NATURAL GRACE. BE THOU MY REFUGE O MASTER, SANKARA

There is a wonderful video of Sri Kanchi Mahaswami,Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati explaining verses no.6.It is in Google video somewhere.The Audio is barely audible,but the hand gestures of the Sage and his childlike Face leaves one soaked into the Spirit of Guru Bhakti.

May the Blessings of the Guru be ever with us.

Ravi said...

Umesh,
Thanks very much for the Link to Mastan Swami's Photograph.(Saranagathi Magazine,October 2008 issue)
Found this wonderful article on Sri Muruganar.Here is an Excerpt that seems to be relevant to our Discussion in this Thread:
"Once Muruganar entered the Old Hall. Prostrating to Bhagavan he noticed that worship had been offered to some books decoratively heaped, garlanded and placed in front of Bhagavan, near the sofa. He realised that it was the Saraswathi Puja day. As he glanced at the garlanded books and then at the serenely seated Master, his face broke into an amused smile. Noticing this, Bhagavan gestured enquiringly. Muruganar‟s relationship with Bhagavan was unique. He knew he was in the presence of the Reality clothed in human form, available to all as the spiritual guide. Containing his amusement with great effort, he said: “Bhagavan! To have offered puja to the sacred books in your presence amuses me. Imagine that a bunch of the best variety of sugar-cane was squeezed; crystal sugar of the purest quality made out of the juice and a human form was made with it. Now, picture the superb human form made of this best sugar on one hand and the sugar-cane-waste on the other! Bhagavan, you are the essence of Truth. These books, however sacred they may be, are just like the sugar-cane-waste. They have offered puja to the juiceless canes while the most beautiful sugar-form, YOU are seated just here!” Saying this Muruganar laughed. Bhagavan too had a hearty laugh."

Subramanian. R said...

Dear David,

I think Dayananda after visiting
the West, has come to accept
the theory one-birth of the Western religions! He may not
know that a person can always
carry the vasanas, which include
even knowledge of Vedanta,
into the next birth. How come
Jnana Sambandha sang songs
at the age of three? How Hunter
Kannappa realized the Self in six days. Did these persons study
Vedas and Upanishads and Brahma Sutram?

Broken Yogi said...

Thanks David for this wonderful discussion. I suppose the real question it brings up is, what is the highest form of "knowledge"? There is of course knowledge of the scriptures and traditions, which are unquestionably of great value, but the scriptures themselves place the greatest value on "jnana", the direct knowledge of the Self. The whole point of studying the scriptures is to develop this jnana, not to make the lesser forms of knowledge, including knowledge of the scriptures, the supreme value. So in a sense the conflict is an imaginary one, though in a practical, cultural sense it is real enough, in that many people fail to develop real jnana, and instead settle for knowledge of the scriptures.

The other issue that can't be ignored is of how to perpetuate a tradition which values jnana above all else. The scriptural tradition is one way to do that, and it can't be put aside lightly, in that the scriptural tradition itself places the highest value on jnana, and not upon mere knowledge of the scriptures. Even Ramana obviously placed significant value in the scriptural tradition, in that he referred to the scriptures frequently, and even wrote some works based upon them, and had the Ribhu Gita recited daily in his ashram.

However, it must be acknowledged that the advaita tradition itself is largely a scriptural tradition, and it relies more upon scripture than personal experience to perpetuate itself, and gives authority to scripture over even the experience of jnana simply because of the subjective nature of the individual's experience. In that tradition, an individual can't simply claim to have had the experience of jnana, and to be a liberated being, their experience must be tested against the teachings of all those liberated jnanis who have come before them. I don't really see anything wrong with this approach, in that a great realizer like Ramana has nothing to fear from it, and can readily be recognized as genuine by those whose study of the scriptures is sincere. As mentioned by others, even the foremost authorities in the advaitic tradition were readily able to recognize Ramana.

Those who would insist that only someone trained in the scriptural tradition can realize the Self seem to be going against that tradition itself. I'm not well versed in scripture myself, but it seems to me that most of the scriptures acknowledge that the great realizers often appear spontaneously, even outside the scriptural traditions, and while they are usuall recognized by many scriptural authorities, they are not usually the product of that tradition. I'm thinking of Ramanakrishna for example, who was not trained at all in these traditions, but who spontaneously began to realize the whole of it. A committee of those authoritatively trained in the tradition was convened to evaluate Ramakrishna, and their conclusion was that he was an Incarnation, and their response was to give him whatever training in the tradition he seemed to require. He had no objection to this, but his "training" was rather eccentric in any case.

And that seems to be rather the rule. It's not just Ramana and Ramanakrishna who rather spontaneously appeared like flowers blooming in the wild, it's virtually the whole source-tradition itself. It's hard for me to even think of any great realizers who appeared as the product of these traditions. Rather, it's the tradition that seems to form around the realizers, both past and present, in an attempt to preserve and pass down their great teachings. I think of Narayan Maharaj, Shirdi Sai Baba, Upasani Maharaj, Anandamayi Ma, Nityananda, Akkalkot Swami, the list goes on and on. It's not just the appearance of these individuals that is a spontaneous outpouring of jnana, but their very method of teaching others. They of course refer to scripture and acknowledge that tradition, but they teach by direct experience, spontaneously giving the gift of jnana directly to their devotees, not through the intermediary of scripture, but by that very act fulfilling the scriptures.

I think it is a debasement of the scriptural tradition to rely solely on scripture itself, in that the scriptures don't point to themselves, they point to the Self, and to those who realize the Self, as their very source and basis. Fortunately, not even those who have taken it upon themselves to preserve and perpetuate the scriptural traditions are so arrogant to exclude those who are the very embodiment and source of that tradition, but recognize that it is their primary obligation to serve it.

I'm reminded of a story about Ananadamayi Ma that my friend who is a devotee of hers often tells. When she was young, she went through a wandering phase, where she began hanging out among the various renunciate sadhus of India, and this created a bit of scandalous controversy in that these sadhus, though appearing disorganized and spontaneous, actually adhere quite rigorously to traditional precepts and have their own system of policing themselves. To be spending time in the company of an attached female, and someone clearly quite young and beautiful, was a clear violation of their own precepts, and in order to resolve a number of complaints and controversies she aroused, they convened a kind of gathering with a council to evaluate what they should do about it. This went on for quite some time, and by the end of the process it was decided that Anandamayi Ma was exactly what their whole lives were about, she wasn't in violation of their precepts, she was the very basis of their entire devotional submission to the Divine Self. So instead of keeping distance from her, as had originally been proposed, they decided to devote themselves to her, to serve her and protect her and worship her. And so they did. This is why throughout her life, even after she became famous and had large crowds of people following her wherever she went, she always maintained the presence of these sadhus around her, even if they didn't really fit into the normal ashram life.

Subramanian. R said...

Dear David,

I also remember what Chinmayananda, (Balakrishna
Menon) said about Bhagavan:
"All that I learnt with my Master
Tapovanam for years on the banks
of Ganges, had already been learnt
by a mere look (of the Maharshi).

Ravi said...

Broken Yogi,
I am truly amazed at your insight and Familiarity with Indian Spiritual Tradition.I had the good fortune of seeing Sri Anandamoyi ma in 1982 or 83;she was totally bedridden and was in a room opposite to where her samadhi temple is presently situated in Kankhal,Haridwar.I could just peep through a window and could just catch a glimpse of her lying in bed.Truly a Great soul.
Revolution was always part of the Tradition in Sanathana Dharma.I wanted to share the story of Satyakama Jabala from Chandogya Upanishad as told by Swami Vivekananda.The commentary towards the end of the story is quite insightful;do not know who authored it-I am copying it from Uttishthata an online magazine:
"Satyakama of Jabala- Swami Vivekananda

I will relate to you a very ancient story from the Chhandogya Upanishad, which tells how knowledge came to a boy. The form of the story is very crude, but we shall find that it contains a principle.

A young boy said to his mother, “I am going to study the Vedas. Tell me the name of my father and my caste.” The mother was not a married woman, and in India the child of a woman who has not been married is considered an outcast; he is not recognised by society and is not entitled to study the Vedas.

So the poor mother said, “My child, I do not know your family name; I was in service, and served in different places; I do not know who your father is, but my name is Jabala and your name is Satyakama.” The little child went to a sage and asked to be taken as a student. The sage asked him, “What is the name of your father, and what is your caste?” The boy repeated to him what he had heard from his mother. The sage at once said, “None but a Brahmin could speak such a damaging truth about himself. You are a Brahmin and I will teach you. You have not swerved from the truth.” So he kept the boy with him and educated him.

Now come some of the peculiar methods of education in ancient India. This teacher gave Satyakama four hundred lean, weak cows to take care of, and sent him to the forest. There he went and lived for some time. The teacher had told him to come back when the herd would increase to the number of one thousand.

After a few years, one day Satyakama heard a big bull in the herd saying to him, “We are a thousand now; take us back to your teacher. I will teach you a little of Brahman.” “Say on, sir,” said Satyakama. Then the bull said, “The East is a part of the Lord, so is the West, so is the South, so is the North. The four cardinal points are the four parts of Brahman. Fire will also teach you something of Brahman.”

Fire was a great symbol in those days, and every student had to procure fire and make offerings. So on the following day, Satyakama started for his Guru’s house, and when in the evening he had performed his oblation, and worshipped at the fire, and was sitting near it, he heard a voice come from the fire, “O Satyakama.” “Speak, Lord,” said Satyakama. (Perhaps you may remember a very similar story in the Old Testament, how Samuel heard a mysterious voice.) “O Satyakama, I am come to teach you a little of Brahman. This earth is a portion of that Brahman. The sky and heaven are portions of It. The ocean is a part of that Brahman.” Then the fire said that a certain bird would also teach him something.

Satyakama continued his journey and on the next day when he had performed his evening sacrifice a swan came to him and said, “I will teach you something about Brahman. This fire which you worship, O Satyakama, is a part of that Brahman. The sun is a part, the moon is a part, the lightning is a part of that Brahman. A bird called Madgu will tell you more about it.”

The next evening that bird came, and a similar voice was heard by Satyakama, “I will tell you something about Brahman. Breath is a part of Brahman, sight is a part, hearing is a part, the mind is a part.”

Then the boy arrived at his teacher’s place and presented himself before him with due reverence. No sooner had the teacher seen this disciple than he remarked: “Satyakama, thy face shines like that of a knower of Brahman! Who then has taught thee?” “Beings other than men,” replied Satyakama. “But I wish that you should teach me, sir. For I have heard from men like you that knowledge which is learnt from a Guru alone leads to the supreme good.” Then the sage taught him the same knowledge which he had received from the gods. “And nothing was left out, yea, nothing was left out.”
--------------------

Now, apart from the allegories of what the bull, the fire, and the birds taught, we see the tendency of the thought and the direction in which it was going in those days. The great idea of which we here see the germ is that all these voices are inside ourselves. As we understand these truths better, we find that the voice is in our own heart, and the student understood that all the time he was hearing the truth; but his explanation was not correct. He was interpreting the voice as coming from the external world, while all the time, it was within him. The second idea that we get is that of making the knowledge of the Brahman practical. The world is always seeking the practical possibilities of religion, and we find in these stories how it was becoming more and more practical every day. The truth was shown through everything with which the students were familiar. The fire they were worshipping was Brahman, the earth was a part of Brahman, and so on"

This is very Typical of the way Truths were taught in the Upanishads-It totally ignored the 'ANALYTICAL, DISCURSIVE'mind and instead put the onus on the Disciple's sensitivity and openness to the world around and his own innate power of observation and intuition.The Guru's verbal teaching was very minimal but wonderfully effective-If the Guru says 'Satyakama-tat tvam asi',that was enough for the Disciple to understand 'Aham Brahmasmi'.
No longwinding explanations were ever resorted to.

Best Regards.

Mouna said...

Murali, hello,

Could you be so kind as to give the source of your commentary about Swami Chinmayananda speaking about Bhagavan in your post of October 25th?

Thanks,
Mouna

Broken Yogi said...

Ravi,

"The Guru's verbal teaching was very minimal but wonderfully effective-If the Guru says 'Satyakama-tat tvam asi',that was enough for the Disciple to understand 'Aham Brahmasmi'. No longwinding explanations were ever resorted to."

I've always been quite taken by this approach to the Guru's words. I've read numerous examples of this kind of thing. Nisargadatta, I believe, says that his whole realization was the result of simply taking seriously his Guru's initial words to him, which were "you are the Supreme Being". He said that the words had real power, and he could not shake them off or disregard them, and that trusting in his Guru was what carried him to realization, nothing else. I have often felt a twinge of envy about having a Guru tell me that "secret", but I suppose it is also a question of one's readiness to receive it and make use of it. Ramana's words certainly have great effect, even through books and postings like David's, but there's perhaps something unique about meeting someone in the flesh and having them speak the mahavakyas directly to one. ALthough perhaps it is only a matter of taking these messages seriously regardless of what medium they are received through.

Broken Yogi said...

Some important issues were raised in the previous thread about the Neo-Advaitin tradition of Ramana and others, in which practice and realization are based on direct and personal experience rather than on scriptural knowledge. Ramana's emphasis on personal experience of the Self seems in part a reaction to the way in which the orthodox, traditional methods and approach of advaita had become too concentrated in scriptural teachings and prescriptions, such that the actual experience of the Self tended to be left by the wayside. Not that Ramana had some personal intention in countering this approach, he obviously simply spontaneously appeared as he did outside of any traditional method or teaching - but that perhaps the Self did intend for the modern teachings of the Self to be communicated in this way, outside the traditional schools.

The Self could have arranged for Ramana to be born into a traditional advaitic setting, and raised and taught in that manner, and realize the Self as a result of that, but instead the Self spontaneously had Ramana realize as a rather "ignorant" sixteen year old outside of any serious instruction about these matters. Likewise with so many other realizers of the last century. There's a message of some kind here, that the Self may inspire the traditions, but the Self is not bound to them, or the result of them. The traditions are there to worship the Self, not to bind the Self to the tradition.

And yet, in correcting that error, it seems that there's another kind of error that occurs if one swings too far in the other direction. In other words, if one disassociates from the traditional approach, the scriptural injunctions and teachings, and instead purely emphasizes personal, subjective experience of the Self, there's a danger of the ego taking over the process and declaring itself "enlightened", independent of those sources, and even indifferent to them. We seem to see a lot of that, especially in the western followers of neo-Advaita, even among Ramana followers, or at least people who see themselves as Ramana followers. They feel free to declare themselves enlightened based on some personal experience of the Self, or what they imagine to be an experience of the Self, because that is their only sense for how to understand themselves. They don't even seriously apply themselves to Ramana's teachings on the matter, or other neo-advaitin jnanis, much less the traditional scriptural understanding, and think it doesn't matter, because they can evaluate themselves by themselves because their Self is conceived to exist in a world unto itself.

I'm sure you've encountered this kind of approach frequently, and that your own service to Ramana in writing all these books that try to make clear what Ramana's teachings actually were is at least in part motivated by the looseness with which many people interpret Ramana's teachings. So even within Ramana's own path there is a necessity to maintain fidelity to Ramana's own teachings, the body of which represents a kind of neo-advaita "scripture", so that people don't become disassociated from the sources of these teachings and lose themselves in subjective, highly personalized versions of "the Self".

So in a certain, basic sense Ramana's own teachings represent a new scriptural addition within the advaitic tradtion that is particularly applicable to the modern world. They are both a reform of the ancient teachings and a spontaneous manifestation of the Self in response to the needs of modern seekers. But even with their emphasis on personal experience of the Self, they still impose a new scriptural tradition, greatly simplified perhaps, that has to be studied and understood by those who seriously wish to follow Ramana's path. I don't think the intention is to create a new orthodoxy out of Ramana's teachings, but some fidelity and wisdom is required as a practical matter to avoid becoming ensnared in the ego's self-serving interpretations of his message.

There's of course dangers even in this. For example, I have a friend who began a dialog through email with a relatively well-known western neo-advaita teacher who had studied with Nisargadatta. Eventually it became a lengthy phone relationship, in which they discussed many details of practice and approach. My friend began to become suspicious, however, in that he felt this fellow was misinterpreting, or even simply ignoring, what Nisargadatta actually taught. The teacher told my friend that he had read Nisargadatta's "I Am That" at least 200 times, and so he was surprised to hear this. But when my friend pointed out the discrepencies, there was not much to say, and their relationship ended shortly thereafter. When I heard this, I thought that the problem was one of approaching these teachings primarily through the mind. There's a way in which neo-advaitins actually duplicate something within the orthodox advaitic approach of trying to mentally "talk themselves into enlightenment" by repeating the "scriptures" to themselves over and over again until it sinks in. I've read "I Am That" only once, and I recall very powerfully Nisargadatta saying within it that if you are really serious, you only have to hear these things once, it will stay with you and work within you, whereas endlessly reading and trying to think yourself into it will actually obstruct the process the Guru has initiated in you. Which is one of the reasons I don't like to actually read these teachings too much. When I read "I Am That", for example, it took me over a year, because I only read 2-3 pages a day at most, and not every day. It seemed to sink in better that way. Likewise, I only read short passages of Ramana's teachings. It seems to have a greater effect than trying to "study" them in exhaustive, seminary-style fashion. Their own "teaching" de-emphasizes excessive study, and emphasizes instead direct investigation into the Self, which their words can at best provoke, but are in no way the equivalent of. For me it seems the best use of their teachings is to read a short passage, and let that inspire me to meditate on the Self directly. In that way even these teachings become more clear over time, not by having them pounded into my head, but by having my head cleared out bit by bit by self-enquiry and meditation on the Self. It's not a very rapid process in my case, but I'm not in this for speed, I'm in it for authenticity. I can be patient, because I don't seem to have the karmas of rapid understanding or maturity, but at least I can be genuine about what little I do grasp. Neither my knowledge of the scriptures, or of Ramana's teachings, is very great, nor is my experience of the Self very significant. But it does seem that combining both is a more potent way of approaching him than relying solely on one or the other.

Anonymous said...

scott fraundorf:

""""I don't think the intention is to create a new orthodoxy out of Ramana's teachings, but some fidelity and wisdom is required as a practical matter to avoid becoming ensnared in the ego's self-serving interpretations of his message""""" from Previous comment

Correct me if I'm wrong, but one way to avoid getting ensared in the ego's self-serving interpretations of his message is to keep with it, until there isn't even one to get ensared. One who can make some interpretation, "I'm enlighened". Because that assuredly is the ego, correct? In that case, it seems less important what interpretations or experiences happen along the way, because assuredly there will be some, and mistakes, and vasanas (especially deeper ones) that arise to the surface. And if I(because I can only speak for myself, even though this is in response to the last commenter) stick with it until the question Who am I? asked deeply is like the stick stirring the funeral pyre, eventually consumed, then I think there is alot less room for getting stuck on false interpretations, and what false interpretations arise, doesn't matter so much.

"""""I've read "I Am That" only once, and I recall very powerfully Nisargadatta saying within it that if you are really serious, you only have to hear these things once, it will stay with you and work within you, whereas endlessly reading and trying to think yourself into it will actually obstruct the process the Guru has initiated in you.""""" from previous comment

I've read I am That, or sections of it more then once, because of repeatedly needing reminders. But I do try to avoid, making mental thoughts and interpretations of it, and rather let his Statements sink in. I think when the fruit is ripe, the ego will just fall off. But until then, it's the same with Inquiry. Ideally Inquiry should be once and properly, but until that jump is ready to be made, I keep attempting to stay in a thoughtless nondual space, and get aquainted with it deeper and deeper. the reason I only speak from my own perspective is to avoid straying into territory that isn't mine to comment on. I don't want to be issuing teaching statements until I'm free of ego, so i always say, from my experience, or I'm taking this approach.

