Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     543 posts


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THE UTTER ILLUSION OF DAILY LIFE

"We read the articles in a newspaper, but do not care to know anything about the paper itself. We take 'the chaff', but Not 'the substance'.

The substratum - on which all this is printed, is the paper, and if we know the substratum, all else will be known.

The One only is The Sat - The Existence; IT is the paper, whereas the world - the things we see - and we ourselves, are the printed words.

This 'external universe', is a 'cinema show', to 'The Realized One'.

It is free, and the performance goes on, day and night!

'The Realized One', lives and works in it, knowing that its objects and bodies (people), are 'illusory appearances', just as an ordinary person, knows the scenes and characters on the cinema screen at a theatre, are illusions, and do not exist in Real Life.

But the ordinary person takes the external objects of daily life as 'Real', whereas The Realized One, sees them only as 'illusory cinema pictures'."

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Grace is always present.
You imagine it as something high in the sky,
far away, something that has to descend.
It is really inside you, in your heart.
When the mind rests in its source,
grace rushes forth,
sprouting as from a spring within you.

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Bhagavan’s Statements about Himself

" I have not given sannyas (the status of renunciate) to anyone, nor have I taken sannyas from anyone. I was living in Skandashram. My mother, who was also living there, passed away in 1922. Her corpse was brought to the foot of the hill and buried here and a samadhi (shrine) was built over it.

From that time puja was started here. After a while, I left Skandashram and came and stayed here. At no time have I taken any title. At no time have I initiated any disciples with diksha (formal initiation) or in any ritualistic way. I do not impose any restrictions or discipline on those who gather around me. I do not invite anyone to come to this place, nor do I tell anyone to leave this place. By birth, I am a Brahmin.

I was a Brahmachari (celibate student) when I came here (i.e. to Tiruvannamalai). Within an hour of arriving, I threw away my sacred thread, clothes, etc.; I shaved my head clean. I had about three rupees and threw it away, and since then I do not touch money. I accept in my hands things that can be eaten. I do not give upadesa (spiritual instruction) or call myself a guru. However, if questions are asked by seekers I answer them. Since 1907 people have called me ' Ramana Rishi'.

I am an 'athyashrami' (beyond the ashrams and castes) not falling within the category of any of the ashrams. This state is recognized in the sastras. It is explained in the Suta Samhita. The athyashrami can own property if necessary. He needs a guru, but the Self is my guru. The athyashrami is not bound to observe any rites. I have no desire to acquire properties, but things come and I accept them. I agree that to own property is worldly, but I do not hate the world.”

- from the court protocol

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Q.: Has the body any value to Self?

M.:
Yes,
it is through the body’s help
that Self is realised.

Q.:
What about diet?

M.:
Food affects the mind,
makes it more satvic (alive, vibrant, rhythmic),
for the practice of any kind of yoga.

Vegetarianism is absolutely necessary.

Q.:
Could one receive spiritual illumination
whilst eating flesh foods?

M.:
Yes,
but abandon them gradually
and accustom yourself to satvic foods.

However,
once you have attained illumination
it will make less difference what you eat,
as on a great fire it is immaterial
what fuel is added.

Source: Conscious Immortality, Ch.8.

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It happened......
Maharshi Ramana was dying.....
On Thursday April 13th, a doctor brought Maharshi a palliative to relieve the congestion in the lungs, but he refused it....
“It is not necessary, everything will come right within two days,” he said...
And after two days he died....

At about sunset, Maharshi told the attendants to sit him up....
They knew already that every movement, every touch, was painful, but he told them not to worry about that....
He was suffering from cancer – he had a cancer in his hand, very painful.... Even to drink water was impossible, to eat anything was impossible, to move his head was impossible.... Even to say a few words was very difficult....

He sat with one of the attendants supporting his head....
A doctor began to give him oxygen, but with a wave of his right hand he motioned him away....

Unexpectedly, a group of devotees sitting on the verandah outside the hall began singing Arunachala-Siva a bhajan that Maharshi liked very much.....

