Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Crumbs from His Table

B: Who are you?

D: To whom is the question to be put and how?

B: Put the question to your "Self", trace the source from which the "I" springs and the answer will come to you


Faith is essential for knowledge - Gita, 6-39


Mind alone is the cause of man's bondage and freedom


One must attempt to get at ehe ver bottom from which thought springs and root out thought, mind and desire.


Control the mind and even Hell will be Heaven to you. All other talk of solitude, living in a forest etc., is mere prattle


Your duty lies in practice, continuous practice of Self-enquiry.


D: What is the effect of Japan or mantras?

B: Diversion; the mind is a channel, a swift current of thoughts and a mantra is a bund or dam put up in the way of this current to divert the water to where it is needed.


D: Which path is best suited to me? Won't all help be provided by God?

B: Bhakti, Karma, Jnana and Yoga, all these paths are one. You cannot love God without knowing Him nor know Hin without loving Him. Love manifests itself in everything you do and that is Karma. The development of mental perception (Yoga) is the necessary preliminary before you can know or love God in the proper way.


D: What about pranayama?

B: What about it? While I do not speak about it in terms of the well-known phraseology of purakam, rechakam and kumbhakam and of their matras (inhalation, exhalation and retention of breath in units of time) I have said that it can be used. Mind and life-breath spring from the same source; if you stop the course of one, you have automatically stopped the course of the other. Control of mind is easier than control of breath. The latter resembles the forcible milking of a cow and the former the cajoling of the cow by a feed of grass and caressing it by gently patting its back.


Prabhu expounded to Gorakh Brahma Vidya as follows "Gorakh, conceive not your body as your 'Self'. Seek the In-dweller (the cave-dweller) and you will once for all rid yourself of the disease of birth and death. The cave is only our heart, the In-dweller thereof is called God and 'I am That'.



D:How can one control dreams ?

B: One who can control them during jagrat (waking state) can also control them while asleep. Dreams are only impressions which have been received in the waking state and are recalled to mind in the dream state (i.e., semi-sleeping states distinct from deep sleep ----- sushupti) Referring to what he saw in dreams,  the enquirer remarked,  "I could not understand what they were . There were huge figures with monkey faces in my dream ."

   B: The Self is not limited; it is the mind which  produces a from that is limited; that which has got dimensions is the mind and it gives rise to dimensions in others The real limitation is in the mind. The mind is not different from the Supreme Being. A gold ornament is not gold itself, but is also not different from gold.The mind is a wonderful power, a mysterious power (shakti) of the Supreme Being . It is after the rise of the of the mind that God, world and jivas (individuals) appear, whereas in sleep we are not aware of any of these three. That is the mysterious power of God. But although we are not aware of these of these in sleep, yet we know that we existed in sleep also. On the rising of the unconscious are with reference to the mind only. In the wakeful state we identify ourselves with the mind.If now we find the real Self b behind the mind, then we shall not have these limitations. In the deep sleep state, what limitations were there?

    D: None that I am aware of.

    B: That which says I was not aware than is also the mind.

In the deep sleep you are one with the real Self. That which appears in the interval also disappears. The Self always remans, whether in sleep, dream, or waking state. It is the substratum both of the waking state and the sleep state. The different states of dream, sleep and wakefulness are only for the mind. Trance and unconsciousness also are only for the mind; they do not affect the Self.

    D: Will the Master say that there is no difference between the poet, the artist, the clerk and the engineer, etc.?

    B: The difference is only is only in the mind: according to the predisposition of each,  the differences  exist . No two is like the sensitive plate taking images of things as they appear, whereas the wise mans's mind is like a clean mirror.


There is no need to resign your job, but resign yourself to Him, the bearer of the burden of all. One who renounces desire, etc., actually merges in the world and expands his love to the whole universe. Expansion of love and affection would be a far better term for a true devotee of God than renunciation, for one who renounces the immediate ties actually extends the bonds of affection and love to a wider world beyond the borders of caste, creed and race. 


Sri Bhagavan has often remarked that all that is required is that aspirants should take, in very moderate quantities, whatever food comes their way and not stipulate, discriminate or pick and choose in the matter of diet; that, in contrast to the claim of hatha yogis that yoga practice is necessary to ward off disease from the physical body and make it pure and healthy to help concentration etc. 