""""They feel free to declare themselves enlightened based on some personal experience of the Self, or what they imagine to be an experience of the Self, because that is their only sense for how to understand themselves. They don't even seriously apply themselves to Ramana's teachings on the matter, or other neo-advaitin jnanis, much less the traditional scriptural understanding, and think it doesn't matter, because they can evaluate themselves by themselves because their Self is conceived to exist in a world unto itself. """"
from previous commenter

True Dat! (american slang for i concur)

""""Ramana's emphasis on personal experience of the Self seems in part a reaction to the way in which the orthodox, traditional methods and approach of advaita had become too concentrated in scriptural teachings and prescriptions, such that the actual experience of the Self tended to be left by the wayside."""" from previous comment

Not to pick this apart, especially since I think you agree, but in my own rephrasing it seemed to me that Maharshi's teaching was not a political reaction to anything in the world but just his own total awareness that there is only the Self. Maybe teh reaction was of the Orthodox against that more genuine message, rather then Maharshi reacting against the Orthodox perspective. to my understanding, he seemed rather oblivious to any other approach.

"""""They are both a reform of the ancient teachings and a spontaneous manifestation of the Self in response to the needs of modern seekers."""" from previous comment

here, it seems to me that Maharshi's message wasn't a reform in the sense of changing anything, but just because of direct experience of what was true, so there was nothing to reform, and it doesn't strike me as an adjustment for modern seekers, but was for any seeker, any person who wanted to be aware of what was true, and it didn't have a specific context, and doesn't fit within any linear history that could be concocted, because that awareness, taht truth, was to state the obvious outside of any story, narrative framework.

""""In that way even these teachings become more clear over time, not by having them pounded into my head, but by having my head cleared out bit by bit by self-enquiry and meditation on the Self. It's not a very rapid process in my case, but I'm not in this for speed, I'm in it for authenticity. I can be patient, because I don't seem to have the karmas of rapid understanding or maturity, but at least I can be genuine about what little I do grasp""""" from previous comment

I love that you state this, I love it when people in general state there assumptions and where they are coming from, and put there vulnerabilities out there instead of pretending to have the answer. Here, the previous commenter is like the person who when hearing that he had as many lifetimes left before realization as leaves on the tree, was happy because he knew that he was saved, and suddenly all the leaves fell off the tree. that's what this reminds me of. This was my whole purpose in responding to the previous post, was that I found this an inspired statement.

Ravi said...

Broken Yogi/Scott,
Your comments are well considered and balanced.
Broken yogi's way of listening to the Masters is the most effective way-No point in reading through the Books any number of times without this degree of involvement,commitment;instead to simply open oneself to the Truth they try to convey.
Scott's comment on BY's attitude as similiar to the Sadhaka who was prepared to wait for aeons is quite correct-This is all that one can and should be doing,and having done that wait like that legendary chatak bird for the Rain Drops.

" They also serve who only stand and wait."

Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi, agreed, but at the same time, rather then setting a certain date or lifetime, which seems really unimportant. The rewards are not Realization proper, but just the increasing dispassion, and innate joy, and those rewards are to my understanding easy to attain, are being attained, are often attained.

I have found optimism helpful, not optimism as "when do I get the goods?" (not time-bound optimism) but optimism that I'm doing the right thing, and progress is clearly occuring. Not measured progress, but that I'm less attached, less worried, less desirous, and more connected. And sometimes fall into an Awareness that doesn't admit of that at all. Realization, in my understanding, is just when those tendencies are all that is left, and the other tendencies cannot arise again. While the Gnani to use that loaded term, may not perceive, I've taken taht to mean that noticing is thought.

When I notice something it itself is a thought, the Noticing Organ is responsive only to thought. So in my own words, my understanding from what I've read is that Maharshi, or any other Self-Realized didn't notice anything but a pure awareness of Self. The mind was dead and so was the Noticing Tendency.

Because of this the contentment that increases with things just as they are.. is an excellent sign. And more and more all I notice is good.... To reiterate though, the key is turning the mind back from teh objects of desire, and fear. Those two poles. In doing so it is a giving up the things of the world. "Give unto Caesar"

Ravi said...

scott,
" contentment that increases with things just as they are.. is an excellent sign. "
The Chatak bird will not drink any grpund water but will wait only for the water that falls from the sky.This is a symbol of dispassion and patience.
This along with serenity,enquiry and Satsangha are the means that are recommended(Yoga Vasishta).

Best Regards.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

...like that legendary chatak bird for the Rain Drops. ...

How goes this story, Ravi?

.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
Excerpted from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Page 205

Tuesday 26/8/08

The Master Said:

"In some people spiritual conciousness has already been awakened;
but they have special marks. They do not enjoy hearing or talking
about anything but God. They are like the chAtak bird, which prays
for rain-water though the seven oceans, the Ganges, the JamunA,
and the rivers near it are all filled with water. It won't drink
anything but rain-water, even though its throat is burning with thirst."
Best Regards.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

It occurs to me another way of putting it (in my own words) is that Inquiry is a process of always going in the no mind direction. So it's important to give up the things that cause a reaction, the wanting things to be a certain way, i.e. letting go of fears and desires. And at the same time going in the direction where the mind is not active, even active in terms of meditation or spiritual practice, not even able to say not active. Innocent, without burdens, without past and future. Always going in that direction come what may. Where everybody and everything is only me. Kind of like at the end of a bloody and tiring StalinGrad like war (i.e. the ego), Surrendering. Sorry I'm being so poetic about it.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Again in my own words, Surrender is stopping any struggle even a spiritual struggle. Stopping any striving toward anything, for anything, against anything. The spiritual struggle has to be relinquished as well, because then the mind is just fighting the mind. All struggles have to be abandoned. In my own words, that is what surrender is. Surrender is the end of a war. And wars are struggles. I'm struggling for this, against that. Surrendering would be giving up those struggles, subsiding. The end of the War with What Is. I suppose with What Always Is. And what will happen if I really relinquish all struggles?

Anonymous said...

Scott fraundorf:

Any time I start seeing 'sweets' in reach, I have to start worrying about blows. ("You give me sweets, they give me blows" when the thieves attacked Maharshi) That is a very true statement. Sometimes in states of deeper surrender, the world starts seemingly like it will bestow Great Sweets. But if my mind gets turned toward the Great Sweets, it has to worry about the Great Blows that go with having a body. Because of this, I choose to ignore them both.

Bookworm said...

Broken yogi

'teachings, is very great, nor is my experience of the Self very significant'

One cannot experience the Self.
It is the mind which experiences
things.
You are and can only Be the Self.

Ravi
That chAtak bird seems a pretty dumb creature to me. Water, water everywhere..it's throat is on fire
and yet it won't drink. Stupid bird...it deserves to become extinct.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"That chAtak bird seems a pretty dumb creature to me. Water, water everywhere..it's throat is on fire
and yet it won't drink. Stupid bird...it deserves to become extinct."
The Truth behind this is Allegorical and has to be understood as such.
Best Regards.

Broken Yogi said...

Bookworm,

Are you saying you cannot experience what you are? Is jnana a form of unconsciousness?

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

Bookworm... dumb chatak bird

On the contrary - this bird is very wise. It knows that not all waters have healing qualities. Drinking poisoned water means to deepen the thirst.

.

Bookworm said...

Broken yogi

'Are you saying you cannot experience what you are? Is jnana a form of unconsciousness'

If you are what you are what need is there and who is it that would experience what you are?

Bro yog...Are you saying that Self is only an experience?

To use the terminology of the, I think, not as 'realised' as they
would have us believe neo-advaita people.. that would be 'dual'...the experiencer and the experience.

In a very wonky and crooked way you are kind of right..ish in the sense that... all is the Self, so therefore all exoperience is Self.. as is the experiencer or mind.

Self is Being. You are Being.
Who or what is there to experience Being?
You just Are. You Be. Who or what point is there to experience what you already are?

There is only Being. ...You are the Self..before experience, before the mind.

The mind experiences things......things like food, thought,Ysex, drink, drugs, visions, higher states of conciousness etc, etc whatever.

Beng or Self or Heart or who You truly are....Is.

It is not an experience.


Ravi

'The Truth behind this is Allegorical and has to be understood as such'

Thank you for letting me know this Ravi.
I would never have guessed, not even in a hundred years.

Do you agree with me that compared to Ramana Sri Ramakrishna was just some dippy swarmi who hadn't quite 'got it'...?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Actually B.Y. the first part of what Bookworm said about the Self isn't something you can experience I agreed with. Because (supposedly) the Self is without subject/object. If there is someone to experience (subject), and something to experience (object) it's not the Self but the ego, and a projection as part of the ego. From what I've gathered, the Self isn't something seen, something experienced, it's not even a thing at all, but the absence of all definable experience, all name and form, all people and things, when thought has stopped defining them. What's is left over, that cannot be described is the Self. And that Self encompasses everything formerly considered to be the individual, and the world.

And as far as what I understand jnana is a sort of unconsciousness (sleeping while awake) although Maharshi emphasized that it was so much more since it underlies all 3 states (waking, sleep, and dream. ex: Lakshmana Swami can't tell the difference between dreaming and wakefulness), in that without a person there, actions and responses are going on without reflection. (i.e. the empty radio) I believe you are the one with that Lakshmana Swami quote on your blog, like that. A Jnani doesn't see rivers, streams, mountains.

But I should add, every impression I get is that that state-less state, where individual and world are not, where there is no name and form, is the most pristine state possible, no worldly fulfillment, love, compares. My own meagre experiences suggest this is true also. But it's not an experience, because there is no experiencer, and nothing to be experienced. The person and an external world must dissipate to see things from the Self-ward point of view

Bookworm said...

Clemens

Bookworm... dumb chatak bird

'On the contrary - this bird is very wise. It knows that not all waters have healing qualities. Drinking poisoned water means to deepen the thirst.'

Well...I don't know Clemens.
I mean the thick bird
is so thirsty it feels like it's throat is on fire and yet it is surrounded by water in rivers and lakes etc.

All the rivers and lakes in India or wherever it lives can't be poisoined and I am sure many humans must have to drink from them.

It seems that what we humans drink is not good enough for this snobby, stuck-up, stupid bird.

All the other birds manage to drink from the lakes and rivers etc
and live... but it seems the chatak bird has not been able to develop this ability...probably because it is really dumb.

Maybe it should not be so picky and toughen up a bit.
So what if it gets infected with worms and has a few boils now and then
At least it will never feel that it's throat is on fire again.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"Do you agree with me that compared to Ramana Sri Ramakrishna was just some dippy swarmi who hadn't quite 'got it'...?"
This is a form of Infantile Bhakti to Sri Bhagavan;It is okay to start with,but needs to be outgrown.All these Masters were the SELF only.
Best Regards.

Broken Yogi said...

bookworm

You say:

"One cannot experience the Self.
It is the mind which experiences
things."

Yes, the mind can only experience "things", objects of awareness. But we are not the mind, we are, in reality, the Self. So we can experience the Self, because we are the Self. We simply cannot experience the Self through the mind. This means that experiences of the Self require the cessation, at least temporarily, of the mind, so that instead of experiencing objects, we experience what we really are.

Part of the problem here is the use of the word "experience". If you define experience as "mind", as a subject being aware of an object, then of course one cannot "experience" the Self. But there is a more fundamental experience than mind. A more basic understanding of the term "experience" is that it simply references to awareness itself, which is constant in the midst of all subject-object experiences. Awareness of objects is what we call "mind", but awareness itself is not inherenly limited to or by objects. Awareness is prior to objects, and it is not absent in the Self. To the contrary, the Self is awareness itself, the very nature of our own awareness and experience.

So the Self is not devoid of awareness, it merely recognizes that there are no objects, that what the mind perceives as objects are in reality only the Self, that the mind itself has no reality, but has only superimposed its dualistic vision upon the primal experience of awareness itself.

So you are right to say:

"You are and can only Be the Self."

But that is precisely why we can experience the Self. Cutting out the middleman, the mind, makes such experience possible, whereas you are trying to argue that it makes it impossible, that the Self is some kind of unconscious mass that is unaware of itself, rather than being of the very nature of awareness, and thus inherenly aware of itself as pure awareness.

In summary, then, of course we must be able to not only "be" the Self, but to know and experience ourselves as That, or the Self is not consciousness, but some kind of inert object incapable of self-awareness, which would be a total contradiction and negation of the Self.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I guess, it depends on how you use the word 'experience', but in the vernacular I have always used it connotates someone who experiences, and what they experience. (subject/object)

In that sense, I don't think one can experience the Self, because there is no one to experience it. Although, I guess it could also be argued that even the person, the ego, illusory though it may be, is a projection from the Self as well. Either way, from what I understand experience as in being someone experiencing someone, experiencing something is not what the Self is referring to. It's not something you can say about 'the other day something so cool happened', I can do that when referring to eating potato chips, or bungi jumping, or tripping on LSD (experiences)

The Self, cleverly named is That, instead of being myself, which is limited.

Now that I've read further, I see you agree, and this was pointless. Although, I have trouble using the word experience for awareness, because the awareness is what is left over when there is no experience (because I have never used 'experience' for something undefinable, but something that is talked about.

"This happened to me, It was so cool, etc....") It's awkward anyhow using the word experience, because the way I first understood Maharshi's teachings, it was exactly what I was afraid of, death. When I feared death, I feared death of the individual, death of the I, precisely what has to die, for REalization of the Self.

So in the sense of experiences, Realization would be more, to my understanding like having died and gone to heaven (since it's blissful and pristine). THere is no longer a person. All experiences I've ever heard about required a subject/object. For Broken Yogi, is there a subject/object in relation to the Self?

This aside, I wonder what either Ravi or Clemens is going to respond to Bookworm's sarcastic comments about the bird who won't drink the water all around him, because it's poisoned????????? There must be some fresh water somewhere around for the bird to drink. But then perhaps it is on the low end of the Bell Curve of Evolutionary statistics. How ever will this get resolved? Oh my!

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf

"""""But that is precisely why we can experience the Self. Cutting out the middleman, the mind, makes such experience possible, whereas you are trying to argue that it makes it impossible, that the Self is some kind of unconscious mass that is unaware of itself, rather than being of the very nature of awareness, and thus inherenly aware of itself as pure awareness.""""

The longest, most awkward sentence in history, I feel tangled just reading it. It also strikes me as wrong, because of what I just previously stated. Experience as you use it seems to imply subject/object. The Self is me, and there is only me, the Self, and to pretentiously imitate Maharshi, there is no two, for one to experience the other, to be aware of the other.

Muruganar said something to the effect of, "In my true persepctive I alone am and you are not, In your true perspective you alone are, and I am not. In the perspective of the Self, all these people and things are only me" There is no one, nothing to experience, the Self isn't a thing, a person, as I understand it, to be looked at, contemplated. And it certainly isn't observing itself. The Self is reality, there is no distance and time, people and places, Self and non-Self,it's imagined.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

""""But that is precisely why we can experience the Self. Cutting out the middleman, the mind, makes such experience possible, whereas you are trying to argue that it makes it impossible, that the Self is some kind of unconscious mass that is unaware of itself, rather than being of the very nature of awareness, and thus inherenly aware of itself as pure awareness."""""

Pretty words, but who is to experience? Who is to be aware of someone else? Now that there is only the Self, and not myself. The Self doesn't have mass, but the Self which is the true perspective doesn't admit of another to be aware of. The multiplicity we 'experience' is pure imagination. So even now we're not experiencing, but imagining our 'experiences'. When we stop doing that, what's left to 'experience', there wouldn't even be distance and time, because there are not distance and time.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

When are we going to see the DUMB OR WISE CHATAK BIRD? Post! This discussion is just riveting.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Oh no, here I'm going into dangerous territory. I appreciate that Ramana Maharshi's analogies hold up on close scrutiny (the rope/snake, the elephant and the chain), it does appear, as great as Ramakrishna is , may be, the Chatak Bird has been debunked by the Great Bookworm.

Broken Yogi said...

Scott,

"Pretty words, but who is to experience? Who is to be aware of someone else?"

Obviously, the Self is the heart of all experience. Awareness is the nature of the Self. The separate person disappears upon self-inspection, but awareness does not. Yes, there is no separate person who experiences the Self, there is only the Self experiencing Itself, not as an object, but as very Being-Consciousenss. Being is not unconscious, it is perfect Consciousness. So the "experience" of the Self is merely Consciousness Being Self-Aware, rather than immersed in the illusion of mind and objects. We can experience this in any moment in which the "I" falters, in which the facade of the person falls apart, even briefly, even a little bit. It is not the "I" that experiences this, however, it is our true Self which does. If we interpret such experience through the mind and separate person, we will of course miss the point of that experience, just as we miss the point of all experiences. The point is always the awareness at the heart of experience, not the object. And experiences of the Self are experiences of this primal awareness, not experiences of objects. Any objects we experience in the course of such experiences are not the Self, though it is common for people to confuse the two. So someone may have an experience of the Self, and this may translate in the mind as a vision of some kind. The mistake is to presume that what is seen is the revelation, rather than the one who sees. So we tend to fixate on side-effects rather than on the primal knowledge that really matters. This leads to contemplation of objects one then associates with the Self or God, rather than contemplation of the awareness which was prior to these visions and revelations and insights.

Bookworm said...

Bookworm

It is good to see that you have some undestanding of Ramana.

There are parts of your comment that I question, all similar to the one below.

You say:
'so that instead of experiencing objects, we experience what we really are.'

Are there two Selfs? ...one that we are... and one to experience it?

Ravi said...

Scott,
"Oh no, here I'm going into dangerous territory. I appreciate that Ramana Maharshi's analogies hold up on close scrutiny (the rope/snake, the elephant and the chain), it does appear, as great as Ramakrishna is , may be, the Chatak Bird has been debunked by the Great Bookworm."
Friend,There is a difference between an 'Anology' and 'Allegory'.An Analogy is Anaologous to the Actual and is appreciated by the 'Mind'.
An 'Allegory' is 'Suggestive' and expresses an 'EXPERIENCE'.The Mind that tries to Dissect it will arrive nowhere.
Remember the long winding Discussion on whether 'Desirelessness' or 'Intense Desire for the Self' would lead to Self Realization.The Chatak Bird Allegory brilliantly addresses this-there is a total turning away from the objects of the world and an intense aspiration for the Self.
The Chatak bird Allegory is part and parcel of Sanathana Dharma;all the Great Sages have employed it,including Sage Thayumanavar whose songs Sri Bhagavan immensely relished.
Please note that the 'Rope'analogy was also part and parcel of Sanathana Dharma and has been employed by all the sages since Ages.
Sri Ramakrishna had the unique gift of expressing 'seemingly Complex' Truth in a Simple homely Fashion through Tales and Parables.These totally bypassed the sophisticated Ramblings and indirect approach of the mind and directly appeal to the Heart.
Best Regards.

Ravi said...

Scott,
"may be, the Chatak Bird has been debunked by the Great Bookworm."
Friend,Who is Bookworm?!

Broken Yogi said...

"Are there two Selfs? ...one that we are... and one to experience it?"

In a matter of speaking, yes, though not in reality. Ramana often talks about the true Self and the false self. He calls the false self the egoic "I", which is the result of identification with the body-mind, and the true Self he calls the "I-I" - the source of the "I". You must be familiar with that aspect of his teaching. And yes, the true I-I is to be found in the direction of the "witness", the one who observes all experience, even the illusory fabrication of the ego-I.

Not that there really is an "I" who masquerades as our self. As Ramana says, if you inspect yourself closely enough, you will see that it is a mirage. Only the I-I exists. Likewise, close inspection reveals the world of experience to be an unconscious projection of the I-I. When this projection becomes conscious, there is only the Self, regardless of what the "I" may like to think.

Bookworm said...

Broken Yogi

I asked:
Are there two Selfs? ...one that we are... and one to experience it?

It was a simple question and you could have answered it with just one word.

I don't know why you needed to give such a long answer and am not totally sure what your answer is.

