Thursday, February 14, 2013

The difference between Being in communication and Being in Communion - J.Krishnamurti

There is, I think, a great deal of difference between communication and communion. In communication there is a sharing of ideas through words, pleasant or unpleasant, through symbols, through gestures; and ideas can be translated ideologically, or interpreted according to one's own peculiarities, idiosyncrasies and background. But in communion I think there is something quite different taking place. In communion there is no sharing or interpretation of ideas. You may or may not be communicating through words, but you are directly in relationship with that which you are observing; and you are communing with your own mind, with your own heart. One may commune with a tree, for example, or with a mountain, or a river. I do not know if you have ever sat beneath a tree and really tried to commune with it. It is not sentimentality, it is not emotionalism: you are directly in contact with the tree. There is an extraordinary intimacy of relationship. In such communion there must be silence, there must be a deep sense of quietness; your nerves, your body are at rest; the heart itself almost comes to a stop. There is no interpretation, there is no communication, no sharing. The tree is not you, nor are you identified with the tree: there is only this sense of intimacy in a great depth of silence. I do not know if you have ever tried it. Try it sometime - when your mind is not chattering, not wandering all over the place, when you are not soliloquizing, when you are not remembering the things that have been done or that must be done. Forgetting all that, just try communing with a mountain, with a stream, with a person, with a tree, with the very movement of life. That demands an astonishing sense of stillness, and a peculiar attention - not concentration, but an attention which comes with ease, with pleasure.K

Monday, February 11, 2013

Whom are you addressing when you say ‘You’ and ‘I’? Story narrated by Devotee of Bhagavan Ramana on Ribhu and Nidhaga


An Andhra gentleman who listened to the story of Ashtavakra yesterday when Bhagavan related it, approached the Maharshi today morning and said, “Yesterday while relating the discussions between Ashtavakra and Janaka you made a reference to Ribhu Gita. What could be the reasons for that Gita coming into existence?”

“Oh, that. The initiation Ribhu Maharshi gave Nidagha is itself the Ribhu Gita,” said Bhagavan. “The story of how Ribhu tested Nidagha is very interesting. Is it not?” I said. On hearing me, that devotee requested Bhagavan to relate to him the story which Bhagavan did with a smile.*

“Though Ribhu had several disciples he had some special affection for Nidagha because of his thorough knowledge of the sastras, his pure mind and great devotion to the Guru. Ribhu taught him in great detail and clarity the essentials of Advaita philosophy. Even so, his sishya’s mind was steeped largely in the performance of karma and so he could not keep steady in the path of jnana taught by the Guru. He was performing all the rituals as laid down in Karma-Kanda and went to live in his native place. Even though he was living far away, the Guru’s concern for Nidagha was growing from day to day. So Ribhu was going to Nidagha’s place now and then to see how far he was getting disassociated from the Karma-Kanda (performance of karma). Once in a while he used to go incognito also.

“On one occasion, Ribhu went in the guise of a villager and found Nidagha standing and watching the king coming out of the Raj Bhavan in a royal procession. Nidagha did not notice Ribhu coming from behind. The latter wanted to test Nidagha and so said, ‘Why is there a big crowd here?’
Nidagha: (without looking behind and not knowing who the questioner was) The Rajah is going in a procession.

Ribhu: Oho! The Rajah is going in a procession! Who is the Rajah!

Nidagha: There you see. The one on the elephant; that is the Rajah.

Ribhu: What? What do you say? Did you say that the Rajah is on the elephant? Yes. I see both of them. But who is the Rajah and who is the elephant?

Nidagha: What is all this nonsense? You say you can see both. Don’t you know the one above is Rajah and the one below is the elephant?
Ribhu: What? What did you say? Please tell me clearly.

Nidagha: What a nuisance! It is difficult to explain anything to a man like you. How often should I tell you the same thing? Now listen. The one above is the Rajah and the one below is the elephant. Have you understood it now at least?

Ribhu: I am sorry. Please don’t get angry with a simpleton like myself. I pray, one more word. You say above and below. My dear sir, please tell me what exactly it means.

Nidagha: (With great anger) How funny! You can see the one above; that is the Rajah. The one below is the elephant. What nonsense do you mean by saying that you do not know what is above and what is below?

Ribhu: Yes. Yes! It is true. I see both. But I do not understand what is meant by above and below.

Nidagha: (Unable to contain his anger) What nonsense! If you cannot understand that which is obvious and visible the only way to make you understand is to give you a practical demonstration. I shall do so now. Bend down. You will then understand everything fully.

“That rustic labourer bent down as directed. Nidagha sat on him and said, ‘Now, now look. Do you understand? I am above you like the Rajah, and you are below me, like the elephant. Is it all right? Do you understand clearly?’

Ribhu: No. I have not yet understood. I am still unable to know the meaning. You say you are above me like the Rajah and that I am under you like the elephant. I am able to understand to the extent that the Rajah is above and the elephant is below.
You say, ‘You’ and ‘I.’ That I am not able to understand. Whom are you addressing when you say ‘You’ and ‘I’? Please explain this clearly in some detail.
“He said all that in a calm and dignified tone.

“When Nidagha heard this question aimed at him pointedly, he realised the nonexistence of separate entities as ‘You’ and ‘I’ and that they merge in the consciousness of the Self. So instinctively, he realised his mistake, jumped down and fell at the feet of the rustic, who, he felt could be no other than his Guru as he had made his mind turn from outer distinctions to the TRUTH that is the Self. He folded his hands and expressed his deep gratitude for the great revelation and thanked him for all that he had done for him.

