Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shiva Sitar - Spiritual music from Niladri kumar

Lovers Dream - Niladri kumar - A beautiful music

The story of a Vaishnavaite Saint - Villiputtur Alvar

This excerpt is a conversation between a seeker and a devotee of Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi known as Annamalai Swami from the book “Living by the words of Bhagavan – David Godman”.

Seeker :IT must have been wonderful to have had such a great Guru to guide you. Where can one find such a person today ?

Annamalai Swami : It is difficult for most people to find a qualified Guru because ordinary people cannot tell you who has realized the self. Bhagavan once told me a long story which illustrates this very well.

Many centuries ago there was a jnani (A realized one) in Srirangam, a town near Trichy. Every day this jnani went to the Cauvery river to take a bath. When he began the walk he would place his hands on the shoulders of two of his devotees to support himself. He did not like to touch them directly so he put some silk cloths on the devotees shoulders. Every day he walked like this for one mile to the river to take a bath. On his return journey he would support himself in the same way.

One day this jnani and his disciples were walking to the river as usual. In the distance they saw a Sudra (A member of a lowest caste) walking with his beautiful wife. Both of them appeared to be walking towards a festival that was taking place on the other side of the river. Because the sun was very hot, the wife could not walk on the hot sand. The man was helping her by putting one of his dhotis on the sand for he to walk on. In this way she was able to walk along without burning her feet. The disciples of the jnani observed all this and commented about it to the Guru.

‘See what a great attachment this man has for his wife! He is putting his dhotis on the ground one by one just to make a cool path for her’. On the way the couple and the jnani met.

The Guru, with great curiosity, asked the man,’I have never seen any husband treating her wife like this. Why are you behaving in this manner?’

The man replied,’She is my God. Just looking into her eyes makes me feel very happy. When I look at her cheeks, her face, or any other part of her body, I always feel very happy. She is also wearing lot of gold ornaments which make her look even morebeautiful. Evan her name if ‘Ponni (Pon means gold in tamil language). She is just like a goddess for me.

The Guru told him,’You have been deluded by the appearance of the body. What is in the eyes? Just water and skin. What is in the body? Just blood, muscles and bones. You have been deluded by the appearance of the body. I have never seen a man covered with so much maya’.

Then the Guru continued:’Only dogs like muscles and bones. Just like these animals you have lust for pieces of meat. In future, when she is affected by serious illness, her beauty will go. When she dies, there will be no body and no beauty. So why do you have such attachment for such a perishable body? This is not the purpose of a human birth. Instead of wasting your time worshipping this body, try to realize that which is immortal, the Self. That is the only purpose of human existence.’

This man had a mind that was ready for teachings about the Self. When he heard the Guru’s words he immediately decided to carry them out. He said to his wife,’You go your way. From now on I will be going with this Guru’

He went with the Guru and the women went back to her house to live alone. The husband followed the Guru to his ashram. It was a big ashram with a lot of buildings. The Guru needed a man who could stay awake all night to watch the ashram, so this new devotee became a night watchman. His name, was incidentally, Villi.

He soon became a very good devotee. Whatever the Guru told him to do, he would immediately do it with humility and love. Because of this attitude the Guru soon came to have a lot of love for him. The other disciples, who were all Brahmins, started to become jealous of Villi.

‘This man came after we did’, they said to each other. ‘He is a sudra, not a Brahmin, but our Guru seems to have lots of love for him.’

The jealousy of this disciples increased day by day. Eventually they decided they would make it appear that villi had done some crime so that the Guru would have to send him away. The Guru knew what was going on in the minds of these disciples so he himself decided to play a trick on them. One day the Brahman devotees washed their clothes and put them out to dry. While the clothes were drying, they went to sleep. During this time the Guru took all the clother and hid them.

When the disciples woke up and saw that all their clothes were missing, they came and told the Guru,’This villi has stolen all our clothes. You should send him out of the ashram.’

The Guru called Villi and told him.’All these people are against you. What can I do? Go back to your hime and meditate on the Self there. The Self is limitless. It is everywhere. You can do this meditation in the home. You don’t need to stay here to do it.’

Villi went back to his house without making any complaint. He obeyed the words of his Guru and spent his time meditating on the Self. He had no attachment to the world or his wife anymore. He just sat for most of each day and meditated.

One day Villi was walking towards the river when the Guru came there for his usual bath. The Guru could not hide his love for the disciple. He went up to Villi, embraced him, and asked him how he was getting on.

On seeing this, the Brahmin disciples became very jealous again.