I suppose that is because you are not totally sure either... otherwise why the stuff about the egoic 'I', witness and mind.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I was kidding when I said the Great Bookworm (the blog commenter name) had debunked the Chatak Bird. I just get in a sarcastic mood sometimes, but then i worry that I was offensive.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Good point Ravi

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I guess my point is, and frmo reading Broken Yogi, I can't decipher whether there is any disagreement or not, is that obviously, the Self as described by Maharshi is the absence of any subject/object, any thing or person. This discussion has seemed to become semantical hinging on our definition of "experience" as opposed to being a real disagreement. Most often when I say, something is experienced, it is dualistic, it is an object to be experienced.

Kind of like saying a Glimpse, or Experience of the Self, as if it as an object, when anything like that, is just imagination conjured.

I guess since right now, I'm speaking from the point of view of the false I, it's hard for me to say either way, but the awareness I'm striving for is the awareness where the I, I've so far considered to me is dead, never existed.

And what's left over is a Full Awareness of What is? My take on the term Self, is that it was not meant to define something at all, to be an object described in any sense.

It's when duality completely vanishes, the Pristine, Glorious Awareness left over that cannot be described, admits of no places and things, that when any of us transcends Maya we're in the same exact place. Not, I'm a Jnani over here, and you are a jnani over there....

What Maharshi's description of the SElf resonated with? The fact that I kept wondering about how I came to be? And pretty soon, it became evident that although there is this Real World, it came about when I started noticing it, as an infant, and suddenly I was perceiving the pictures, sound, touch and taste. And memories became more and more concrete well established.

Perhaps because the brain creates a spatial world of things, I saw objects, and interacted with people.

A world sprung up around me. And everyone taught me what it was, and I slowly accumulated Thoughts on people, places, things, time.

The Self to me describes the non-place before the birth of the pictures, before conception to quote Nisargadatta. That state in deep sleep, death, before birth, where there truly was nothing. Was there any experience in deep sleep to pretentiously imitate Maharshi?

When I was little yeah there were the pictures, but I more or less was watching the movie and not identifying with it, and so it was fun like watching Star Wars. "Yeah, I'm playing with my friends"

So the Self is everybody, in that when I'm in deep sleep, I'm not seperate from every other person in deep sleep (including Broken Yogi, Ravi, David Godman and Bookworm), I'm before multiplicity.

Now that I'm awake, there is this person that keeps imagining experiences, and saying I, and it's even writing now. And these different people I mentioned are in different places, around a big imaginary globe in a universe with 10^22 Stars, 10^23 planets.

So that is why I assume the Self is not something that remotely could be experienced, that could experience anything. To me the word Awareness, doesn't have that dualistic connotation, besides being as symbol for it, and in that sense dualistic. You don't Awareness jumping off a diving board. You do experience jumping off a diving board, and alot of other nouns. Of course Awareness the word is not Awareness the phenomenon.

Maharshi's promise, was that all of this can be given up, and the body will still carry out it's activities, without the false I, the one so far identified with, that says I, and has experiences, calls people names, the body will still do things without any identification with it, so I need not worry about the body in giving up all efforts and being utterly still mentally without a ripple.

I don't know B.Y. if you've noticed or not, that when thinking gets more and more sparce, or barely noticeable, the spatiousness of the world collapses as well, and distance starts and place start revealing themselves as illusory. People too, because immediately people I wanted to see, show up in the oddest coincidental locations. Of course one of my obstacles is being drawn into that magic, and thinking its' cool ("Hey, Look what I did", no I'm not that stupid, just sort of that stupid), instead of saying, see, it's proof, that the world is not the solid reality I've heretofor pretended it was.

Anonymous said...

"""""Likewise, close inspection reveals (the world of experience to be an unconscious projection) of the I-I. When this projection becomes conscious, there is only the Self, regardless of what the "I" may like to think.""""

I don't think this is true, the projection, the world of experience doesn't become conscious, it utterly disappears. There's no saving it. That's why this can't be talked about in such disconnected intellectual terms. Because the "I", is not something seen as outside you. What Maharshi called the false I, is what you consider to be you, when you say I. So it's not something seperate that can be intellectually deconstructed, because the one doing the deconstructing, is the Intellectual I. Both prevent a direct confrontation with the existiance of myself, which has to go. (referring to 40 verses) These are just nice tricks to save yourself, which has to go extinct.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

We agree, just awkwardly. Well, I'm going to continue to non-seek the extinction of me, the self-concept, by not doing anything, and not even not doing, as best I can.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Ravi, friend, I am impressed though that Ramana Maharshi has some fantastic allegories, that are also wonderful analogies, that work as both. But understood your point and agreed.

Broken Yogi said...

Bookworm,

"It was a simple question and you could have answered it with just one word."

No, I can't, because it isn't that simple. The simplest answer takes at least three words: "Yes and no".

If you want that explained, you should study Ramana's teachings more closely.

Bookworm said...

Broken yogi

You said
'No, I can't, because it isn't that simple. The simplest answer takes at least three words: "Yes and no"

It is that simple and the True answer does only need one word...but let's not fight over it.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

"I'm in the place where there is no words" Bhagavan.
I thought the answer Maharshi talked about didn't admit of words even one. But then again, I'm a tar baby what do I know. (kidding)

baxishta said...

it has been said here that it is not possible to experience the self, but i must disagree. while the self cannot be the object of indirect/dualistic experience, it can and definitely is experienced directly.

in fact, counter-intuitively, a glimpse of it shows that it is closer to being the ultimate object than the ultimate subject.

while it has not the least need to identify itself as ultimate subject, it can't help but reveal itself as having object-like properties such as massiveness, solidness and density.

Bhagavan's favorite description of the self was that It is a dense mass of self-knowledge. this is exactly as i see it as well.

it appears as the ultimate Object. as i've said, in some ways it shares attributes with other objects, but in some ways if differs.

whereas a coin has two sides, the self has only one; you cannot see behind it or around it in any direction, and you certainly can't see through it.

i know that many of you doubt that it is possible to glimpse the self. possibly you view me as a mood-maker or as someone who is too much attached to a past experience.

the mark of a direct experience is that it cannot be forgotten. if we insist that non-dual experience of self is digital (either you've never had it or you have it full-time) then i'd be forced to say that i have it full-time, because i just cannot deny the direct experience.

when the ultimate Object asserts its presence, it's more real than i who would deny it, or you who would doubt me. It will have the final word.

like the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth, the self does exist, the attribute of existence (sat) fully defines it, and nothing else has this attribute.

this is Shankara's first statement, Brahmin is real: the first law of self-knowledge.

as far as chit, it is the liar statement ("i am lying"). it appears just long enough to assert its existence. but we cannot be fooled by the content of its message, when the process of its appearing is false. it is the imposter taking the stage, and it does not exist.

this is Shankara's second statement, world (including consciousness) is unreal: the second law of self-knowledge.

ananda is experienced when, as Shankara says in his third statement (Brahmin is world), i try to fathom the infinite distance between fact and fiction, self and world. and this is the third law of self-knowledge.

it's all there in Shankara's 3-part mahavakya. we can even matich his statements with the traditional "That thou art". "Brahmin is real" corresponds to "That". "world is unreal" corresponds to "thou". and "Brahmin is world" corresponds to "art" (the relationship between Brahmin and world).

Einstein said "everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." in my opinion, we don't need to make things harder than this.

michael

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

""""No, I can't, because it isn't that simple. The simplest answer takes at least three words: "Yes and no"""" Broken Yogi playing devil's advocate.

I agree with bookworm, Ramana's take as far as I can gather, is that there were no places, persons things, there were no two for one to contemplate the other. The Objective World of many is invented. The Self isn't something seperate from what i'm experiencing now. There are no projections from it. It's all that exists. Thought, which isn't real, is making us believe in an objective world. There is no Self to look at, only stop thinking and be the Self. The Self that I already am, no over here, and over there, this is happening, past, future. All of that is thought, no thought, and it's gone, but not gone as in disappearing. Gone as in, the Self doesn't have dimensions, isn't a thing, a noun. Europe, America, Betelgeuse, places are thought. Broken Yogi, and Bookworm are thought. This is all just goes back to the basics, read slowly and meditatively 40 verses on Reality, and see how much of belief in an objective world can survive it. And why can't it survive, because you are making it up, and when you stop making it up, the sense of there being two, of there being him and her, over here and over there, disappears, which is why Maharshi kept stressing deep sleep. Because in deep sleep none of these exist, the Universe never happened, and yet it is real. To even talk of Jnanis, who are just not deluded into believing in multiplicity, is itself multiplicity, and we're caught up in the game again. What is that place where there is only me, and everything is me. Where there is no imagining of anything different, so there is nothing to lose. That is mySELF the true Sefl where I'm not imagining something other then myself. That's why its' called the SElf. The imagined Self is the self-concept. "I am so and so, I work at such and such, this and that happened to me. I'll never become enlightened, don't hold your breath" Inquiry is investigation to state the obviosu, this person I supposedly am, I am imagining. What of myself isn't in my own imagination? that is why it is the false I, because it is obviosuly on scrutiny not real. I just have taken it for granted that this self-image, the false I is me. No need to intellectually deconstruct it, just stop imagining it, and then I'm being myself, the Self, which has not form, identity, concept, time, past, future, not even events. Why would I want to be that Self? Because anythign I imagine is expecting of the Real something unreal, and I'm always going to be disappointed, or something is going to be scary because it upsets my illusions. So by not imagining what I've so far imagined, I'm pre-empting that process by deceasing the false I, before it actually has to be deceased. There is no good reason, I think anybody could come up with not to do this. Because anything else is just putting off that the body is going to perish, it is perishable. I don't want to be living in fear of the bodies death, I don't want to be attached and inventing needs that the body doesn't even have, and then being unhappy because I want something Not True to be True. For all these reasons, the false I no longer interests me.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

""""In a matter of speaking, yes, though not in reality. Ramana often talks about the true Self and the false self. He calls the false self the egoic "I", which is the result of identification with the body-mind, and the true Self he calls the "I-I" - the source of the "I".""""" Broken yogi

This is wrong, and its' wrong because the false I isn't real. It's imagined. Something imagined can't experience. The only experiences are caused by saying "I am experiencing". Who is that person saying this? Are they real? Clearly not. Is the egoic I real?, no because it requires words, saying I....followed by sentences, followed by imagery imagined. The egoic I, does not exist. there is only yourself, forever. Stop imagining.

The real Self, yourself, your only self is when you stop imagining something unreal apart from yourself, which includes a world, other people, and a body. It's called the Self, although it is yourself, your only self, because that Self, the real Self, the only Self doesn't admit of multiplicity of place, or individuals. So just like in deep sleep, there are no experiences and there is no I, in the state of Jnana there are no experiences and there is no I. Does this answer your question? (my condescension is sarcasm) I'm exploring this as much as anybody else.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

What I last stated pretentiously, and feighning condescension, is the non-state, the state of no states that I want to always be in, relinquishing all that isn't That, all that pretend nonsense. When I wrote that, it felt visceral. Like writing it here, I became deeply aware of what the Self means, and maybe that's totally arrogant, but the Self is what is left over when anything different from the Self is given up as something imagined. And it is clear that is something imagined. When as an individual, am I not imagining? What aspects of this world are real beyond my imagination? Well, to find out, I have to stop thinking, cease imagining, completely. Two forces compel me to realize this as the only truth, and that is the awareness that the body will die inevitably, and with it sight, sound, memory, all of my friends, and family the same. Death of the body can be atleast for a short time extremely unpleasent, or pleasent, either way do I want to be the body. No. I don't know when, but the body is a sinking ship, and if I'm the sinking ship and it's attachments, uh oh! The second is that all disconnection, alienation, depression, despair, seperation, codependence, need for company, these are imagined needs, utterly. So if I want the fulfillment of total connection, bliss, it lies in ceasing to imagine non-connection, non-bliss, non-fulfillment. So I stop imagining, and more and more what do I find, that what is left over is only the Bliss (ananda) part of Sat-chit-ananda. And there is not a single need, because the fulfillment of needs lies in ceasing to imagine them unfulfilled. Papaji's analogy about the thirsty fish comes to mind. It's a fish IMAGINING itself thirsty, which is the nature of desire. A desire is imagined, and then the fulfillment is sought, when the true fulfillment of desire is in stopping imagining that I'm a thirsty fish. Now the fish may even though now that it's smart enough to drink the water, still mate and produce offspring, or mate for love, or fun, but it's not mating to fulfill it's thirst. The thirsty fish analogy used by Papaji and I believe Maharshi as well, is a good example of an allegory that holds up on scrutiny as an analogy as well. Actually it probably depends on salt water, or fresh water. Salt water fish drink and excrete salt, fresh water fish urinate, and absorb water through their gills because of osmolarity.

Broken Yogi said...

I've found over the years that there's not much use in talking with people who think they already know all the True answers. In such cases, the best response is silence.

Anonymous said...

scott fraundorf;

I got another response from Nome, and I have to mention that alot of what i previously wrote was intellectual and not coming from the Self at all. It's funny how the mind can say the right words. This is also is the necessity of contact with those who are less infected with the ego notion, or not at all. It's like what was all that effort and worry about. But then it's also important to surrender and let the grace do the work. Again, it comes down to how intellectual understanding in and of itself ammounts to very little.

Sankarraman said...

Dear David,
I am sure of the position that Annamalai swamy had never gone beyond some square kilometers, even far less, around that palakothu, sometimes having visited virupaksha cave. Your statement that he had to be admitted in a hospital in chennai, is rather news for me. He him self had told me that he had been personally instructed by Bhghavan not to leave that area and that, 'No human being, or celestials, or even the gods,' could question his propriety in this regard, since he was a jivan-mukta ( a declaration on the status of annmalai swami that was attributed to bhaghavan).

David Godman said...

Sankarraman

I found the reference I mentioned about Annamalai Swami's trip to Madras. It appears in the thirteenth talk in 'Final Talks':

Annamalai Swami: When I worked in the ashram I used to drink the water with which Bhagavan had washed his hands. I would get this water two or three times a day. Even after I moved to Palakottu, I still occasionally drank this water because Mudaliar Patti sometimes used to bring it to me. She knew that I liked this water, and she knew that I had been accustomed to drinking it.

Sundaram [translating]: I once asked Swamiji why he was so attached to drinking this water. He said that it was on account of a story he had read when he was still living in his village. The story was about a sage called Pattinathar who lived with his disciple Badragiriyar in a village called Tiruvidaimarudur.

Annamalai Swami [continuing the story]: Every day these two used to give their leftover food to a dog. Sometime later this dog died and took birth as a princess in the household of the king of Benares. When she grew up, the king wanted to arrange her marriage, but she refused, saying that instead of marrying, she wanted to see a sage called Pattinathar who lived in Tiruvidaimarudur. Seeing how determined she was, the king himself agreed to take her to see this man. As soon as she arrived there, Pattinathar recognised her and told his disciple that in her previous life she had been the dog that had been given their leftover food.

Then Pattinathar added, ‘She will become enlightened because she ate that food’.

The disciple found this whole story hard to believe.

‘How can a dog take birth as a human being?’ he asked. ‘And how can she get enlightened merely on account of having eaten this food?’

Pattinathar answered, ‘I will show you,’ and then proceeded to walk to a nearby Siva temple. The princess and the disciple followed.

As they stood together inside the temple, Siva appeared in front of them in the form of light. The light engulfed both the disciple and the princess and absorbed them into itself. Pattinathar was left standing alone.

He asked Siva, ‘I am all alone in this world now. Please tell me how I can also merge with you.’

Siva replied, ‘Take this bitter-tasting sugarcane with you and visit my temples. Each time you visit a temple, taste the sugarcane. If it tastes very sweet, there, in that temple, you will attain samadhi and become one with me.’

Pattinathar followed these instructions and visited many temples, but during this period, which lasted many years, each time he tasted the sugarcane in these places, it always tasted bitter. Finally, he arrived at Tiruvantiyar, a small town near Madras. He bit into the sugarcane, and in the moment that its sweet taste touched his tongue, he attained mahasamadhi and physically disappeared.

It was the memory of this story that made me want to drink Bhagavan’s leftover water.

In the 1930’s, while I was still serving Bhagavan in the ashram, I developed a severe stomach ache. One of Bhagavan’s doctor-devotees decided to take me to Madras for a check up. I was examined there but the cause of the stomach ache was not found. As I was about to return to the ashram, I remembered this story of Pattinathar and decided to visit the temple at Tiruvantiyar on my way home. I had heard from other people that when Pattinathar dematerialised in that temple, he left a Siva lingam behind. When I went to pay homage to him in his samadhi temple, I saw that this lingam was still there.

* * *

There are a few inconsistencies in Annamalai Swami's stories about how many times he left Tiruvannamalai, when, and what for, but it is hard to question this particular one since it comes from Annamalai Swami himself.

Anonymous said...

SCott Fraundorf:

""""I've found over the years that there's not much use in talking with people who think they already know all the True answers. In such cases, the best response is silence.""""""

Broken Yogi, you sure are good at ironic statements. This is an ironic statement.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

baxishta (micheal) has caused me to question my assumptions in a way that even the Great Broken Yogi's magical passive aggressive non-silence could not do.

Baxishta made some very interesting points about the Self being object not subject. I have no idea what is true, on contrare to B.Y. but Baxista's points are well considered.

All I know is that meditating on the source and nature of happiness seems to be working better then wrestling with thinking. And that is liberating to be freed from what I thought I knew, but didn't. But I guess arrogance of this nature, the best reply is passive aggressive silence (sigh) --I love sarcasm a bit too much for my own good.

I also like that Baxishta values experiences and glimpses, because rejecting them outright can seem not helpful. And it's interesting to think that the Self, or Brahman is an object making itself known cleansing us of delusions when it becomes apparent, if I understood correctly. The only object???? Does that make it the subject also? Then, is it an experience, or only when it's remembered???? No idea.

It's also weird how meditation can be really intense but there's this sticky feeling that Self-Realization is just a subtle shift in perspective rather then something striven for intensely, and then there are the "experiences", "glimpses", when it feels like I sink into a current and it doesn't so much matter what happens in the world, or with the body. Some people might tell me to discount those experiences, right them off. But clearly it's a good sign to be more at peace. I think I'm realizing the key for me is seeing that happiness is ever present, and that what happens in the world with tbe body is irrelevent to happiness. But I'm yet to completely and irrevocably transcend the body and things transient.

Bookworm said...

Broken yogi

You say:
'I've found over the years that there's not much use in talking with people who think they already know all the True answers. In such cases, the best response is silence.'

Good idea.

Silence...Stillness...Beingness.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

To an earlier comment I would not be surprised if there are housewives in the same state as Sri Bhagavan, with the current state of patriarchal sexism, they'd be alot less likely to get noticed. Perhaps and understandably Abiding in the Self is rare, but Maharshi did say it is easier for householders then sadhus, that must have had some meaning and purpose then idle fancy. I would imagine taht there are some unknown anonymous jnanis out there. I've been inspired by the Ribhu Gita to become one, although I'm not a housewife so even if successful I can't add to that statistic unfortunately.

Sankarraman said...

