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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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The very idea of destruction of reality is ridiculous; the destroyer is always more real than the destroyed. Reality is the ultimate destroyer. All separation, every kind of estrangement and alienation is false. All is one — this is the ultimate solution of every conflict.

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I remember hearing a talk from a very famous Tibetan teacher, a man who had spent many years in a small, stone hut in the Himalayas. He was crippled, and so he couldn’t use either one of his legs. He told a story of how a big boulder fell on his legs and broke them, and he spent many years in a stone hut, because there was really nothing that he could do. It was hard for someone with broken legs to get around much in the Himalayas.

He told the story of being in this small hut, and he said, “To be locked in that small hut for so many years was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. It was a great grace, because if it wasn’t for that, I would never have turned within, and I would never have found the freedom that revealed itself there. So I look back at the losing of my legs as one of the most profound and lucky events of my whole life.”

Normally, most of us wouldn’t think that losing the use of our legs would be grace. We have certain ideas about how we want grace to appear. But grace is simply that which opens our hearts, that which has the capacity to come in and open our perceptions about life.

– Adyashanti, Falling Into Grace

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Now that by Thy grace Thou hast claimed me,
what will become of me unless Thou manifest Thyself to me, and I, yearning wistfully for Thee,
and harassed by the darkness of the world, and lost?
Oh love, in the shape of Arunachala,
can the lotus blossom without sight of the sun?
Thou art the sun of suns;
Thou causest grace to well up in abundance
and pour forth as a stream!


Arunachala, Thou form of grace itself!
Once having claimed me, loveless though I be,
how canst Thou let me now be lost,
and fail to fill me so with love
that I must pine for Thee unceasingly
and melt within like wax over the fire?
Oh nectar springing up in the Heart of devotees!
Haven of my refuge!
Let Thy pleasure be mine,
for that way lies my joy,
Lord of my life!


Drawing me with the cords of Thy grace,
although I had not even dimly thought of Thee,
Thou didst decide to kill me outright.
How then has one so weak as I offended Thee
that Thou dost leave the task unfinished?
Why dost Thou torture me thus,
keeping me suspended between life and death?
Oh, Arunachala! Fulfill Thy wish,
and long survive me all alone,
Oh Lord!


What did it profit Thee to choose out, me,
from all those struggling in samsara,
to rescue my helpless self from being lost
and hold me at Thy feet?
Lord of the ocean of grace!
Even to think of Thee puts me to shame.
Long mayst Thou live!
I bow my head to Thee and bless Thee!


Lord! Thou didst capture me by stealth
and all these days hast held me at Thy feet!
Lord! Thou hast made me to stand with hanging head,
dumb like an image when asked what is Thy nature.
Lord! Deign to ease me in my weariness,
struggling like a deer that is trapped.
Lord Arunachala! What can be Thy will?
Yet who am I to comprehend Thee?


Lord of my life! I am ever at Thy feet,
like a frog which clings to the stem of the lotus;
make me instead a honeybee which from the blossom of the Heart
sucks the sweet honey of Pure Consciousness;
then shall I have deliverance.
If I am lost while clinging to Thy lotus feet,
it will be for Thee a standing column of ignominy, Oh blazing pillar of light, called Arunachala!
Oh, wide expanse of grace,
more subtle than ether!


Oh pure one! If the five elements, the living beings and every manifest thing is nothing but Thy all-embracing Light, how then can I (alone) be separate from Thee? Since Thou shinest in the Heart, a single expanse without duality, how then can I come forth distinct therefrom? Show Thyself planting Thy lotus feet upon the head of the ego as it emerges!
8. Thou hast withheld from me all knowledge of gradual attainment
while living in the world, and set me at peace;
such care indeed is blissful and not painful to anyone,
for death in life is truly glorious.
Grant me, wasteful and mad for Thee,
the sovereign remedy of clinging to Thy Feet!


