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THE PATH OF LOVE (Letter 179)
This morning a Tamil youth approached Bhagavan and asked, “Swami, it is good to love God, is it not? Then why not follow the path of Love?”
“Who said you couldn’t follow it? You can do so. But when you talk of love, there is duality, is there not — the person who loves and the entity called God who is loved? The individual is not separate from God. Hence love means one has love towards one’s own Self. For this, i.e., loving one’s own Self, examples have been given in the 'Vasudevan Mananam', stage by stage. Man loves money most; but he loves his son more than money; his own body more than the son; his indriyas (the organs of the body) more than the body; the eye most among the organs; life more than the eye; and the self (atma) more than life. This is exemplified thus: If the son does something untoward and the government decides to punish him for it, the parents offer money and even bribes to set him free. Hence the love towards the son is more than money. If, however, the government does not accept money but say that they will let off the son if the father agrees to undergo the punishment himself instead, then the father will say, ‘Do whatever you like with the boy; I have nothing to do with him’. Hence the father loves his own body more than his son. If a man does something for which the powers that be say that his eyes must be plucked out, he tries to save his eyes by agreeing to bodily torture; so bodily torture is preferred to loss of an organ. If, however, they decide to take his life by beheading him, he would be prepared to lose his eyes or any other organ rather than lose his life; so life (prana) is loved more than the organs. In the same manner, a person who desires to have Atma-Anandam (bliss of the Self) would be prepared to lose his life even, if necessary; so the Self is loved more than life. Hence the idea of a person in loving God, is only with a view to being happy himself. He is, however, the embodiment of happiness and that happiness is God. Who else is to be loved? Love itself is God,” said Bhagavan.
“That is why I am asking you whether God could be worshipped through the path of love?” said the questioner.
“That is exactly what I have been saying. Love itself is the actual form of God. If by saying, ‘I do not love this; I do not love that’, you reject all things, that which remains is Swarupa, i.e., the innate Self. That is pure bliss. Call it pure bliss, God, atma or what you will. That is devotion; that is realization and that is everything,” said Bhagavan.
“The meaning of what you say now is that we should reject all outside things which are bad, and also all those which are good, and love God alone. Is it possible for anyone to reject everything, saying this is no good, that is no good, unless one experiences them?” said some other.
“That is true. To reject the bad, you must love the good. In due course that good also will appear to be an obstacle and will be rejected. Hence, you must necessarily first love what is good. That means you must first love and then reject the thing you love. If you thus reject everything, what remains is the Self alone. That is real love. One who knows the secret of that love finds the world itself full of universal love,” said Bhagavan and resumed silence.

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One day, while going up the Hill, Bhagavan referred to the misunderstanding between two prominent devotees and wanted me to convey to them the following message: “Whoever condemns us is our friend. For he condemns only our body, which is our enemy. The enemy’s enemy is the best friend. We should really beware of those who praise us.” The next morning, I met the two devotees to convey Bhagavan’s message. Even before I opened my mouth, they both expressed their eagerness to make up their quarrel.

- Prof Subbaramayya, Face to Face

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Khalil Gibran

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Do not love half lovers.
Do not entertain half friends.
Do not indulge in works of the half talented.
Do not live half a life and do not die a half death.
If you choose silence, then be silent.
When you speak, do so until you are finished.
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent.
If you accept, then express it bluntly,
Do not mask it.
If you refuse, then be clear about it
for an ambiguous refusal
is but a weak acceptance.

Do not accept half a solution.
Do not believe half truths.
Do not dream half a dream.
Do not fantasize about half hopes.

Half a drink will not quench your thirst,
Half a meal will not satiate your hunger.
Half the way will get you no where,
Half an idea will bear you no results.

Your other half is not the one you love.
It is you in another time
yet in the same space;
It is you when you are not.

Half a life is a life you didn’t live,
A word you have not said,
A smile you postponed,
A love you have not had,
A friendship you did not know.

To reach and not arrive,
Work and not work,
Attend only to be absent.
What makes you a stranger to them
closest to you and they strangers to you?

The half is a mere moment of inability
but you are able for you are not half a being.
You are a whole that exists
to live a life not half a life.