The enquiry method, if followed strictly as directed, with absolute one-pointedness of mind is, is capable of devouring all the germs of disease wherever and whenever they arise. He would appear also to be of the view that for such an enquirer, yama and niyama will automatically come, as is His own case. He said that when He was staying in Gurumurtham for 18 months His diet was only one cup of milk-mixture for the whole day. His insistence is on continuous one-pointed enquiry and it is also apparent even to a beginner that such an enquiry, like thailadhara (unbroken flow of oil), would automatically ensure a steady asana, freedom from. hunger and thirst and freedom from disease; only a beginner cannot easily obtain this state and has to contend with his vacillating tendencies. 


Sri Bhagavan, having become one with the Absolute, His one repeated insistence is to realise the Self. With Him "To love God is to realise Him". Realisation is parabhakti. Realisation that God and Self are one would certainly lead to realisation of the universality of the soul and remove all hatred, jealousy, war and what not. But before realising this and conforming to His greatest teaching, it would be useless, nay injurious, to think and talk about minor details pertaining to the ordinary workaday world. 


B: "Why? Why this prostration of one material body before another? Who prostrates? Before whom? There is no Guru, no disciple. Realise who you are."

Friday, May 15, 2020

Essence of the teaching Gita

This is the essence of the teaching of this precious Gita, so often referred to by Sri Bhagavan: “The Self is one and whole, Self-awareness. This is the Divine (Brahman) the Indestructible, the Existent, Beginningless and Endless Many. There is nothing apart from the Self (atman), not anything else worthy of meditation. All that is manifest — the ‘I’, the ‘you’, the ‘he’, the Lord, and the all — all is the Divine. There is not even an atom apart from the Self that IS, the Single Unbroken Essence (akhanda eka rasa). Therefore the surety, ‘I am the Divine’ (aham Brahmasmi) is the endless True Knowledge. Know: ‘I am Being-Awareness-Bliss, of the nature of my own Self. I am without any differentiation of caste, clan, birth, and the like I am the Divine Absolute shining eternally in all splendour as the All, the Full, spotless, intelligent, ever unbound, true and still, beyond the body, senses, life-current, thought, intellect mind and ego-sense; unattached to the five sheaths (kosa), unaffected by the incidents of birth and death, void of a world that is lifeless and animate, you are That. This is experienced as ‘I am the Divine’ by negating through stainless enquiry the whole concept of individual, the world and beyond. 

“The maya of the world is not for you; you are the bliss of spotlessness, without either purpose or uncertainty. You are the purport of Vedanta. You are the indivisible form beyond the three clouds. You are yourself the One Self, without attributes or changes, which cannot be experienced by mind or speech. Here, there, this, that, I and he — all such thoughts convey is only mind; the elements and their compounds are only mind. The concepts of time, space, objects, the triads and their appearances, celestials and men, Hari and the Creator Brahma, the Guru and the disciple — all are mind alone.

“Here is the true form of worship: ‘I am the ocean of Bliss that is ever full!’ — this beatitude is the true bath in holy water (abhisheka) for the divinity of the Supreme Lord. ‘I am the unbounded Expanse!’ this beatitude is the offering of cloth to the Supreme Lord Siva. ‘I am the Self!’ — this beatitude is the real offering of ornaments to the Supreme Lord Siva. Discarding the thought-form leading to the qualities (gunas) — this is the offering of the boundless to Siva the Supreme Lord. The annihilation of all sense of difference between the Self, the Guru, and the Lord — that is the offering of bel-leaves to Siva, the Supreme Lord. Casting away the tendencies of the past (vasana) — this is the burning of incense to Paramasiva, the Supreme Lord. ‘I am the attributeless Paramasiva. the Supreme Lord!’ — this beatitude is the waving of Light (arati) before the Supreme Lord, Siva. Realising that the Divine and the Self are one — is the burning of fragrant gums before Siva, the Supreme Lord. That alone is the offering of flowers, in which one abides as the Self, the Supreme Bliss. That alone is the singing of the Name in harmony (namasankirtan), wherein one conceives himself as being without names and forms. 

