Sunday, January 29, 2017

Guru Vachaka Kovai - 465

Since at all times and in all places the unmistakable Self [‘I am’] alone shines eternally as the one Thing, except That, all other things at all times and in all places have to be dismissed as false.

Guru Vachaka Kovai - 504

The uninterrupted shining of Self, the life of life, as the natural consciousness ‘I-I’ in the heart is the nature of God’s giving unbroken upadesa to the worthy disciple.

Guru Vachaka Kovai - 340

Just as one flame appears to be many lights when it is lit in many lamps, so it is the one Self alone which appears to be many different individuals [jivas] when It is seen through many different attributes [upadhis].

Guru Vachaka Kovai - 506, 507, 508

506. For the highly mature souls who seek the supreme sat-chit-ananda in order to free themselves from the scorching heat of birth [and death], it is by the enquiry into only the word ‘Thou’, which [out of the three words ‘That’, ‘Thou’ and ‘Art’] denotes the nature of the individual soul, that the glory of Liberation is attained.

[Sadhu Om: We should remember here Sri Bhagavan’s instruction in verse 32 of 'Ulladu Narpadu' as to what an earnest and sincere disciple should do when he hears the Mahavakya ‘That Thou Art’ from a Guru. As soon as he hears the phrase ‘That Thou Art’, the disciple’s attention should turn to know ‘What am I?’ This is the real aim with which the Mahavakya was revealed. The one important word that stands in the above Mahavakya to turn the disciple’s mind to Self-attention is ‘Thou’. Therefore this verse categorically asserts that out of the three words, ‘Thou’ alone should be taken for scrutiny by a worthy disciple. The following two verses also emphasize the same idea.]

507. Only in order to turn inward the minds of less mature aspirants, which will be favourable for the aforesaid enquiry, [the Vedas] added the other two words ‘That’ [tat] and ‘Art’ [asi] to the word ‘Thou’ [tvam], thereby forming the Mahavakya ‘That Thou Art’ [tat tvam asi]. Thus should you know.

508. Verily the enquiry done within oneself to know the real import denoted by the word ‘Thou’, ‘What is it?’ [‘Who am I?’], is the proper means to know the correct import of the other two words also.

Guru Vachaka Kovai - 519

It is very rare to get full faith in One [God or Guru]. If such a faith blossoms in the heart [due to past merits], do protect and nourish it, since it is similar to a new-born baby, without spoiling it by giving room to any doubts or suspicion, just as, if one possessed the Kamadenu, one would bring it up with great care and love.

[Michael James: The Kamadenu is a divine cow which will give one whatever one desires. Likewise, complete faith in God or Guru will bestow anything and everything upon a devotee. Such is the wonderful power of faith.]

Friday, January 27, 2017

Guru Vachaka Kovai - 362, 363

Only when one’s own Source, the Heart, is known through enquiry, will the false first person, ‘I’, fall down; and only when that false first person falls abashed, will the true First Thing, Self, spring forth in all its Glory.

('Guru Vachaka Kovai' 362)


When the insubstantial ghost, the ego – which rises from the darkness of ignorance and whose dance is itself all this universe – is enquired into, it disappears like the bridegroom’s friend [in the story], and when it disappears, Self, the Sun, rises up tearing away the darkness of ignorance, Maya.

('Guru Vachaka Kovai' 363)


Commentary on 'Guru Vachaka Kovai' 363:

Sadhu Om: "A stranger once entered a marriage-house and posed before the bride’s party as the bridegroom’s best friend; and with the bridegroom’s party he posed as if he were a member of the bride’s family. Thus for five days he passed his time happily, eating well and bossing the servants, but on the last day when enquiries began to be made about him, he disappeared. Similarly, the ego rises and poses both as Chit [Consciousness – the nature of Self] or as jada [inertness – the nature of the body], though it truly belongs neither to Self nor to the body. Thus it enjoys its special position until it is enquired into, whereupon it disappears."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Guru Vachaka Kovai - 473, 474

473. Seated in the Heart of everyone as Heart, the Lord will ordain everything according to one’s destiny [prarabdha]. Therefore, if we unswervingly abide in Self, our source, all will happen unerringly.

474. Those who have the strong faith, “He who has planted this tree will water it”, will never be distressed. If he [who planted it] sees the tree drying up, let even that pathetic sight be only his burden.

Michael James: Devotees with great faith in God never feel concern for the needs of their life, because they are so sure that God will never abandon them. Even when it happens that they are not provided with their needs, they do not feel that they are afflicted; they simply endure with it patiently, feeling that it is only God who has to suffer by seeing them troubled. Hence on all occasions they are happy. This verse thus assures that for such devotees there is no misery at all in life.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Guru Vachaka Kovai - 149

The experience of Vedanta is possible only for those who have completely given up all desires. For the desirous it is far away, and they should therefore try to rid themselves of all other desires by the desire for God, who is free from desires.

