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An account given by Will Zulkowsky on Yogi Ramsurat Kumar's reverence for Amma. (Will was one of the first Westerners to come in touch with Him (in 1973))

Once I went to Ammachi’s ashram (in 1990s), and I knew I was going to see Swami in Tiruvannamalai, so I bought a lemon and took it to her. Ammachi was giving darshan and I said: “Could you bless this for Yogi Ramsuratkumar?” She took the lemon, closed her hand around it, and then she gave it to me; I had never seen her do this before.

Swami was at Sudama house, and I came up for darshan in a long queue. At the time Swami’s hearing was really bad. For a couple of years he had a hard time hearing everybody, and then it got better. His hearing became normal again. So, I brought this lemon from Ammachi and put it directly into Swami’s hand. His eyes got really bright, and then he started smelling it, taking deep breaths even – just relishing it, you could tell. He didn’t say a word.

Then a big smile came over his face. I said to Ma Devaki, “Tell him this lemon is from Mata Amritanandamayi.” She got the name wrong and Swami said, “Ammachi!” He looked over with a big smile and he said, - Oh, Will’s brought this beggar something very fine.

Big smile! He just kept sniffing at it, smelling it. He totally ignored everybody else and was just sniffing this lemon for a long time; every time he sniffed he had this big smile on his face. Then, he walked up and down. At that time when he was giving darshan he would pace up and down, with the people on either side. Every time he walked past me he had this beautiful, big broad smile because I’d brought him something nice.

In another instance he quotes:

When I came to see Yogi Ramsuratkumar after visiting Ammachi in 1990 - I came in January or February - I said I'd seen Ammachi and he said, “Oh”. He was very happy that I'd seen Ammachi and then he told me that, when he'd met Ammachi and he recognized that she was the Divine Mother.
When I talked to some devotees who were there, they said that he did a full prostration before Ammachi and then she had him come up on stage and sit with her when she gave the program down in Tiruvannamalai.

[It's really amazing that we are now getting details of these rare and amazing moments. It's our Mother's grace for all of her children !]

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Amma - Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

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Self effort and grace are interdependent. Without one the other is impossible.

Evgeny shared a Yogi Ramsuratkumar quote         SHARE URL

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Following is an interesting incident that happened after Amma's Thiruvannamalai visit (Amma's last visit was in 1984):

Once an American devotee of Amma on her way to to Amritapuri, the first time she came to India, went to Thiruvannamalai to meet the Avadhuta Yogi Ram Surat Kumar. Hearing he was a God-realized being, she sought him out at the residence his devotees had provided for him. She found him on the porch, which was his darshan area. Carrying a package of dates, she approached him and offered her pranams. Before she had fully risen, he exclaimed, “Amma! Amma! Amma! O Amritanandamayi! That Mother came to visit this beggar! She came and had Her picture taken with this beggar. Amma…” His speech was choked with emotion and in the act of remembering, he seemed to drift into a reverie. The woman was mystified, as she had never met this man before and had no idea how he knew that she was a devotee of Amma.

The following year, she again went to visit him. At one point she asked him a spiritual question. His response was tender but emphatic, “Why are you asking me this question? Why do you ask me this question? Your Teacher is so great! You are in such good care. You are so protected. O She is so great!” He fully extolled Amma’s virtues.

Blessed we are, to live our lives with the Divine Mother herself and to get her instructions for our spiritual progress !

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Amma - Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

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Following is an interesting incident that happened after Amma's Thiruvannamalai visit (Amma's last visit was in 1984):

Once an American devotee of Amma on her way to to Amritapuri, the first time she came to India, went to Thiruvannamalai to meet the Avadhuta Yogi Ram Surat Kumar. Hearing he was a God-realized being, she sought him out at the residence his devotees had provided for him. She found him on the porch, which was his darshan area. Carrying a package of dates, she approached him and offered her pranams. Before she had fully risen, he exclaimed, “Amma! Amma! Amma! O Amritanandamayi! That Mother came to visit this beggar! She came and had Her picture taken with this beggar. Amma…” His speech was choked with emotion and in the act of remembering, he seemed to drift into a reverie. The woman was mystified, as she had never met this man before and had no idea how he knew that she was a devotee of Amma.