“I am the Supreme Knowledge determined by the scriptures on spiritual wisdom (vedanta). I am the solid Bliss abiding as in the universal Great Silence. I am the single impartible Own Form (swarupa).

“Abidance in the Void is firmness; that itself is wisdom (jnana), liberation, Siva and the Alone (kaivalya). The forms of thought are impurity, creating time-space and the differentiation of the world and individual, very harmful. Mind takes the form of intention and uncertainty. The egoic self does not really exist; the Truth is ‘I am the Divine (ahambrahmasmi)’. Meditate on this, practise the wisdom yoga, destroy all sense of difference, be freed from the disease of mind, obtain the Stillness of the tangible experience, and come to realize the release from bondage. Abiding in the Self as ‘I am the Divine’ is the real ablution; the determination of the Self as the ever-realized Divine is the real heaven. 

“He is freed while alive (jivanmukta) who, motionless like the Hill, is still and immaculate, the Self in Itself, absolute Existence experienced as Bliss. Rid of individuality, rid of all concepts, he who is still, as pure Light, immaculate, peaceful solid Bliss, he who is free without a body (videhamukta). Knowing, feeling, thinking, praying, determining, mingling, abiding all these must be in the Self Itself. Meditate incessantly on ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ until it becomes permanent; later on, be freed from even this thought and be the Self Itself alone. 

“Seeing anything apart from the Divine is the cause of the sense of difference and so of fear. The thought-waves that rise in the mind are the cause of bondage. When there is no mind, there is neither world nor individual soul. The conquest of the mind is the greatest of all conquests. It is the Divine Himself who appears as world, individual and the beyond. So abidance as the Divine at all times and in all places will result in conquering the mind. Then will you come to realize ‘All Is the Divine; I am that Self;’ and you will attain the natural state.

“The view ‘That am I’ is the surest way to conquer the mind. ‘There is nothing apart from me; the three states, the five sheaths, the three qualities, the separate and the crowd (vyashti, samashti) — all these are not apart from me. All that is seen is the Seer. the Self; be at peace by the feeling ‘That am I’. Cast off the idea ‘I am the body’; be firm in the feeling ‘I am’... the Self. 

“The conclusions of the Four Vedas — Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva... are all the same: the ‘well-known Divine,’ the ‘I am the Divine’, the ‘That art thou’, and ‘I am the Self Creative Brahma, you are the Divine Knowledge’. He who teaches you thus is the real Guru. After obtaining this teaching (upadesa), throw off all other books and be firm in meditating on ‘I am the Divine.’ “Let the Pure Existence of the Divine alone be realized; if the sun of this Knowledge arises, how can the darkness of ignorance prevail? The mind of him who is certain that the Divine is one and whole cannot be shaken by the Great Illusion (maya) even if the vast Mount Meru be shaken by tying it to a thread. Practise ‘That am I’ (soham); the experience ‘I am Siva’ (Sivoham) will make you into Siva. Therefore sing ‘Sivoham, Sivoham, Sivoham!’”

Who Am I?

I am the Self (atman). I am Being-Consciousness. Being is my nature. I am the Self-aware Witness-Consciousness. I have no identity with the three states — waking, dream and sleep; they pass and re-pass in my presence. I am the Knower of Reality; I have my identity with the Divine. 

Being unattached to any fluctuations of the life-force and the mind, I have neither joys nor sorrows. These pertain to the states of waking and dream, which are the mental modes of the individual soul. In the waking state he is known as the [viswa]; in the dreaming state he is known as the radiant [taijasa]; in the sleeping state he is known as the wise [prajna]. I am the Knower of Reality. These three states are really non-existent, they function only as the result of the latent tendencies [vasana] of the mind; and even while they function and screen my real identity, I am the Self. 

I am the Present ever-present, so I am not newly discovered or obtained, only I have no delusion about myself. I am unborn (aja), so death cannot affect me. For me death does not mean the loss of a body, whether gross, subtle or causal. To me death means only identifying the self with the non-self. This is intoxication (pramada) and this intoxication is Death. So has Sri Maharshi taught. 