I have visited that sacred shrine of pattinathar when I was very young. In fact, it is the life of Pattinathar that gave a spiritual impetus to my otherwise very mundane life. I am very much devoted to Pattinathar, Thayumanavar Badragiriyar, Ramalingar and Gunangudi Mastan, all these great saints' writings being suigeneris in the Tamil spiritual literature. There is a film on Ramalingar also. By way of digression, the success of Obhama is by way of establishing the truth that all are equal in the eyes of god. There is a famous Tamil saying which runs as follows: " YADUM OORE YAVARUM KELEER." Translated into English it is as follows. " I belong to the entire Universe. The entire humanity I belong to.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I guess whether there are two or one is the key, it can be called subject or object, but from what I gather there is only one. And since there is only one, and there isn't time, and there isn't concept, it doesn't seem that anything meaningfully called experience could apply except in maybe that you fall into thoughtless peaceful states, and then come out and afterwards it is a past experience remembered. For thsoe who have fallen into pure Awareness of the Self and never left, I imagine that they don't "experience" in any meaningful definition of the term. Ex: in my own experience since I still have experiences and time, I've had moments or periods where there was a visceral awareness that everything is me, I can't say it was a pure awareness of Self, and it was to some degree brought about by effortful attention, but becoming aware that there is only me, and everything is me, perhaps Brahman-Self. Since my mind becomes active again, and reduces these experiences to concept, I now have past experiences or glimpses, and infact I notice things like the value of being thoughtless, and nondual, because there I am way more connected, and events transpire much more auspiciously, magically, miraculously, problems dissappear. But to the Jnani (as if there is a person seperate from me), to someone with No-mind, the desire for things to go more auspiciously, or for problems to disappear or for connection is also not present, just pure continuous awareness of all that ever was and ever will be, clearly the world is thought, and imagination, and the distinction between dream and waking is not much to speak of, it's clear that everything is in me, to those with only Self-Awareness, Being-Consciousness-Bliss. So when Barak Obama wins the election, it's because I'm in a better mood today (just kidding)

baxishta said...

the 3 laws of self-knowledge as descriptions of a glimpse of self and of the cycle of awakening

Anonymous,

thanks for recognizing my last post. i know that my angle is a bit different than most, but i think i have something to offer the group. today i’d like to take the three laws of self-knowledge out of the field of the abstract and show how they apply to the actual events of “glimpsing the self” and “waking up”.

whenever i have a direct but fleeting glimpse of self, it always unfolds in exactly the same way. first, i become aware of a formless but incredibly solid backdrop to my normal experience. this is the first law, “self Is” (or, as Shankara puts it, “Brahman is real”).

second, i become aware that my normal experience, while continuing in every way, quite simply lacks the attribute of existence which self has to an infinite degree. this is the second law, “world isn’t” (or, as Shankara puts it, “world is unreal”).

and third, it’s obvious to me that, having taken the correct measure of the world and seen that it is infinitely flexible, i am in a position to know or do anything with or in it, but that doing so would take me away from That which exists. thus i am referred back to self. this is my way of stating the third law in terms of my experience. Shankara puts it so much more succinctly when he says “Brahmin is world”. (although, at first, these two forms of the third law may not appear to be equivilent, i believe that they are and have addressed this in an earlier post.)

this is how the three laws first came to me, not as the result of deductive thinking, but as attempts to describe glimpses of self (the first law) and its immediate experiential corollaries (the second and third laws).

the three laws also describe the familiar process of waking up but, as the resulting immersion in the waking state is a movement away from self, they are experienced in the opposite direction as for a glimpse of self (which i now think of as “waking down”).

one night the sadguru came to me in a dream and, after initiating me with a touch, took me through the generic process of waking up hundreds of times. i noticed that waking up occurs in three steps.

first, what was previously a collection of objects and events, is suddenly recognized as being a single unit. i notice, “oh! i’m not dealing with all these people and things, but with a single landscape or experiential environment.” this is the third law of self-knowledge, because once the dream has been recognized to be a single unit, i am in position to manipulate it at will, but doing so would postpone the process of waking up.

second, only after the world-experience has been reduced to a single unit, do i find myself wondering whether it is real or not. the result of this is the second law, “world isn’t”. this is like Ramana’s point that looking directly at something which is unreal does not reinforce it, but reveals its unreality.

and third, i compare two unities. the first is the dream as-a-whole and the second is the increasing backdrop intimation of the waking world. finally, waking world having won the contest, i wake up. notice that the result is not that two unities have become one, but that one of them remains while the other ceases to appear to exist. this is the first law “self is”, but we have confused the waking world with the self.

since the result of waking up is based on the assumed reality of the waking world, it is unstable. real awakening is when the substratum is experienced at the beginning of the process, rather than at the end, as described above with respect to a glimpse of self.

both waking up and waking down occur, not only at the daily scale, but also at the scale of a thought. the life-cycle of every thought (or of the generic thot) includes both a movement towards self (waking down) and a movement away from self (waking up). i am thus guaranteed of an opportunity to glimpse the self as often as i have a thought. i find this encouraging.

hopefully i’ve shown that the three laws of self-knowledge are not abstractions derived from the indirect experience of thought, but are descriptions of both waking up and waking down (glimpsing the self). more and more, i’m finding that the three laws are sufficient tools to understand these and other familiar processes.

michael

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I guess my using text to find wisdom era in my life ended a while ago, or my looking for idols to look up to. while at the same time feeling great reverence for Ramana Maharshi, and company.

It does seem that practice, and intuitive, visceral understanding of the Self is really the key. And that there is no freedom with an objective world. Because if you have self-defined problems, there is an objective world, and the "problems" don't disappear without the objective world, the objective world has to be negated to dissolute problems.

That there are many jnanis out there, and householders that are jnanis, to me is speculative. Although I don't have evidence one way or the other. If there Jnanis, there ways are I'm assuming in some cases mysterious enough, like the Muslim pir, that I may not know I'm in their presence unless they give me a good attentive glance.

It makes sense to me what was said in the Ribhu Gita that there are one in millions that are Realized in the Self. Most people are in their illusions, obviously.

At the same time that person I think was saying taht Maharshi's Realization was ordinary, and that is not debatable, it's pretty obvious that Maharshi was anything but ordinary in the world of individuals, and that to me his realization was perfect, and I assume Papaji's was, and lakshmana Swami's is.

But as i said, why wouldn't there have been housewife jnanis? So the converse doesn't strike me as untrue, unless it's stated that there are millions, because realization for whatever reason is rare. Probably because the time, intensity, and devotion, and investigation it takes to become esatblished, or even ready to be established in the Perfect Nondual Awareness does not grab most people as the thing to do, when they are having fun identifying themselves, intellecutalizing, having relationships, intimacy and good food all based in their self-concept and concept of "my life".

they have other priorities that pull their attention. However I would expect a higher then average ratio of Jnani/Jiva in high stress, oppressive situations. Situations where there is the incentive to wake up from teh nightmare. Why am I attempting Inquiry, attempting Realization so intensely?

In the ribhu Gita I found the most forthright, understandable explanation of Inquiry, and Jnana yet.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Speaking of Knowledge and Practice? So is Barak Obama a Gnani? Wasn't Ghandi? I've never seen his sense of resolve, and happiness waver, or him seeming remotely flustered? Or anything to go to his head, or any sign of egotisticalness? And his whole campaign and presidency seems to be service, and he has an equanimity with even his political enemies. And I always feel happy and at peace when I watch him. For sure he is a sign of the ego of the world subsiding. Maybe all of our Inquiry has bolstered this phenomenon. Good job.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I'm very inspired with and happy with Baxistha's comments...And they make sense to me. I don't know how profound my glimpses or experiences of the Self are, but what I've experienced does go well with Baxishta's understanding, and I feel well refuted. Although I'm not sure our words were opposing to each other. I kind of look forward to a stateless state of experienceless experience....I was watching Nome on Youtube (so he's not from India), and everything all the objects seemed like they were in a white flow, remembering 1) Maharshi's comments to question any experience as to who teh experiencer is, I ask "who is this whose having this experience", that makes me sink in deeply.
2) Nome had said that "Bliss calls you into be absorbed. So I let myself get absorbed in bliss. These were still experiences, but I asked who is this whose having the experience, and I got deeper into thoughtlessness....But then I had the always present desire to brag about it, intellectualize it, but to prove what? To get what approval? this state is superior to any kind of approval, where I'm not identified with something transient, temporary that will die, that will suffer... So, so far in my case, I still experience, there is still this backdrop, but I have a feeilng the screen and the seer will merge into one in Realization at Maharshi's word. I could go on and on like this forever, because this is an inspired topic....And without a mind, what kind of comments would I make here? My understanding is that the sense of being an individual is utterly surrendered and being in a world. So that's the first two laws. the third is that there is only the Self, so the world and everybody in it is only the Self, everyone I've ever known is only me. I find that a very, very happy, inspiring revelation. There is no loneliness, no death, and everyone I have feelings for is in me, I'm not in a world with other people.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Sometimes the force pulling me in is pretty overwhelming, and I have to give up thinking like this, so intellectual, my darn ego, wants to say cool things....Sinking into the heart sometimes pulls me in a different direction. Happiness, more important, when that opportunity arises, cooler then being a doctor, falling ni love. The Self is love, and falling in love is falling into it.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

One good illustration it seems of Baxisthas point maybe is maharshi himself, in that he is a manifestation of the Self, and he is helping us see only that point of view, or other Sages. They appear as an object in the world, and they help us realize a state free of ego and only as That! So they are the Self pulling us inward even though they appear as objects, which is weird. In a way it's kind of like I imagined Maharshi to remind myself of Who I am, and remain there. So in that sense Maharshi, Nome as well as the whole panorama a creation of the I. the whole rejecting an external world is weird, counter-intuitive isn't? Has anybody really thought about how counter-intuitive it is? basically the world as solid, objective entity non-self is an illusion. Isn't that interesting? Why realize it? Because I want to be happy? And that is where happiness is? And I don't want to die, or realize that I never die, so I want to Know I'm not the body. It's weird how earlier, and this is my last thought for the day, maybe ever...I had that white awareness. And now I'm overpowered by such intense bliss...Intense Bliss! Now, I relent....

Bookworm said...

Baxishta

You say:
'the group. today i’d like to take the three laws of self-knowledge out of the field of the abstract and show how they apply to the actual events of “glimpsing the self” and “waking up”.'

In my humble opinion:
There are no laws of self-knowledge.
It is mind/ego that creates and sees laws and also 'appears' to have events of 'glimpsing the Self' and 'waking up, waking down' and waking whatever.
Married, householder, single...who cares?...doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

scott Fraundorf:

When I feel such overpowering bliss, that I can only surrender to, I could resist but it takes effort, and I'm tired of being the mind, it becomes clear that the external sage is me reminding myself of who I am? So the Jnanis are just an object I create to remind me that I am not what I think....But they are objects only so long as I'm identified with an ego???? I still like to think that maybe there is an objective world (atoms, galaxies, trees), but anytime I'm deeply sunk into a peaceful state, the coincidences are too conspicuous...And the less I think, the more dreamlike the waking state is because it's thought that lends it the solidity and legitimacy...So maybe this is my answer to knowledge versus practice... At the same time scriptures such as the Ribhu Gita along with the words of Maharshi serve as a constant reminder that there is no non-self. They are poweful, potent spells, but they are not intellectual concepts, but almost like a computer virus that destroys the computer the mind. They are words, they are concepts, but to from teh inside out clear out all concepts including themselves, and establish me in "Ever abide in bliss, Without a trace of a concept...In that itself, as that itself"

baxishta said...

waking up and waking down as two aspects of self-enquiry, and questioning the idea of history

Anon,

again, thank you for acknowledging my points. i agree with your statement that “i am not in a world with other people”. it’s kind of a shock, isn’t it, to realize that other people don’t have thoughts, they are thoughts.

i recently proposed that the three laws of “self-knowledge” (either mine or Shankara’s) are, first and foremost, a description of the unfolding of a direct experience of self. i then termed this process “waking down”, and compared it to the familiar process of waking up, and proposed that they are the same process moving in opposite directions.

i’d like to now suggest that these two processes may also be taken as prescriptions (rather than descriptions) which define two important flavors of self-enquiry.

in the process of waking up, everything begins to remind me of myself. the narrowing of my dream world-experience eventually reaches a point where, having renounced all sense of otherness, i am in a position to compare this single unit (myself) to my glimpses of the waking state, and then i wake up.

this is very similar to the original flavor of self-enquiry. renouncing all that is not-i, i repeatedly place my attention on my sense or feeling of i-ness until it leads me to the self, which is also a type of background experience growing in my awareness.

because waking up to the waking state does not lead to awareness of self, this form of self-enquiry must eventually give way to a another flavor, which i’ll compare to waking down.

starting from the truest form of vichara (abidance as self), i begin to entertain otherness. from a direct experience arises the notion of an indirect one. at one very special point, which i think of as the “point of free will”, this process is challenged from within by the sadguru, who then directs me back to the self.

both of these processes occur naturally as the two sides of a cycle of gaining and losing my self-knowledge. this cycle repeats itself frequently and endlessly until my awareness is permanently stabilized in self.

i’ve also been wanting to say something about the idea of history. i believe that studying the lives and teachings of gyanis is valuable only up to a point, after which it does us the disservice of making it seem as if “their world” was/is more real than our own.

if the Buddha was a historical figure, then he’s of no use to me. in truth, he never was anything other than the voice of self rising from within, and the sooner i’m able to identify him as an internal figure of authority the better. once this process has begun, i believe that further study of his outer life may actually be counter-productive to my development.

i would argue that we have all begun to recognize the voice of the inner teacher. he is the one who repeatedly encourages us to look within instead of just from side-to-side. he is the one who reminds us that we continue to exist even as we face the void. and, as i suggested above, he is the one who reminds us that, at least at one particular point in the life-cycle of every thought, we have a choice as to whether to return to the self or continue moving outwards.

michael

Bookworm said...

Baxishta

You say:
'recently proposed that the three laws of “self-knowledge” (either mine or Shankara’s) are, first and foremost, a description of the unfolding of a direct experience of self.'

Will people in generations to come speak of 'The Three Laws of Baxishta'?
In my opinion your 'laws ' are just mind stuff, ego creations.
Of what use are they to a sincere Ramana 'devotee/disciple/student'?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I'm very much in agreement with baxishta and feel that is reminiscent of my own 'experiences'. I also agree with bookworm, but feel the difference between bookworm and baxishta is semantical.

especially that something i've really woken up to in the last few is how the concept of Gnani is helpful to a point, insofar as it inspires me to become like them, abiding in the Self, Maharshi, Papaji, Lakshmana Swami and others are inspiring.

But past that, they are just more dreamlike thought creations, to remind me of who I am. They truly are the inner sadguru. I could take up a very dualistic devotion to them, but they emphasized nondualism, and the best devotee being a sage. The greatest honor I could do to Bhagavan is recognizing the truth in his statements and living by them. i.e. giving up the notion of multiplicity and recognizing that there is only Brahman-Self. (I use Hindu terminology but I don't think these have a cultural basis in a specific place, language, vernacular, i.e. Rumi was a Gnani obviously.)

Baxistha's statements regarding the course toward realization and how it applies to the 3 laws also is reminiscent of my own 'experiences'. Slowly the sense of otherness declines, and the Self calls me to see only the Self more and more. Through external experiences, texts (ribhu gita), communication with people wiser then I, bliss that attacks the ego, and forcefully subdues it, and then of course my own mental efforts to bring things back in when I start looking to the outside for happiness, fulfillment, or fear for the food-bodies safety. All of these drive me to Realize a state free of these misidentifications. There is extreme bliss, intoxicating at times, effulgent awareness at times, evidence for the mind that it's best to give itself up and surrender, because even the things it's most concerned about are best accomplished by giving itself up. Any virtue, postiive trait is included in Gnana. Any level of connection, or pleasure (i.e. ananda) are included in Gnana. Ribhu Gita has made this apparently clear, any excuse I could make is invalid. The most perfect state is that in which there is no trace of I...

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

to further agree with baxishta, I think it's too easy to not give credit to everyone we meet that they don't have some awareness of the Self, the Self is everybody, and everybody I talk to has some awareness of their true Self, because it's what is real. They may see their happiness as outside, and in truth, this example I'm using is only me, because there is only the Self, the more I become aware of this, the more I realize what an inspiring and joyful revelation it is. Because I suffered and worried alot. to think that all fulfillment all safety is innate, impersihable, inexhaustible, is very, very, nice. because I no longer need to trudge for diverse goals, and I can just be. The movie goes on, it's a charming, entertaining movie, filled with drama, but there is no sense of it being real, or solid, or that the people I'm surrounded with are none other then myself. More and more I see that they are arising in consciousness with the I. there is the I, and then there are others imbued with form. It's so obvious, it is the tenth man, and I'm like, "how did I not see this before?" Why did I suffer so much over nothing? When the whole world is me, the conceptual, the thinking, the body, everybody, the stars. It is the most inpsiring, beuatiful, joyful revelation, because then there is nothing to fear, nothing to despair over, and all is bliss, falling in love, joy. the culmination, which has not yet occured for me, when the mind dies completely is just the culmination of this, when there is no longer any doubt that the Self is all, that there is nothing other, and rest is complete, and stress and division has no chance of arising again, nor would conceptualization be necessary at that point whatsoever.

Sankarraman said...

I remember it somewhere having been said by David Godman of the work, " OZHIVIL ODUKKAM," having been translated into English by Munagala Venkatramayya, the author of the work, "Talks," and the manuscript being available in the archives. Could I have access to this in some form as I find this work very marvellous? I disagree with the statement purported to have been made by Sri K.Swaminathan that Munagala did not have a sufficient smattering of Tamil. It is his individual opinion. If one had access to this manuscript, one could have the advantage of better understanding this terse text. Of course, there might be some mistakes in the translation of Munagala; but they are only minor slips. Nor for that matter could one say of any rendering of being infalliable. It is interesting to note that the extraordinary, but unnoticed saint, the author of this work, had been influenced by Saiva teachers, no less a person than the revered Ramalinga Swamigal having given a forward to this work. One can understand the wonderful description of Avasthathriya ( Three states of waking, dream and sleep) from this work. One can also note that there is a pronounced difference in the style of advaita taught by Tamil saints from that of the traditional lore in the sanskrit language.

Sankarraman said...

Sometimes I feel that Bhghavan's approach is similar to subjective idealism, as he advises one to concentrate only on the individual I, the essential and apparent subject, as against the traditional atman=brahman simultaneous equation.I have definitely felt this strain in the language of Bhghavn from a reading of the work, " Talks." At least by way of practice he has emphasized this approach.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

One of the problems, I would think with saying I am Brahman is that it still calls attention to a subject as opposed to other objects. "I am Brahman". But from Ribhu Gita, I find calling attention to that everything and everyone is Brahman-Self is to me helpful. That on top of asking deeply Who am I? and tyring to get interior to any experience, or experiencer.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I was just thinking about how in my awareness there is just the one, and that thought divides taht one up into many. Earlier today, I had something come up, and I was really angry, but the anger was purly in my imagination and based on interpretations of things I perceived. And there was also alot of fear that was causing the anger reaction, but I put alot of effort into redirecting back into as much as possible an unveiled awareness of bliss. When the concepts are gone, all of what were formerly the sounds, colors, and people become that one indivisible whole, but that whole has no dimensions, "screen of consciousness", the central I. The problem with maharshi's words or any of the other people who probably had direct awareness of this, is that the words are misleading. Maharshi's words aren't describing something intellectual, but reaching out to something everyone is aware of at all times, unlike my neurophysiology textbook, Maharshi wanted everyone to realize his pristine awareness, wasn't trying to stump us, but make it completely accessible and understandable. Everyone has an awareness of I am, or I, the pure I. Overtime we've accumulated so much baggage attachments, concepts, DIVISION that the I, the awareness is obscured, divided but not in the same metaphorical sense of a blanket covering a person, because unlike that there is nothing that is seperate from the I. It's just this sense of the I being something else, identified with something else, but something imagined, thoughts. Being identified, this is a terrifying world to "live in", and there is much to cause anger, and fear, and all sorts of extremely unpleasent reactions, the body is temporary, as temporary as a picture on a TV screen, so if we are identified as the body, we (I'm speaking for myself) are afraid of consciousness ending, and perhaps painfully, nausea even in my case becomes an ordeal. Because of this, knowing that all of these things could happen, the crises' are a good time, to shift from those identifications back to just a pure I. The problem is that Inquiry and meditation for me have at times have become intensely effortful, repressive. But in that case there would have to be one I, trying to find another I. Instead of just surrendering, peacefully, gently the false conjured self which has no reality, it's not a projection, because there is nothign seperate from the I, no distance to go. Oh Air on a G String makes me get all philosophical.