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Mooji

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He is the one inside the heart of all religions
—the single One.
He’s the answer to your deepest longing.
This alone can fulfill you timelessly.
Discovering this, all suffering and sorrow
come to an end.

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Devotion to Guru
-----------------------------
If Siva (God) is angry, the Guru will protect you, but if the Guru is angry, no one can save you. Therefore with all your efforts take refuge in Him.

Even Gods and Sages can not save one who has been cursed by the Guru. Such a wretch soon perishes, without the least shadow of doubt.

- Sri Guru Gita, v. 79 and 106

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Swami Vivekananda

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Break your chain and be free forever. What frightens you, what holds you down? Only ignorance and delusions; Nothing else can bind you.

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If the longing is there, realization will be forced on you even if you do not want it. Long for it intensely so that the mind melts in devotion. After camphor burns away no residue is left. The mind is the camphor. When it has resolved itself into the Self without leaving even the slightest trace behind, it is realization of the Self.

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Till you reach the state of jnana and thus wake out of maya you must do social service by relieving suffering whenever you see it. But even then you must do it without ahankara, i.e., without the sense of 'I am the doer', but with the feeling 'I am the Lord’s tool'".

~ Day by Day with Bhagavan (5-1-46).

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Attainment of Lord

The Lord is impossible to attain by any strength.
Yet for those who in their minds are clearly convinced that to attain Him is not within their power,
who have become wearied by their efforts,
and in whom the mischievous antics of the ego have become thoroughly stilled,
He will easily fall into their [Lords] grasp.

~ Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai

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Question: How is the ego to be destroyed ?

Ramana Maharshi: Hold the ego first and then ask how it is to be destroyed. Who asks this question ?
It is the ego.
Can the ego ever agree to kill itself ?
This question is a sure way to cherish the ego and not to kill it.
If you seek the ego you will find it does not exist.
That is the way to destroy it.

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The Last Days of RAMANA MAHARISHI

Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi gave the first indication of dropping His body during the end of 1948 and early 1949, when He kept rubbing His left elbow. On closer examination it was found that a growth, the size of a peanut first showed itself. That peanut size boil began to grow in size and pain had commenced. Ramana Maharishi without consulting any doctors from outside the ashram asked those in charge of His health to remove the growth. The simple operation was performed in the bathroom just before breakfast. Realising that the sight of the bandage would get His devotees worried Ramana Maharishi draped a towel on His left hand which covered the elbow and when inquired as to what He had on His arm or why was He draping His hand with a towel, He jokingly replied that it was a bracelet or a Lingam had decided to erupt from His arm.

In a few months time that growth had been detected as a tumour. It was removed and miraculously the wound healed in a week and everybody heaved a sigh of relief. Ramana Maharishi all through seemed to be oblivious of the tumour or its pain. A month later, the tumour returned on the same part and was removed and after tests were done it was detected to be malignant. The tests showed that the tumour was a sarcoma, which is a kind of malignant cancer. Radium treatment had to be commenced as the wound refused to heal till a point came when the doctors insisted that the arm should be amputated. Raman Maharishi refused saying that the body itself is a disease and it should have a natural end. Why try to mutilate it? He insisted that the affected part should be covered by a simple dressing. All through the process and the operations, Raman Maharishi showed complete disregard to the tumour and the pain.

Some of the doctors suggested that the healing rays of the Sun would help heal the wound, so every day Ramana Maharishi would sit behind the cow shed, with the bandage removed, the wound cleaned and the arm exposed to sun rays. He continued to joke about the wound, calling it a precious ruby that glowed when the sun rays touched it, and was an ornament to His arm.

But the cancer cells began to spread through His blood stream and another operation was performed and in matter of no time the wound reappeared more fierce in its malignancy. In fact after His third operation within hours Ramana Maharishi gave darshan to the multitude of devotees longing to just have a sight of Him, much to the helplessness of the medical team. The next day once the doctors had left, Ramana Maharishi returned to the darshan Hall, to meet His devotees, saying that it was not right of Him to disturb other patients who would get inconvenienced by the devotees who wanted His darshan.

In December 1949, another operation was performed where it was realized that surgery in fact aggravated the cancer rather than heal the body.