The discrimination which removes this intoxication (pramada) is Immortality. This Immortality is not obtained after prolonged penance and at some distant point of time. It is obtained here and now. As a result of this discrimination I steady myself to enquire who I am. After this enquiry, as instructed by the Benign Guru, I find the ‘I’ to be the real substratum, the Self ever aware. All this enquiry is only on the path, for the Final Goal is the supreme Wholeness, into which there is nothing to enquire. 

I am the Final Goal of the path. The Reality that I AM appears to be hidden by confusion and a veil. But by the Grace of the Guru, I being fixed firmly in my own reality, the veils have fallen away, both inside and out; so I am the One Indivisible, the Turiya (Fourth State). Yet though it be termed the “fourth” with reference to the changing three states, yet this “fourth” is the substratum and the primal state of Being. When this “fourth” is in contact with the Guru’s real nature, then is established Being, and then is the One Whole. 

I am the Heart (hrdaya), the one eternal ‘I-I’.

Six Verses in Praise of Sri Bhagavan

1. We adore that ‘Ramana’ whose totality is Awareness; who is the embodiment of all Knowledge; who has neither birth nor death; who is the prop of all existing life-force; who accepts service rendered by spiritual aspirants; with whom there is none to compare; to whom none is superior; who shines in our soul as Knowledge just as the Sun shines in the sky and on whom all the worlds depend for their existence; to Him we offer our obeisance. 

2. Those who worship the Graceful Feet of Sri Ramana Bhagavan, who is the incarnation of Lord Subrahmanya residing in Arunachalam, will be blessed with the virtues of mind-control and restraint of outgoing senses. He will thus be enabled to look upon pleasure and pain with equanimity; the restless mind getting one-pointed will bloom into Blissful sphurana (Awareness). 

3. He who meditates ever on Om Ramanaya Namaha is free from the fear of Death. When death approaches and the Self is veiled, meditation on the sacred syllable of ‘Ramana’ rescues us from death by putting an end to Death itself. 

4. Verily the Self in the Heart appears as the five elements, as the sun, moon and stars, as angels and different deities; as the vast space and as the origin and source of all this. Let us adore the Self as ‘Ramana’. 

5. ‘Ramana’, the Pure Self, whose Grace emanates from its seat — the Heart, whose Grace plays upon His serene face, and is directed through His most beautiful eyes, blessing all who turn to Him. 

6. Hearken! I shall tell you about the Golden Abode of Wisdom where the Omnipotent ‘Ramana’ resides. Without renouncing the internal and external attachments, it is impossible even for the keenest intellect to approach the Heart, where He shines alone, as Grace and where the Milk of Knowledge overflows. Come, let us abide there, drink the nectar of Grace and be Liberated!


5. Q. What is the Ajata-vada? 

A. It is the doctrine of no birth. Nothing is or ever was born, nor does it decay or die. 

6. Q. Then what do we see happening before us? 

A. The seer and the seen are mere phantoms as in a dream vision. 

7. Q. But dream is bound up with sleep, while here we are awake. 

A. What is sleep except being unaware of your own being? Mental activity in such unawareness gives rise to confusing thoughts; thus comes the mistake of seeing what is not and missing what is. Similarly in the waking state; we miss the Self and see the world, which really is not. That which is not cannot be born or die; it seems to emerge from the Real Being, and also merge in It again. To become aware of this Real Being is the ultimate goal of the man who is ignorant of It but yearns to realise It. 

Ajata-vada fulfils this purpose, and it is based on the fundamentals laid down in the Upanishads and elaborated in the Karika of the Mandukyopanishad — which has been elaborately explained by Sri Sankaracharya.

Where is the Divine World?

“So you want to go to the Divine World?” asked He. 

“That is what I am trying to obtain; that is what the Scriptures prescribe,” I answered. 

“But where are you now?” the Master asked. 

I replied, “I am in Your presence.” 