Oh Transcendent!
I am the first of those who have not the supreme wisdom
to clasp Thy feet in freedom from attachment.
Ordain Thou that my burden be transferred to Thee
and my freewill effaced, for what indeed can be a burden
to the sustainer of the universe?
Lord Supreme! I have had enough of the fruits
of carrying the burden of this world
upon my head, parted from Thee.
Arunachala, Supreme Self!
Think no more to keep me
at a distance from Thy feet!


I have discovered a new thing!
This hill, the lodestone of lives,
arrests the movements of anyone
who so much as thinks of it,
draws him face to face with it,
and fixes him motionless like itself,
to feed upon his soul thus ripened.
What a wonder is this!
Oh souls! beware of It and live!
Such a destroyer of lives
is this magnificent Arunachala,
which shines within the Heart!


How many are there who have been ruined like me
for thinking this hill to be the supreme?
Oh men who, disgusted with this life of intense misery,
seek a means of giving up the body,
there is on earth a rare drug which,
without actually killing him,
will annihilate anyone who so much as thinks of it.
Know that it is none other than this Arunachala!

- Collected Works

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Bhagavan: All that is needed is to give up thinking of objects other than the Self. Meditation is not so much thinking of the Self as giving up thinking of the not-Self. When you give up thinking of outward objects and prevent your mind from going outwards and turn it inward and fix it in the Self, the Self alone will remain.
At this point, K.M. Jivrajani interposed, “Has one necessarily to pass through the stage of seeing occult visions before attaining Self-realization?”
Bhagavan: Why do you bother about visions and whether they come or not?
K.M. Jivrajani: I don’t. I only want to know so that I shan’t be disappointed if I don’t have them.
Bhagavan: Visions are not a necessary stage. To some they come and to others, they don’t, but whether they come or not you always exist and you must stick to that.
K.M. Jivrajani: I sometimes concentrate on the brain center and sometimes on the heart — not always on the same center. Is that wrong?
Bhagavan: Wherever you concentrate and on whatever center there must be a 'you' to concentrate, and that is what you must concentrate on. Different people concentrate on different centers, not only the brain and the heart but also the space between the eyebrows, the tip of the nose, the tip of the tongue, the lowermost chakra, and even external objects. Such concentration may lead to a sort of laya in which you will feel a certain bliss, but care must be taken not to lose the thought ‘I Am’ in all this. You never cease to exist in all these experiences.
K.M. Jivrajani: That is to say that I must be a witness?
Bhagavan: Talking of the ‘witness’ should not lead to the idea that there is a witness and something else apart from him that he is witnessing. The ‘witness’ really means the light that illumines the seer, the seen and the process of seeing. Before, during, and after the triads of seer, seen and seeing, the illumination exists. It alone exists always.
Again today a visitor put questions: I do not understand how to make the inquiry ‘Who am I?’
Bhagavan: Find out whence the ‘I’ arises. Self-inquiry does not mean argument or reasoning such as goes on when you say, “I am not this body, I am not the senses,” etc.: all that may also help but it is not the inquiry. Watch and find out where in the body the ‘I’ arises and fix your mind on that.