He liked that spot, Arunachala, very much; the hill he used to live upon – that hill is called Arunachala.....
And the bhajan was a praise, a praise for the hill....

On hearing it, Maharshi’s eyes opened and shone....
He gave a brief smile of indescribable tenderness....
From the outer edges of his eyes tears of bliss rolled down....

Somebody asked him,
“Maharshi, are you really leaving us?”

It was hard for him to say, but still he uttered these few word....
“They say that I am dying...but I am not going away...
Where could I go?
I am always here.”

One more breath, and no more....
There was no struggle, no spasm, no other sign of death...only that the next breath did not come....

What he says is of immense significance...
“Where could I go? I am always here.”
There is nowhere to go....
This is the only existence there is, this is the only dance there is.... where can one go?

Life comes and goes, death comes and goes... but where can one go?
You were there before life.....

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TANGA KAI

meaning 'golden-hand', was Bhagavan's boyhood nickname.
He was given it because whichever team he played for always won. The touch of his hand was regarded to be auspicious, so he was asked to touch some special food preparations as well. Also, Seshadri Swami had this name as a boy.

On the evening of the day after jayanti Sri Bhagavan was seated on the couch in the meditation hall. S. Narayana Aiyer, professor of mathematics in the Madurai College, told a few Stores about the time when he was at school with Bhagavan in Dindigul.

At one point he said, 'When we played team games, we would divide into two groups that were invariably headed by Ramana and me. The group led by Ramana would always win. So, the two groups would vie with each other to get ‘Tanga-kai’ as their leader.'

When Aiyer related this, Sri Bhagavan laughed and said, 'You see Narayana, I now have no body. I lost it long ago when I came here. Since I am bodiless, where is the hand that holds the title Tanga-kai? Of the two of us leaders, one of us has disappeared through the loss of his body. You, the survivor, must succeed to the title. You are now ‘Tanga-kai' Narayana. To commemorate your accession to this title you can have my old walking stick.'

It was made of sandalwood and it had been presented to him by a rich devotee. Bhagavan did not like new or expensive products. If devotees gave them, Bhagavan might use them once to make the donor happy. Afterwards, they would be put in an ashram storeroom.

While presenting the stick, Bhagavan continued, 'Do they not usually give a medal along with a title? Where am I to go for a
gold –medal? In the place of a medal, you shall have this walking stick.’
At the conclusion of his speech, Bhagavan presented Professor Narayana with the symbol of his new title.

Tanga-kai, meaning 'golden-hand', was Bhagavan's boyhood nickname.
He was given it because whichever team he played for always won. In Tamil Nadu, this name is often given to people who have demonstrated that they have a lot more luck than is statistically probable.

- Prof Krishnamurti, The Power of the Presence

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TANGA KAI

meaning 'golden-hand', was Bhagavan's boyhood nickname.
He was given it because whichever team he played for always won. The touch of his hand was regarded to be auspicious, so he was asked to touch some special food preparations as well. Also, Seshadri Swami had this name as a boy.

On the evening of the day after jayanti Sri Bhagavan was seated on the couch in the meditation hall. S. Narayana Aiyer, professor of mathematics in the Madurai College, told a few Stores about the time when he was at school with Bhagavan in Dindigul.

At one point he said, 'When we played team games, we would divide into two groups that were invariably headed by Ramana and me. The group led by Ramana would always win. So, the two groups would vie with each other to get ‘Tanga-kai’ as their leader.'

When Aiyer related this, Sri Bhagavan laughed and said, 'You see Narayana, I now have no body. I lost it long ago when I came here. Since I am bodiless, where is the hand that holds the title Tanga-kai? Of the two of us leaders, one of us has disappeared through the loss of his body. You, the survivor, must succeed to the title. You are now ‘Tanga-kai' Narayana. To commemorate your accession to this title you can have my old walking stick.'