Thus other forms of treatment commenced. Homeopathy, ayurveda and other alternative medications. Returning from His daily walk, one evening, shivering with fever, barely able to walk, Ramana Maharishi sat on His couch devoid of any strength much to the grief of all those present. When inquired about His body Ramana Maharishi said, ‘ what about the body? What if the body is shivering? What all want is that there should be life in the body? Is there not life in this body? Aren’t you all satisfied that life still remains in this body? This is the Natrajana dance going on. Every day the dance is not visible today it is giving the Tandava Darshan. Don’t be worried about this.’



Then one morning, Ramana Maharishi while entering the bathroom, trying to cross the threshold, stumbled and fell down. Refusing all help from the devotees He stood up. His clothes were covered in blood and though He had suffered a fracture, the news of His fall was not allowed to be made public. The fall and the ensuing injury was painful but Ramana Maharishi gave darshan from early morning to the countless devotees who wanted a glimpse of Him. Nobody was aware of the fall nor could anybody see Him in any discomfort.



Slowly Ramana Maharishi found it difficult to climb steps and as His daily routine required Him to climb the steps from the eastern entrance many suggested that He should use the northern part of the Hall. He refused, saying that the northern part of the Hall was meant for women devotees and He did not want to cause any bother to His women followers. Whenever He was not giving Darshan, He began to remain in a very small room which was on the eastern side of the Hall. Eventually this room came to be known as the Nirvana Room as Ramana Maharishi left His body from this room.

By early April 1950 it became clear to all that Ramana Maharishi would not be long in His body but He continued to give Darshan to all, even though now He could barely sit. Everybody realized that their beloved Master would not be long with them in the physical body. Though He was physically dying, His body began to glow with a radiance visible to all. Every time a devotee broke down seeing the pain and discomfort He was in He would tenderly tell them, ‘ they say I am dying, but I am not going anyway. Where can I go? I am here.’



Many of His intimate followers have described Ramana Maharishi’s last days in the physical body. According to S.S.Cohen, on the 10th of April the devotees that thronged to get a glimpse of their Master was immense. He has noted down that, “this darshan is no doubt a very great strain on the Maharshi, who, in his infinite compassion, keeps his face constantly turned towards the devotees the whole time the darshan lasts. His couch has east-west position and the door through which he looks at the devotees’ faces south, so that for one full hour he keeps his head turned in that direction and strains his neck. In his present state of health the strain on him must be great; yet he refuses to stop the darshan, or even reduce it to once a day. His nourishment consisted today of a little fruit juice, tomato juice and some coconut water with glucose.”



On the 12th of April, S.S.Cohen wrote down that, “today he is stretched full length on the sofa, with hollow eyes, sunken cheeks, pale, waxy skin and drained of vitality. Three attendants are massaging hard his legs. The upper half of the body is exceedingly sensitive and cannot be touched without causing him severe pain. During the half-hour running darshan at 9 a.m. he could only at times turn his face to the devotees, but mostly he is listless. Doctors stopped testing and examining him and strictly forbade all access to his room.”

Narayana Iyer in a letter to Professor Subbaramayya described Ramana Maharishi’s last days. ‘Bhagavan’s condition was considered very critical. No liquid food even. No motions, no urine. Pulse very, very feeble. Blood-pressure very low. Heart weak. Temperature 96.8° and frequent hiccoughs ... Bhagavan asked in the evening if there was the queue in the morning. Sarvadhikari replied that it was suspended for sometime. Bhagavan said that He would suspend taking even a drop of water till all that came had their darshan. So there was the queue last evening’.

On 13th April when a doctor had wanted to give Ramana Maharishi some medicine to relieve the congestion in the Master’s lungs, the Master refused saying that within two days everything would be all right.

Hours later Ramana Maharishi asked all to leave as He wanted to be alone. Only His attendant Rangaswami was present with the Master. In the morning Ramana Maharishi told Rangaswami, in English, ‘ thanks’. The attendant understood no English and Ramana Maharishi smiled and told him, ‘the English have a word thanks, but we only say santosham (I am pleased)’.

All through the morning and afternoon, devotees passed by His open door to get a glimpse of their beloved Master. His body had become very weak and He had lost immense weight. His ribs were heart achingly visible and His skin had darkened. Most of the devotees would begin to cry seeing His weakened body and His clear suffering.