I think a good way to look at it (for me), is there is nothing but the dimensionless, timeless, persons-less awareness of deep sleep. So there is no over here, and over there. And what I'm finding is that the more I abide without thoughts, which is also a very difficult concept to convey in words, because I would imagine the Jnani does think, just not in the way we imagine. Words really fail, there is no way to describe progression towards a full awareness of Self, other then things (in my case) are becoming more and more pristine, and perfect, and timeless. As I said, like being poetically (madly) in love all the time, beatitude, without cause, without fear.

It is interesting the descriptions of the guru/ devotee relationship. For instance, I started an e-mail correspondence with Nome in Santa Cruz. And it's on a different level, because all his responses, come at the right time, the right words. It's funny because my experiences seeing him on Youtube, in person, there is an apparent personality there, one I initially didn't like. But also, my Gestalt suddenly shifts in all these interactions, and suddenly I find myself understanding on deeper levels this timeless, formless being without beginning without end. And there is no conceptualization possible of where these shifts into a broader, more pristine awareness are coming from. When Murugunar was around Maharshi, who was the guru? Maharshi or Murugunar, before long they were the same, and I've been really deeply inspired by that relationship. These "glimpses", but there more then glimpses in the sense that it is very, very important for me not to go back into the fire, but stay in perfection once it's been found. I hope they aren't just glimpses, I hope I'm there indefinitely. But not in the sense of fear, or resistance, but I don't intend to process egotistically again, but if it takes a few more redirections, taht's OK too. My egotistical life was far too painful, hell on Earth, to ever go back...Ever....I'll stop on that note.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Whether it's beautiful to others, that was the most beautiful, inspired set of words I have ever uttered (for myself)...

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I was watching Lakshmana Swami on Youtube, and in the 4 minutes there never seemed to be a moment where he left pristine, thoughtless, undisturbed awareness. Whereas in my case, and maybe this is what differs between a glimpse and realization, I leave it still. I get disitrubed, even if I manage to get back to a place of blissful, clear, peace, I still leave it, Lakshmana Swami never leaves it even for a fraction of a second, his awareness of the SElf is continuous...

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I've been having this experience that things internal and external are going on like music, the notes are occuring to perfection, maybe someone walks taht way, drops their cup, it's music, the internal experiences, and the external experiences are music, moved to perfection. Without that intermediary, saying I am this and that...

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

From watching Youtube, things flow around a Jnani like music, everyone is drawn into the musical flow, their bodies surrender to the musical flow. Like when I play Adagio or Air on A G String watching Nome or Papaji on Youtube, everything is perfectly in tuned, normally it seems the egoic way is like being out of tune, but still moving to perfection.

Sankarraman said...

"One of the problems, I would think with saying I am Brahman is that it still calls attention to a subject as opposed to other objects. "I am Brahman". But from Ribhu Gita, I find calling attention to that everything and everyone is Brahman-Self is to me helpful. That on top of asking deeply Who am I? and tyring to get interior to any experience, or experiencer."
Dear Scott Fraundorf, I think that calling oneself brahman or everything Brahman, or brahman is nothing- all these are strong ideations, suggested to be inculcated in the mind by the ribhu gita, so that a vasana is created in the mind not to objecitify anything. But, according to Bhahavan even these superimposed ideations are a digression from our true self, all that is necessary being merely to attend only to the self in spite of illusions galore seducing our mind.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

While I do see that Who Am I? and abiding as the Self at the core of things is key, sometimes reminding myself that all this is me is also helpful (so that there is no division), it has seemed to me that while Inquiry and the Self do not admit of conceptualization, competing ideas such as the world is real, or desires, can also be obstacles. So calling attention to that there is only me, in my case seems to be helpful. I'm not sure if we disagree, and I could well be wrong...But yeah, being the Self and not the delusions when they arise galore seems to be what it is all about. Sometimes I have to make many tactics to dislodge myself from the delusion. Calling attention that everything and everyone is me, or right now recognizing that effort would not be helfpul and just being still. Whatever calls attention to that the vasana that my mind is grabbing on to is not real, so I become undisturbed again.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

For me, vasanas arise, but the thing is becoming undisturbed again, by any means, taht is Inquiry. Something agitates me, makes me scared, makes me angry, makes me sad, makes me want something....What does it take to get undisturbed again, and be myself before that arose, before that became an issue. That for me is what Inquiry is all about. Becuase that undisturbed state, to quote Maharshi, being at peace, is the Self. Papaji was saying on one of the videos, that to see only the Buddha, your true self everywhere, to not desire any person, object, idea. Because they are all of the past, and then once you've stopped desiring anything else, then you will realize your true self.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I was reading Sadhu Om's description of how to practice Self-Inquiry and that made a lot of sense, turning toward the sense of "I am", instead of sense objects. I guess I've heard it reiterated time and time again, but it helps to hear it again. Constant reminders. I think failure at Inquiry is impossible if it is practiced earnestly, because overtime in the effort to just be the Self, and not the mind, new levels of awareness and practice occur as thought comes up and is dispelled and ignored, deeper levels are reached. Although obviosuly there are no levels, it gets easier and easier over time. Even the Ribhu Gita, when I was reading it, I was reading it in light of Maharshi's teachings, and I do feel that reciting it, is just helpful. But ultimately turning toward only the feeling of I, and nothing else, throughout every action, experience, is ultimately what is necessary.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

On the Vipassana Websites about the 10 day retreats, they advise against people with severe mental illnesses, drug addiction participating. That to me is suspect... But I would think that people with such problems, and where I'm included (probably a little of the former), Inquiry would be most helpful, and advisable for anyone, regardless of where and when they are. It's never bad to know yourself.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

Maybe there is an objective world, sorry I'm hogging all the threads, but when the sense of being an individual, the ego is involved, it causes the body to play in an awkward out of tune way, because the more I abide without identification with the body, with the objective world, and just as the Awareness. In my case I need help, and still have to Inquire, and Associate with the Wise, but events in the "objective" world take on such an extraordinary magical auspiciousness. For instance, my Filipino Martial Arts retan sticks were left in an auditorium for one of my classes. Yesterday, I was sitting in a very different location in the auditorium, and suddenly my sticks in the middle of class in this huge auditorium rolled to my feet. I didn't even need them, or want them, but that was the magic I'm talking about. I guess it all comes down to trust, trust in god, total surrender, and the trust that things will work out, that huge disasters will be averted, leaving it to the Supreme because she carries all burdens. That trust, is what seems to be required in Realizing the Self, sinking completely in, leaving the body to itself, to be guided by the Supreme. Feeling that I'm not required any longer, I don't need to worry about the body, or the world, they will take care of themselves. Events around the individual will be auspicious, the World will become more and more Utopia on it's own, just by this act of surrender. Jiddu Krishnamurti was talking about how one person can change the world. Clearly, Abiding in the Self is the highest form of activism, and encompasses all other forms of activism.

Bookworm said...

Anonymous


You say:
'Jiddu Krishnamurti was talking about how one person can change the world'

Hmm...So why didn't he do so? or did I miss it.
Still I suppose there was some truth to what he said...Hitler, bin Ladin etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I don't know Bookworm, I kind of agree with Maharshi that Mahatmas do much more then others because they are not ego-centered. It's hard to find examples as an Ajnani because I can't tell who is even a Jnani, let alone what kind of change they are enacting, and in that Maharshi quote the Mahatmas were talked about as being silent yet still far more effective. And to Jiddu, maybe the fact that he spoke in front of the United Nations suggests that his state garnered him quite alot of influence. And I suspect that Jiddue was genuinely Realized, Because Nisargadatta Maharaj referred to him as Realized.

In my own experience, I know that the more I actually do stay silent, and blissful and Self-ward, my whole environments seem to change for the better, and the influence is inexplicable in light of a rational, logical, linear explanation. I trust that.

Anonymous said...

SCott Fraundorf:

Sorry for straying into a self-indulgent personal anecdote.

Anonymous said...

I read the teachings of Poonjaji. But I don't find any similarity of it with the method of self-enquiry taught by Bhaghavan unlike the case of other diciples/devotees like Annamalia Swamigal, Muruganar, Lakshmana Swamy, etc.

Anonymous said...

It is surprising that Nisargadatta is reported to have said that a chemical is required in the brain for enlightenment to happen. This seems to be a very revolutionary idea, and from the empirical viewpoint there seems to be a lot of common sense in this idea.

Ravi said...

Broken Yogi/Friends,
sometime back,we were exploring Sri Bhagavan and the Vedanta Tradition.I wish to share this article by Sadhu Arunachala(Chadwick)from 'The Silent Power':

BHAGAVAN WAS DEEPLY interested in the construction
of the shrine built over his mother’s samadhi. He attended
every function in connection with it, placing his hands in
blessing on the various objects that were to be enclosed in the
walls. At night, when no one was about, he would walk round
and round the construction consecrating it. That he should take
such a demonstrative part in anything has a very deep
significance. It was extremely rare and has been doubted by
many, but I myself was an eye-witness to these things and can
vouch for their truth.
He took a personal interest in the cutting of the Sri Chakra
Meru in granite (pyramidal form), which was installed in the
completed temple and is regularly worshipped. This is about
one and a half feet square and proportionately high. At the
time of the kumbabhishekam on the penultimate night before
the sacred water was poured over the images, he personally
supervised the installation in the inner shrine. It was an extremely
hot night and with three charcoal retorts for melting the cement
adding to the heat. It must have been intolerable inside the
airless cave of the inner shrine. Yet for approximately one and a
half hours Bhagavan sat there telling the workmen what to do.On the last night of the function he went in procession,
opening the doors of the new hall and temple and passing
straight up into the inner shrine, where he stood for some five
minutes with both hands laid on the Sri Chakra in blessing. I
happened that night to be at his side the whole time. This was
unusual, as I deliberately avoided taking a prominent part in
such things, preferring to watch from the back.
Strangely, something made me keep by him on this
occasion and on account of this I was able to understand his
deep interest in the temple and especially in the Sri Chakra. It
was because of this knowledge that I was instrumental, after
Bhagavan’s passing, in persuading the Ashram authorities to
institute the Sri Chakra pujas six times a month.
The explanation for this unusual action on Bhagavan’s part
may be found in the necessity of Siva always to be accompanied
by Shakti. The world would stop otherwise. On the only occasion
when such a puja was performed, shortly after the dedication of
the temple during the life of Bhagavan, he refused to go for his
evening meal, but insisted on remaining a witness of it until
the end. Someone remarked how magnificent it had been and
that it would be a good thing if such pujas could be performed
regularly, “Yes, but who will take the trouble?” asked Bhagavan.
Trouble is being taken now and it undoubtedly has the blessings
of Bhagavan."

Salutations.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

To share here with you an interesting article about the practice of rooting out vasanas - The 'Lost' Years' of Ramana Maharshi by Peter Holleran.

The essence of it:

"It is a common misconception that you can just ‘get it’ once and for all and from that point on life is just endless bliss. I don’t know if you are familiar with the story of Ramana Maharshi, but if you are, ask yourself why, if after his death experience and the awakening it caused, he spent twenty years sitting alone in caves? If he was the Self as he had experienced, then what is the point of sitting in caves? Isn’t it rather stupid to say the reality only shines in caves, that it does not shine in the world? Why not just go back home and live like a normal person? The answer is that he had experienced the Self and he could not forget it and his mind was turned inward, ‘’by a powerful fascination’ to use his own words. But this was just the beginning of his spiritual life. There was still somebody there that was fascinated, inspired, by the Self."

.

David Godman said...

This paragraph could only have been written by someone who knew very little about Bhagavan, his life and his teachings. In my opinion it is complete nonsense.

There was no one left to 'choose' a course of action after his death experience in 1896, and no one who needed to continue along a spiritual path.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... David Godman ...

I pondered on this and especially on the arguments of James Shwarz in that part of the mentioned article titled "Reflections on the 'Lost Years'". Compared with Bhagavans own description of his death experience it is in fact obvious that Bhagavans own words disprove the tendency of the article:

"The former ego that resented and retaliated had disappeared." (Arthur Osborne, The Path of Self-Knowledge, p 13).

.

Ravi said...

Ramos/David/Friends,
Peter Holleran-"If he was the Self as he had experienced, then what is the point of sitting in caves? "

It can equally well be asked -What is the point in living in a city?What is the point in leading a 'normal'(just what is this 'normal')life?What is 'Home'?
Sri Bhagavan is always at 'Home'.

I agree with David when he dismissed it -"In my opinion it is complete nonsense."

I am just back after visiting Kaladi-the birth place of Sri Sankara.This is on the banks of the river Poorna,about 40 Kms from Kochi(Cochin)in Kerala.The place is vibrant with spiritual presence of The Great Master.The Samadhi of Sri Aryamba,Sri Sankara's Mother is situated here.A 3 Feet high Stone Lamp post nearby kindled the Spiritual Intuition of Sri Sivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Swamiji(The Sankaracharya of Sringeri)to identify the Birth place of Sri Sankara in 1910!There is a temple with Sri Sarada as the Presiding Deity worshipped by Sri Sankara.A beautiful ,Quiet and spiritually charged place untouched by modern so called 'development'.

Salutations.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

Forgive me, Ravi and David Godman, but here is a misunderstanding in that this article is

a) by James Shwarz and not by Peter Halloran (and is further elaborated by James Shwarz on his website together with other interesting articles by him on www.shiningworld.com), and

b) this question of him: "If he was the Self as he had experienced, then what is the point of sitting in caves?" is a rhetorical question. It is answered with: "The answer is that he had experienced the Self and he could not forget it and his mind was turned inward, ’by a powerful fascination’ to use his own words. But this was just the beginning of his spiritual life."

This answer for some perhaps sounds strange, but by getting the idea of his argumentation we understand that it goes about vasanas and getting rid of them. The background of this and another article by James Shwarz is to critizise pseudo advaita and the claim that "no one needs to do something to get enlightenment" (Neo Advaita). I find his discussion to be serious and not that easy to dismiss.

I admitted to David Godman the "disprove of the tendency of the article by the words of Bhagavan" only because James Shwarz seems to believe that Ramana had to fight against vasanas during his "sitting in caves" whereas it seems that this is not proved by the words of Ramana.

.

Anonymous said...

Dear David,
:) I was pleasently surprised to see this article!
1. Swami Dayananda is a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda , Swami Chinmayananda had very high regard for Ramana. Swami Dayananda himself taught Upadesha Saram in his courses!

2. It is well known that it is not a matter of experience. Even Ramana seems to have mentioned somewhere that he might have done all the study of scriptures in previous births.
Self Knowledge is definitely not "an" experience ... The Self is the substratum of all Experiences. This is well accepted ... This is the view of swami Dayananda Saraswathi as well as Annamalai Swami / Ramana.
For example in "living by the words of Ramana", Annamalai swami clearly tells one devotee that the basic flaw in seekers is , they seek experiences.

3. We do not require Samadhi; we require conviction on the Truth. Ultimately one needs to firmly abide as the Self. This is mutually agreed by both Sri Ramana as well as Dayananda.

4. The most important point. Without understanding ... wether one keeps repeating soham or koham its totally useless. one needs to look within and see the source of "I" ... but without some basic understanding and scriptural guidance [or guidance from a Sat Guru], one may not be able to trace the "I" to the root "Consciousness" and remain as "Consciousness" . If one is able to do it like Ramana ... that would be a unique and extraordinary example and even in such a case, as Ramana himself said he might have gone through all study in previous births.

Love!
Silence

David Godman said...

While I was going through 'Saints, Sages and Arunachala Ramana' by Feroze Taleyarkhan for the 'Feroze Taleyarkhan' post, I found the following interesting report of a visit to Ramanasramam by Swami Chinmayananda:

'Some years ago Swami Chinmayananda, with a large party of over 100 of his followers, paid a visit to Tiruvannamalai, when I [Feroze Taleyarkhan] met him, not for the first time of course. He camped at the Sathanur Guest House and the party was entertained to dinner at the ashram, after which, sitting under the shade of a tree in the ashram grounds, he gave a discourse on Bhagavan. He spoke with such warmth and love and reverence for Bhagavan as would make many of the so-called devotees of Bhagavan hang their heads in shame that they too could call themselves devotees.'

I think I made it clear in some of my earlier comments on this post that I felt that Swami Chinmayananda had an enormous regard and respect for Bhagavan. I think it was Swami Dayananda alone who took the line that Bhagavan might not be enlightened because he had not engaged in a proper study of Vedanta.

Anonymous said...

Dear David Godman,
:)Even That is not correct.
1. Ramana's Complete works there is a mention in hastamalka stotra commentry that when someone asked how he realized without a Guru-Sishya Parampara, Ramana remarked that perhaps it was all done in previous birth. The view that a Guru is required and his teachings are needed is very much Sankara's view.

2. Dayananda, in fact, seemed to agree completely that Ramana was Realized. Only he mentioned that there may be many others who are unknown. That means Ramana definitely is the highest amongst the known:).

3. The way a saint is to be identified is not by seeing what his views are on Ramana or Paapaji. A Saint is to be approached and if he Can Give SAT DARSHANAM then he is a Saint.
SAT DARSHANAM is being the Self, coz all experiences are transient. So he is not a saint who gives an experience. He is a saint who introduces us to ourselves, the one who is "Akarta" [non-doer], and Aboktha [Non-Enjoyer/Non-Experiencer].

is this not so ?

Love!
Silence

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous...you say:
'who gives an experience. He is a saint who introduces us to ourselves, the one who is "Akarta" [non-doer], and Aboktha [Non-Enjoyer/Non-Experiencer].

is this not so ?
......
Who cares..and about what the Day guy thinks or thought.
With such reasoning..all jnanis are saints but are all saints Jnanis?
Also..should we now call Ramana...Saint Ramana?

Saints are of the mind...often a catholic mind.
Jnanis Are the Heart, so maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bookworm,
:) There is nothing like of the mind and of the heart. There being just the Self, where is the distinction?
Its a big mistake people do when they say i understood the Truth but am not able to live it.
They have not understood the Truth.

To understand Truth is the same as living it. There is absolutely no difference. Coz When one knows one is the Self :) where is the question of practising it!!

:) There is a story of 10 disciples who crossed a river and started counting to verify if every one came safe. And the first one counted everyone leaving himself and said one is lost. A second disciple confirmed it.
So now...
if one understood that he himself is missed in the counting ... where is the question of living it up? understanding is living.

another illustration... a king forgot his true nature and started roaming like a beggar.
is there a difference between understanding his true nature and being the king ??

Really not. when he understands automatically his life style changes OR... he may chose to continue roaming like a beggar knowing that he is the king ... he is free.

Love!
Silence

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymou You say:

Dear Bookworm,
:) There is nothing like of the mind and of the heart. There being just the Self, where is the distinction?
Its a big mistake people do when they say i understood the Truth but am not able to live it.
They have not understood the Truth.

......

Of course...to a Jnani there is no 'of mind or of body'.. and all are jnani .. but I was replying to a comment written by someone unaware they are jnani.. you

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous You say:

Bookworm,
:) There is nothing like of the mind and of the heart. There being just the Self, where is the distinction?
Its a big mistake people do when they say i understood the Truth but am not able to live it.
They have not understood the Truth.

....

In my opinion in one sense you are right and in another sense you are wrong Anonymous.. depending on the veiwpoint of jnani oa ajnani.

Although in Truth all are Jnani
in my opinion most of us who commrnt here are not bodies in which only Only one Being, that One of the Heart or Love, lives or exists.
Most of us in my opinion are bodies in which 'two'
appear to exist.
The True Self of the Heart and the unreal self of the mind.

silence_speaks said...

Dear Bookworm,
:)

If we have such conviction that we are not jnanis :) how can we ever realize?

A jnani is supposed to have conviction that he is the Self and not this body or mind.

Love!
Silence

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous

You do not need coviction to Be or exist ...