18. and 19.4.46, Day by Day with Bhagavan

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Annamalai Swami

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Building works, part 17

Chinnaswami's managerial style alienated a lot of devotees but as a matter of principle Bhagavan nearly always supported him if he got into any disputes with devotees. Bhagavan himself frequently criticized Chinnaswami but that was prerogative he alone had. The rest of us had to suffer in silence. I remember one incident which illustrates this very well.
A woman once came to have Bhagavan's darshan. Because she was a very shy woman who didn't like eating in the company of men, she ate alone in a separate hut near the dining room. Instead of sending some woman devotee like Sampurnammal to serve food to her, Chinnaswami himself decided to deliver her food and serve it to her. When Bhagavan discovered what was happening he publicly rebuked him: 'Why don't you send one of the women to serve her? Why are you taking her food? She is very shy. She is not accustomed to dealing with strange men.'
Several devotees who had witnessed this scene began to think 'If Bhagavan treats Chinnaswami like this, why should we treat him with any respect?'
In the succeeding days these devotees began to treat Chinnaswami rather badly. Bhagavan observed this in silence for a few days.
When he saw that the disgruntled devotees were not going to change their attitude unless he intervened, he restored the status quo by telling them, 'Do you think that Chinnaswami is a killuk-kiraiai [a small plant which can easily be pulled out of the ground with one's fingernails and thrown away]? Chinnaswami is the sarvadhikari here. You should respect his position and follow his instructions.'
When the work on the cowshed was finally over Chinnaswami wrote to Rangaswami Gounder, the man who had given the cowshed which had been turned into a storeroom.
'We have completed a big cowshed. You can come and yourself. Please don't be angry with us anymore.'
Rangaswami Gounder accepted the invitation and was delighted to see what a big cowshed we had built. He kept his original promise and donated several cows to the ashram.
As he was being shown around the cowshed he remarked.
'When I saw that Chinnaswami had spent my earlier donation on a storeroom instead of a cowshed, I quite naturally got angry with him. I thought that he had wasted all my money. Now that this new cowshed, which is much bigger than the one I had planned, has been built, I am happy and content. Everything has turned out well in the end.'
Chinnaswami was also a happy man. In the closing stages of the work the ashram had received so many donations for the cowshed that there was a lot of money to spare when the work was finally completed. This put Chinnaswami into an unusually exuberant mood.
'Whenever you work for the ashram in future,' he told me, 'get the work done by throwing money wherever it is needed. Bhagavan will provide whatever is needed.'

- Living by the Words of Bhagavan p. 57

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Each seeker accepts, or invents, a method which suits him, applies it to himself with some earnestness and effort, obtains results according to his temperament and expectations, casts them into the mound of words, builds them into a system, establishes a tradition and begins to admit others into his 'school of Yoga'. It is all built on memory and imagination. No such school is valueless, nor indispensable; in each one can progress up to the point, when all desire for progress must be abandoned to make further progress possible. Then all schools are given up, all effort ceases; in solitude and darkness the last step is made which ends ignorance and fear forever.

The true teacher, however, will not imprison his disciple in a prescribed set of ideas, feelings and actions; on the contrary, he will show him patiently the need to be free from all ideas and set patterns of behavior, to be vigilant and earnest and go with life wherever it takes him, not to enjoy or suffer, but to understand and learn.

Under the right teacher, the disciple learns to learn, not to remember and obey. Satsang, the company of the noble, does not mold, it liberates. Beware of all that makes you dependent. Most of the so-called 'surrenders to the Guru' end in disappointment, if not in tragedy. Fortunately, an earnest seeker will disentangle himself in time, the wiser for the experience.

Q: Surely, self-surrender has its value.

M: Self-surrender is the surrender of all self-concern. It cannot be done, it happens when you realize your true nature. Verbal self-surrender, even when accompanied by feeling, is of little value and breaks down under stress. At best it shows an aspiration, not an actual fact.

- I AM THAT ch 92

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Annamalai Swami

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During sleep, you have no likes and dislikes. Jnanis and babies manage this while they are awake. Baby mind is good; jnani mind is good; 'I am the body' mind is very, very bad.
Question: It's a poisonous thought!
Annamalai Swami: Yes, yes. The 'I am the body' thought is just as poisonous as a cobra. 'All is my Self.' 'All is the nectar of my own Self.' These are the great affirmations that counter the 'I am the body' thought.
Holding on to one of these sayings is the equal of millions of punyas. If we continuously meditate on the truth of these statements, if we hold on to the truth that they are pointing towards, countless punyas will accrue to us.
There are many other mantras, but none are as useful as these. Ribhu Gita says, 'All is one. All is the Self.'
This is the truth that you have to hold onto. To the real ‘I’ nothing is foreign in the entire universe. If you know you are everything, there will be no desire to pursue some things and not others. Do you like or desire your arm more than your foot? When your body is the whole universe, likes, dislikes and desires will be absent.