The following year, she again went to visit him. At one point she asked him a spiritual question. His response was tender but emphatic, “Why are you asking me this question? Why do you ask me this question? Your Teacher is so great! You are in such good care. You are so protected. O She is so great!” He fully extolled Amma’s virtues.

Blessed we are, to live our lives with the Divine Mother herself and to get her instructions for our spiritual progress !

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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‘I am this or that’

Now, you are trying to understand all this but you cannot, because you have on the swaddling clothes of 'I am this or that'. Remove them. The ultimate point of view is that there is nothing to understand. So, trying to understand is just indulging in mental acrobatics. Whatever you have understood you are not. Spit it all out. Whatever you understand is not the truth. Throw it overboard. Do not try to catch hold of any concepts and cling to them. Don't employ any words, but look at yourself as you are.

Throw away every thought, every experience, everything that happens after the consciousness, the beingness comes. Other than throwing it away as useless, there is nothing to be done beyond this firm understanding in which you become more and more absorbed. Before the beingness was there, look at that, be in that state.

Do not get lost in words and thoughts and ideas. Do not crave for mind knowledge and concepts in the name of spirituality. Anything that is seen and interpreted by the mind is only an appearance in consciousness, and, therefore, cannot be true. The knowledgeable one just witnesses whatever experiences are obtainable through the mind, viewing them as without substance. The mind may be sprouting, expressing itself with various concepts. But, don't identify with that, let it go. Don't be a customer to your mind concepts. The knower of the mind is just a witness. He does not interfere in anything.

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Rumi, 13th century Sufi poet and Mystic

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It is the scent of Home
that keeps me going
the hope of union
the face of my Beloved.

Evgeny shared a Mooji quote         SHARE URL

Mooji

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It was this story that papaji told me, I say like this, about one girl, and she was just about to get married, no, and she was, the next day, she’s getting married the next day, and she’s been planning everything for this wedding, because it’s a traditional place. And in this place, you don’t get to be with your beloved in any intimate way, until you are married.

So, tomorrow is the wedding, no, tomorrow is the wedding day, yes, and so today, she must make the final arrangement. And this girl lives in the forest. She lives in the forest and she’s, now today, final arrangements, she has a few appointments.

First I must go to the cake maker. And after the cake maker, I must see the dressmaker. After the dressmaker I must go and see the priest, to go through my vows.
And then finally at the end of the day I will see my beloved, and we’ll have a cup of tea together, look forward to tomorrow, and then tomorrow I’ll be, we’ll be in each other’s arms, oh wonderful! And she’s full of the joys of Spring. And she’s walking out in the forest to go to see the cake maker, first appointment on the list.
And after a few steps, right in front of her, steps a lion. Face to face, like this. Hungry lion also. And she can feel it’s breath….like this.

Then in that instant, you see, the cake maker’s appointment is gone. Then the dressmaker, not there. The priest, not there. Only the beloved, also not there.
In this moment, absolutely alone. No time, no future, no intention, no past, no identity.

So the master says, “welcome the lion on your path”. Because until then, you are planning a tomorrow you don’t have, a next week that nobody promise and all of this. And our minds are full of the noise of otherness. What will bring you to this instant this moment? When will you spend one moment to be just you? Not carrying some message for tomorrow or something. You see? And it’s the habit that all of us, we have it. And so we are full of noise, claustrophobic with noise. What will strip you back to that place? Beyond time and intention, you see.

How far are you from this place now? What’s left to do? What unfinished business is left to do? Before you can simply be your being, be yourself. Because the mind is not going to have a holiday. There is something that is not in the next moment, not in the past moment, also. Don’t look anywhere to find it. Even your very search to find it is already arising in it. We are missing the obvious. Don’t seek help from your mind…

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Devotee : Does one who has realized the Self lose the sense of 'I' ?