There is no-one to realise.
Realisation is a myth of the unreal body/mind ego.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bookworm,
:) Then the notion that we are ajnanis [as mentioned in your own previous post] is also a myth of ego.

BTW ..
That we should have conviction is not my statement, it is what Ramana , Sankaracharya and Annamalai Swami said it.

All practice is a myth as such, as even the knowledge. Conviction is absolutely necessary just as practice of knowledge is necessary.

Love!
Silence

Anonymous said...

Dear Bookworm,
:)
To explain it more clearly, in the example of king who took himself to be a beggar ... he needs conviction that he is the king.
that is utmost important.

only one who thinks he is the beggar needs conviction ... True. But the teaching is also only for one who thinks he is beggar.

No one needs experiences. Coz The Self ever Is as the basis of all experiences. One only needs to recognize the Self which is Ever untouched by all the experiences ... which is Akartha, non-doer and Aboktha, non-Experiencer.

Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"You do not need coviction to Be or exist ..."
Not required for a vegetable existence.
Words(ideas) are not adequate,better to go behind and understand what is pointed out.

"There is no-one to realise.
Realisation is a myth of the unreal body/mind ego."
Body and Mind are very alive and kicking-very REAL-what else prompts all these questionings of 'others'.
The Mind is the power of the Self.It is as 'Real' or 'valid' as the Self -as much as sunlight is as real as the sun.
Is there mind apart from self?

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous..you say:

'Bookworm,
:) Then the notion that we are ajnanis [as mentioned in your own previous post] is also a myth of ego'
......

Yes.

Conviction, earnestness.... is necessary for the unreal ajnani... body/mind ego

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous..you say:
To explain it more clearly, in the example of king who took himself to be a beggar ... he needs conviction that he is the king.
that is utmost important'

...

No you are are wrong Anonymous.

You are the King..full stop, end of story.

Any part of you that needs conviction you are the king is the false , unreal ego/mind ego or ajnani.

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous
To put it more clearly:

The one in you who yearns for 'realisation'
who is earnest, has conviction.
The one who prays.
The one who searches
The one who asks the question 'who am I'

That one who enquires....
is false, unreal, a phantom....and
must 'die' 'surrender' 'disolve'

That one is false, must 'die' 'surrender' 'disolve'
.....

Who you are cannot die...the Self, the Being or spiritual Heart....
..'I' ...is the Truth of you.
You are not of this body or of this world... and exist 'always' and 'Are eternal'

Anonymous said...

Dear Bookworm,
:)
Let us proceed step by step.

If the ego is false, why kill it? Why should a non-existent thing die!! :)

Love!
Silence

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous

The below is an attempt to try and make it even more clear to you.


It is a matter of veiwpoint in a
sense.

The true 'veiwpoint' of your Self,
who you truly are or your 'sense' of Beingness..'I'.. or 'feeling of me-ness' of the spiritual Heart ..which is.. unborn, 'before'
and not of this body/mind/ego or world.

appears

to be the excact opposite 'veiwpoint'

of the unreal body/mind/ego.. or the knot of thinking but phantom 'sense of me-ness'.. felt in your head ....who you have believed all your life to be you and who you are.
....
This false, unreal sense of yourself is not the true Being or Person of the body.

It appears ther are 'two' in our bodies..as we all 'know' this from those times we 'talk to ourselves'
The 'one' doing the talking is the
false, unreal ego/mind, the thinking 'one' we have always thought is ourselves and the true person in our body.

In Truth this unreal mind/thinking/ego 'part' of our body we are deluded into believing is ourself...
is not needed or wanted.

...

It is not You ...
It( or you, as you have always and at present think and believe you are) is unreal, garbage, false, rubbish.
It (or you as you have always etc) is not not truly alive and once your Self or Heart
is 'noticed' or 'opens' you will not be able quick enough...

to 'destroy, kill, not Be, surrender, dissolve or throw out from your body'
that 'creature or thing' that all your life you have by thinking it to be You
'appear' to have suffer deeply and believe its unreal, anguish, fear and pain was/is yours.
.....

The ONLY and true Being or Person
in or of the Body is... You, the Self, the 'I'.. The Person, or Being of Love.. of/from and the Heart ...

This was/is exemplified, supremely by Ramana Maharshi..
who I bow to with the deepest love and gratitutude for Being,
Teaching and 'showing the way'
to what is true of us all...
and is the core or Truth of the world and all creation.

Of course you might disagree Anonymous..most in/of the world do.
If you do, fair enough ... but I do not have any other argument to pu to you.

Bookworm said...

Hello Ravi, Have you been away?...you havn't posted for a while...you say about my comment:

'There is no-one to realise.
Realisation is a myth of the unreal body/mind ego'

Body and Mind are very alive and kicking-very REAL-what else prompts all these questionings of 'others'.
The Mind is the power of the Self.It is as 'Real' or 'valid' as the Self -as much as sunlight is as real as the sun.
Is there mind apart from self?'
.....

Ravi...the body and ego/mind will die.
They 'appear' to be us, while they live..which is no great problem
as long as we are aware of the unborn, undying, not of this world..Being we are.

When we have this awareness and Knowledge of our true Self it is obvious:

The body is not ..us.. but is a 'tool' for our use and enjoyment.

It is also obvious the mind is not ..our real Being, Self or Heart..but is a 'tool' for our use and enjoyment.

Bookworm said...

P.S. Ravi..so Ramana taught.

Losing M. Mind said...

Bookworm says:
"The one in you who yearns for 'realisation'
who is earnest, has conviction.
The one who prays.
The one who searches
The one who asks the question 'who am I'----is what is left over after Realization.

That one who enquires....
is false, unreal, a phantom....and
must 'die' 'surrender' 'disolve'
--the one who doesn't enquire is unreal, a phantom must dissolve, surrender.

That one is false, must 'die' 'surrender' 'disolve'
.....

Who you are cannot die...the Self, the Being or spiritual Heart....
..'I' ...is the Truth of you.
You are not of this body or of this world... and exist 'always' and 'Are eternal'"

In a way from my own experiences, readings, pursuit of realization the converse almost seems more true
that the conviction, faith, joy, earnestness are the Bliss (ananda) of Being-Consciousness-Bliss. The problem with speaking about the Self, or Realization is that I don't know what that is like. But I'm pretty sure the cold, intellectual interpretation, the tendency to objectify and theorize, those are the ego. The feeling inspired, fresh, blissful, selfless, earnest, not only will that carry me to Realization, the core of it, the Bliss is the Self in my perspective. So if I feel Blissful, driven to earnest practice, driven to do nice things to others, I belive it would be incorrect of me to suppress that, oh the world isn't real, so this bliss isn't real either, it must die before I gain realization. The opposite is true, that Bliss, that drive toward Earnestness is the Bliss of Being-Consciousness-Bliss, the world is not real from the standpoint of that Bliss, if only in a spirit of intellectual nihilism I could wish the world away, unfortunately that way I'll just create zillions of rebirths, mistaking the dullness, inertia, boredom of tamas for the illumination of the Self. You are free to disagree with me if that is your approach (lol). The obstacle to Realization is feeling sorry for myself, judging others, in essence any selfish tendency.

Losing M. Mind said...

Also to quote an Upanishad the Self is "where words and thoughts turn back unable to grasp"
It's a key to me, when someone has an intellectual understanding versus an actual understanding when they speak as if the attempt at practicing Self-inquiry or the earnestness or the devotion are somehow foolish. Armchair spirituality, sitting on the sidelines. I do not believe any jnani would speak that way. It strikes me as just such terrible advise, like "only eat rotten food because the good food" isn't real.

The spiritual food is the good food, inundating myself trying to understand the Maharshi's teachings, or any wise sage's teachings is eating nourishing food. Taking seriously the words of those immersed in tamas and delusion is eating rotten food for it will just keep me in my own self-created suffering longer.
It's experientially not equal as far as realizing it is all equal. (an irony).

Robert Adams did say it is better to worship one god with form becaus eotherwise it would be doubted. Realization is when it is realized that God is all there is, the individual does not exist. That's my understanding of it. Sometimes I'm still plagued with doubts, but on some level these teachings resonate so deeply and I can't forget them.

Just even a look at Upadesa Sarem gives a much deeper relationship between devotion and inquiry. Clearly, Maharshi felt those things to be essential, even as a Self-Realized jnani he wrote the Marital Garland of letters. Clearly the one who was devoted, and earnest, did not cease to exist. My understanding is that the Self manifests in the world as Satyam-Sivam-Sundarem, the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. So a jnani is of the very essence of earnestness, devotion, sincerity, honesty, love for everyone of any species. From the perspective of the Jnani it is realized that the love is the only thing that ever existed and the phenomena are unreal. Unveiled, Reality is a Bliss far greater then it's pale reflection as pleasure. This to me, is what is missing in the intellectual approach which is basically tamas guna. (the lowest, most base quality) of living in egoic illusions, intellectual satisfactoin and being satisfied and comfortable in that.

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous..you say:
'If the ego is false, why kill it? Why should a non-existent thing die'
....

There is no ego...how can a non existant thing live.

Bookworm said...

Hello M. You say:
'things to others, I belive it would be incorrect of me to suppress that, oh the world isn't real, so this bliss isn't real either'
...
Of course the body and world are real or least..appear real.
But are they the deepest truth in or of you?
If you feel bliss...good on you.

Bookworm said...

Hello M. you say:
'the intellectual approach which is basically tamas guna. (the lowest, most base quality) of living in egoic illusions, intellectual satisfactoin and being satisfied and comfortable in that'
...
In a Spiritual life,...intellectual
satisfaction is no satisfaction...intellectual understanding is no understanding
and for God knows how many times...it is advice...thats adviCe.
Just joking.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... rotten food ...

A madman clings to samskaras, whereas a Jnani does not. That is the only difference between the two. Jnana is madness of a kind.

(...)

A man is running the course of his samskaras; when taught he is the Self, the teaching affects his mind and imagination runs riot. He feels helpless before the onrushing power. His experiences are only according to his imagination of the state “I am the Self”, whatever he may conceive it to be. Saktipata alone confers the true and right experience.

When the man is ripe for receiving the instruction and his mind is about to sink into the Heart, the instruction imparted works in a flash and he realises the Self all right. Otherwise, there is always the struggle.
TALK 275

Religion is a disease - The sages respond

.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"Hello Ravi, Have you been away?...you havn't posted for a while..."
No friend,I have not been away.
There is a difference between 'Mind' and 'My Mind'.Just examine how much of 'Thoughts' is 'one's Own'.This sense of 'I' and 'Mine' is what is the cause of limitation , misery.If this is dropped,then nothing is wrong with mind or the world.The Pure Mind is the Self.
Then as Sri Ramakrishna says(sorry!I cannot help quoting him!I find a simplicity and an all inclusiveness in his teachings!Further it is 'intuitive' and avoids all sterile Logic and pseudo rationality):(Chapter 5,The Master and Keshab)
"Why shouldn't one be able to realize God in this world? King Janaka had such realization. Ramprasad described the world as a mere 'framework of illusion'. But if one loves God's hallowed feet, then-

This very world is a mansion of mirth;
Here I can eat, here drink and make merry.
Janaka's might was unsurpassed;
What did he lack of the world or the Spirit?
Holding to one as well as the other,
He drank his milk from a brimming cup! (All laugh.)

"But one cannot be a King Janaka all of a sudden. Janaka at first practised much austerity in solitude.

Solitude for householders:
"Even if one lives in the world, one must go into solitude now and then. It will be of great help to a man if he goes away from his family, lives alone, and weeps for God even for three days. Even if he thinks of God for one day in solitude, when he has the leisure, that too will do him good. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. But who cries for the Lord? Now and then one must go into solitude and practise spiritual discipline to realize God. Living in the world and entangled in many of its duties, the aspirant, during the first stage of spiritual life, finds many obstacles in the path of concentration. While the trees on the foot-path are young, they must he fenced around; otherwise they will be destroyed by cattle. The fence is necessary when the tree is young, but it can be taken away when the trunk is thick and strong. Then the tree won't be hurt even if an elephant is tied to it."
----------------------------------
So what if something is ephemeral?One can value it as long as it lasts!Why this insistence that 'It' should last forever or else it does not have any value or meaning-This logic is very clinical and antiseptic-This line of 'thought' or 'approach' has its validity and limited utility-to get rid of the sense of undue attachment;Beyond that it's limitations are too obvious!One LIVES onething and THINKS another!

Excuse me,I will not continue any further discussion or debate on this.Feel free to express yourself.I will certainly read your comments with due attention.

Best Regards.

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous
In case you are a bit confused
with my last comment to you.

A true Spiritual Teacher..like Ramana for example...
might point to a pot and say to a 'student'..
'The colour of that pot is blue'
Later the Teacher might point to the same pot and say 'The colour of that is yellow'
Both times the Teacher is right and correct.

To somebody watching who is not spiritually inclined they are both a couple of fools...The Teacher for first saying the colour of the pot is blue and then later saying it is yellow...and the 'student for listening to such rubbish...
because it is quite obvious the colour of the pot is black.

.....

The moral is:
Truth..Spiritual Truth cannot be understood by your mind...
because it is such a puny little thing.

Truth..Spiritual Truth can only be grasped and understood by and from your Heart.

I don't remember where I read that...but it seems true to me.

Bookworm said...

Hello Ravi you say:

'Then as Sri Ramakrishna says(sorry!I cannot help quoting him!I find a simplicity and an all inclusiveness in his teachings!Further it is 'intuitive' and avoids all sterile Logic and pseudo rationality):(Chapter 5,The Master and Keshab)
"Why shouldn't one be able to realize God in this world? King Janaka had such realization'

.......

Ramana taught that.. always..
..there has never been a time..
there will never be a time...
when we are not Self, Heart or God.

What are you saying?..has a bit of God forgotten Her/Himself/Oneself and needs to realise Her/Himself/Oneself again?

Can God be so stupid?...is it really worth the 'effort' to 'realise' such a thick being?

Bookworm said...

Hello Clemens you say:

'Saktipata alone confers the true and right experience'
.......
I do not know what the word means Clemens but I will hazard a guess that it can only mean Ramana.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

Who Cares? by Ramesh S. Balsekar

"The desire for enlightenment once drove an earnest and highly-determined individual to spend several years in the company of a spiritual teacher. During these years he proved himself a devoted disciple who was totally committed to the attainment of spiritual realization. When the time came for him to leave and return to his native place, his guru made him promise that he would write every month, reporting on his spiritual progress. The disciple gave his promise and received his guru's blessing. They said their farewells and parted.

The disciple had been gone just over a month when his first letter arrived. "I am experiencing the Oneness with the Universe," he wrote. The master said nothing, but crumpled up the letter and dropped it in the bin.

The next month's report came promptly and stated: "The Divinity present in all things has been revealed to me. I behold It in a flower, in a stone, in the very air, everywhere." Again the master read the letter, crumpled it up and tossed it into the bin without a word.

For four months the letters arrived regularly. In his third message the disciple declared: "The mystery of the One and the Many has been revealed to me. I now know and truly comprehend there is no difference between you and me or anything else." Once read, this missive also ended up in the guru's waste-paper basket. In the fourth letter the disciple said, "No one is born, lives or dies, because there is no one who exists." This letter too was read without comment and followed its predecessors, slipping with a rustle into the trash.

After the fourth month, however, no further letters arrived. No letter in the fifth month, no letter in the sixth month, no letter for a whole year! As the time passed and brought no news, the master became increasingly curious as to what had happened with his beloved disciple. Eventually, he wrote to him inquiring about his spiritual progress, and reminding the disciple of his promise to keep him informed.

Some time later, the guru was handed a letter addressed in a familiar hand. It was from his distant disciple. The guru opened it and read, and laughed out loud with obvious delight. His attendant disciples were puzzled as to what had prompted this outburst of joy. Beaming gladly, the guru passed them the letter. They saw that it contained just three words, and the three words were: "Enlightenment? Who cares!"

.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

"... but we have come to wonder why anyone would want to lie in the arms of a priest, no matter how beautiful, when one could be hugging God instead?"

Do we need a Guru?

Who is this fool giving the keys of his house into the hands of a stranger? Do you have the daring to clearly dismiss your teacher and to embrace him at the same time?

.

Losing M. Mind said...

I guess what I was thinking, and perhaps misunderstood Bookworm, no idea. My understanding, what makes sense deeply to me, is that the ego perishes only when in absolute fulfillment in realization. So realization does not leave one empty. I just realize what I've been searching for all this time is the Self. My understanding of why it is called the SElf, distinguished from my Self, is it is all expansive (often called infinite--although I don't know whether my physicist dad might have issue with that being a mathematician. My deeper tastes of it especially as of it late is that the finite sense is given up, dissolves are crude words for it. It's so hard to even know how to best practice, any little move it seems can prevent this deeper awareness. Mainly, it appears the most effective methods are questioning the vasanas themselves, when the vasanas are questioned, the Self gives huge doses of Bliss and expansive awareness, and then it kind of takes over. Maybe eventually it will be realized as a shoreless ocean.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bookworm,
:) Firstly please address me as "Silence" [to distinguish from any other anonymous]

You have made the statement:
"of the unreal body/mind/ego.. or the knot of thinking but phantom 'sense of me-ness'.. felt in your head ....who you have believed all your life to be you and who you are."

This is exactly the point... one who has a strong conviction like this that one is ego ... he needs to get out of it ...

nothing gets killed bookworm. The ego is false, it need not be killed. its already dead. To put it in annamalai Swami's language... it is a shadow and the shadow is not killed. its ignored.
Whether it raises or not... only only needs to disidentify with it.

By and large i agree with what you mentioned. Only small variations. But this forum is too slow for a detailed discussion.

Love!
Silence

Bookworm said...

Hello Clemens You say:

'"... but we have come to wonder why anyone would want to lie in the arms of a priest, no matter how beautiful, when one could be hugging God instead?"

Do we need a Guru?

Who is this fool giving the keys of his house into the hands of a stranger? Do you have the daring to clearly dismiss your teacher and to embrace him at the same time?
............

It is all just mind-stuff Clemens.
It is just meaningless words. They might seem to be clever or wise to the spiritually ignorant mind.

But to anybody with some sense, understanding or experience
of their Heart..the Spiritual Heart they are..it is just a load of rubbish.
...............
As to needing a Guru...
It depends on 'where you want to go'
If you are fairly happy 'being' in some flopsy ego state in your body/mind or head ..then no.

If you want to Be nothing but the Truth or Heart of yourself.
You haven't got a hope in hell of finding and Being your Heart/Self God (why hug when you can Be?) without a Guru...and not just any old common or muck Guru....
but a True beyond doubt Jnani Guru..and they are rarer than gold-dust..so I have heard.
.....
A wise person only gives the keys to his house to those he trusts and loves deepest.

Losing M. Mind said...