Sadhu Om: The term Vedanta is commonly understood to mean a particular system of philosophy, but its true meaning is the experience of Jnana which is gained as the conclusion [anta]ofthe Vedas. The desire for sense objects, which are all 2nd or 3rd persons, is directly opposed to the desire for God, and so it is quite clear that God is not merely one among the many 2nd and 3rd personal objects, but that He must be the Reality of the 1st person. Therefore, we should understand that discarding all desires for 2nd and 3rd personal objects and having love for Self alone is the true
devotion towards God.

Verse B13 [731] also asserts this same point.

Attending to Self is devotion to the supreme Lord, because the Lord exists as Self.

Guru Vachaka Kovai - 150

The Wise, who know that all worldly experiences are formed by prarabdha alone, never worry about their life’s requirements. Know that all one’s requirements will be thrust upon one by prarabdha, whether one wills them or not.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Sadhana - Sakshatkaram

The day before yesterday a learned man who came from Madras, began at 3 p.m. to question Bhagavan thus: “Was there a period at any time when Bhagavan did sadhana?” 

Bhagavan said, “Sadhana? Sadhana for what? What is there to do sadhana for? Sitting like this is itself sadhana. I used to sit like this always. I used to close my eyes then; now I keep them open. That is the only difference. What is now, was then also. What was there then, is also here now. Sadhana is necessary only if there is a thing other than ‘I’, Self. Sadhana is required only for one who does not look towards the Self which is permanent, but is deluded by looking at the body, etc., which are transitory and delusive; but not for one who sees the Self and so does not see anything else different. And what else is sadhana for?”

Someone asked, “Then why is it that many books say that no one can attain jnana without a Guru?” 

Bhagavan said, “Yes. For those who, because of the action of their minds, are deluded into believing that they are the bodies, a Guru and sadhana are necessary to get rid of that delusion.” 

Another person asked, “People say that those who have received upasana can attain the physical manifestation of their favourite God and other blessings by sadhana. What is the meaning?”

Bhagavan said, “That which is present at all times is sakshath (manifest). The person ‘I’ is always present (sakshath). Then what is karam? That which is the cause is karam, so sakshatkaram (manifestation) means the knowledge of that which is true, that which is permanent and that which is the cause of everything is one’s own Self. And they say that God will descend from somewhere and manifest Himself if the Self which is ever existing, creates a shape according to its own desires, and meditates on it. You give up the Self which is existing at all times and at all places, and do sadhana with the hope that some God from somewhere will manifest Himself. They say that God just descends and again just disappears. You give up the Self which is always existent and strive for this transient vision, obtain boons and thus multiply the mental struggles and strivings. There will be no trouble at all if one simply remains as one is,” said Bhagavan.

Though Bhagavan was teaching us so clearly that sakshatkaram means only the good state and the good ideas beyond the owner’s thoughts, I felt it a great pity that we were not able to understand it. While I was thus thinking, someone asked, “That state of exalted thought and existence which is above the owner’s mental plane is natural and possible only for people like Bhagavan, but is it possible for ordinary people like us without sadhana?” 

Bhagavan said, “Certainly it is! Sadhana is necessary but for what purpose? His Self is there at all times and at all places. So there is no need to try and get it from somewhere else. Sadhana is only to get rid of the bodily and other illusions which are in the way of the self standing up as Self. This delusion arises only by thinking that this bodily world is real, instead of looking at the Self, which is real. Sadhana is only to get rid of this illusion. Otherwise, why should there be sadhana for the Self to attain its own Self? He who has realised his own Self does not recognize anything else.”


Bhagavan: “When some devotees sang in terms of Advaita, some commentators twisted the meaning, interpreting it in terms of Visishtadvaita. That is all; it is nothing else. That is also the opinion of all the ancients. After all, what exactly is meant by Visishtadvaita? That which is Visishta (distinguished) and best is Vishnu. That is Ishwara, Sadasiva, Brahma and all.

That which is, is only One. Some Vaishnavaites give it a name and a shape and do not admit that there could be any Sayujyam (absorption in the Supreme Being) except by way of living in the same world (Salokyam), in the same vicinity (Sameepyam), and the same form (Sarupyam) as the Supreme Being. They say, arpana, arpana (offering, offering). How can there be arpana unless there is a thing called ‘I’? Complete surrender cannot come about unless one knows who one is.


It is mere delusion to think of arpana (offering), so lightly. Arpana means that the mind gets merged in the self and becomes one with it. It means that it should become devoid of all vasanas. And that will not come about unless there is self effort and God’s Grace. God’s force cannot get hold of you and drag you into itself unless you surrender completely. But where is the question of our surrendering? The self itself is to be surrendered. Until one can accomplish that, one should go on struggling unceasingly. It is only after trying again and again that one may, finally, succeed in the effort.