‘What kind of Guru is this?’ they asked. “He acts with such partiality. He will not touch our bodies – he puts silk clothes between his hands and our shoulders – but he went and embraced this man. This man is a sudra who probably eats meat. He even lives with his wife. How can our Guru treat such a bad man like this?’

When the Guru came back to them they asked him why he had behaved like this. They even complained to him about his partiality.

In response, to show the purity of Villi, the Guru suggested that the disciples play a trick. The Guru said to them,’Tonight, go to Villi’s house and steal all the gold ornaments that his wife is wearing’.The diciples initially objected;’No! No! We cannot do that. Stealing is a sin.’

The Guru told them,’I am commanding this, so you must do it’. The disciples reluctantly agreed to carry out the order. In the middle of the night they broke into villi’s house. Villi was sleeping in one of the rooms and his wife was sleeping next to him, lying on her side. The disciples carefully took the ornaments from the outer hand.

While they were trying to remove the ornaments from the other hand, the wife woke up and began shouting,’Thieves! Thieves!’ The disciples ran away with all the gold they had managed to collect, handed it over to the Guru and gave him the account of what had happened.

Meanwhile, Villi woke up and saw that his wife was crying and shouting “Thieves! Thieves!’. Instead of commiserating with her, he told her,’You are a bad women!. You have too much attachment for gold. From now on I will not take any food from your hands. If I take food from such a women, who is so attached to gold, my meditation will be affected. What does it matter if thieves have stolen your gold ? You should not have been so attached to it. From now one cook your food on one place. I will cook my food on other place. Starting tomorrow, we will live separately’.

From that day onwards, two of them lived separately in the same house. The wife naturally became very upset at the treatment she was receiving. She complained to all her neighbours. She also went and complained to the Guru. ‘I did not do any harm’, she told everyone. ‘I never made any mistakes. I just shouted “Thieves! Thieves!’ when some thieves broke in and stole my gold. My husband had punished me for this. He will not even talk to me. You cannot see such a useless husband anywhere in the world.

Looking at the disciples, the Guru said, ‘Villi is seemingly living in samsara but he has no attachment to gold or money. He is not even attached to his wife. That is why I felt such love for him by the river. Now, after seeing how he lives, you can understand. You are living as Brahmins, as brahmacharis, but you have not yet reached the state of detachement. Villi is now living in the sahaja (natural) state (the state pf Self-realisation).

After Villi had attained that state of jnana many visitors started to come to see him. He simply lived in a hut and taught the path of jnana. After some time a small village was built around him to accommodate the visitors and the devotees. The village is called Villiputtur. It is still existing today. Villi eventually became known as Villiputtur Alvar and he is now revered as one of the greatest Vasinavaites saints.

So, who can tell who is a jnani and who is not ? These Brahmin disciples had spent years meditating with a jnani and doing service to him, but they were not able to recognize Villi’s greatness until the Guru pointed out to them. One has to have a pure mind and good karma to find a Guru and recognize him.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Self correction - Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi

The following is the excerpt from the book "Living by the words of Bhagavan - David Godman".  It has been narrated by the disciple of Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi known as Annamalai Swami.  The following :-

Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi taught that one should reform oneself rather than find fault with others. In practical terms this means that one should find the source of one’s mind rather than make complaints about other people’s minds and actions. I remember a typical reply that Bhagavan gave on this subject.

A devotee, who was quite intimate with Bhagavan, asked him, ‘Some of the devotees who live with Bhagavan behave very strangely. They seem to do many things that Bhagavan does not approve of. Why does Bhagavan not correct them ?’

Bhagavan replied,’Corrrecting oneself is correcting the whole world. The sun is simply bright. It does not correct anyone. Because it shines, the whole world is full of light. Transforming yourself is a means of giving light to the whole world.’

Once while I was sitting in the hall, someone complained to Bhagavan about one of the devotees who was sitting there;’He is not meditating here, he is just sleeping’.

‘How do you know’? retorted Bhagavan. ‘Only because you yourself gave up your meditation to look at him. First see yourself and don’t concern yourself with other people’s habits.’

Bhagavan sometimes used to say : ‘Some people who come here have two aims; they want Bhagavan to be perfect and they want Ashram to be perfect. To achieve this goal they make all kinds of complaints and suggestions. They don’t come here to correct themselves, they only come here to correct others. These people don’t seem to remember the reason why they came to Bhagavan in the first place. If they do one Namaskaram (Bowing down) to us they think that the ashram is then their kingdom. Such people think that we ought to behave like their slaves, only doing whatever they think we ought to do’.
design by Grumpy Cow Graphics | Distributed by Deluxe Templates | Blogger Styles