Many people are under some misconception that Masters feel no pain. Pain is real. Christ felt it on the Cross and even asked God as to why had He forsaken Christ? Similarly Ramana Maharishi felt the pain. Many of His intimate devotees had mentioned that Ramana Maharishi suffered terribly when alone, especially at night, when He thought that nobody could witness His pain, He would on His couch, moan out in pain. He would tell often that pain was natural. I guess when the body is cut with a knife, the body will bleed, whether it is the body of a Saint or a sinner, the body would bleed, how one reacted to the cut, the bleeding, and whether one identified with the pain made all the difference.

But with all the pain and discomfort, Ramana till the very end of His physical journey made certain that His devotees always got a glimpse of Him and He got a glimpse of them. His love and concern for His animals and birds also remained till the very end. Hours before He dropped His body He heard His beloved peacocks screeching and He immediately asked His attendants if His peacocks had been fed properly. The peacocks walked continuously around His room, and His cows, dogs and monkeys all showed their restlessness for their Master’s wellbeing. There was a white peacock that stood on the Nirvana room’s roof screeching nonstop.



All through devotees would complain to Ramana Maharishi that He was abandoning them. His reply to them was, ‘you attach too much importance to the body….the Guru is not in the physical form, thus contact with the Guru will remain even after His physical form vanishes…You are and always were one with Me. You are Me’. To a few He would say, ‘ forget being my devotee…forget pleading and weeping and finding a new excuse or avenue for suffering….there is nothing you can give me, nothing……just sit still and enjoy My love, My devotion to you….enjoy how I love you and do nothing else…’

But on the 14th evening everybody realized that in all probability the Master would leave the body at any moment. The Master’s body was supported by large pillows and He sat upright with His head tilted backward and His mouth open. He found it impossible to breathe and He was given oxygen for a few minutes but it brought Him no relief and He indicated that He wanted the equipment detached from Himself.



O.P. Ramaswami Reddiyar, the retired Chief Minister, was with the Master during the last moments. He says, ‘seeing the difficulty that Bhagavan was experiencing, I drew a screen across and didn't allow any more darshan. O. P. Ramaswani Reddiyar came, and I told him that he could come in, but he declined’, unable to see the Master suffer so much.

Ramana Maharishi then asked to be seated upright. From outside, His lovers began to sing, ‘ Arunachala Shiva’….Lord Shiva of Arunachala Mountain and when the Master heard the song, He opened His eyes wide. They were radiant and He smiled for a few seconds and then tears rolled down His divine eyes. Then He sat in the Padmasana pose and it was in the Padmasana pose that He exhaled one final time and then became very still. The time was 8.47 p.m and the devotees fanning Him stopped and as soon as the devotees outside saw the fans no longer moving fanning Their Master, they knew He had left His body and with broken hearts they began to cry for their beloved Master.

It has been noted in various journals and papers that exact 8.47 p.m. a shooting star or some say a meteor moved slowly across the sky, above Arunachala Mountain and then disappeared behind its peak.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, the famous French photographer who had been staying at the Ashram, says thus, “I was in the open space in front of my house, when my friends drew my attention to the sky, where I saw a vividly-luminous shooting star with a luminous tail, unlike any shooting star I had before seen, coming from the South, moving slowly across the sky and, reaching the top of Arunachala, disappeared behind it. Because of its singularity we all guessed its import and immediately looked at our watches – it was 8.47 – and then raced to the Ashram only to find that our premonition had been only too sadly true: the Master had passed into mahanirvana at that very minute.”

Lord Shiva of Tiruvannamalai, Lord Shiva of Arunachala, had left His physical body, to remain in the hearts of His lovers for ever and ever more.

Be blessed always.

JAI BABA

Ruzbeh N Bharucha is the author of Devi’s Emerald, The Last Marathon, The Aum of All Things, The Fakir Trilogy and The Ramblings of The 110th, RABDA My Sai…My Sigh, ANANDA - Musings of the Fakir, The Perfect Ones, Conversations with DADA VASWANI, The Musk Syndrome, ICE with very unusual SPIRITS , Dancing with Swans and SAI BABA;The Messiah Of Oneness.