It's interesting on this Bookworm, the subject of a guru, because earlier I would have guessed that we appeared to disagree on this. I made the assumption (probably wrongly) that you were coming from a more western/secular/atheist view on this. Don't know why? It seems the best route is to be earnest about practice, inquiry, self-questioning, vasana-questioning, and let that bring a guru in. (and when I say that, it could mean even through my own efforts to find one) But if what they say resonates deep and is in accord and helpful with the inquiry go with that. (not advise, but this is the most sensible approach to me) That is how I assumed the teacher I'm corresponding with is one of those "supposedly" rare jnanis. Also I don't know whether this is incorrect, if a teacher meets that criterion of his instruction enhancing the already earnest attempt at inquiry, which I think is a pretty clear sign that the teacher is at a deeper more mature level, if there story is that in some point there individuality ceased and they haven't had an iota of mental suffering in 30 years, I tend to assume that that is a pretty clear sign that this is a jnani. What I don't know is if there are gradations? Ramana said that there were no gradations of Realization, and if they say there self-referential indivduality vanished in effulgent Self-awareness and never returned, never even existed, and their instruction already hits at a deeper level then my current maturity. (that indicates that sincerity would be there since it comes with the territory of being more mature, sincerity would lead me to take their story at face value) Because of the grace of the guru as mentioned in another thread, I wonder if Lakshmana Swami's statement is really true that an ajnani cannot tell a jnani. Since being in the presence of a jnani supposedly can give a full experience of the Self, then one is in the effortless, thoughtless state even if only temporarily (which happened to me around Nome), and according to Lakshmana someone could tell from that state.(I saw a blur around him and there was something else I can't find words for about the attunement with questioners) There is also something I see, what may be called a "visual" with some of the so called jnanis such as Papaji, Lakshmana Swami, Annamalai Swami, and I see it in Westerners such as Nome, Byron Katie, Don Miguel Ruiz even as I mentioned Barack Obama. There is something that transcends what they do or say, their style of speech, bodily mannerisms, there is something visually I notice about them, but even as far as speech, there is a very solid dispassion, I mean that they don't seem effected, even oblivious to what is going on around them, but there responses are very correct, and in tune, to a degree that seems supernatural and psychic. Barack Obama in the debate with right winger Bill O'Reilly seemed to have the right answer out as soon as O'Reilly said something. Another phenomenon I've noticed with all the above mentioned is that it almost seems like the life goes out of questioners in their absorption in that "person", their body goes limp and their eyes are so fixed, sometimes their face has an awed expression, but it certainly seems like they've lost themselves. I've noticed this particularly with Papaji, Barack Obama (State of the Union addresses), and Byron Katie. So, I definitely wonder if I'm picking up on something that indicates a strong presence of the Self acting through someone. Then again, it could be as Clemens brought up, my being overwhelmed by the power of the Self and my imagination running riot.

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous..you say:
Bookworm,
:) Firstly please address me as "Silence" [to distinguish from any other anonymous]

......

Why don't you change your name from
Anonymous to another name?..one that is not Silence.
Because I am sorry but there is something in me which will not allow me to call you Silence.

I think it is because I allways and I will always
equate that word with Ramana.

Ravi said...

Bookworm/Ramos/Friends,
"You haven't got a hope in hell of finding and Being your Heart/Self God (why hug when you can Be?) without a Guru"

I truly appreciate Bookworm's conviction and his almost 'fanatical'(meant in good sense)adherence and acknowledgement of Sri Bhagavan and his pure path of Self Enquiry.This sort of approach does have its strengths.
Just reminded of the story of GhantaKarna(Bell-Eared one)who had a bell attached to his ear.Ghantakarna loved Vishnu, and he always wanted to worship Vishnu. Vishnu came to him and said, "You know Shiva is my other form, so you can't really please me without pleasing Shiva. So do Shiva's puja as well as my puja." And Ghantakarna said, "No, no, no, I only worship Vishnu, I am a Vaishnava, and I don't believe in Shiva. He hangs out with ghosts and goblins, takes bhang all the time, he's always drunk, he's always intoxicated. I will not worship Shiva, I worship Vishnu and only Vishnu."

So Vishnu came to him in the form of Harihara, who was half Vishnu and half Shiva. And Ghantakarna made a puja, and he offered the incense, and when he saw the curls of incense smoke rising upwards and enter Siva's nostril, he plugged the nostril of Shiva so that the smoke would only go to Vishnu. Vishnu tried in many, many ways to teach Ghantakarna that he and Shiva are one but in vain.
Ghantakarna's fanaticism caught the attention of the public.Whenever he went out , all the boys used to tease him ;they would shout, "Shiva, Shiva, Shiva." So Ghantakarna made some big earrings with bells in them and wore them;whenever the young children would call, "Shiva, Shiva, Shiva", he would shake his head so that the bells would ring in his ears and all he would hear was the sound of the bells. And he would never hear the name of Shiva.

That's the story of Ghantakarna.
----------------------------------
The Guru is not a person-The Guru is none other than Self/god-All the Great Masters have been unequivocal in placing the Guru even above 'god'.The Guru is not chosen but given.Having said this,I guess that Ramos wanted to debunk this 'Choosing' and attaching oneself in a vain way to 'The Guru'.
-----------------------------------
I am really amazed to see how 'Self Realization' or to put it in another way,'There is nothing to be gained or attained.Be as you are.You are Perfect' type of stuff is paraded by most people including the one in that website ,the link of which Ramos has provided.This was started in 1991 and now the person who started it has discovered his bearings!he is offering this 'manna' to all other net citizens.
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous.
Bookworm,
:) Firstly please address me as "Silence" [to distinguish from any other anonymous]
.......

I am sorry Anonymous but for personal reasons, I will not address you as 'Silence'
Isthere another name we would both be happy for me to use?

Ravi said...

Ramos,
Going through the website pointed by you,I find it a mixed bag-There are quite a few beautiful quotations from different sources.Also came across this bloomer:
"Many of us have either suffered illness ourselves, or known someone with a serious or even life threatening disease. In Advaita and non-dualism, so little is said about chronic long term disease. If it is discussed at all, there is often an aura of blame allocated - as if the disease were somehow indicative of a failing of some sort. Or it is called a ‘challenge’ that must somehow be worked through and accepted. Such viewpoints come usually from those who have not experienced long term serious illness themselves."
This however need not detract from the other wonderful sharings in this site-I like that beautiful poem of Walt Whitman.

Also found this:
"Do we need a Guru?
From an early age we are taught that knowledge comes from teachers. So it has become common to seek ‘enlightenment’ from someone else. Sadly this can sometimes lead to a commodimizing of spirituality. Even to the point of making salvation - renamed ‘awakening’ or ‘enlightenment’ - a marketable item offered up by those wishing to teach."
This explains the context behind the lines quoted by you.

-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Bookworm said...

Hello Scott You say:

'It's interesting on this Bookworm, the subject of a guru, because earlier I would have guessed that we appeared to disagree on this. I made the assumption (probably wrongly) that you were coming from a more western/secular/atheist view on this. Don't know why? It seems the best route is to be earnest about practice, inquiry, self-questioning, vasana-questioning, and let that bring a guru in. (and when I say that, it could mean even through my own efforts to find one)
................
For what it is worth...'Sounds good to me'
.........................
You also say:
'the inquiry go with that. (not advise, but this is the most sensible approach to me) That is how I assumed the teacher I'm corresponding with is one of those "supposedly" rare jnanis. Also I don't know whether this is incorrect'
.............................
Doesn't sound quite so good.
Whatever it is you are 'looking for' ..you must surely want it to be True...'absolutly' True
and 'always' True.

Is it wise to 'assume' something or someone is true?
....................
You say:
' I wonder if Lakshmana Swami's statement is really true that an ajnani cannot tell a jnani'
.............
It is, kind of...mostly true..But:
Many people went to Ramana who 'were ajnani'...but who knew or recognised instantly or at least..were more certain than uncertain...that Ramana was the supreme Jnani, Self or Being of the Heart.
One could argue it was only because of Ramanas Grace which of course would be true, but on the other hand I know people about who I have doubts that even if Ramanas deepest Grace had Blessed them they would still not have recognised that they were in the Presence of a Jnani.
People lived for many years with Ramana.. 'appearing to be and often sometimes feeling very much so, an ajnani'...but they were still certain Ramani was the supreme Jnani.
........................
You say:
'acting through someone. Then again, it could be as Clemens brought up, my being overwhelmed by the power of the Self and my imagination running riot'
..................
Clemens has a point perhaps.. imagination is of the mind..what is True.. is of.. and is.. the Heart.
As for visuals...one can look at a blank wall and see a road lined with trees, with cars driving along it, people walking along the pavement and children running about...It is almost like watching
the telly.
But what good is it to you?
I think, for what it is worth.. that it is best 'mostly' to ignore and not get involved in visuals.
..............
If you should ever find ..that.. which you deepy sense is obviously and certainly true..why waste your time and energy on anything or anyone else?
..........................
Why Scott?.. would Ramana Love and have a deeper relationship with this geezer you write to..than with yourself?
....................

Ravi said...

Silence/Bookworm/Friends,
Interesting to read the exchanges-What the Ego is,whether it is real or unreal,whether it can be killed or ignored,etc.
One thing is very clear-that although there is unanimity that the 'ego' needs to be dispensed with,one would like to have his/her 'identity' continue in some form or other,in the form of some 'preferences',like 'something' in Bookworm cannot accept calling anyone other than 'Ramana' as Silence;Likewise 'Anonymous' would like him(her) to be addressed as 'silence',etc.What is this 'identity' that one consciously or unconsciously acquiesces,retain?
Going further,Silence has this observation-"By and large i agree with what you mentioned. Only small variations. But this forum is too slow for a detailed discussion."I wish to ask silence-Is this agreement or disagreement anything to do with 'silence'?Does Silence prompt a 'Detailed' discussion?
Friends,this is not to detract from whatever has been expressed-I just want to draw attention to the genesis behind this thread(see David's introduction).This is where Swami Dayananda's 'approach' is 'different'-It calls for a detailed 'discussion' and further 'explaining' threadbare,until there is no 'doubt' in the mind of the seeker or the 'taught'.
-----------------------------------
All this is 'stuff of the mind' as Bookworm puts it;or as Sri Ramakrishna would call it-'Counting leaves' as against 'eating the Fruit'.Depending on one's predelictions,this may be needed but certainly not indispensable.
-----------------------------------Salutations.

Bookworm said...

Ravi
The True reason I will not call Anonymous..'Silence' is that in my opinion it is to pretentious and silly a name to call a person.

Bookworm said...

Ravi you say:

'Bhagavan and his pure path of Self Enquiry.This sort of approach does have its strengths'
.......

Are you saying Ravi?.. that you have Knowledge of this 'path' and have 'travelled' it?...or 'part' of it.

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
Reservations and preferences are part and parcel of ego-This is the point I wanted to make.

I certainly respect your reservations as much as I appreciate and respect someone who values 'Silence'and would like to be addressed so.

It is pointless to talk about the 'ego' as unreal as long as one is just that.The more one denies,the more one is bound.

Discussions and dialogues do not serve much.

Losing M. Mind said...

"For what it is worth...'Sounds good to me'"

Glad we agree on something.

"sound quite so good.
Whatever it is you are 'looking for' ..you must surely want it to be True...'absolutly' True
and 'always' True.

Is it wise to 'assume' something or someone is true? "

Regardless of whether I assumed something or someone is true, which I don't really, I would still write that teacher because his answers are helpful, well-timed, do not deviate at all from Ramana's teachings, do not direct me to look to him as an authority figure. and also hit deep enough to reveal an awareness of egoless grace.
.
If they are only see the Self, then they are the Self and they are the only thing that is true. Ramana is the only thing that is true, but Ramana does, and I think you agree, take the form of other teachers. If you disagree, we disagree on a root assumption and there's nowhere to go.

"Why Scott?.. would Ramana Love and have a deeper relationship with this geezer you write to..than with yourself?"

From what I understand Ramana being the Self loves all equally, does not have a deeper relationship with anyone, however not all of us are equally open to the Self or Ramana. Some of us (not me), have lost the individual pemanently and are only the Self or Ramana. Maybe we are all only the Self or Ramana but it's one thing to Know that and just talk the talk. The reason I practice, search correspond, listen, practice, question, inquire, etc. is because of recognizing the value of Knowing as opposed to thinking.

I already have a strong intellectual conviction in Advaita, in Ramana's teachings, but that intellectual conviction is only of worth because it drives the search inward for Who I am. The intellectual conviction itself did not come except by experience because the experience granted that conviction.

Many people can be presented with a logical argument about these things and are not going to accept it intellectually because of lack of experience. I know the practice is valuable, the nondual search because even just putting the question to myself, "Is this eternal?" (advise from teacher) for instance even my writing now, and there's suddenly this peaceful bliss that comes over me realizing that this is not eternal.

If I ask "am I the performer of action?" the writing starts to even go on by itself just a little because I relinquish being the doer. Maybe I feel dull, and not joyous, I ask "where is the source of happiness?" And suddenly waves of peace come over me. Then I ask "Who am I?" and become identified with the blissful peace as opposed to the situations, wants, and phenomenon. This search will come to an end not because there will be nothing to inquire into and no one to inquire, nothing left to question.

"People lived for many years with Ramana.. 'appearing to be and often sometimes feeling very much so, an ajnani'...but they were still certain Ramani was the supreme Jnani."

For what it is worth, 'sounds good to me'.

"Clemens has a point perhaps.. imagination is of the mind..what is True.. is of.. and is.. the Heart.
As for visuals...one can look at a blank wall and see a road lined with trees, with cars driving along it, people walking along the pavement and children running about...It is almost like watching
the telly.


O.k, o.k, i get it. Who cares about visuals? Way to be a killjoy. But maybe I should question why I'm putting these things forward for you to invalidate.

"If you should ever find ..that.. which you deepy sense is obviously and certainly true..why waste your time and energy on anything or anyone else?"

good point.

Bookworm said...

Hello Clemens You say: at end of your story:

'contained just three words, and the three words were: "Enlightenment? Who cares'

............
Nice Story. To all involved in my little story below I am just joking.

I bet you do Clemens.
Scott does...oh no, it is 'realisation' that M.cares about.
Ravi cares..but thinks it can be gained without the help of a Jnani Guru and that all one needs is 'Stories'
Are you going to post lots more stories Clemens?
Is Ravi, THe Great Story Poster
you Guru?
It is a serious question Clemens
I am all for an easy life and having had some experience of 'travelling that seemingly neverending black road' that leads to the Heart and which may often pass through states or feelings way worse and beyond 'dread'
..where one wishes so much.. that they were still 'travelling' that part of the road they had passed some time ago..and where they had only felt utter hopelessness, helplessness and sadness.

If the 'Way of the Story' that Swami Ravi Teaches is a quicker and better way than that 'dark and awful road'

Then please..

How do I join Clemens?
Does it cost me anything? Do I have to shave my Head?
Are we given a badge or a necklace or anything?
Do we get to wear Flowing Robes?

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... Clemens You say: at end of your story: ...

I myself said nothing because most of the time I quote the words of some masters I find worth to think about. Such quotes rarely have anything to do with my personal convictions. It is nothing else then a form of thinking aloud. I admit that there is no sense in thinking aloud at a public place.

Related to "Enlightenment - Who cares?" I like to add that Ramesh Balsekar certainly does not try to turn enlightenment into ridicule. ZEN often talks about the "ordinariness" of enlightened masters but certainly this ordinariness is not of the common type.

.

Bookworm said...

Hello Clemens you say:

'cares?" I like to add that Ramesh Balsekar certainly does not try to turn enlightenment into ridicule'
...........
But it is ridiculess Clemens becasuse it does not exist..there is no such thing. It is a fantasy of the mind and I could not care less what Ramesh Balsekar thinks or does.
If I want Truth I look to Ramana..in my opinion the supreme Truth and Guru.
Ramana

Anonymous said...

Friends,
:) I would like to quote a few words of Annamalai Swami, his answer to a question "how to give up false idea that the mind is real?"

The ans: "The same way you give up wrong idea. You simply stop believing in it. if this does not happen spontaneously when you hear teh truth from a 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.

FIRM Conviction is a must.

Love!
Silence

Anonymous said...

Scriptures are not mere statements.
They are step by step "directions". Absolutely required.

Ramana himself was a maharshi ... so naturally his works also qualify as scriptures. So study of scriptures is a MUST.

We must not forget that Ramana himself did not teach until he read some scriptures. A Guru must have knowledge of Scriptures --- it is not me saying ... mundakaupanishad says it quite eloquently.

Love!
Silence

Anonymous said...

Can Silence be attained through discussions? :) IF it is to be attained its not Silence at all.
Silence is The Background of all our activities and this whole world.

Silence is not keeping quiet. Silence is despite all thoughts, despite all actions ... another dimention about us. The Scriptures are there to introduce us to this.

Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"Are you saying Ravi?.. that you have Knowledge of this 'path' and have 'travelled' it?...or 'part' of it."
I love Sri Bhagavan.I am not interested in 'Self Enquiry' as an exercise.His Great life lived is his Teaching.
I am beginning to understand that Life is too valuable to be straight jacketed into a 'Path'.I also realise that the 'goal' or whatever you would like to call is not a 'Result' of one's effort,although effort is certainly called for.
What is the nature of this Effort?Sri Ramana told this 'Story' of how a baby monkey holds on to its mother as also how the Kitten lies wherever the Mother cat has deposited it and only mews.The Mother does the Rest.
These two phases have to alternate and-Does it really matter how long it takes?For What?It is certainly not "hopeless","helpless' or 'sadness'-It is being quiet,confident and cheerful in the knowledge that -"If you take one step,he takes ten steps"(Sri Ramakrishna).The Onus is on the 'Other Side'!

One needs to be oneself.One can only be oneself.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"the "ordinariness" of enlightened masters "-Quite charming.All the Great ones that I have had the good fortune to meet exuded this charm!

Bookworm said...

Hello Clemens you say:

'worth to think about. Such quotes rarely have anything to do with my personal convictions#
.........
That is a bit anonying.
Why post them then?
You just muddy the waters and they are already muddy enough.
Why not only post what you feel or know is true.
Much more helpful.

Ravi said...

Silence,
"We must not forget that Ramana himself did not teach until he read some scriptures. A Guru must have knowledge of Scriptures --- it is not me saying ... mundakaupanishad says it quite eloquently. "

This is in line with Swami Dayananda's line of thinking.Swamiji calls himself a 'Traditional' teacher of Vedanta.It is very interesting to see what The Sage of Kanchi has to say on this-[I am Translating from the Third Volume,Third Chapter of 'Deivathin Kural'(Voice of God)]-Silence,if you can follow Tamil,here is the link-http://www.kamakoti.org/tamil/3dk5.htm

It goes as Follows - (there cannot be a better exemplar of this than Sri Bhagavan)-"A Guru need not do anything outwardly.There is no need for any learning or Scholarship for such a one.It is not necessary for him to have learnt the 'Sastras'.He need not adhere and live upto any Sastra or Tradition(unlike an Acharya).He need not open his mouth to 'preach'-Have not there been 'mouna' gurus!
Abiding in the Self and even if such a one sits alone,people who know the inner greatness of such a one look upon him as Guru.For that reason he need not take lessons for them in Sastras.Yet His Grace Shakti alone does what is needed(Does the work-is the actual translation-Ravi).He does not think of them as 'Disciples'.Yet those who considered themselves as his 'Disciples' attain whatever they sought from him.
Without a trace of Learning-so many Gurus like this.Without Teaching Lessons-So many Gurus.Dakshinamurti,who did not open his Mouth was the Adi Guru.Unbound by any of the Sastraic Injunctions,Wandering around like Ghost,Ghoul or Madcaps-Athivarnasramis have been Gurus.Dattatrya who wandered Naked is one of the Foremost of Gurus."
-----------------------------------
Silence,Bhagavan did not study any scripture to 'Teach'.Other devotees brought such works and Bhagavan helped them learn the same and he also Translated the works for their benefit.
-----------------------------------
The 8 Volumes of Deivathin Kural-is a veritable treasure trove-full of insights of a Great Gnani with Encyclopaedic Knowledge on any subject!
Surely there is no greater exemplar of Traditional Advaita vedanta than the Sage of Kanchi-who the Dalai Lama had called
as 'The Only Monk of the Century'!

Bookworm said...

Ravi.. you say:
'One needs to be oneself.
One can only be oneself'
.......................
I have just added th truths to your
statement Ravi.

'One needs to be oneself so should remove or kill ego/mind (YesI know it is not truly alive Anonymous... you might also do so but I feel only theorectically with you)

........

One can only be he oneself. Love..
when 'that' is all there is in the body/mind.....no ego

Bookworm said...

Anonymous...you say:

'Silence is not keeping quiet. Silence is despite all thoughts, despite all actions ... another dimention about us. The Scriptures are there to introduce us to this'
......