Ribhu again explained to him the state of Reality and taught how to abide in the Self. That teaching is Ribhu Gita. In that Gita the Self and the Self alone is dealt with at great length.” So said Bhagavan.

25th April, 1948, Letters from Sri Ramanasramam

A seven year old kid, asks Bhagavan about Meditation, saying Nobody is answering him. A sharing from Bhagavan Ramana's life.

Question : Amidst family, job and so many other things and tension how to keep your mind on one thought?

Answer : It can be explained by an anecdote. A seven year old boy went to Bhagawan and asked,

“Tatha, everybody talks about meditation (dhyana), what is it? Nobody tells me what it is but they put me off saying that I am too young to understand.Won’t you tell me about it?”

Bhagavan replied “OK, I will tell you”. At that time somebody brought a lunch box having plenty of dosas for Bhagawan. Bhagawan gave one dosa to this boy and said “Do not eat it now”. He laid down some conditions for eating that dosa.
He said,

''When you begin to eat you will not stop until I say “Stop” and nothing should be left when I say ‘Stop”.

Naturally the boy had to be careful. The boy was looking at Bhagawan and eating. He started with big chunks first and then with small ones waiting continuously for Bhagawan’s indication to stop. While eating, his whole attention was focussed on Bhagawan as he did not know when and how Bhagavan will ask him to stop.

Bhagavan said :“This is meditation.You were doing an activity viz, eating dosa but kept your attention on me; similarly do all your worldly activities but keep your constant attention on God”.

From the book "Living happily forever"
by Swami Shantananda Puri


When Bhagavan was still on the hill, a postcard came in which the sender wrote: "I am a poor elementary school teacher. My mother is old and my salary is so small that I cannot look after her properly. Kindly see that I get a raise."

Bhagavan laughed and said: "Well, why not?"

Another card came after some time in which he wrote: "By your grace my salary was increased. Now there is a vacancy in a higher grade. If I am given that grade, I shall earn more and make my mother very happy."

Bhagavan had a good laugh and said: "Good."

Again after some days, another card: "My mother is bedridden and there is nobody to nurse her. If I could get married, my wife would look after her. But I am a poor man. Who will give me his daughter in marriage? And where shall I get the money for expenses? Bhagavan may kindly arrange."

Bhagavan laughed and said: "Well, let it be so." After some months another postcard came: "By your kindness I was married quite easily. My wife is already with me. My mother wants a grandchild before she dies. Please provide.

"Why not?" said Bhagavan.

After some months another card: "My wife gave birth to a child, but she has no milk for it. I cannot afford milk for the baby. Please get me a promotion." Then another card: "I got a promotion and an increment. The child is doing well. I owe everything to your kindness."

Bhagavan remarked: "What have I done? It is his good karma that all goes well with him." After some days another card: "Mother died. She worshiped you before her death.

"Well," said Bhagavan. After a month, another card: "Swami, my child has died."

"Sorry," said Bhagavan. Another month had passed and a card came saying: "My wife is pregnant again." Then another card: "My wife gave birth to a child. Both died."

"Ram, Ram,'' said Bhagavan. "Everything seems to be over." Then another card: "Due to family trouble my work was very irregular and I was dismissed. I am completely destitute now.''

Bhagavan said, heaving a deep sigh: "All that came has gone; only his Self remained with him. It is always like this. When all goes, only the Self remains."

Source: Krishna Bhikshu , "The Bhagavan I Knew" in the Ramana Smriti Souvenir.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Saga of Tale between Ashtavakra Muni and King Janaka. Narrated by Bhagavan Ramana.


A devotee who heard the story of Ashtavakra two days ago, asked Bhagavan yesterday morning, “The Ashtavakra Muni, whom you mentioned yesterday, is he the same as the one who gave upadesa(teaching or initiation) to Janaka?”

“Yes,” said Bhagavan. “The Ashtavakra Gita is well-known in Northern India but not in the south. Only recently, Viswanathan translated it into Tamil.”

An Andhra gentleman, who was present, said, “Is that Gita, in Telugu?”

“Yes, it is in Telugu. More than that Gita, the conversation between Ashtavakra and Janaka, which was the cause of that upadesa, is very interesting,” said Bhagavan, and he then told us the story:

“As you are probably aware, all the kings of Mithila are known as Janakas. Amongst them, one Janaka, before he gained Self-knowledge heard one of the pandits reading, in the course of his studies, the following passage:

‘Knowledge of the Brahman can be gained even in such a short time taken for placing the second foot on the second stirrup after putting one’s foot in the first stirrup.’ He asked the pandit whether such a thing was true. The pandit said that it was possible and there was not the slightest doubt about it. The king said that he would immediately send for his horse and test the correctness of what was stated in the Scriptures (sastras) and that the pandit would be held responsible for it. The pandit said that he was not capable of proving the correctness of the statement, but asserted that what was stated in the book was absolutely correct. The king got angry and said that if it could not be proved, the said sentence should be removed from the text. Even then the pandit was not afraid and so said that he had not the slightest doubt about the truth of what was stated in the scriptures and that he would not therefore say anything against it.

“The king immediately put the pandit in jail and sent for all the pandits in the city. When he asked them about the correctness of the statement in the scriptures, they all said that it was correct. But when he asked them if they could prove it, they also, like the first pandit said that they were not capable of proving the truth of the statement. He therefore put them all in jail and also ordered that whichever brahmin entered his kingdom should be brought before him; and if they too replied in the same way as the others, they
should also be put in jail.

The news spread throughout the country and so no brahmin ventured to set his foot into the kingdom. After some time, Ashtavakra Muni happened to pass that side and, while he was about to take rest under a tree, saw two Brahmins. He enquired of them as to who was the king of that city.