Website : http://www.ruzbehbharucha.net
Source: https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/the-last-days-of-ramana-maharishi

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Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: The point is that occult powers are sought and gained for the benefit of others by Self-Realised persons also. But the sages are not deluded by the possession of such powers.

Devotee: Does the sage use occult powers for making others realise the Self or is the mere fact of his Self-Realisation enough for it?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: The force of his Self-Realisation is far more powerful than the use of all other powers.
Inasmuch as there is no ego in him, there are not others for him. What is the highest benefit that can be conferred on others? It is happiness. Happiness is born of Peace. Peace can reign only when there is no disturbance. Disturbance is due to thoughts which arise in the mind. When the mind itself is absent there will be perfect Peace. Unless a person had annihilated his mind he cannot gain peace and be happy. Unless he himself is happy he cannot bestow happiness on others. When there is no mind he cannot be aware of others. So the mere fact of his Self-Realisation is itself enough to make all others happy.

Devotee: Can samadhi come and go?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: What is samadhi? Samadhi is one’s essential nature. How then
can it come or go? If you do not realise your essential nature, your sight remains obstructed. What is the obstruction? Find it and remove it. So one’s efforts are meant only for the removal of obstructions which hide the true vision. The real nature remains the same. When once it is realised it is permanent.

Devotee: But Mr. Brunton says that he had one hour’s samadhi. Therefore I asked the question.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: A practiser gains peace of mind and is happy. That peace is the result of his efforts. But the real state must be effortless. The effortless samadhi is the true one and the perfect state. It is permanent. The efforts are spasmodic and so also their results. When the real, effortless, permanent, happy nature is realised it will be found to be not inconsistent with the ordinary activities of life. The samadhi reached after efforts looks like abstraction from the external activities. A person might be so abstracted or live freely among people without detriment to his Peace and Happiness because that is his true nature or the Self.
Talk—597

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You imagine you are fighting an external force,
while, in fact, nothing is external to you.
There is no external enemy, nothing external to you.

You are fighting your own demons without noticing that
you are dreaming the entire show.
You forget you are not the pursuer nor the pursued.
You chase forms and shapes
and run away from forms and shapes ... all in the dream,
dream activities, dream forms, dream events, dream stories ...
You mistake them to be real
and rather than surrender the dream to its creator,
you imagine yourself to be the character in charge.
Thus, the misery.

You don't need to go anywhere, nor travel to distant lands
to tackle the illusion of separation that is on hand.
You can wake up right now.
See how the entire show is made out of yourself
and is your own creation.
None of it is real but YOU, the eternal Self.
Right here, right now, this very moment,
notice the illusory angst of the I-thought
that creates the world, the body and the mind.
Cease and desist from the illusory tales of the I-thought.

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The Sage does not care where he or she is.
It's all the same.
A true Sage does not have to travel everywhere,
trying to pick up devotees, or disciples.
Couldn't care less if anybody heard of him or her.
Never looking for name or fame.
Not really interested in publishing books,
putting out tapes, making him or herself
well known all over the world, so people can come.
A true Sage just doesn't care about these things,
because there's no self left to care about these things.
The ego has been totally transcended.
There is no ego that needs to do anything.
That is why people like Ramana Maharshi
never left Tiruvannamalai, Arunachala.
There is nowhere to go. It's all the same.

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DO NOT WAIT …

Question: We know that the pleasures of this world are useless and even painful, yet we long for them. What is the way of ending that longing?

Bhagavan: Think of God and attachments will gradually drop from you. If you wait till all desires disappear to start your devotion and prayer, you will have to wait a very, very long time indeed.

- ‘Guru Ramana’, S.S Cohen

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You don’t have to put any kind of strenuous practices
upon yourself in order to realise the Self.
The Self is the most natural.
It is the mind itself that is both entertained by
and entangled in so-called spiritual practices for self-realisation.
Though some practices are good and necessary,
many are aimed only at the ego.
Left unnoticed, they will keep you in a limited state of mind,
perhaps a spiritual mind even,
whereby you believe you are merely a 'person'
on the road to becoming the Self.
Your true Self however, does not need to practice anything,
for it is unchangingly perfect and timelessly present.