“Poor thing! You are here and now in the Divine World, and you want to obtain it elsewhere! Know that to be the Divine World where one is firmly established in the Divine. Such a one is full (purna); he encompasses and transcends all that is manifest. He is the substratum of the screen on which the whole manifestation runs like the picture film. Whether moving pictures run or not, the screen is always there and is never affected by the action of the pictures. You are here and now in the Divine World. You are like a thirsty man wanting to drink, while he is all the time standing neck-deep in the Ganga. Give up all efforts and surrender. Let the ‘I’, that wants the Divine World die, and the Divine in you will be realised here and now. For, it is already in you as the Self, not different from the Divine (Brahman), nameless and formless. It is already in you, and how are you to obtain that which ever remains obtained? The Self (atman) in you is surely not different from US?” Thus spoke Bhagavan. 

“So, then, Bhagavan says that He is the Self (kutastha) in this, the field of this soul (jiva), that This is already established in Bhagavan as such, so this soul need do nothing but give up the sense of being a separate soul?” I asked, prostrating before Bhagavan. 

“Yes, yes,” He replied. “That is what one must do to drop the ego-sense. If that is done the Self will be experienced as ‘I-I’ here and now and at all times. There will be no going into the Divine World or coming out of it. You will be as you really are. 

This is the practice (sadhana) and this is perfection (siddhi) too.” This teaching of Sri Bhagavan, Himself being the Divine World, is recorded for the benefit of all who are ever in Him.
To be calm and know “I AM THAT I AM”, is really Bhagavan’s one work. The inmost core, the Heart, the Divine shining all alone as ‘I-I’, the Self-aware, is He. This centre simply IS; It is all Knowledge and all Bliss. It is from here that all begin to manifest, and in It all get lost. Being Itself That, It is all peace; no discord is there since the ‘I’ or ego does not arise and has no ‘he’ or ‘you’ to oppose. Being the ever-present and all-pervading, the Supreme ‘I’ is the Lord, Ramana who ever rejoices.

The Guru says, “Be still, and Know that I am God.” 

This knowing is the understanding of the absolute and relative values of Life. 

Understanding what? It is the distinctive knowledge (the vijnana) of the eternal unchanging Truth of your self. In the background of this eternal and unchanging Truth, the changeful and varying states of your doership move about and cloud your understanding of the Real Truth of your Being. 

To put this more clearly, in the words of Sri Bhagavan, “You are the Self (atman).” Now no one will deny he is the Self, the eternal changeless basis of himself. This Self is Pure Being, conscious of Itself. It is Pure Bliss, in the sense that in Itself it is not touched or affected by the pleasures and pains of your varying states. Know to fix yourself as this Self, and to abide as such, unmoved by the fluctuating feelings of pain and pleasure, which pass and re-pass before you, the unaffected Self. 

There must be no clouded vision of yourself. Whatever the nature of your doership and enjoyership, painful or pleasurable, you are always tranquil in the firmness of your real Being, as realised by the distinctive knowledge (vijnana) of yourself. This is the surest way to Peace, as taught by the Upanishads and by Bhagavan Sri Ramana. 

Now you have been told about the constant part of yourself, and you also have to be told about the variable quantity in you. It is the mind. This is responsible for all your moods and states of being, and their activities, painful and pleasurable. Its nature is to identify itself with the body and induce it to activities, leading to pleasure or pain. This is due to its rajasic (active) and tamasic nature (inert and dark). 

Through these qualities the mind not only identifies itself with the gross body, but it also veils and hides the constant part of yourself, the atman (real Self). 

But there is also a saving grace about the mind. Apart from its rajasic and tamasic nature, there is in it a sattvic aspect (calm, harmonious). The wise try ever to enhance this sattvic aspect through all activities dedicated to God. You can learn how to improve this aspect of the mind through study of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. This sattvic aspect should be so developed as to first control the rajasic and tamasic qualities (gunas), and later to annihilate them, so that the sattvic quality comes to be 100 per cent of the mind. In this state the mind can be used as an instrument to get understanding (vijnana) of the constant quantum of your Being — the Sat-chit-anandam, or Being-Consciousness-Bliss. 

This understanding can be had by separating the mind from the gross body, to which it has been so long outwardly projecting, and taking it inwards towards the Self, your constant Being. When the mind is so trained as to be more and more in contact with the Self, then there arises perfect understanding and abidance in the Real. 