If only you could manage to Be it

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous you say:

'Ramana himself was a maharshi ... so naturally his works also qualify as scriptures. So study of scriptures is a MUST.

We must not forget that Ramana himself did not teach until he read some scriptures. A Guru must have knowledge of Scriptures --- it is not me saying ... mundakaupanishad says it quite eloquently'
........
Isn't that another of 108 scriptures?...I hope you have studied them all.

As I have always said...all you need is Ramana and Teaching.
If you feel the need to look elsewhere..You are not ready or able to know Truth yet...in my opinion.

Bookworm said...

Anonymous you say:
'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.

FIRM Conviction is a must.
............
Anon..you need a lot of things
Conviction, Trust in the Guru, The deepest Love in you for the Guru. faith, clean shoes, the ability to do enquirey and clearly understand
the teaching..and so on.

Ravi said...

Silence,
" to quote a few words of Annamalai Swami, his answer to a question "how to give up false idea that the mind is real?"

The ans: "The same way you give up wrong idea. You simply stop believing in it. if this does not happen spontaneously when you hear teh truth from a teacher"

Key point!-Stop Believing-This is the experiential progression-Belief....Faith......Conviction.......Direct Perception.(Interesting thing is that the word 'knowledge' gets associated at any of these levels !)

The Other Key point is to 'Give up'-Now,when it comes to a simple idea,it is easier to give it up.Not the same,with the other deeply embedded attachments and associations-THIS IS WHERE THE MAJOR PART OF THE JOURNEY LIES.without getting into the core of this(the ego) and this inmplies getting into the physical,instinctive, emotional level,apart from the 'borrowed' intellectual ideations-a process of purification and discipline-This is what Spiritual sadhana is all about.

This 'baggage' cannot be wished away that simply by saying 'Ego' is unreal.

Each person has his own 'mix' and this is what necessitates the various approaches-This is where the principle of Swadharma comes into play-As The Gita says that the Dharma of another however lofty is ill suited to one.

This is where the Guidance of a Guru becomes indispensable.

Study of Scriptures and all the rest may be useful but may also become impediments depending on how it is done-If done with earnestness one benefits,if done for scholarship and intellectual entertainment it will lead to speculation and stagnation.

Here I will also mention that in the upanishadic period that you referred to,the Disciples were encouraged more to observe and think for themselves-Like How Satyakama Jabala was sent to the Forest along with the cows-how when he came back,his face was shining like the sun.Like how Swetaketu was taught by Uddalaka the subtle nature of Self.No systematic ,detailed ,discursive methods were resorted to.It was more an 'intuitive' approach.
This was supplemented by a few seed thoughts to dwell upon and intuit.
This is vastly different than the present day 'intellectul' overdose of detailed commentaries on the Gita or the Upanishads-Reading into these texts more than what they originally might have meant-leaving very little room for any worthwhile enquiry on the part of the listeners.
Just the other day someone came to me for a recommendation on The Gita-What translation,what commentary he should read-I simply told him to read any standard publication WITHOUT COMMENTARY.Sri Krishna does not require any interpreter.The Key truths expounded there do not require any other commentator to throw 'his' light.This way one can flavour the 'original'.
Sorry,for this rambling.
-----------------------------------
Thanks very much.
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bookworm,
:)
1. Now you agree Conviction is required! Earlier you mentioned it is not required!! More over you agree that clear understanding of the teaching is also important! ah!
2. You say Reading Ramana is sufficient, its just like saying reading mandukya with karika is sufficient. you just replaced one scripture with another. What is the difference? you too are claiming that some scripture is a must! Ramana's upadesha saram if not an upanishad ! how does it matter whether it is 108 or 10008 ?
3. Regarding the "Silence" beyond --- if i could manage to be it, it would be just another story of a Realized soul to you. What is the use?
4. You feel ego is not alive only theoretically ... coz you have not studied it properly. Now, dont expect some experience to make it clear. Ego is jada [not alive] is right now ... an experience does not make it. One needs to "See" clearly how it is not alive right now and if it is not alive why it appears to be alive here!!

Love!
Silence

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:)
1. Yes Bhagavan did not read Scriptures with a purpose to study. but after studying them only he started to assist others. infact, many times he just pointed to a verse there.

2. The poor person whom you suggested to read BG without commentry, unfortunately his own mind does the commentry :). it would have been better if you would have suggested him to read it with Sankara's commentry! please ask him for a feed back and you shall most probably learn that he has not understood it or left it!

3. Yes, one needs to sit down and see within how what the shastras speak is true. That is why after stating the Truth or before stating it one may be asked to look within in solitude. That is very important. This constitutes purification of mind.

4. Ramana was such an exceptional saint... Tell me how many people Realized through his silent upadesha? They all said that they experienced Great peace and later they became normal. A temporary passing experience of peace is what many people got through silent upadesha. There is no doubt that Silence is the highest form of teaching but a person who could benefit from it may perhaps realize without the upadesha also ... just that his journey came to an end and he would realize any time just as Ramana himself Realized.


Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Anonymous(Silence),
You have repeated Swami Dayananda's words.

1."but after studying them only he started to assist others."
What is this "assistance"?It only served to satisfy their "curiosity".Not a single person claimed that any of "his study" 'assisted' by Bhagavan helped him.PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT NO ONE CAN GIVE REALIZATION TO "ANOTHER".Bhagavan was pretty clear on this.To Bhagavan there are no "others".

2." The poor person "
?????

3."please ask him for a feed back "
I do not subscribe to this sort of "Teaching"-If he is Earnest,he WILL BE GUIDED-with or without "commentary".

4."Tell me how many people Realized through his silent upadesha? "
Please refer to what I have already stated above in Bold letters(under 1).How do you know they became "normal"(Big assumption!!!).What is "Normal"?

Do you mean to say that this 'experience of Peace' is a passing thing and the fortunate ones who experienced it will go back to their 'routine' ways and forget all about this "strong scent" of potential lying in wait for their claiming?LIKE A SEED SOWN AND AWAITING ITS TIME TO SPROUT ,this will definitely haunt them and goad them,sustain them through the thick and thin of Life-THIS TRUTH HAS TO UNDERSTOOD BY LOOKING WITHIN-Not to be verified and validated by taking a poll on how many attended,how many passed,how many failed,etc.This is okay for academics and enrollments.

5." Ramana was such an exceptional saint... "
Thanks very much.

Ravi said...

Anonymous(silence),
This is to bring the focus back on two questions that I had addressed to you.This is not to evaluate or judge any individual-but to explore in a way that may be helpful to most of us(in the context of the 'ego' discussion!)
My Query:
"I wish to ask silence-Is this agreement or disagreement anything to do with 'silence'?Does Silence prompt a 'Detailed' discussion?"

Your response on 'Silence':
"Can Silence be attained through discussions? :) IF it is to be attained its not Silence at all.
Silence is The Background of all our activities and this whole world.

Silence is not keeping quiet. Silence is despite all thoughts, despite all actions ... another dimention about us. The Scriptures are there to introduce us to this."
----------------------------------
Is this Silence?My question was-What PROMPTS discussions?What is 'that',that is LOOKING OUT for Agreement or Disagreement?Surely it is the mind with a motive.As long as there is this 'motivation' ,there is no Silence.What one may have is a Quietude that may be 'Backdrop' of all activities-as you have mentioned.(Yes,I understand that this Quietude may remain despite the activities.)
Silence is not a 'Backdrop'-It is the only thing in which all things happen or do not happen.Just like Space is not the backdrop of matter.
----------------------------------The Great Masters used to warn people not to stagnate in such 'comfort' zones.Sri Ramakrishna used to ask,every preacher-"Have you received the mandate to preach"?even advanced souls like Bhagavan Dass,The Then Swami Dayananda of Arya Samaj were not spared!
-----------------------------------
Great Masters engaged in activities without this 'motivation' of the mind.How do we know(or get puzzled!),one may be prompted to ask?By this fact that they did not ALWAYS stick to 'consistency'-by this absence of a 'preProgrammed' consistency.To one seeker they may say that Reading Scriptures is helpful.To another they may say that it is not all required!THERE IS NO LOOKING OUT FOR ANY AGREEMENT OR DISAGREEMENT.Just what is truly needed for that seeker.

-----------------------------------
Such Great ones are a Rarity!
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:)

1. Yes. Ramana was Exceptional and let me be clear on this -- i am a Ramana Devotee.

2. Here, i am trying to discuss the importance of study of scriptures and proper study under a Guru who is an expert in Shastras.

3.Yes, no one can give Realization to another. Absolutely! This is what Buddha also said. And one has to LOOK WITHIN. Both these points are 100% true. So when the Shastras say "You are Purnam [Complete]", one has to look within and see how no thought, no idea, no feeling can touch our True Selves.
So how do shastras go ? Take Brahmajnanavali mala of Sankara for example... he explains as follows:
"dvandvadi sakshi rupoham" ... i am the witness of all dualities... so one needs to look within and Be the Witness of all Dualities ... see clearly how one is actually the witness of all dualities and cannot be touched by any of the dualities. "I am Good", "I am Bad" these are dualities. the "I" getting identified with one aspect of the dualities ... at once one has to clearly see how "I" is actually the witness of both these dualities. Thus one Remains as Self. These are indeed to be looked within. The Shastras are very useful tools.

4. Tripura Rahasyam explains the things beautifully, it says that the one who has not known the Truth, for him Sadhanas are totally useless. for the one who is liberated as well sadhanas are not needed. only for one who understood the Truth and is not doing nidhidyasa [meditation] on it that it is required.

5. Self inquiry is the ultimate Sadhana, if understood properly. But understanding of the Truth is still a must, as explained in 4.

Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Silence/Friends,

Here is the wonderful episode from 'Letters from Sri Ramanasramam' by Suri Nagamma-
"About a week or ten days ago, the Puri Sankaracharya
came here. His meeting with Bhagavan was something
unique. As the arrival of the Acharya was known beforehand,
the Sarvadhikari made all the required arrangements for the
occasion. As you know, Bhagavan has been staying only in
the Jubilee Hall during daytime. On the day of the arrival of
the Acharya, devotees spread a tiger skin on Bhagavan’s
couch and decorated it in a fitting manner. By the side of
the couch, a suitable seat was arranged for the Acharya also.
After Bhagavan had been out for his afternoon walk at 3
p.m. and had returned and resumed his seat on the couch,
the devotees as usual prostrated before him and sat down.
The Acharya arrived at the Ashram at the appointed hour,
went to his lodging in the Veda Patasala (School for
Scriptures), made his ablutions and then, accompanied by
his disciples, came to Bhagavan’s presence.
At the time of his coming, Bhagavan sat cross-legged in
his usual padmasana pose and with his characteristic silence.
The Acharya came to Bhagavan with his Danda (the staff of
an ascetic) and saluted him. Bhagavan nodded his head in
acceptance of the salutations and with great regard requested
him by signs to sit on the seat arranged for him. He did not,
however, sit there but sat down nearby on a deerskin and
began looking at Bhagavan with a fixed stare. Bhagavan too
looked at him with an unwavering and compassionate look.
Neither spoke. The audience also kept perfect silence like
the still waters of a great lake. For about half an hour, both
of them remained absolutely still like that, exemplifying the
relationship between devotion and compassion. .. As though the silence
were disturbed by those words, the Acharya got up, respectfully
asked for permission to leave, and went away to his lodging.
Seeing all this, I was reminded of Sri Dakshinamurthy
who came to the earth to initiate Sanaka, Sanandana and
others. “Vriddah Sishya Gurur yuva” (The disciples are old
and the Guru is young). Similarly, the Acharya is a very old
man and in contrast Bhagavan appeared to be a young man.
The place also appeared at the time to be similar. The flower
garden to the right was like Nandavanam; the Arunachala
Hill at the back like Mount Kailas; the almond tree to the
left, with its several branches, like a banyan tree; and the
open space in front with a sea of human faces which had
blossomed as if they were lotus flowers, like the great lake
Manasarovar. Like the saying, “Gurosthu Mouna Vyakhyanam
Sishyasthu Chhinnasamsayah” (The Guru’s sermon was ‘Silence’
and the doubts of the disciples were cleared). The Acharya
did not ask any questions that day. It seems that before he
came here, he had written regarding his doubts as to the
sentence in the Agama Sastra beginning with “Haragowri
Samyoge. . Avachhaya Yogah.” The Ashram authorities did not
reply to him giving Bhagavan’s views as they felt that the
matter could be explained when the Acharya came here.
Hence when the next day the Acharya asked Bhagavan about
it, Bhagavan replied saying, “What is there? It is a well known
thing. ‘Avachhaya Yogam’ means, when the force that is
engaged in doing things, i.e., mano vritti (action of the mind)
Letters from Sri Ramanasramam 493
becomes pure and merges in Hara (Lord Siva), and when
the shadow of the Self (Atma) falls on that force, it is called
‘Avachhaya Yogam’.” The Acharya said he did not understand
it. Bhagavan thereupon spread his benign look over him for
about half an hour. The Acharya’s eyes got closed
involuntarily. After experiencing indescribable bliss and with
tears of joy and with hands folded on his head, he said,
“Bhagavan, I have now understood it,” and assuring us that
he would be back by the time the Kumbhabhishekam
(consecration ceremony) is performed, he left on pilgrimage
to the south accompanied by his disciples."
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Ravi said...

Silence/Friends,
I had to prune the 'count of words' to post that wonderful excerpt from 'The Letters from Sri Ramanasramam'.This is just one of the countless examples of how Bhagavan's mere look could bestow 'UNDERSTANDING'(not just peace) that Lifetime of Scriptural study could not give.
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Ravi said...

Silence,
"2. Here, i am trying to discuss the importance of study of scriptures and proper study under a Guru who is an expert in Shastras. "
Requesting you to continue.
Namaskar.

silence_speaks said...

Dear Ravi,
:)
Usually When one hears the Truth, "Sakruta sravana matrena" [just by hearing once, Sankara says in Brahma jnanavali mala], one has to Realize!
But this does not happen. coz the mind is not yet purified. So prayers and various sadhanas are suggested for a person who understands the Truth but is not able to live it due to impurities of mind. So sadhanas are required here.

The kind of understanding you have mentioned is for a sadhaka who has understood and whose mind is almost purified ... only one glance of Ramana does the complete purification and he is done with !

for all others sadhana and study of scriptures is a must.
in any case study of scriptures cannot be avoided.

Love!
Silence

Anonymous said...

Reading Ravi's comments. Yes, we want to love and be loved in return. Nevertheless I think people
"fall" into self enquiry and meditation often because of the suffering attachment brings in oneself and others. It perhaps makes one more introspective.

Anonymous said...

Reading Ravi's comments. Yes, we want to love and be loved in return. Nevertheless I think people
"fall" into self enquiry and meditation often because of the suffering attachment brings in oneself and others. It perhaps makes one more introspective.

Bookworm said...

Hello Anonymous you say:

'Ramana himself was a maharshi ... so naturally his works also qualify as scriptures. So study of scriptures is a MUST.

We must not forget that Ramana himself did not teach until he read some scriptures. A Guru must have knowledge of Scriptures --- it is not me saying ... mundakaupanishad says it quite eloquently'
........
Isn't that another of 108 scriptures?...I hope you have studied them all.

As I have always said...all you need is Ramana and Teaching.
If you feel the need to look elsewhere..You are not ready or able to know Truth yet...in my opinion.

Bookworm said...

Hello Clemens you say:

'worth to think about. Such quotes rarely have anything to do with my personal convictions#
.........
That is a bit anonying.
Why post them then?
You just muddy the waters and they are already muddy enough.
Why not only post what you feel or know is true.
Much more helpful.

Bookworm said...

Ravi
The True reason I will not call Anonymous..'Silence' is that in my opinion it is to pretentious and silly a name to call a person.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... rotten food ...

A madman clings to samskaras, whereas a Jnani does not. That is the only difference between the two. Jnana is madness of a kind.

(...)

A man is running the course of his samskaras; when taught he is the Self, the teaching affects his mind and imagination runs riot. He feels helpless before the onrushing power. His experiences are only according to his imagination of the state “I am the Self”, whatever he may conceive it to be. Saktipata alone confers the true and right experience.

When the man is ripe for receiving the instruction and his mind is about to sink into the Heart, the instruction imparted works in a flash and he realises the Self all right. Otherwise, there is always the struggle.
TALK 275

Religion is a disease - The sages respond

.

Bookworm said...

Hello Ravi, Have you been away?...you havn't posted for a while...you say about my comment:

'There is no-one to realise.
Realisation is a myth of the unreal body/mind ego'

Body and Mind are very alive and kicking-very REAL-what else prompts all these questionings of 'others'.
The Mind is the power of the Self.It is as 'Real' or 'valid' as the Self -as much as sunlight is as real as the sun.
Is there mind apart from self?'
.....

Ravi...the body and ego/mind will die.
They 'appear' to be us, while they live..which is no great problem
as long as we are aware of the unborn, undying, not of this world..Being we are.

When we have this awareness and Knowledge of our true Self it is obvious:

The body is not ..us.. but is a 'tool' for our use and enjoyment.

It is also obvious the mind is not ..our real Being, Self or Heart..but is a 'tool' for our use and enjoyment.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bookworm,
:)
Let us proceed step by step.

If the ego is false, why kill it? Why should a non-existent thing die!! :)

Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Bookworm,
"You do not need coviction to Be or exist ..."
Not required for a vegetable existence.
Words(ideas) are not adequate,better to go behind and understand what is pointed out.

"There is no-one to realise.
Realisation is a myth of the unreal body/mind ego."
Body and Mind are very alive and kicking-very REAL-what else prompts all these questionings of 'others'.
The Mind is the power of the Self.It is as 'Real' or 'valid' as the Self -as much as sunlight is as real as the sun.
Is there mind apart from self?

silence_speaks said...

Dear Bookworm,
:)

If we have such conviction that we are not jnanis :) how can we ever realize?

A jnani is supposed to have conviction that he is the Self and not this body or mind.

Love!
Silence

Anonymous said...

I read the teachings of Poonjaji. But I don't find any similarity of it with the method of self-enquiry taught by Bhaghavan unlike the case of other diciples/devotees like Annamalia Swamigal, Muruganar, Lakshmana Swamy, etc.

Anonymous said...

Scott Fraundorf:

I don't know Bookworm, I kind of agree with Maharshi that Mahatmas do much more then others because they are not ego-centered. It's hard to find examples as an Ajnani because I can't tell who is even a Jnani, let alone what kind of change they are enacting, and in that Maharshi quote the Mahatmas were talked about as being silent yet still far more effective. And to Jiddu, maybe the fact that he spoke in front of the United Nations suggests that his state garnered him quite alot of influence. And I suspect that Jiddue was genuinely Realized, Because Nisargadatta Maharaj referred to him as Realized.

In my own experience, I know that the more I actually do stay silent, and blissful and Self-ward, my whole environments seem to change for the better, and the influence is inexplicable in light of a rational, logical, linear explanation. I trust that.

Sankarraman said...

I remember it somewhere having been said by David Godman of the work, " OZHIVIL ODUKKAM," having been translated into English by Munagala Venkatramayya, the author of the work, "Talks," and the manuscript being available in the archives. Could I have access to this in some form as I find this work very marvellous? I disagree with the statement purported to have been made by Sri K.Swaminathan that Munagala did not have a sufficient smattering of Tamil. It is his individual opinion. If one had access to this manuscript, one could have the advantage of better understanding this terse text. Of course, there might be some mistakes in the translation of Munagala; but they are only minor slips. Nor for that matter could one say of any rendering of being infalliable. It is interesting to note that the extraordinary, but unnoticed saint, the author of this work, had been influenced by Saiva teachers, no less a person than the revered Ramalinga Swamigal having given a forward to this work. One can understand the wonderful description of Avasthathriya ( Three states of waking, dream and sleep) from this work. One can also note that there is a pronounced difference in the style of advaita taught by Tamil saints from that of the traditional lore in the sanskrit language.

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