Ramana Maharshi : Absolutely.

Devotee : Then there is no difference between yourself and myself, that man over there, my servant. Are all the same ?

Ramana Maharshi : All are the same, including those monkeys.

Devotee : But the monkeys are not people. Are they not different ?

Ramana Maharshi : They are exactly the same as people. All are the same in One Consciousness.

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1) Once the conviction:

‘I am not the body’ becomes so well grounded that he can no longer feel, think and act for and on behalf of the body, he will easily discover that he is the universal being, knowing, acting,
that in him and through him the entire universe is real, conscious and active.

2) The totality of conscious experiences is nature.

As a conscious self you are a part of nature.
As awareness, you are beyond. Seeing nature as mere consciousness is awareness.[ but for awareness Maharaj says : There is a mysterious power that looks after them. That power is (awareness, Self, Life, God, whatever name you give it). It is the foundation, the ultimate support of all that is.]

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The memory of the past unfulfilled desires traps energy, which manifests itself as a person. When its charge gets exhausted, the person dies. Unfulfilled desires are carried over into the next birth. Self-identification with the body creates ever fresh desires and there is no end to them, unless this mechanism of bondage is clearly seen. It is clarity that is liberating, for you cannot abandon desire,unless its causes and effects are clearly seen. I do not say that the same person is reborn. It dies and dies for good. But its memories remain and their desires and fears. They supply the energy for a new person. The real takes no part in it, but makes it possible by giving it the light.

I Am That, Chapter 76

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Questioner: “I would like to know if you could guide me, as a mother.”

Moojibaba: “Your establishment in the Isness will provide all the guidance you will need. Because the guidance will arise spontaneously. It will be so beautiful, it will be so powerful that when you compare to guiding from the person (points to mind), you’ll say “no, no, no that’s just not working.” It will come spontaneously from inside you. Don’t panic, don’t be rushed, just be again from the Isness and you’ll hear it, you’ll understand what you’ll need to do. It will become clearer and clearer, it will become very joyful. You will be the best mother, in fact, because you have totally the support of the Self. You are one with it, you are in harmony with it… and you’ll find that if you don’t determine something like “ok I want to be this kind of..” No, just be present. Then you’re in natural time with the universe. And your responses being spontaneous and intuitive will always correspond to what is needed appropriately, to the needs of the moment. Yes. Ok maybe I cannot say ‘perfect’ because we are still speaking about phenominality, but as good as it can be, you see. And you will have the sense also inside that it is in alignment with the truest of Truth that is present within you.”

September 2017
Zmar Retreat

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Taoist Proverb

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Nothing weaker than water.
Nothing stronger than rock.
Still, a slow flow of water can cut through mountains.

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Sage Ribhu and His disciple Nidagha - ‘I’ and ‘YOU’
-------------------------------------------------
An earnest devotee asked Sri Bhagavan about the method to realize the Self. As usual, Sri Bhagavan told him to find out who is the ‘I’ in his question. After a few more questions in this strain the devotee asked, “Instead of enquiring ‘Who am I?’, can I put the question to myself ‘Who are you?’ since then, my mind may be fixed on you whom I consider to be God in the form of Guru.”

Sri Bhagavan replied, “Whatever form your enquiry may take, you must finally come to the one ‘I’, the Self. All these distinctions made between ‘I’ and ‘you’, master and disciple, are merely a sign of one’s ignorance. That ‘I’ Supreme alone is. To think otherwise is to delude oneself.” Thereupon Sri Bhagavan told the following story.

A Puranic story of Sage Ribhu and his disciple Nidagha, is particularly instructive.

Although Ribhu taught his disciple the Supreme Truth of the One Brahman without a second, Nidagha, in spite of his erudition and understanding, did not get sufficient conviction to adopt and follow the path of Jnana, but settled down in his native town to lead a life devoted to the observance of ceremonial religion.