It was made of sandalwood and it had been presented to him by a rich devotee. Bhagavan did not like new or expensive products. If devotees gave them, Bhagavan might use them once to make the donor happy. Afterwards, they would be put in an ashram storeroom.

While presenting the stick, Bhagavan continued, 'Do they not usually give a medal along with a title? Where am I to go for a
gold –medal? In the place of a medal, you shall have this walking stick.’
At the conclusion of his speech, Bhagavan presented Professor Narayana with the symbol of his new title.

Tanga-kai, meaning 'golden-hand', was Bhagavan's boyhood nickname.
He was given it because whichever team he played for always won. In Tamil Nadu, this name is often given to people who have demonstrated that they have a lot more luck than is statistically probable.

- Prof Krishnamurti, The Power of the Presence

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HEAVEN IS A WASTE OF TIME

Visitor: It is said in the scriptures that by doing virtuous deeds people are assured of heavenly enjoyments after death.

Bhagavan: Maybe. But are you sure that what all you do are virtuous actions only? Even then after heavenly life, you have to experience the fruits of actions which had not yet fructified. One would have to roll again and again, endlessly, in the cycle of birth.

V: That is why I sought Bhagavan's clarification.

Bh: Our aim should be the attainment of eternal bliss by realizing the truth. How can you aspire for karmic results?

V: Without proper understanding, many people are mad after heavenly enjoyments.

Bh: One might think that heaven is a place of enjoyment. However, things are not very different from this world there. Attachments, prejudices, jealousies etc. are there too. That enjoyment too is perishable for everything is centered on the ego. Because of pleasures, one's mind would not then turn inward in search of truth.

It is such a waste!

After the good karma which gave one the enjoyments of heaven are over one has to return.

What needs to be done is to inquire: 'for whom is this desire for heavenly enjoyment?' Such an inquiry is an absolute necessity.

V: People wrongly superimpose permanence on heavenly enjoyments.

Bh: How can it be? Everlasting bliss can be obtained only by eliminating the cycle of birth and death. Heaven is not the place for the realization of truth.

V: It means that we should not aspire for the fruits of actions but surrender them to God. This also implies we should make an attempt to attain self-knowledge here and now.

Bh: We do not know where heaven is nor as to how it is.
But we aspire for unknown things. In contrast, all the requirements for self-knowledge is ready at hand.
Why bother about unknown things when the wise ones
have shown us the way to attain Self-knowledge here itself?

- N.N.Rajan, More Talks With Ramana Maharshi,
13.4.42 afternoon

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EVERY living being longs to be happy; untainted by sorrow; and everyone has the greatest of love for himself; which is solely due to the fact that happiness is his real nature. Hence in order to realize that inherent and untainted happiness, which indeed he daily experiences when the mind is subdued in deep sleep, it is essential that he should know himself. For obtaining such knowledge the enquiry; "Who am I?” in the quest for the Self is the best means.

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Q: Is it possible to speak to Iswara [God] as Sri Ramakrishna did?

Sri Raman Maharshi : When we can speak to each other why should we not speak to Iswara in the same way?

Q: Then why does it not happen with us?

Sri Raman Maharshi : It requires purity and strength of mind and practice in meditation.

Q: Does God become evident if the above conditions exist?

Sri Raman Maharshi :

Such manifestations are as real as your own reality. In other words, when you identify yourself with the body, as in the waking state, you see gross objects. When in the subtle body or in the mental plane as in dreams, you see objects equally subtle. In the absence of identification in deep sleep you see nothing. The objects seen bear a relation to the state of the seer. The same applies to visions of God.

By long practice the figure of God, as meditated upon, appears in dreams and may later appear in the waking state also.

Source Book: Be as You Are

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Bhagavan: In meditating on an object whether concrete or abstract you are destroying the sense of oneness and creating duality.

Disciple : So what meditation would help me?

Bhagavan: No meditation on any kind of "object" is helpful. You must learn to realize that the "subject and object are one". In meditating on an object whether concrete or abstract you are destroying the sense of oneness and creating duality. Meditate on what you are in reality.
An you you will find…

D: find What?