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V: How to get rid of useless thoughts?
M: Like wrong telephonic calls, disconnect useless thoughts; don’t entertain them. Make use of useful ones and then be free of thoughts as far as possible. You get engrossed in memories, be attentive, say ‘go, I don’t want you’.
With practice it is possible to be free of thoughts; your own thoughts become an obstacle in your spiritual progress.

V: That is why we come here; it is easier to think of him then phones.
M: Whatever I say, I have practiced, I too used to get thoughts but I remembered what my Guru said, ‘you are, so Just be’. I am least worried about others, I am concerned with myself.
Treat thoughts like one would treat a person, ask them to go. When relaxed, the thoughts come and complain, who complains about others?
They are your own thoughts, just
kick them out!

~ I AM UNBORN

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Ask, It Will Be Given

-----------------------------

A new visitor to the Asramam was telling Bhagavan that he had been worshipping Lord Subrahmanya with great devotion for ten years, but the Lord had not chosen to appear before him. The devotee was obviously in anguish, and might have expected Bhagavan to give him some advice. But Bhagavan merely nodded his head and said, “Is that so?”

Muruganar who was sitting in the hall became emotional and said to the devotee, “Sir! Your prayers have been effective indeed! Look before you! Who is this, in front of your eyes?” The devotee opened his eyes wide and gazed at Bhagavan. Within moments, his eyes filled with tears of ecstasy and he exulted, “Yes! My prayers have been granted! My Subrahmanya is right here! I am fortunate indeed!”

Later in the evening, this devotee went to Muruganar and told him, “Thank you, Sir, for directing me. I looked at Bhagavan and saw Lord Subrahmanya with His two Consorts. Bhagavan Sri Ramana is none other than Lord Subrahmanya!”

- Saranagati, Oct 2008

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Work rids us of the three great evils: boredom, vice and need.

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Вольтер

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Работа избавляет нас от трёх великих зол: скуки, порока, нужды.

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Robert Adams

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Reading is only for motivation. Be careful what you read. There are too many books. If you speak to those people who have really become enlightened, you will find that they hardly ever read at all. May be a couple of books but what they did, was the sadhana, the spiritual practices required. They worked on themselves consistently, constantly, 24 hours a day.

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The word mukti (liberation) is so provoking. Why should one seek it? He believes that there is bondage and therefore seeks liberation. But the fact is that there is no bondage but only liberation. Why call it by a name and seek it?

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Just finish your mind off!
The worst thing is to come this far, and then go back into your mind.
So rare is it to come through into this real seeing, to cross over from the mortal mind into the immortal being.
Stay as nothing, and let your true Self educate you from inside. Allow your life to be the magic it is, full of unexpected splendor...

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Sundaram (Sadhu Trivenigiri) was a spiritually-minded person. He came to the Ashram in 1933 and was taken on the staff. He worked for long years in the kitchen.
In 1932, as I stood before the deity of the Subramaniyam temple, the following words flashed into my consciousness: “Here I am God who does not talk. Go to Tiruvannamalai. The Maharshi is a god who talks.” This was how the Maharshi’s grace manifested itself to me. I had not even seen him at that time.

In 1933, after my wife’s death, I gave up my job and came to Sri Ramanasramam. As the sarvadhikari knew my family very well, he immediately engaged me for the Ashram work.

Prior to my arrival, I had been suffering from asthma for many years. It gave me a lot of trouble, but I did not mention it to Bhagavan. Once Bhagavan gave me a pinch of chutney he had prepared and said, “This is medicine for you.” I swallowed the same. Later I realized that I was completely cured of my asthma.
At night, after visitors had left, we would all collect around Bhagavan. We felt like a big family assembled after a day’s work. During those short hours, Bhagavan would inquire about our welfare, chat with us, make us laugh and also give us instructions for the next day.
Bhagavan always felt concerned about the welfare of his devotees. One day, for example, when Major Chadwick was down with a fever, Bhagavan asked, “How is he now?” When I replied that I did not know and had not seen him, he directed me to go and see him. He added, “He left his country and traveled thousands of miles, staying with us and making us his own. Should we not take care of him and look after his needs?”