They replied, ‘What do you propose to ask of that king? Do you intend to enter the city?’ When he said that he was thinking of going there and that was why he was asking them about the king, they said, ‘Swami, the king that rules this city has imprisoned a number of Brahmins and we would advise you not to go there. If any unfortunate brahmin goes into this city, he will be asked, “Can you prove that within the time taken to put both feet in the stirrups of the saddle of a horse, one can become a Realized Soul as stated in the scriptures?” And if he says he cannot prove it, he will be put in jail.’

Amused at that, he said, ‘Oho! Is that the way of things? Then do one thing. Carry me in a palanquin and take me to the king. I shall prove that the statement in the scriptures is correct and get all the pandits released.’ They were pleased and so immediately brought a palanquin, seated the Muni in it, carried it themselves and set it down before the king. The king was then sitting in the Durbar hall.

“As soon as he saw the shining face of the Muni, the king felt like worshipping him. Immediately he prostrated before him, stretching himself full length on the floor, with his eight limbs touching the ground, and with folded hands, said,

‘Swami, what is the purpose of your visit to this place? If there is anything I can do, please let me know.’ Satisfied with the respect shown to him, the Muni said, ‘What fault have the pandits committed that you have put them all in jail? Please tell me this first. Then we can consider other things.’

‘They could not prove that the statement in the scriptures that Self-knowledge can be obtained within the short space of time taken by a person to place his other foot in the second stirrup after the first foot has been placed in the first stirrup. I have therefore put them all in jail. I have done so to find out the truth of that statement,’ said the king. ‘How absurd!’ said the Muni, ‘can we say that what is stated in the scriptures is untrue merely because it cannot be proved? I declare that each word therein is true,’ said the Muni.

‘If that is so, I shall send for the horse just now. I pray that you favour me by proving that what is said in the scriptures is true,’ said the king.

‘As your desire is a good one, I am happy. But I suppose you know that initiation into realization cannot be given to one who is not fit for it. If you want that initiation you must have the fullest confidence in me and first release the pandits who are in jail. After that, if you come to the forest on a horseback, I shall judge your fitness and then give you upadesa (initiation)’ said the Muni.

“When he heard the words of the Muni, which inspired great confidence, the king’s eagerness increased vastly and so the prisoners were freed immediately. Ashtavakra was made to sit in the palanquin, the king himself rode on horseback, and went to the forest with his ministers and other followers.

Then, when they stopped under a banyan tree, the Muni said, ‘Why not send away the whole retinue? Why all these for the initiation?’ Accordingly, the king sent them all away and unwilling to waste any further time, obtained the permission of Ashtavakra and placed one foot on the stirrup and as he was about to raise the other foot, the Muni said,

‘Wait, wait! Before you raise the other leg you must reply to my questions.’ On the king agreeing to it, the Muni asked, ‘In the scriptures under reference, is there merely the sentence that Realization can be obtained by one within the short time of putting his other foot in the stirrup, or is
there something else also?’ asked the Muni.

The king said that there were many other things also. When the Muni asked if it was also stated there that for obtaining realization, a Guru also would be necessary, he replied in the affirmative. ‘If that is so, why do you ask for initiation without first accepting me as your Guru?’ said the Muni to which the king replied that as stated in the scriptures he straightaway accepted the Muni as his Guru. ‘What about Gurudakshina (gift to the Guru as fee)?’ asked the Muni. The king said that he was at the very moment placing at the feet of the Guru his body, his mind, his wealth, and everything that he possessed in this world and requested him to accept them.

“As soon as he heard that, Ashtavakra went into a bush close by and hid himself. The king with his one foot in the stirrup, remained as he was without moving. The sun set. His ministers and others, anxious at his not returning home, went to the forest. They found the palanquin but no Ashtavakra. The king was there motionless like a statue. They all stood aghast at the sight. The minister went to the king and asked him the reason for his remaining motionless but received no reply. Then they thought that the Muni must have used some black magic and so began searching for him, but he was not found anywhere. Giving up all hopes of finding him, they put the king in the palanquin, took him back to the palace and made him lie down on a cot. He lay on the bed in the same position as he was placed on it and remained motionless. The ministers were very much grieved over it and called all the cavalry men, and ordered them to go in search of the Muni with instructions not to return without him.

“Not only did the king not eat anything, he did not utter a single syllable. He would not even gulp down the water that was poured into his mouth. Seeing his state, the queen and other relatives of the king got overpowered with grief. The news spread amongst the people and a feeling of terror arose amongst them. Even at sunrise, the king did not get up nor did the Muni turn up. While everyone was anxiously waiting for some news, one of the servants turned up towards sunset together with Ashtavakra seated in a palanquin.

As soon as they saw the Muni, the ministers were wild with anger. But afraid that the work ahead would be spoiled if they expressed their resentment, they respectfully enquired of the Muni if any black magic had been practised on the king.

‘What do I gain by practising black magic on your king? Anyway, why not ask your master himself?’ said the Muni.

‘We did ask, but the king is unable to speak. He has not taken food, nor even water, for the last two days. Please somehow see that he eats something’, said the ministers. Then the Muni approached the king and said ‘Rajah!’

Immediately the king said, ‘What orders, swami? What is that I have done against you?’ The Muni asked, ‘Who said that you have done anything against me? You have done nothing. It is all right. Don’t worry. Now get up and eat,’ said the Muni.

“The king got up, ate and sat again motionless. ‘Please have mercy on us and restore our king to his original condition,’ said the ministers. The Muni promised to do so. After sending them all out, he bolted the doors behind them, and approaching the king, asked him why he was sitting motionless like that.