M: You will discover. It is not for me to say what experience it would be. It would reveal itself. Hold on to it.

D: But you have often said that one must reject other thoughts when he begins the quest, but the thoughts are endless; if one thought is rejected, another comes and there seems to be no end at all

M: I do not say that you must go on rejecting thoughts. If you cling to yourself, say the I-thought, and when your interest keeps you to that single idea, other thoughts get rejected, automatically they vanish.

D: And so rejection of thoughts is not necessary?

M: No. It may be necessary for a time or for some. You fancy that there is no end if one goes on rejecting every thought when it rises. No. There is an end. If you are vigilant, and make a stern effort to reject every thought when it rises, you will soon find that you are going deeper and deeper into your own inner Self, where there is no need for your effort to reject the thoughts. The effort is sublimated in just awareness of the Self.

D: Then it is possible to be without effort!

M: Not only that, it is impossible for you to make an effort beyond a certain extent.

D: I want to be further enlightened. Should I try to make no effort at all?

M: Here it is impossible for you to be without effort. When you go deeper, it is impossible for you to make any effort.

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Attention to one's own Self, which is ever shining as 'I', the one undivided reality, is the only raft with which the individual, who is deluded by thinking 'I am the body', can cross the ocean of unending births.

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Intellect is a tool of the Self, which uses it for measuring variety. It is not without Self. How could there be manifestations of intellect without its seed existing?
Q. Where are memory and forgetfulness located?
A. In the chitta (intellect).
People like inventors searching for new material inventions make their discoveries in a state of self-forgetfulness. It is in a condition of deep intellectual concentration that this forgetfulness of the ego arises and the invention is revealed. This is also a way of developing intuition. Hence a sharpened concentrated intellect is useful and even essential in material matters, but the revelation or intuition takes its own time to arise and one must await it.

Conscious Immortality

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THE STRAIGHT PATH?

Bhagavan spoke about the way in which in the old days he used to climb to the peak [of Arunachala Mountain] at any time he felt like it, and that by any route or even no route. He said only the grass- cutters knew some of the routes he used.

“Sometimes people would come from Madras and other parts and, setting out to reach the top of the hill, would stray near Skandasramam. Finding me seated there, they would ask me for the route to the hill top. When I told them the route was to their right and turned northward, some would say. ‘Do you know who we are and wherefrom we come? We are from Madras. None of your tricks with us. The top is here straight above us and you want to lead us astray.’

I used to keep quiet. They would try to climb in a straight line, and after a long time, they would return tired out, finding that all their efforts to reach the peak were in vain. Nearing me, they would bow their heads in shame and go away, avoiding me.”

From "Day by Day", 24-11-45 Morning

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THE SELF IS ALREADY PERFECT

Q. How can I progress?
A. Why go on pruning the ego? That is just what it wants
— to be the center of attraction!

From "Conscious Immortality"

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HUMILITY
“In fact you must become nothing…”
496 God humbly and enthusiastically worships all beings at all times as though taking upon himself for all time menial service to them. Is it not because of this that he has become privileged to receive the great and pre-eminent forms of worship performed each day by all the beings of all the worlds?
497 As devotees of God see only their own Self in everything, they behave with humility towards all of them. But since God humbles himself even before his devotees, He has attained, as his nature, that state in which there is nothing inferior to him. Is it not because of the supremacy of this extreme humility that He has attained the state of God?
Muruganar: The implication is that the proper way to attain the state of God is to remain subsided, without the ego.
On many occasions Bhagavan told me [Annamalai Swami]:
'Become envious of anyone lower than you. You must become very small. In fact you must become nothing. Only a person who is nobody can abide in the Self Bhagavan often spoke to us about the necessity of humility. On another occasion he told me, 'No one should be our inferior. One who has learned to be the inferior will become superior to all.’
Living by the Words of Bhagavan
GURU VACHAKA KOVAI

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Talk 475.
16th March, 1938
Sri Maharshi read out a news item from a paper to the following effect:
A forest guard armed with a rifle was going in the jungle and noticed two
bright spots in a thicket. On closer approach to find out what they were,
he was face to face with a huge tiger within a few yards of him. He threw
down his gun and assumed a prayerful attitude towards the jungle king.
The tiger stood up and slowly moved away without injuring him.