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Yogi Tea Quotes

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Still others commit all sorts of evil deeds, claiming karma doesn’t exist. They erroneously maintain that since everything is empty, committing evil isn’t wrong. Such persons fall into a hell of endless darkness with no hope of release. Those who are wise hold no such conception.

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When mortals are alive, they worry about death.
When they're full, they worry about hunger.
Theirs is the Great Uncertainty.
But sages don't consider the past.
And they don't worry about the future.
Nor do they cling to the present.
And from moment to moment they follow the Way.

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Albert Einstein

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The soul given to each of us is moved by the same living spirit that moves the Universe.

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Albert Einstein

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I like to experience the Universe as one harmonious whole. Every cell has life. Matter, too, has life; it is energy solidified...

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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The power of humility, which bestows immortality, is the foremost among powers that are hard to attain. Since the only benefit of learning and other similar virtues is the attainment of humility, humility alone is the real ornament of the sages. It is the storehouse of all other virtues and is therefore extolled as the wealth of divine grace. Although it is a characteristic befitting wise people in general, it is especially indispensable for sadhus.

Since attaining greatness is impossible for anyone except by humility, all the disciplines of conduct such as yama and niyama, which are prescribed specifically for aspirants on the spiritual path, have as their aim only the attainment of humility. Humility is indeed the hallmark of the destruction of the ego. Because of this, humility is especially extolled by sadhus themselves as the code of conduct befitting them.

Moreover, for those who are residing at Arunachala, it is indispensable in every way. Arunachala is the sacred place where even the embodiments of God, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shakti, humbly subsided. Since it has the power to humble even those who would not be humbled, those who do not humbly subside at Arunachala will surely not attain that redeeming virtue anywhere else.

The Supreme Lord, who is the highest of the high, shines unrivaled and unsurpassed only because he remains the humblest of the humble. When the divine virtue of humility is necessary even for the Supreme Lord, who is totally independent, is it necessary to emphasize that it is absolutely indispensable for sadhus who do not have such independence? Therefore, just as in their inner life, in their outer life also sadhus should possess complete and perfect humility. It is not that humility is necessary only for devotees of the Lord; even for the Lord, it is the characteristic virtue.

- Sri Ramana Darsanam, Taken from http://davidgodman.org/interviews/al4.shtml

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Robert Adams

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It is only in the silence that the ultimate truth comes to you. It is only when your mind becomes quiescent, calm, like a motionless lake. A motionless lake reflects the stars, the moon, the sun. But a lake that’s noisy, vibrating, reflects absolutely nothing. In the same instance, a being whose mind has become motionless, whose mind has become calm, relaxed, peaceful, begins to reflect their own divinity, begins to reflect pure awareness, nirvana, emptiness. That always comes by itself. The ultimate reality is already there. You do not have to search for it. No one can give it to you.



Om shanti, shanti, peace, peace.

When I sit like this at home in a chair for hours, people ask me if I'm meditating? And the answer is no. For to meditate you have to have a subject and an object and that implies duality. But if there is nobody home there is no subject and there is no object. So you're not meditating. Some people ask whether I go into samadhi? Who is left to go into samadhi? There has to be somebody left over to go into samadhi. That also implies an object and a subject. Wipe out the object and the subject and you will become nobody. So what do you do you just stay in the silence and do nothing. There's nothing to do. People always believe they have got to do something. When there is nothing to do it sounds too easy. But when you are doing something, meditating, going into samadhi, there has to be a doer. You are not the doer. You are no-body and you are absolute reality, pure consciousness, ultimate oneness, sat-chit-ananda, I am that I am. And this is your true nature, awaken to it.