Once you succeed, there is no going back. That is the proper course. What is the use of merely repeating the word arpana, arpana? Except that you give some money while repeating the word arpana, what is the effect on the mind? In this Thiruvaimozhi itself there are some songs in the Advaitic cult sung by some devotees after attaining Self-realisation. Nammalwar is one such devotee. He sang that a mother praised her daughter who attained Self-realisation in a form that looked like condemnation. 

The gist of those songs is, ‘This child says, I am Siva, I am Vishnu, I am Brahma, I am Indra, I am the sun, I am the five elements and I am everything! It is that Vishnu who sits on her head and makes her talk thus; otherwise she would not have these aberrations. It is that Vishnu who has changed her thus.’ That is the purport of these songs.” Those songs were read out and Bhagavan explained the meaning.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Guru Vachaka Kovai - 151

Siva shines within each jiva as the witness, enabling the jiva to experience his prarabdha through Siva’s presence. Whoever knows his nature to be mere being-consciousness, without imagining through ignorance that he is the experiencer of prarabdha, shines as that supreme person, Siva himself.

Siva here denotes Iswara, the personal God, not Sivam, the impersonal absolute consciousness. When he spoke about prarabdha, Bhagavan generally adopted the position that God, Iswara, gave each jiva its prarabdha and also ordained that each jiva must experience the fruits of its actions so long as it identified with the body that was performing the ordained activities.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Talk 25 (I)

On a former occasion B. V. Narasimha Swami, author of Self- Realization, asked: 

Who am I? How is it to be found?

M.: Ask yourself the question. The body (annamaya kosa) and its functions are not ‘I’. Going deeper, the mind (manomaya kosa) and its functions are not ‘I’. The next step takes on to the question. “Wherefrom do these thoughts arise?” The thoughts are spontaneous, superficial or analytical. They operate in intellect. Then, who is aware of them? The existence of thoughts, their clear conceptions and their operations become evident to the individual. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the individuality of the person is operative as the perceiver of the existence of thoughts and of their sequence. This individuality is the ego, or as people say ‘I’. Vijnanamaya kosa (intellect) is only the sheath of ‘I’ and not the ‘I’ itself.

Enquiring further the questions arise, “Who is this ‘I’? Wherefrom does it come?” ‘I’ was not aware in sleep. Simultaneously with its rise sleep changes to dream or wakefulness. But I am not concerned with dream just now. Who am I now, in the wakeful state? If I originated from sleep, then the ‘I’ was covered up with ignorance. Such an ignorant ‘I’ cannot be what the scriptures say or the wise ones affirm. ‘I’ am beyond even ‘Sleep’; ‘I’ must be now and here and what I was all along in sleep and dreams also, without the qualities of such states. ‘I’ must therefore be the unqualified substratum underlying these three states (anandamaya kosa transcended).

‘I’ is, in brief, beyond the five sheaths. Next, the residuum left over after discarding all that is not-self is the Self, Sat-Chit-Ananda.

Talks 23 (II)

D: How does book-lore help in Self-Realisation?

A.: Only so far as to make one spiritually-minded.

D.: How far does intellect help?

A.: Only so far as to make one sink the intellect in the ego, and the ego in the Self.

Talks 23 (I)

Mr. Evans-Wentz continued another day: “May one have more than one spiritual master?”

M.: Who is a Master? He is the Self after all. According to the stages of the development of the mind the Self manifests as the Master externally. The famous ancient saint Avadhuta said that he had more than 24 Masters. The Master is one from whom one learns anything. The Guru may be sometimes inanimate also, as in the case of Avadhuta. God, Guru and the Self are identical.

A spiritual-minded man thinks that God is all-pervading and takes God for his Guru. Later, God brings him in contact with a personal Guru and the man recognises him as all in all. Lastly the same man is made by the grace of the Master to feel that his Self is the Reality and nothing else. Thus he finds that the Self is the Master.

Talks 20 (II)

M: Which is the real power? Is it to increase prosperity or bring about peace? That which results in peace is the highest perfection (siddhi).

D.: But common people in Europe and America would not appreciate such an attitude and would desire a display of powers and instructions by lectures, etc.

M.: Lectures may entertain individuals for a few hours without improving them. Silence on the other hand is permanent and benefits the whole of humanity.

D.: But silence is not understood.

M.: It does not matter. By silence, eloquence is meant. Oral lectures are not so eloquent as silence. Silence is unceasing eloquence. The Primal Master, Dakshinamurti, is the ideal. He taught his rishi disciples by silence.

D.: But then there were disciples for Him. It was all right. Now it is different. They must be sought after and helped.

M.: That is a sign of ignorance. The power which created you has created the world. If it can take care of you, it can similarly take care of the world also.