Once, when I served food to Bhagavan, he asked, “Why did you serve me more than usual? How you dare make distinctions like this?” The people nearby pleaded for me. “No Bhagavan,” they said, “Sundaram did not serve you more. Look, we got as much as you did.” But Bhagavan would not be so easily appeased. “You do not know, the ego is strong in him. His giving preference to me is the working of his ego”, he said.

One morning when I was cutting vegetables along with Bhagavan, he said, “Sundaram! Take this hurricane light and pick up the mangoes that have fallen from the tree.” I said, “Yes”, but continued cutting the vegetables. Bhagavan said, “Sundaram, attend to what ‘I’ said first. It is from me that everything arises. Attend to it first.” I took this as an adesha and upadesa (order and instruction) to make the inquiry ‘Who am I?’ My friends also felt so.

One day the attendant Madhavan was binding a book. A devotee wanted a book from the library. Bhagavan asked Madhavan to get it saying, “You do my work; I will do your work.” And Bhagavan took the book and went on with the binding while Madhavan got the library book.

Once while meditating in the presence of Bhagavan, my mind persisted in wandering. I couldn’t control it. So I gave up meditation and opened my eyes. Bhagavan at once sat up on his couch and said, “Oh! You abandon it thinking it is the swabhava (nature) of the mind to wander. Whatever we practice becomes the swabhava. If control is practiced persistently that will become the swabhava.” Yet another upadesa for me.

The injunction against the leftover food from the previous day is very much respected in the higher castes of South India. But Bhagavan insisted that avoidance of waste overruled everything else, and he would never permit God’s gift to be thrown away. As for giving the leftovers to beggars, it was not possible because Bhagavan insisted that beggars be given the same food as everyone else, and not some inferior stuff. Even dogs had to be fed from the common meal. Bhagavan would come to the kitchen in the early hours, see the leftovers from the night before, warm them up, dilute them, and add some more ingredients to make them palatable.

Bhagavan was neither a rebel nor a reformer. He did not discourage people from following their religious customs at home, but in the Ashram, he would not take any custom for granted. At Sri Ramanasramam he was both the religion and the custom.

- Face to Face

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Muruganar Swami speaks of Ramana Maharshi's Grace

I heard from devotees who had redeemed themselves by taking as their support the grace of the one at Tiruvannamalai, who is the embodiment of true jnana, and who shines as the flame of true tapas. When they spoke of the greatness of HIS grace, they melted in joy. Hearing them, I was lost in admiration and unceasing joy….

I went with eleven verses that began with 'Leaving Mount Kailas…’ and met the excellent Sage, the Jnana Guru, the ocean of mauna (silence), the bestower of Jnana.

In the same way that wax melts on encountering fire, on seeing HIS feet, my mind dissolved and lost its form. Like a calf finding its mother, my heart melted and rejoiced in HIS feet. The hair on my body stood on end. Devotion surged in me like an ocean that has seen the full moon. Through the grace of chitshakti (power inherent in consciousness), my soul was in ecstasy.

With an unsteady and quivering voice, I read the eleven verses and placed them at HIS feet. At that very moment HE graciously looked at me with HIS Lotus eyes. From that day on, the praises given out by my impartial tongue belonged only to HIM.

From the way HE bestowed HIS grace, becoming my Lord and Master, I was convinced that HE was Shiva himself. As my new ‘owner’, HE made my 'I’ and 'mine’ HIS own.

Even if I get submerged in the miry mud (of hell), I will not forget the mighty nobility of the bountiful bestower of grace.

- Muruganar, Guru Vachaka Kovai

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Amma - Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

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Mantras are the purest form of universal vibrations, or shakti, the profundity of which was experienced by the Rishis in deep meditation. Mantra is the power of the universe in seed form. That is why they are known as bijaksharas (seed letters). Having gone through that experience, they offered these pure sounds to humanity. However, verbally encapsulating an experience, particularly the most profound of all experiences, is not so easy. So, the mantras we have are the closest sounds to the universal sound that the compassionate Rishis could verbally create for the benefit of the world. However, the fact still remains that the fullness of a mantra can only be experienced when your. mind attains perfect purity.

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