Immediately the king said, ‘Swami, I have no rights whatsoever over this body. These legs and these hands are not mine; this tongue is not mine; these eyes, ears and all the senses — none of them are mine; this kingdom is not mine. In truth, I surrendered to you my body, my mind and my wealth. Without your orders, I am not competent to do anything. That is why I am like this,’ said the king.

“Hearing these words of faith and devotion, the Muni was pleased and satisfied and placing his hand on the head of the king said,

‘My dear man, to know whether you are fit to be a Mukta or not, I had to give you these preliminary tests. I have now secured a disciple who is fit for initiation. You are now Brahma Swarupa (of the nature of Brahman), a realised soul; one who has done successfully all that has to be done; one that has received all that has to be received.’ The king thereupon prostrated before the Muni wondering within himself how he had become Brahma Swarupa though he was fully enveloped in ignorance, and asked:

Katham jnanam avapnothi Katham muktir bhavishyathi Vairagyamcha katham praptham Etat bruhi mama prabho.

Swami, please tell me how realization can be obtained, how liberation is secured and how non-attachment is gained.

“Ashtavakra Gita is in the form of questions and answers, Janaka got initiated into Self-knowledge. As a result of that initiation, the whole night passed as though it were but a few moments.

Immediately after sunrise, as the door was opened the ministers and others came in and were overjoyed to find the king in great ecstasy. Then the great Muni enquired of the king if he still had any doubts about obtaining knowledge within the short space of placing the other foot on the stirrup as mentioned in the scriptures and that if he had any, he might as well send for his horse so that the statement could be proved. With a heart full of gratitude and devotion, the king said that there was no room in his mind for any sort of doubt and that what was said in the scriptures was absolutely true. He again expressed his gratitude for the great favor shown to him.

That is the story. The Ashtavakra Gita, like the Ribhu Gita, teaches about the Supreme state of Realization. That is to say, when Janaka surrendered his body, mind and wealth unreservedly to the Guru, he became absorbed in his own Self and went into the state of samadhi. In other words, by teaching him the Gita, he was told that that was his real state and that he could remain established in that natural state.”

“It is the same as Vasishta preached to Rama, is it not?” I said.
“Yes. That is so. But in the Vasishtam it is in the shape of stories. Only in this and in the Ribhu Gita the nature of the Self (Brahma Swarupa) has been enunciated in greater detail,” said Bhagavan.

24th April, 1948, Letters from Sri Ramanasramam

Short and Sweet. Osho on Sex.

When you are in sexuality you don't bother much to whom you are making love -- any body will do. You just need a woman or a man, any body will do. You just need the other's body. In love, any body won't do, anybody's body won't do. You need a person who is in deep love with you, who has a certain affinity and harmony with you, in whose presence your heart starts singing, a deep bell starts ringing... in whose presence you feel a blessing. Then only is it possible for you to make love to the other person. To make love is possible only if the meeting -- the inner meeting -- has happened. Otherwise it is simply impossible to think, even to imagine that you are making love to a person you don't love. Osho

The Fortunes and Mis-fortunes of Life. Its is our perspective of looking at life. A sharing from Sadhguru.

Sadhguru puts things in perspective and tells us that for one who is on the spiritual path, fortune and misfortune are of a completely different nature.


If so-called misfortunes strike, you must learn to take them in your stride because there may be a deeper intelligence to these misfortunes. What is fortune and what is misfortune is a social thing. But in terms of life, what is fortune and misfortune is of a completely different nature.

Harvest Time

After I got into teaching, I spent all my money very rapidly, traveling and organizing programs. It was the tradition in those days that whatever nominal fee was collected, at the end of the program, we would show the balance sheet to the participants, and call an old age home, orphanage, or some other people who needed money and donate it to them. After about three-and-a-half years, I had finished up my savings, so I had to make a living. I decided to grow cabbage because it was doing great in the market at that time. A friend gave me a few acres on his farm, and I gave myself ninety days to grow the crop, including preparation and harvesting.

Hybrid cabbage seeds are expensive, so I first grew them in a tray inside the house. After they all came up, I took each one of them and transplanted them. If you plant them in the day, their survival rate is low. So, after sunset, I would sit and work till 1 AM, planting with a torch light. I did all this backbreaking work and in about 12 to 15 days, tiny little cabbages were forming. I would just sit there in the morning mist waiting to see the first light fall on these cabbages. It was the most incredible scene. It almost felt like delivering 10,000 babies. Every day, each one of them was getting bigger. I sat up in the morning because one thing, I liked to watch them. Another thing, I didn’t want somebody to eat them up. I had such an incredible experience growing them. The cabbages all sized up nicely and I was counting money in my head.

Though it was such a beautiful experience to grow the cabbage, when the time to harvest came, the vegetable prices crashed. It wasn’t even worth harvesting and loading them on a truck because the sale price wouldn’t even cover the transport costs. So I just told the villagers, “Come and take five cabbages per family.” Still there were plenty. So I just left them to the cattle. When I saw the cattle eating the cabbage, initially I thought about all the time and money that had gone into the cabbages. Then I saw the cattle were so happy. They had not eaten anything so juicy in their life. So I thought, “Okay, what the hell!”
When it is time to harvest, you must just gather what comes.
When you are harvesting something for the market, sometimes it can become a bitter experience. For most people, they might have enjoyed their college time, but the final phase of going to the examination is when they are most tense and bitter. That is because they are harvesting for the market. We are harvesting to get somebody’s approval either in terms of money or marks or whatever else. If that is not the issue, then harvest is great.

