Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ramana to Ganapati Sastri

Ganapati Muni:
Pray enlighten me as to the nature of tapas.

If one watches whence the notion ‘I’ arises, the mind gets absorbed there; that is tapas. When a mantra is repeated, if one watches whence that mantra sound arises, the mind gets absorbed there; that is tapas.


Bhagavan: For those who cannot reach through jnana-marga [i.e. Self-enquiry] the place [source] where ‘I’ exists, it is better to know during japa the place where the supreme Word [para-vak] shines.

Sadhu Om: After seeing the following verse composed by Sri Muruganar [which is a venba, a four line verse], Sri Bhagavan composed the above verse [which is a kural venba, a two line verse] giving the same idea in a terser form.

706. For those who cannot dive deep within through silence, the keenest knowledge, seeking “What is the source from which the ‘I’ rises?”, it is better to scrutinize while mentally doing japa wherefrom the supreme Word [para-vak] comes.

Sadhu Om: In the above two verses, Sri Bhagavan has explained the secret behind the second of the two instructions which he gave to Kavyakantha Ganapati Sastri on 18th November 1907.
When Ganapati Sastri approached Sri Bhagavan and prayed for instructions concerning the nature of true tapas, Sri Bhagavan at first remained silent and quietly gazed at him for about fifteen minutes. Then Ganapati Sastri again prayed, “I have read about such mouna-upadesa in sastras, but I am unable to understand it. Graciously instruct me through speech also”. The first instruction then given by Sri Bhagavan was His basic teaching [yathartha upadesa] ‘Who am I?’, that is, to attend to the source from which ‘I’ rises. But being bewildered by the novelty of this upadesa, Ganapati Sastri again asked, “Can that same state be achieved through japa also?” Therefore, seeing that the devotee had a great liking for japa, Sri Bhagavan gave His second instruction, namely “If one repeats a mantra and if one watches wherefrom the sound of that mantra starts, there the mind will sub- side; that is tapas.”


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