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

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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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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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KRISHNA BHIKSHU, part 17

EXPLOITATION DOES NOT PAY OFF

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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Заблуждение и покой ума

Вчера некий юноша прибыл из Андхра-Прадеш. Внешне он казался прямодушным. Сегодня утром он подошёл к Бхагавану и спросил: “Свамиджи! Десять месяцев назад я пришёл сюда ради Вашего даршана. Сейчас у меня снова появилось желание иметь Ваш даршан, и поэтому я немедленно отправился и прибыл сюда. Я не мог откладывать своё посещение даже на момент. Могу ли я поступать так и в будущем, когда бы я ни имел такое желание?” Бхагаван ответил: “Что бы ни случалось, случается. Всё слу- чается согласно тому, чего мы заслуживаем. Зачем заранее бес- покоиться об этом?” Юноша снова спросил: “Могу ли я приходить, когда бы в бу- дущем ни имел такое желание в любое время? Или мне следует подавлять это желание?” ”Вещи происходят сами собой, если вы прекращаете думать о будущем”, — ответил Бхагаван. Вопрос: “Я не способен подавить такое желание даже на момент. Это самообман?” Бхагаван взглянул на меня с улыбкой и произнёс: “Кажется, он приходил сюда некоторое время назад и сейчас снова пожелал прибыть, а потому тотчас же и приехал. Он спрашивает меня, сможет ли он так поступать в будущем, когда бы он ни имел такое желание”. Тот юноша вмешался и сказал: “Когда бы я ни получил жела- ние видеть Бхагавана, я не в состоянии даже на момент сдержать его. Я только спрашиваю, не является ли это просто умственным заблуждением”. Я спросила его: “Как может желание иметь даршан великого человека быть просто умственным заблуждением? При наличии столь многих заблуждений ума, подлежащих контролю и пода- влению, только это желание кажется вам умственным заблужде- нием?” Дальнейших вопросов он не задавал. В Холле находилось несколько посетителей из Андхра-Прадеш, прибывших сюда паломниками. Один из них встал и спросил: “Свамиджи! Как душа достигает покоя?” Бхагаван ответил, смеясь: “Что? Что такое покой для души?” “Нет, нет! Я подразумевал покой ума”. «О, покой для ума! Ум достигает покоя, если васаны пода- влены. Для этого должно вопрошать и осознать, кем являешься. Как можно обрести покой, просто говоря: “Я хочу покоя, я хочу покоя!”, без первичного запрашивания, что такое покой? Сначала прилагайте усилия узнать и осознать то, что уже существует». Среди них был и пандит. Он спросил: “В некоторых местах сама жизнь становится исключительно трудной. Как человек должен выполнять садхану в таких местах?” Бхагаван ответил: “Заданное место находится внутри вас; вы не находитесь в том месте. Когда вы пребываете во всех местах, где вопрос о трудностях в некоторых местах, а не в других? Все места находятся внутри вас. Как они могут вызывать ваши труд- ности?” “Но мы вообще не получаем покоя ума в некоторых местах”, — возразил он, и Бхагаван ответил: «То, которое всегда существует, есть покой. Оно является вашим естественным со- стоянием. Вы не способны узнать своё естественное состояние. Вы введены в заблуждение отклонениями, которые нереальны, и сожалеете, что покоя нет. Если вы осознаёте себя, все места станут равным образом подходящими для садханы».

Письма из Шри Раманашрама

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There is only one thing to be done:
give up the idea
that you are your personality
and be open to a greater truth.
Spirit is presence, not person.
Like this, Grace enters your heart
and reveals your true nature as
unborn awareness.

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You must have a strong conviction; that conviction means practicing. That conviction means not only “I Am,” but it means I am free from “I Am” also. You know you are, without words. Just be that. You are not to think or imagine anything.

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To be beautiful is not to be born beautiful.
As beauty can be learned.
When a person has a beauty of the soul,
What outer beauty can match that?

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There is but one antidote
to the poison of
highly dangerous passions,
which beget infatuation, and
that is to return to the Self.

Self is unapproachable
by the emotions,
is ever formless and
independent.

Hidden in the realm of
eternal consciousness
lies the world's cause.
Within this cause
is Reality.

The husk of a coconut
is the world,
the pulp is the cause, and
the sweet cool water
encased in the pulp is Reality.

Like the full moon is the Self.
See It in all.
Duality is the product of
defective vision.
As there is only one moon
so there is only one Self in all.

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Не волнуйся, Любовь не может быть потеряна.

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Тишина - это вино, от которого ты вечно будешь пьян. В ней ты познаешь и полюбишь все существа. Это вино ты можешь пить где угодно, а когда ты его пьешь - не можешь говорить. Будь в этом переживании, отдай себя ему. Чтобы вкусить блаженство, забудь другие вкусы, и пей вино, что подается изнутри.