When it is time to harvest, you must just gather what comes. It will all be worthwhile if you simply gather. What a great thing that the market fell on that day because the way I was then, if the market had worked, I would have thought, “Okay, let me grow one more crop. Let me try to squeeze the next crop in 60 days instead of 90 days.” And then maybe one more, and maybe I would have become a very rich cabbage farmer! How fortunate the market crashed and it all got washed out.

What is fortune, what is misfortune?

The spiritual process is not about causing a particular event. It is about causing a certain way of being that whatever the situation, it turns into a fortune. Those who look at certain situations as fortune and certain other situations as misfortune are the unfortunate people on the planet because then you are a slave of those situations.

Once you are beginning to touch another dimension of energy, intelligence, and possibility, you should learn to count your fortune and misfortune in a completely different way. “Where are my cabbages, where are my cabbages?” That is not the way to look at it. The cabbages were eaten by the cows, but what a fortune it was that they were eaten by the cows.

If you keep counting your fortunes and misfortunes by the same old social standards as you have been trained to do for a lifetime, you will continuously count in misfortune when there is no misfortune. The greatest misfortune for a human being is when even if fortune falls upon him, he thinks it is a misfortune. And that is happening to too many people.

Source Link :

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When you see Sadhguru, you become devotional. When you see someone else, you act like stubborn. This is not going to work.

Question: Can one not attain liberation and truth, this changing, eternal movement of life, even though one belongs to a hundred societies? Can one not have inward freedom, leaving the links outwardly unbroken? J.Krishnamurti answers

Krishnamurti: Realization of truth has nothing to do with any society. Therefore you may belong or you may not. But if you are using societies, social or religious bodies, as a means to understand truth, you will have ashes in your mouth.

Can one not have inward freedom, leaving the links outwardly unbroken?" Yes, but along that way lie deceit, self-deception, cunning and hypocrisy, unless one is supremely intelligent and constantly aware. You can say, "I perform all these ceremonies, I belong to various societies, because I don't want to break my connection with them. I follow gurus, which I know is absurd, but I want to have peace with my family, live harmoniously with my neighbour and not bring discord to an already confused world." But we have lived in such deceptions so long, our minds have become so cunning, so subtly hypocritical, that now we cannot discover or understand truth unless we break these ties: We have so dulled our minds and hearts that, unless we break the bonds that bind us and thereby create a conflict, we cannot find out if we are truly free or not. But a man of true understanding - and there are very few - will find out for himself. Then there will be no links that he desires either to retain or to break. Society will despise him, his friends will leave him, his relations will have nothing to do with him; all the negative elements will break themselves away from him, he will not have to break away from them. But that course means wise perception; it means fulfilment in action, not postponement. And man will postpone as long as mind and heart are caught up in fear.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ramana Maharishi inputs on Aurobindo's teachings


Q: Sri Aurobindo believes that the human body is not the last on this earth. Establishment in the Self, according to him, is not perfectly attained in a human body, for Self-knowledge does not operate there in its natural way. Therefore the vijnanamaya sarira [the body made of pure knowledge] in which Self-knowledge can work naturally must be brought down on this earth.

M: Self-knowledge can shine very well in the human body, so there is no need of any other body.

Q: Sri Aurobindo believes that the vijnanamaya sarira will not be attacked by disease, will not grow old, and will not die without one’s desire.

M: The body itself is a disease. To wish for a long stay of that disease is not the aim of the jnani. Anyhow, one has to give up identification with the body. Just as the I-am-the-body consciousness prevents one from attaining Self-knowledge, in the same way, one who has got the conviction that he is not the body will become liberated even if he doesn’t desire it.

Q: Sri Aurobindo wants to bring the power of God into the human body.

M: If, after surrendering, one still has this desire, then surrender has not been successful. If one has the attitude, ‘If the higher power is to come down, it must come into my body’, this will only increase identification with the body. Truly speaking, there is no need of any such descent. After the destruction of the I-am-the-body idea, the individual becomes the form of the absolute. In that state, there is no above or below, front or back.

Q: If the individual becomes the form of the absolute, then who will enjoy the bliss of the absolute? To enjoy the bliss of the absolute, we must be slightly separate from it, like the fly that tastes sugar from a little distance.

M: The bliss of the absolute is the bliss of one’s own nature. It is not born, nor has it been created. Pleasure that is created is destroyed. Sugar, being insentient, cannot taste itself. The fly has to keep a little distance to taste it. But the absolute is awareness and consciousness. It can give its own bliss, but its nature cannot be understood without attaining that state.

Q: Sri Aurobindo wants to bring down to earth a new divine race.
M: Whatever is to be attained in the future is to be understood as impermanent. Learn to understand properly what you have now so that there will be no need of thinking about the future.

Q: Sri Aurobindo says that God has created various kinds of worlds and is still going to create a new world.

M: Our present world is not real. Each one sees a different imaginary world according to his imagination, so where is the guarantee that the new world will be real? The jiva [the individual person], the world and God, all of these are relative ideas. So long as there is the individual sense of ‘I’, these three are also there.

From this individual sense of ‘I’, from the mind, these three have arisen. If you stop the mind, the three will not remain, but Brahman alone will remain, as it remains and abides even now. We see things because of an error. This misperception will be rectified by enquiring into the real nature of this jiva. Even if this jiva enters Supermind, it will remain in the mind, but after surrendering the mind, there will be nothing left but Brahman. Whether this world is real or unreal, consciousness or inert, a place of happiness or a place of misery, all these states arises in the state of ignorance. They are not useful after realization.