Robert Adams, T43: I AM & T32: Remember The Reasons Why You Came Here

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Sufi Story

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A Heap of Skulls : A Sufi Story

There is a story about Bayazid, a Sufi mystic. He was passing through a cemetery and he came upon a heap of skulls. Out of curiosity he took one skull. He had always been of the thought that all skulls are almost the same, but they were not the same. There were a few skulls whose ears were joined together; there was a passage. There were a few skulls whose ears were not joined together; there was a barrier between the two. There were a few skulls both of whose ears were joined to the heart but not joined together; there was a passage running to the heart.

He was very surprised. He prayed and asked God, “What is the matter? What are you trying to reveal to me?” And it is said that he heard a voice. God said, “There are three types of people: one, who hear through one ear; it never reaches anywhere — in fact they don’t hear, just the sound vibrates and disappears. There is another type, who hear, but only momentarily — they hear through one ear, and through the other ear it is lost into the world again. There are a few souls, of course, who hear through the ears and it reaches to the heart.”

And God said, “Bayazid, I have brought you to this heap of skulls just to help you remember it when you are talking to people. Talk only to those who take whatsoever you say to their hearts — otherwise don’t waste your energy, and don’t waste your time. Your life is precious: you have a message to deliver.”

One day I also understood — not by going to a cemetery and coming across a heap, but by looking into alive people. There are three types; Bayazid is right. The story may be true or not; that is irrelevant. I looked into thousands of people, and I found that only a very few are there who will take the seed to the heart, who will begin soil to it, who will absorb it. And others are just curiosity-mongers, just entertaining themselves. Maybe entertainment is religious, but it is meaningless.

So here I don’t exist for the masses. Let it be known once and forever: I am not interested in the crowd, I am interested only in individuals. And you have to show your mettle.

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Sri Anandamayi Ma

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One must not allow oneself to be caught by the lure of supernormal faculties. Suppose one has acquired the power that whatever one utters becomes true or whatever one desires is fulfilled. What of it? This is only a stage.

By using such powers to destroy or improve people one may become arrested on that level instead of progressing towards the ultimate. To get entangled on the level of these powers is a waste of energy. Having acquired them one must not lose sight of the supreme Goal of human existence but strive unceasingly after Self-realization.
Failing to do so will create obstacles and may result in a fall.

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I am here to make you Total, Whole. To be Whole is to be Holy. Nothing is to be denied, contradictions have to be absorbed, so that a harmony, a symphony arises. I don't want you to become monotonous, monotony is death. A life of ordinary indulgence is repetitive, and so is the life of ordinary religion. The life of Yoga is tremendously rich. It is affirmative, it is saying yes to existence. Blessed are those in whom God has become a laughter, a song and a dance.

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Bhagavad Gita

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All things are governed by speech: speech is the root, from speech they originate; that man who is verily dishonest in speech, he is dishonest in all.

— Manu

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When you are experiencing with your attention rooted in being, your mind is no longer collecting outer impressions and the usual noise of the world goes unnoticed. All is replaced by this field of seamless awareness. For most people, their attention is engaged with sensory perception, and the noise produced there becomes the background of their being.

But for one who is absorbed in the Self, the most profound experience is that of unbroken, soundless Awareness, in which all phenomena appear and disappear without trace. For the one who has lost interest in the mind play, impressions drift further and further away from the heart of perceiving. This should be everyone’s unbroken experience. However, when we get wrapped up in the scenarios created by the mind, we will be distracted.

As you stabilize more in the Self, you find and enjoy peace even in the midst of daily life. The sense ‘I’ in you becomes a synonym for peace and harmony. For such a one knows he is not just the body or mind, nor is the body-mind a mere container or an antenna for receiving the incessant noise and impressions of the world. Even amidst the worldly traffic of sensations, the awakened one remains unperturbed, abiding effortlessly in the silence of Being. The mind of an awakened one is like a space in which phenomena appear and disappear, yet nothing sticks.

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Bruce Lee

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The teacher is never a giver of truth. He is a guide, a pointer to the truth each student must find for himself.

Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.

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The sincerest form of love.
"What is love?" the little child asked the wise man.
"Love is to give people what they need, not what they want", he answered.

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Victor Hugo, 1802-1885

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The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness.

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Рамана Махарши

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Вопрос: “В какой асане обычно сидит Бхагаван?”
Бхагаван: “В какой асане? В асане Сердца. Это моя асана. Её называют сукхасаной, асаной счастья, ибо эта асана Сердца полна тишины и даёт счастье. Сидящие в такой асане не нуждаются в какой-либо иной”.

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Рамана Махарши

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Видения во сне

Позавчера, где-то от восьми до девяти утра, пожилой человек из семьи среднего класса, знающий аюрведу, пришёл к Бхагавану, простёрся перед ним и сказал: “Свами, это полезно для флегмы, возьмите”. Он хотел дать некоторое лекарство. Когда служители пытались помешать ему сделать это, Бхагаван остановил их, взял лекарство и сказал им: “Когда я жил на Горе, он время от вре- мени приносил мне то или иное лекарство. Пусть он и сейчас даст его. Возможно, у него был какой-то сон”. С очевидным удо- вольствием тот старик произнёс: “Сейчас у меня не было ника- кого сна, Свами. В это время года у Вас обычно бывает избыток флегмы, не так ли? Поэтому я и принёс лекарство”. Сказав так, он поклонился и вышел. Как только он ушёл, преданный, сидящий рядом с Бхагаваном, спросил: “О каком сне Вы говорили?” Бхагаван ответил: «О, это! Живя на Горе, я однажды вечером случайно спросил Паланисва- ми, нет ли у него лимона. Он сказал: “Нет”. “Если так, не бес- покойся”, — произнёс я. Кажется, что в ту самую ночь только что ушедшему человеку приснилось, что я попросил у него лимон. На следующее утро, когда я вышел, он уже был там и сказал: “Свами, возьмите этот лимон!” Я обратился к нему с вопросом: “Вчера я спросил Паланисвами, нет ли у него одного лимона. Как вы узнали об этом?” Отвечая, он произнёс: “Вы приснились мне и сказали, что хотите лимон. Вот почему я сейчас принёс его”; и он положил лимон в мою руку. Вот как это произошло». Тот преданный спросил: “Бхагаван действительно появился ему во сне?” Бхагаван, улыбаясь, ответил: “Я не знаю. Кто знает? Он сказал так. И это всё”. Другой преданный спросил: “Записная книжка К.К. Намбияра тоже появилась здесь тем же способом, не так ли?” Бхагаван от- ветил: «Да, именно так. В то время Мадхаван находился здесь. Я говорил ему о необходимости вынуть из комода продолговатую записную книжку с чёрной обложкой, чтобы я мог записать в неё комментарий на Шри Рамана Гиту. Он сказал, что достанет её мне, но в течение четырёх или пяти дней забывал об этом. Тем временем Намбияр пришёл сюда и дал мне записную книж- ку, точно той формы и того описания, которые я просил. Когда я поинтересовался у него, как это случилось, что он принёс за- писную книжку точно по моему заказу, он сказал: “Бхагаван появился мне во сне и попросил записную книжку, указав тре- буемое количество страниц, ширину и длину. В магазине я нашёл точно такую книжку и принёс её”. Тем временем пришёл Мадха- ван. Я сказал ему: “Смотрите, здесь лежит эта книжка. Вы дали её мне, не так ли?” Он удивился и, вспоминая мои инструкции, вынул мою записную книжку из комода, которая оказалась точ- но такого же размера. Она как раз была достаточной для Шри Рамана Гиты, со шлоками и комментарием. Как только эта ра- бота была закончена, пришёл Намбияр и унёс её, сказав, что хотел бы напечатать текст, но в то же время он не решался пере- давать в печать книгу, содержащую почерк Бхагавана. Поэтому он сделал копию, которую послал в печать, а оригинал оставил себе. Он ещё должен быть у него. Даже Раджагопалан однажды сделал почти такую же вещь. Когда закончился запас наших
чернил, я несколько раз говорил людям здесь о необходимости пополнить его. На следующий день или днём позднее он, воз- вращаясь откуда-то, принёс большую банку чернил. Когда я спро- сил его, как он узнал о необходимости чернил здесь, он ответил, что Бхагаван появился ему во сне и сообщил о необходимости чернил. “Поэтому я и принёс её”, — сказал он. Вот какие вещи время от времени происходят». Тот преданный спросил: “Они говорят, что Бхагаван сам рас- сказывал им. Это правда?” Бхагаван ответил: “Откуда я знаю? Они так сказали. И это всё”. Тот же преданный спросил снова: “Пусть даже и так, но разве не удивительно, что требуемое здесь должно было оказаться увиденным ими во сне?” Бхагаван одо- брительно кивнул головой и остался в безмолвии.