From "Talks With Sri Ramana Maharshi"

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BHAGAVAN IN CONSCIOUS IMMORTALITY

Q: Why is it sometimes I find concentration on the Self so easy and at other times hopelessly difficult?

Bhagavan: Because of vasanas. But really it is easy, since we are the Self. All we have to do is to remember that. We keep on forgetting it, and thus think we are this body, or this ego.

If the will and desire to remember the Self are strong enough, they will eventually overcome vasanas.

There must be a great battle going on inwardly all the time until the Self is realized. This battle is symbolically spoken of in scriptural writings as the fight between God and Satan. In our Sruti, it is the Mahabharata, where the asuras represent our bad thoughts and the devas our elevating ones.

All such thoughts as ‘attainment is hard’ or Self-realization is far from me, or ‘I have many difficulties to overcome to know Reality’, should be given up, as they are the main obstacles, created by the false self, the ego. They are untrue.

Do not doubt that you are the Reality; live in that understanding.

Never question it by referring your realization of it to some future time. It is because people are victimized and hypnotized by such false thoughts that the Gita says that few out of millions realize the Self.

Give yourself up to deep meditation. Throw away all other considerations of life. The calculative life will not be crowned with spiritual success.

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An engineer asked : " The animals seem to conform to
their own natural laws in spite of their environment and
changes. Whereas man flouts social law and is not bound
by any definite system. He seems to be degenerating
whereas the animals are steady. Is it not so ? "

Maharshi : (After a long time). The Upanishads and
scriptures say that human beings are only animals
unless they are realised beings. Possibly they are
worse also.

From Talks With Sri Ramana Maharshi Talk 79
29th September, 1935

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Every jiva experiences his own prarabdha,
which is catalysed by the mere Presence of Shiva
as the Witness dwelling in the heart of each one.
Hence, the jiva who does not delude himself
by thinking that he is the experiencer of prarabdha,
but knows that he is mere Existence-Consciousness,
is none but Shiva.

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With great eagerness and wonder you fly to see one Mahatma here and another Mahatma there! If you inquire, attain and know the Maha-Atma [i.e. the Great Self] within your own heart, then every Mahatma is none other than that One [within you].

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BHAGAVAN ON HIMSELF (PERUMAL CASE)
" I have not given sannyas (the status of renunciate) to any one, nor have I taken sannyas from any one. I was living in Skandashram. My mother, who was also living there, passed away in 1922. Her corpse was brought to the foot of the hill and buried here and a samadhi (shrine) was built over it. From that time puja was started here. After a while I left Skandashram and came and stayed here. At no time have I taken any title. At no time have I initiated any disciples with diksha (formal initiation) or in any ritualistic way. I do not impose any restrictions or discipline on those who gather round me. I do not invite any one to come to this place, nor do I tell any one to leave this place. By birth I am a Brahmin.
I was a Brahmachari (celibate student) when I came here (i.e. to Tiruvannamalai). Within an hour of arriving I threw away my sacred thread, clothes, etc.; I shaved my head clean. I had about three rupees and threw it away, and since then I do not touch money. I accept in my hands things that can be eaten. I do not give upadesa (spiritual instruction) or call myself a guru. However, if questions are asked by seekers I answer them. Since 1907 people have called me ' Ramana Rishi'.
I am an 'athyashrami' (beyond the ashrams and castes) not falling within the category of any of the ashrams. This state is recognized in the sastras. It is explained in the Suta Samhita. The athyashrami can own property if necessary. He needs a guru,
but the Self is my guru. The athyashrami is not bound to observe any rites. I have no desire to aquire properties, but things come and I accept them. I agree that to own property is worldly, but I do not hate the world.”