The state of Atmanishta [being fixed in the Self], devoid of the individual feeling of ‘I’, is the supreme state. In this state there is no room for thinking of objects, nor this feeling of individual being. There is no doubt of any kind in this natural state of being-consciousness-bliss.
So long as there is the perception of name and form in oneself, God will appear with form, but when the vision of the formless reality is achieved there will be no modifications of seer, seeing and seen. That vision is the nature of consciousness itself, non-dual and undivided. It is limitless, infinite and perfect.
When the individual sense of ‘I’ arises in the body, the world is seen. If this sense is absent, who then will see the world?

Question: How does a person become free of their bondages when they are in a family where so many people are dependent on them and there are certain chains around you? Sadhguru answers

Sadhguru: Maybe you cannot release your body from the chains but you can definitely release your mind from the chains. That is in your hands, isn’t it? Right now, maybe you cannot take Sanyas and live in an ashram – your husband, wife or your children will not allow you, but you becoming mentally free, can anybody stop you? No. The bondages have come only because of yourself and nobody else. Freedom does not mean we have to change all our situations. We do not have to turn our life or situations upside down to become free because one situation is not better than some other situation; don’t ever believe that. It is just a choice. Somebody chooses to live in this situation and somebody else chooses to live in another situation; everything has its pluses and minuses. The important thing is how you are within yourself, isn’t it? So, you may not be able to change your external situation immediately, maybe there is nothing wrong with it and there is no need to change it. But you should change your inner situation because it is bothering you.

This mind can become a ladder to divinity, it can make you ecstatic. Many times this mind made you happy, isn’t it? And many times it made you very unhappy, fearful, tense and frustrated. So the same mind is doing both. It is doing whatever it wants because this little instrument of a mind is not in your hands, it has gone out of control. You can take your car and reach the next city or you can ram it straight into a tree. It is left to you. So, it is just about what you do with it. You can reach very far if you keep the controls in your hands.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

This mountain is the home of these wild animals, and we are their guests. - Ramana Maharishi

The other day I learnt of one more incident in Bhagavan’s life on the hill and so I am writing to you about it. When Bhagavan was living in Virupaksha Cave, the roar of a leopard was heard from the place where drinking water was available nearby. By the time the scared devotees had gathered some plates and drums in order to make a noise and drive the leopard away, it had drunk the water it required and gone away with one more roar. Bhagavan looked at those frightened devotees and said to them in an admonishing tone, “Why do you worry so much? The leopard intimated to me by the first roar that she was coming here. After drinking water she told me by another roar that she was going. She went her own way. She never meddled with your affairs. Why are you so scared? This mountain is the home of these wild animals, and we are their guests. That being so, is it right on your part to drive them away?” Perhaps with the intention of relieving them of their fears, Bhagavan added, “A number of siddha purushas (holy beings) live on this mountain. It is perhaps with a desire to see me that they come and go, assuming various shapes. Hence, you see it is not right for you to disturb them.”

From that time onwards, the leopard used to come frequently to that place to drink. Whenever the roar was heard, Bhagavan used to say, “There you are! The leopard is announcing her arrival.” Then again he used to say, “The leopard announces her departure.” In this manner he used to be quite at ease with all the wild animals.

One devotee asked Bhagavan whether it is true that, when living on the mountain, he was friendly with snakes, and one snake crawled over his body, one climbed up his leg and so on. In reply, Sri Bhagavan said:
“Yes, it is true. A snake used to come to me in all friendliness. It used to try to crawl on my leg. At its touch my body used to feel as though it was tickled, so I withdrew my leg; that is all. That snake used to come of its own accord and go away.”

- Letters 1st January, 1946

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Friday, February 1, 2013

A narration of a women of strenght - Ramani Ammal, a devotee of Ramana Maharishi.


She carries herself with a special dignity, born from the peace of deep devotion. This is what we feel when Ramani Ammal walks past us at Sri Ramanasramam. The spiritual aspirations which consumed her since her childhood have blossomed into a graceful flower of virtue and self poise. In this interview, videotaped in December of 1989, she briefly told us her life story.

Questioner: Please tell us about how you first came to Ramanasramam.

Ramani Ammal: My chosen deity in childhood was Lord Krishna. From my youth I had very pleasant dreams and would sometimes see Lord Krishna or other familiar deities in these dreams. But at the age of sixteen or seventeen I once saw a strange sage-like person coming down a hill and was captivated by his grandeur. I later came to realize that this sage was Sri Bhagavan.

After having that vision of Bhagavan in my dream, a certain fear that had gripped me for some time all of a sudden disappeared. My relatives and others noticed this and commented how I was now moving about freely. This was Bhagavan's first influence on me.

Also, at the age of sixteen I was reading the Jnana Vasishta. While reading it I experienced that I was enveloped in jyoti, a bright white light. I thought that if this is what happens just by reading it, how much more wonderful would it be if we practised dhyana and the other spiritual injunctions taught in the book. I used to be thrilled simply by reading those ancient Tamil scriptures. But it wasn't until I was twenty before I got hold of a book on Bhagavan.

Kumaraswami Raja, the Chief Minister of Madras, who was a cousin of mine, brought me Bharati's biography of Bhagavan, Ramana Vijayam, in 1946. Mrs. Kumaraswami Raja was very fond of me, and though other relatives prohibited me from reading spiritual books, she used to stealthily supply me with them. The day she sent this book over with a boy, I was sitting in the house with a friend, a headmistress, who though Christian, was sincerely interested in our religion.

The boy who brought the book said, "Mami said to hand this book to you." I got up and went up to the gate to receive it. The moment I touched the book I lost body consciousness. My whole body became stiff. I somehow managed to return and sit next to my friend. Noticing my plight, she commented that I shouldn't read such books that make me forget myself. Everyone was complaining about this same thing, for in those days most of the time I would be sitting quietly, alert to my spiritual aspirations. All thought that I was simply idle with no work to do.