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Many people went to Bhagavan not to get advice about their sadhana but to get help for their personal problems. These might include a lack of money or health or some family problem that needed to be resolved.

Bhagavan would never say, 'I will help you,' or 'I will solve your problem'. He would just listen quietly and do nothing. But, somehow, many people found that problems would disappear or be resolved satisfactorily if Bhagavan had been informed about them. He said when he was asked about this, that there was a divine force that automatically took care of all the problems that were placed before him, and that he himself was not personally involved in the resolution of any of these situations. Since this 'Divine force' had a very high success rate, many people brought their personal problems to Bhagavan.

Most people would only approach Bhagavan for help if there was a dire emergency in their lives, but other people expected him to manage all aspects of their lives. Bhagavan himself told us about one such man who corresponded with him while he was still living on the hill.

A postcard arrived, addressed to Bhagavan, in which the sender wrote: 'I am a poor elementary school teacher. My mother is old and my salary is so small, I cannot look after her properly. Kindly see that I get a raise.'

Bhagavan laughed and said, 'Well, why not?'

Another card came after some time in which he wrote: 'By your grace, my salary was increased. Now there is a vacancy in a higher grade. If I am given this promotion, I shall earn more and make my mother very happy.'

Bhagavan had a good laugh and said, 'Good'.

The next card arrived a few days later: 'My mother is bedridden and there is nobody to nurse her. If I could get married, my wife would look after her. But I am a poor man. Who will give me his daughter in marriage? And where will I get the money for expenses? Bhagavan may kindly arrange.' Bhagavan laughed again and said, 'Well, let it be so'.

After some months another postcard came: 'By your kindness, I was married quite easily. My wife is already with me. My mother wants a grandchild before she dies. Please provide.'

'Why not?' said Bhagavan.

A few months passed before the next card arrived: 'My wife gave birth to a child, but she has no milk for it. I cannot afford milk for the baby. Please get me another promotion.'

The next message came more quickly: 'I got a promotion and a salary increment. The child is doing well. I owe everything to your kindness.'

Bhagavan remarked, 'What have I done? It is his good karma that all goes well with him.'

Eventually, the man's good fortune ran out.

The next card said: 'Mother died. She worshipped you before her death.'

Bhagavan said nothing.

A month later another card arrived: 'Swami, my child has died.'

Bhagavan expressed his regrets but made no further comments.
Some time passed before the next card came: 'My wife is pregnant again.'

This apparent good news was canceled out by the next card:

'My wife gave birth to a child. Both died.'

'Ram, Ram,' said Bhagavan. 'Everything seems to be over.'

But there was more to come. The final card in this bizarre series ran:.'Due to family trouble, my work was very irregular and I was dismissed. I am completely destitute now.'

Bhagavan sighed deeply and commented, 'All that came has gone. Only his Self remained with him. It is always like this. When all goes, only the Self remains.'

- The Power of the Presence, III

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