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RAMANA'S TEARS

I may here record that I have noticed on more than one occasion in the past how Bhagavan could not proceed with the reading of any deeply devotional portions of Tamil works such as Thevaram and Thayumanavar. ... when touching songs were recited or read out before him, or when he himself was reading out to us poems or passages from the lives or works of famous saints, he would be moved to tears and find it impossible to restrain them.

He would be reading out and explaining some passage and when he came to a very moving part he would get so choked with emotion that he could not continue but would lay aside the book. To quote a few instances, such a thing happened when he was reading and explaining some incidents in Sundaramurti Nayanar’s life in connection with the Tiruchuzhi Mahatmyam, and also when he was reading out ‘Akarabuvanam-Chidambara Rahasyam’ in Thayumanavar’s works, and came to the twenty-fourth verse:

"Conceiving you as everything from earth to space, I shall record my thoughts on the large page of my mind, and looking at that image ever and again, I shall cry out: ‘Lord of my life, will you not come?’ Repeatedly believing myself to be You, I am unable to fix my attention on anything else. Lamenting in this way, like one whose heart is wounded, dissolving inwardly, so that tears pour down in floods, uttering deep sighs, unaware even of my body, I stand transfixed.

His [Bhagavan’s] eyes were so filled with tears and his throat so choked with emotion [as he read these words] that he had to put aside the book and break off his discourse.

- Day by Day with Bhagavan, 12th December 1945, afternoon session.

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There is no creation,
no destruction,
none bound,
none seeking,
striving,
gaining freedom.

Know that this is
the Truth supreme.

- Collected Works,
Stray verse #9

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BHAGAVAN’S COMPANIONS – THE MONKEYS

Between 1899 and 1922, Bhagavan lived in a variety of caves on the Arunachala hill. The hill abounded in monkeys. Bhagavan would refer to the hill as their kingdom and humans as the intruders. Bhagavan was very intimate with the monkeys. He watched them closely, with love and sympathy. He was a jnani, a sarvajna (the Omniscient). Therefore, the love he had for all beings was natural.
He was a keen observer too. He moved closely with monkeys, understood their cries, their conduct and knew the life story of most of them. He observed that they had their own code of conduct, morals and principles of governance. He found that each tribe had its own recognized district, and if another tribe infringed on this, there would be war. But before starting a war, in order to make peace, an ambassador would be sent from one tribe to the other. Monkeys, as a rule would boycott the one that had been cared for by the humans. However, they made an exception in the case of Bhagavan. He would tell the visitors that the monkeys recognized him as one of their community, and was accepted as an arbitrator in their disputes. Whenever there was a misunderstanding or a quarrel, the monkeys would come to Bhagavan and he would find a solution to pacify them and stop their quarreling. He knew about their way of life, attitudes, priorities and their pranks too!
The people of the town called Bhagavan “Koranguswami” (Master of the monkeys) because, they were aware how much the monkeys respected and accepted him as their own. Bhagavan showed great love and compassion towards the monkeys living on Arunachala.
We have a tendency to look down on monkeys. When we refer to the mind we often compare it to a restless and mischievous monkey. However Bhagavan would always speak positively about monkeys and praise their intelligence and agility.
Bhagavan once remarked:
“I have known something about their organization, their kings, laws, regulations. Everything is so perfect and well-organised. So much intelligence behind it all. I even know that tapas is not unknown to monkeys. A monkey who we used to call ‘Mottaipaiyan’ was once oppressed and ill-treated by a gang. He went away into the forest for a few days, did tapas, acquired strength, and returned. When he came back he sat on a bough and shook it. All the rest of the monkeys, who had previously ill-treated him and of whom he was mortally afraid, were now quaking before him. Yes. I am clear that tapas is well known to monkeys.”
Here are some of the incidents reported by the Ashramites and devotees, which show how lovingly Bhagavan interacted with animals, especially with monkeys that lived on the Arunachala hill and in the Ashram.

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