With difficulty I opened Ramana Vijayam to the first page and was met by the photo of the young Ramana. I became speechless. My friend, who was somewhat alarmed at my condition, had to leave and I somehow saw her off. With great reverence I took the book and started reading it. As I read, my eyes kept closing involuntarily, and I was drawn within, which I later came to know was meditation. Bhagavan taught me meditation in this way.

After reading this book, I felt I should leave home and go meet Ramana Maharshi. It is my family custom that women never even leave the house, not to mention leaving the town. That vairagya, or desperate determination to leave my house for spiritual fulfilment, was implanted in me by this book; and I am sure it was by the direct influence of Sri Bhagavan himself.

Because of my intense desire to go and see Bhagavan, my younger brother was moved to help me. He is a very pious person, with a soft nature. With his help I secretly left home and reached Tiruvannamalai and the holy feet of Sri Bhagavan. But after reaching there, I was overcome with a sense of guilt for running away from home. This feeling of guilt, and a sense of bringing ill fame to the respected Rajagopalan family, was uppermost in my mind when I first came into Bhagavan's presence. I felt depressed because of this.

When I arrived I went to the office to inquire where Bhagavan was. I was told that Bhagavan was near the well. When I came near the well, I saw a thatched shed next to it and all I could see in it was a flaming fire. I thought to myself, "I asked for directions to go to Bhagavan and they have sent me to a sacrificial place where there is a fire." It was only after a few minutes that I saw Bhagavan's comely form emerge from those flames. Even when I had the Jyoti Darshana I was blaming myself, thinking that I had this delusion of seeing a fire instead of Bhagavan because I was foolish enough to come out into the hot sun. It was only afterwards I realized Bhagavan had bestowed upon me this great boon of Jyoti Darshana. Next I heard Bhagavan saying to me, "You have now come home. Why don't you sit down?"

Coming from a family where women never go out, and having never gone out myself, I did not know how to behave in company. When Bhagavan said "You have now come home. You can sit down," I sat down right in front of him and not in the place reserved for women. For three days I kept sitting in front of him and all the while the feeling of guilt for running away from home was haunting me. I kept sitting in front of Bhagavan, not knowing how to act or ask questions, or anything else.

On the third day I heard Bhagavan telling someone: "I also ran away from my home, and at the railroad station I was so frightened that anyone could have identified me as a runaway, caught hold of me and sent me home. I ran away like a thief." When Bhagavan narrated this, it completely wiped out all my guilt feelings from that moment onwards. This was an act of pure grace directed towards me. It is very strange that by those few words Bhagavan entirely removed any residual fear in me. Bhagavan later said that sometimes you have to do a wrong thing to achieve the ultimate right thing. He even commented that there is nothing wrong in a woman running away at the tender age of twenty to come here.

I should narrate how my first Giri Pradakshina took place. I was not accustomed to walking at all, but whenever people came to tell Bhagavan that they were going on a Giri Pradakshina, I longed to go too. One day Venkataramayya and others were going round the hill, and in this group there were two devotees who were over eighty years old. I did not say anything to Bhagavan, but was all the time praying that I should be included in that party. Immediately Bhagavan said to Venkataramayya "Take this girl - the one seated there - with you." Bhagavan didn't stop there, for he even said, "She will walk very slowly. Will that be all right?" Then Bhagavan turned towards me and said, "These are our own people. Are you prepared to go with them?" Looking at me, he simply said, "Go!"

The Pradakshina took almost six hours. At Adi Annamalai I could move no more. I requested the group to proceed without me, and told them I will reach the Ashram later. But they said, "How could we leave you when Bhagavan entrusted you to us? Even if it takes you another day to complete the Pradakshina, we will stay with you. Only with you can we re-enter the Ashram."

I was again feeling very guilty when we finally arrived. I was thinking that others take three to four hours to complete the Pradakshina and I have taken six hours, wasting not only my time, but theirs too. I felt that they were all older than me, and a younger person, like me, had caused them so much inconvenience. When I entered the Ashram my heart was heavy with this feeling. With great difficulty we entered into the presence of Bhagavan and as soon as I sat down, Bhagavan started narrating how the Pradakshina should be done by walking as slow as a royal queen in her ninth month of pregnancy. "So there is nothing wrong in what she did," he concluded. After this, many times I used to go around the hill all alone.

I used to fast a lot in those days - almost fifteen days out of a month. It was helping in my sadhana. One day, with the permission of Chinnaswami, I stayed in the Ashram till 7:30 p.m., which is the supper time. Bhagavan turned to me and said, "Aren't you coming for supper?" Then he said, "Sattvic food should be eaten. There is no meaning in mere fasting." Since then I stopped fasting. Even if I wanted to fast, for some reason or other it would be broken. That is a real wonder to me.

I was not aware of this Brahmin-non-Brahmin separation in the Dining Hall. One day I entered and saw the screen dividing the seating area. Some people were already seated. I was in a fix as to where I should sit. Bhagavan saw my plight and asked me to sit right next to him. He said to an attendant, "She doesn't know anything, so put her leaf here." Then he said to me, "Don't worry about these Brahmins." That is how Bhagavan in his kindness used to take care of me, for I was all alone and ignorant of the customs and ways of the world. Since Bhagavan was showering all this personal attention on me, Chinnaswami also took a personal interest in my welfare. As Muruganar was away, Chinnaswami offered me his residence to stay in, and also offered to send someone to guard me. I told him that I was not afraid and would lock the house from inside and needed no one to guard me. Bhagavan overheard this and said, "She is a young girl, and does not know the consequences. Let her sleep indoors, behind closed doors, but you send a servant to sleep outside on the verandah." I did not know anything when I came here. Even cooking I learned here and, of course, Bhagavan taught me many things from within.