But the sage, Ribhu, loved his disciple as deeply as the latter venerated his Master. In spite of his age, Ribhu would himself go to his disciple in the town, just to see how far the latter had outgrown his ritualism.

At times the sage went in disguise, so that he might observe how Nidagha would act when he did not know that he was being observed by his master. On one such occasion Ribhu, who had put on the disguise of a village rustic, found Nidagha intently watching a royal procession.

Unrecognized by the town-dweller Nidagha, the village rustic enquired what the bustle was all about, and was told that the king was going in procession.

“Oh! It is the king. He goes in procession! But where is he?” asked the rustic.

“There, on the elephant,” said Nidagha.

“You say the king is on the elephant. Yes, I see the two,” said the rustic, “But which the king is and which the elephant is?”

“What!” exclaimed Nidagha. “You see the two, but do not know that the man above is the king and the animal below is the elephant? What is the use of talking to a man like you?”

“Pray, be not impatient with an ignorant man like me,” begged the rustic. “But you said ‘above’ and ‘below’ – what do they mean?”

Nidagha could stand it no more. “You see the king and the elephant, the one above and the other below. Yet you want to know what is meant by ‘above’ and ‘below’?” burst out Nidagha. “If things seen and words spoken can convey so little to you, action alone can teach you. Bend forward and you will know it all too well”.

The rustic did as he was told. Nidagha got on his shoulders and said, “Know it now. I am above as the king; you are below as the elephant. Is that clear enough?”

“No, not yet,” was the rustic’s quiet reply. “You say that you are above like the king, and I am below like the elephant. The ‘king’, the ‘elephant’, ‘above’ and ‘below’ – so far it is clear. But
pray tell me what you mean by ‘I’ and ‘you’?”

When Nidagha was thus confronted all of a sudden with the mighty problem of defining the ‘you’ apart from the ‘I’, light dawned on his mind.

At once he jumped down and fell at his Master’s feet saying, “Who else but my venerable Master, Ribhu, could have thus drawn my mind from the superficialities of physical existence to the true Being of the Self? Oh! Benign Master, I crave thy blessings.”

- Stories Ramana Told

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Tonics for All Alike
--------------------------------
Once Dr. Ramachandra Rao, an Ayurvedic physician, made out a long list of herbs and ingredients and showed it to Bhagavan. Bhagavan carefully perused it and commented on the value of each of the herbs, and obediently asked, “For whom is this medicine, my dear man?” The kindly doctor said, “For Sri Bhagavan himself.” On hearing that, Bhagavan said, “No doubt you have given me a long list of items but where am I to get the money to pay for them? It could cost Rs. 10/- and whom am I to approach for it?”

Someone quietly said, looking around at the Ashram property, “Whose is all this, Swamiji?”

“Yes, but what have I? If I want a quarter anna, I must go and ask the Sarvadhikari. How should I go and ask him? He gives me a little food, if I go there as soon as the bell rings.”

The physician humbly volunteered to pay for the medicines himself. Bhagavan said, “Oh yes? You will get them? But if that medicine is good for me, it must necessarily be good for all the others here. Can you give it to them as well?”

Others in the hall quickly picked up on Bhagavan’s line of argument and made soft protests: “Why do we want it, Swamiji?” Bhagavan replied, “If people who do physical work don’t need a body-building tonic, how is that I who merely sits here and eats should need one? That can’t be!”

The doctor said, “Bhagavan always declines everything that is offered, but if he agrees to take something, won’t it be forthcoming? Or if not medicines, why not take some nutritious food such as milk, fruit and almonds?”

Bhagavan replied, “I am a daridranarayana (God in the form of the poor and the destitute). How can I afford it? Besides, mine is a large family. How can all of them have milk, fruit and almonds?”

- Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 29th November, 1945

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When you do things from your Soul, you feel a river moving within you, a joy.

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Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya

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From the unreal delusion lead me to the real truth
From the darkness lead me to the light
From death lead me to immortality.