You are really free in yourself; the clouds do not really affect you. Yet you are also outwardly active, according to the latencies of the past karma in you, which work out according to the law of that karma. The potter has given up his hold on the wheel; yes, but the wheel still moves on owing to the momentum still left in it. 

In the same way you move, and yet you are unaffected, no longer clinging to the action. You do; yet you feel you are no more the doer. You enjoy or suffer; yet you feel you are no more the one who suffers or enjoys. You are a mere witness of all things in your varying states: waking, dreaming and sleeping. You are you, or I am I, or the Self is the Self; and these states pass and re-pass. This is the state of real knowledge (jnana) or real devotion (bhakti). This is the message of the Gita. This is equally the message of our benign Guru, Sri Ramana Maharshi.

On being graciously ordered to do so, I said that all His teachings amounted to this — that He alone IS, and everything else only seems to be but really is not. 

Sri Bhagavan smiled and, saying, “Yes, yes, yes!” left it there.

 I quoted from His teachings: “The fourth state (turiya) alone is; the appearances of the three states are naught.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

On the return walk, we happened to pass the sluice at the centre of the bund. 

Pointing to this, Bhagavan remarked: “Look at this small outlet, as compared with the big one at the end! But for this small hole, through which the stream of water trickles, the vast contents of the lake would not be helpful to vegetation. If the bund breaks it will be a regular deluge, and the entire crop will be destroyed. Only if the water be served under proper regulation through this sluice, are the plants helped to grow.

So too is it with the Divine Consciousness. Unless the bliss of this Consciousness is gifted through the Grace of the Guru in controlled outlets, the soul cannot be helped to the destruction of its tendencies of the past; for in this way the Self, abiding as such in its oneness with the Divine, is established in the Guru’s State of Being. Holding on to its Being Consciousness, the work of destroying the past (vasana) proceeds as and when thoughts arise to push the mind into action. This work becomes possible only in the proximity of the Guru. Hence the Guru is himself like the sluice and irrigates souls with Grace from his ocean of kindness, needed so that the Self may abide and the old tendencies be withered away. But if the bund is broken, the full force of the whole lake rushes through and sweeps everything before it. This resembles a practitioner (sadhaka) receiving the full force of Divine Consciousness without the intervening and mitigating grace of Guru’s sluice; he dies without the benefit of having the tendencies destroyed.”

Now the Master speaks: 

“People think the Master is confined in a human frame, but it is not so; His existence and presence are universal, cosmic, because He is the True Guru (sad-guru) and Truth (sat) as such is not a newly discoverable entity. He has always been there with you even while you were undergoing all the pangs of existence. In fact, I am the ‘I’ in you; you and I have never been apart, nor ever can be. But you, with your separate ‘I’ and its exclusive and warring interests, could not know Me, much less feel Me. Now that that ‘I’ in you has dropped away, I alone live in you.” This is the meaning of Tattvamasi (“That thou art”), and this is the meaning and the function of the Guru’s Grace.
Once I wrote two verses in Tamil, one in praise of the Lord without attributes, the other of the Lord with numberless forms. 

In the latter I wrote: 
“From whom grace is flowing over the sentient and insentient.” 

Bhagavan asked me to change one letter and this altered the meaning to: 
“who directs his grace to the sentient and the insentient.” 

The idea was that grace was not a mere influence but could be directed with a purpose where it was needed most.

IN 1908, when I was 12 years old, Bhagavan was still in Virupaksha Cave. My cousin, Krishnamurthy, used to go to Bhagavan every day and sing songs of devotion and worship before him. One day I asked him where he went daily. He told me: “The Lord of the Hill Himself is sitting there in human form. Why don’t you come with me?” I too climbed the hill and found Bhagavan sitting on a stone slab, with about ten devotees around him. Each would sing a song. 

Bhagavan turned to me and asked, “Well, won’t you sing a song?” 

One of Sundaramurthy’s songs came to my mind and I sang it. It’s meaning was: “No other support I have except Thy Holy Feet. By holding on to them, I shall win your grace. Great men sing your praise, Oh Lord. Grant that my tongue may repeat Thy Name even when my mind strays.” 

“Yes, that is what must be done,” said Bhagavan, and I took it to be his teaching for me.