Interviewer: Since you used to sit in front of Bhagavan quite often, could you please give a detailed description of what is called 'Bhagavan's Glance of Grace?'

Ramani Ammal: Bhagavan's look was real magic. You could not do anything but just look into his eyes, which would transform you into Samadhi. Everyone in the hall used to feel Bhagavan was looking at them alone. This was the true experience of each one of us. In his inimitable way he was giving the glance of grace to each and everyone seated in the hall. Bhagavan's look used to take us deep into Samadhi. Just by looking into his eyes, we came to know what meditation is. This was, and is, the common experience of all devotees. You ask anyone and you will get the same reply.

Once he gave me such a look and for a very long time I was absorbed in Samadhi. Bhagavan was reading the newspaper, letters were being brought in, normal activity was going on, but I was oblivious of the happenings outside of me. In fact, I was unaware of my body.

I once remember a Harijan lady who for the past twenty-five years was gathering honey to send to Sri Bhagavan. On every occasion she was unable to bring the honey herself and had to send it with someone. After waiting for twenty-five years, she finally found the opportunity to come. The poor lady was in tattered clothes, standing before Bhagavan. Her eyesight was poor and I still vividly recall the unusual way she looked at Sri Bhagavan, calling out "Oh Darling, where are you? I want to see you." Bhagavan in all his graciousness said, "Granny, look this way. I am here." Looking at the honey she had brought with her, he said to me, "They are Brahmins, they won't eat this. We will share it, and eat it."

It is often said, Bhagavan did not give direct Upadesa, but what else is all this? Although Bhagavan repeatedly pointed out human frailty, people were not prepared to rectify themselves.

As if talking to himself, he looked at this poor old woman in ragged clothes and said, "Poor lady, she must be hungry. And where will she go for clothes? Who will offer her food and clothes?" Upon hearing this, Ondu Reddiyar got up and said, "We will give her food and also see that some clothes are purchased." Then Reddiyar took the woman to the Dining Hall and fed her sumptuously. He also sent someone to town to buy her a sari. As the old woman had no money, she had walked a great distance to come here. Bhagavan knowing this, said in an impersonal way, "Would anyone be interested in getting her a bus ticket?" Reddiyar again came forward and said, "We will provide her with a bus ticket and see her off." When this lady returned from the Dining Hall she was touching the ground, and then touching her eyes. That is a way of prostration and thanksgiving. It is noteworthy that whenever the poor or untouchables came, Bhagavan took a very personal interest in them, which was a moving sight to see.

Sri Bhagavan had absolutely no connection with either body or mind. People used to be confused by seeing him read letters and newspapers. His inner state never changed since he was sixteen. This was demonstrated repeatedly, but only those who had the eyes to see, could see and realize it. Sri Bhagavan was also a real taskmaster. He used to quietly move around to various places within the Ashram without notice. So every place had to be kept clean and neat because Bhagavan was very particular about cleanliness. He was also particular about punctuality. This kept every member of the Ashram alert and on their toes, ready at all times to do what was necessary. Look how this Ashram has grown. Unless Bhagavan was very careful in his silent supervision, could it have grown to this extent?

Questioner: Where were you at the time of Sri Bhagavan's Mahanirvana?

Ramani Ammal: I was at Rajapalayam. That night I saw a blue light beautifully rising up into the sky. I knew Bhagavan had left the body. I felt that I did not want to live after that and started a fast. By fasting I wanted to drop the body. After five or six days of not touching food I had several visions. In one of them I was taken inside the Arunachala Hill and saw there rishis performing yagnas and yoga. I also saw Sri Bhagavan seated there. Some munis or rishis offered some prasad to Bhagavan. Then Sri Bhagavan himself gave it to me, and I was made to eat. I remembered that I was fasting, but couldn't refuse Bhagavan's prasad. How can I say that it was a dream? I consider it was Bhagavan's grace alone. He also said to me, "You say and repeat 'I have gone away, I have gone away'. Where have I gone? I am right here. You are not looking inward. If you look within, I am there." For many days afterwards the smell of that prasad lingered. The aroma even spread all through the house. My brother and sisters kept talking about it. When I was fasting, my brother and sister were also fasting with me. The morning following that vision we started taking food again.

In the dream I also remember Bhagavan was seated near a tank and rishis and munis were serving him. He looked splendid, gracious, magnanimous, and magnificent. It was a beautiful sight. I saw there Kamadhenu, the celestial cow, the celestial tree, and many other wonderful things. It was a divine sight indeed. From that day onwards I had no thought at all that Bhagavan had left us. He is all pervading, and I experienced him particularly in my heart. I no longer felt sorrow. He is even here now.

When I came again to Tiruvannamalai I was filled with bliss. You can feel Bhagavan's presence every minute. Right this very minute I feel his Divine Presence. I have no unhappiness. I am happy all the time. Sri Bhagavan's Presence is so overpowering. See how we all are gathered here. What have we done to deserve this?

Interviewer: To my knowledge I haven't done anything good and I also wonder, along with you, how Bhagavan has gathered us here.

Ramani Ammal: I can't say that I have ever done anything bad. From my childhood I didn't know what is good and what is bad either. But doing good or bad has nothing to do with our coming to Bhagavan's Presence. It is only by his grace that we are filled with his glorious Presence.

[We extend our warm appreciation to J. Jayaraman who was the Tamil interviewer, James Hartel who videotaped it, Sri V. Ganesan who translated the interview into English, and to Geeta Bhatt who kindly typed it.]
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