He who knows both knowledge and action,
with action overcomes death
and with knowledge reaches immortality.

In him are woven the sky and the earth
and all the regions of the air,
and in him rest the mind
and all the powers of life.
Know him as the ONE
and leave aside all other words.
He is the bridge of immortality.

Beyond the senses is the mind,
and beyond the mind is reason, its essence.
Beyond reason is the Spirit in man,
and beyond this is the Spirit of the Universe,
the evolver of all.

When the five senses and the mind are still,
and reason itself rests in silence,
then begins the Path supreme.

So on and so forth
So on and so forth
So on and so forth

And when he is seen in his immanence and transcendence,
then the ties that have bound the heart are unloosened,
the doubts of the mind vanish,
and the law of Karma works no more.

Translation of Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya mantra.

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Just rest.
No time.
No intention.
No future.
No identity.
Just for a moment.
The world can do without you for a few moments.

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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The world in which you live is not projected onto you,
but by you. All comes from within.

I Am That, Chapter 63

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Having come so far as to discover
all appearances to be unreal,
the final obstacle is the identity
of the seeker.
The seeker says, ‘I just want to be free,
I just want to be who I am.
That is all I want now, nothing else.’
He says, ‘Please remove the last obstacle,’
not knowing that the obstacle is he himself.
But all of this has only been
our dream-talking, dream-walking,
dream-seeking.
Now through the Master’s guidance
and grace, one must twist oneself
loose from this conditioned identity
as a seeker by recognising
that it too is observable,
and is therefore phenomenal.
Take time to be anchored in this
because this recognition is crucial.
The seeker remains dissatisfied and says,
‘You never answer my questions.’
The question and the questioner have been
answered but can the ‘seeker’ accept
an answer that reveals its unreality?
He says, ‘Wow, but without me,
how can I be found?’
And I say, Without ‘you’ how can you be lost?
When this is grasped, one has found
the master key to awakening.

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Amma - Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

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Like love , surrender cannot be studied or learned from books, from a particular person or from a university. Surrender comes as love grows. In fact, the two grow simultaneously. Ultimately, we must surrender to our own true Self, but surrender requires a lot of courage. We need a daring attitude to sacrifice our ego. This requires us to welcome and accept everything without any feelings of sorrow or disappointment.

~ Amma (108 Quotes on Love)

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You are not a kindergarten student of spirituality, so you must cease to think and speak as if you are a phenomenal object. You are the animating consciousness that provides sentience to the sentient being. You are the pure Awareness. You do not need to be liberated.

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Rumi, 13th century Sufi poet and Mystic

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I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Silent Meditation

Meditation is a deliberate attempt to pierce into the higher states of consciousness and finally go beyond it. The art of meditation is the art of shifting the focus of attention to even subtler levels, without losing one's grip on the levels left behind.

The final stage of meditation is reached when the sense of identity goes beyond the 'I-am-so-and-so', beyond 'so-I-am', beyond 'I-am-the-witness-only', beyond 'there-is', beyond all ideas into the impersonally personal pure being. But you must be energetic when you take to meditation. It is definitely not a part-time occupation.

Limit your interests and activities to what is needed for you and your dependents' barest needs. Save all your energies and time for breaking the wall your mind had built around you. Believe me, you will not regret.

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Some people think that there are different stages in jnana. The Self is nitya aparoksha, i.e., ever-realized, knowingly or unknowingly.

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"We were talking not long ago about one man whose wife was caring for homeless people, so to speak. And he was talking to one of these ‘homeless’ persons and he was saying, ‘my wife has done so much work for the homeless’ and so on.

And the homeless man says, ‘everybody is homeless.’

Everybody is homeless until you find God. Until you find Truth.

You could live in a palace with a hundred rooms, but you’re not home until you’re home here.

When you are at home inside your own Being, you are at home. Otherwise not.

Satsang is to reintroduce you to your home.

Your home and yourself are one, not two."

- Moojibaba

“Satsang of the Week” for 8 December 2019

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