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Астральные пути — высшие миры

Этим утром, после прочтения статьи в газете о путях по ту сторону солнца и высших мирах после этого, Бхагаван сказал: “Они много пишут о путях за пределами солнца и других планет, о блаженных мирах над ними. Все те миры тоже похожи на этот мир. В них нет ничего особо замечательного. Здесь песни пере- дают по радио. Последнее время передавали из Мадраса, сей- час — из Тиручирапалли. При новой настройке передача будет из Майсура. Все эти места присутствуют в Тируваннамалае в течение этого короткого времени. Точно так же дело обстоит и с другими мирами. Вы должны только повернуть к ним свой ум. Вы можете увидеть их все одновременно. Но какова польза? Вы просто расхаживаете от одного места к другому, устаёте и чув- ствуете отвращение. Где здесь Покой [шанти]? Если вы жаждете его, то должны познать вечную истину. Если вы не можете по- знать её, ум не поглотится Покоем”. Подобным образом некоторое время тому назад кто-то спро- сил Бхагавана: “Люди говорят о Вайкунтхе, Кайласе, Индралоке, Чандралоке и тому подобном. Существуют ли они в действитель- ности?” Бхагаван ответил: “Конечно. Вы можете быть уверены, что они все существуют. Там так же подобный мне Свами будет сидеть на диване, и ученики будут окружать его. Они спросят, а он что-то ответит. Всё будет более или менее похоже на это. Но что это значит? Если человек видит Чандралоку, то он спро- сит об Индралоке, затем о Вайкунтхе, после неё о Кайласе и так далее, и ум будет продолжать блуждать. Где здесь шанти [По- кой]? Если требуется шанти, то единственно правильным мето- дом, гарантией достижения, является Само-исследование. Благо- даря ему и возможна Само-реализация. Если человек осознаёт А т м а н, то может видеть все эти миры внутри Себя. Источник всего есть собственное Я человека, и если он осознает Себя, то не найдёт ничего отличного от Себя. После этого такие вопросы не возникнут. Могут или не могут быть Вайкунтха или Кайласа, но факт тот, что вы здесь, не так ли? Как вы оказались тут? Где вы? Сначала узнайте это, а потом думайте обо всех тех мирах”.

Сури Нагамма "Письма из Раманашрама"

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BRAHMASTHRAM (DIVINE WEAPON)
Yesterday or the day before, a boy of about 18 years of age came here on a cycle from some place. After sitting in the hall for a quarter of an hour, he went to Bhagavan and asked, “After crossing Omkar [the sound of Om], where to merge?”
With a smile, Bhagavan said, “Oh, is that so? Wherefrom did you come now? Where will you go? What is it you want to know? Who really are you? If you first tell me who you are, you can then question me about Omkar.”
“I do not know that even,” said the boy.
Then Bhagavan said, “You know for certain that you are existent. How are you existent? Where really were you before? What exactly is your body? First, find that out. When you know all that, you can ask me questions if you still have any doubts. Why should we worry where Omkar merges, and after it merges why worry about what comes next when it ceases to exist? Where do you merge ultimately? How do you come back? If you first find out your state and your movements, we can think of the rest.”
When Bhagavan said all this, the boy could not give any reply and so went away after bowing before Bhagavan. What other brahmasthram (divine weapon) is there against a questioner? If only that weapon is used, the questioner is silenced.
You may ask, “Who gave the name of ‘brahmasthram’ to the stock reply of Bhagavan, ‘Find out who you are?’ ”
Two or three years back, when a sannyasi boasted about having read all books on religious matters and began asking Bhagavan all sorts of questions, he repeatedly gave the same answer, “Find out who you are.”
When the sannyasi persisted in his meaningless questions and arguments, Bhagavan in a firm tone asked him, “You have been asking me so many questions and entering into so many arguments. Why don’t you reply to my questions and then argue? Who you are? First, answer my question. Then I will give you a suitable reply. Tell me first who it is that is arguing.” He could not reply, and so went away.
Sometime later, I developed this idea and wrote five verses on ‘Divya Asthram’ and showed them to Bhagavan, when he said, “Long ago when Nayana (Ganapati Muni) was here, Kapali also used to be here. If they wanted to ask me anything, they would fold their hands first and say, ‘Swami, Swami, if you will promise not to brandish your brahmasthram, I will ask a question.’ If during conversation the words ‘Who are you?’ escaped my lips, he used to say, ‘So you have fired your brahmasthram. What more can I say?’ They called it brahmasthram and you are calling it ‘Divya Asthram’ ”
After that, I too started using the word brahmasthram. Really, who is not humbled by that asthram?

– Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 22nd January, 1946

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In space there is darkness and light, the space is there whether darkness or light is there; in the same way the state prior to consciousness is always there. Right now it is there. It is the substratum of everything.

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Rather than wasting one's life by racing around seeking sense pleasures and dancing with the intoxication of them, the wiser course is to seek, through consciousness, one's real nature and live merged in it, obtaining the ultimate benefit in the Heart.

You people who go flying like birds to one holy Siva shrine after another, not realizing that Siva is dwelling within you! Supreme Sivam is the consciousness that has subsided and focused itself, without the slightest movement, in the Heart.

Rather than allowing the mind to spread outwards, like the sail of a ship, to be ruined by the strong winds of the objects of sense, it is wisdom to dive deep and enter the Heart in order to attain the state of stillness, and [there] be like an anchor that sinks deep and lies settled on the broad ocean's bed.

— Guru Vachaka Kovai 188 - 191

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Someone who wanted to commit suicide goes to the great Yogi Gorakshnath ji, who tells him

मरौ वे जोगी मरौ, मरण है मीठा।
तिस मरणीं मरौ, जिस मरणीं गोरष मरि दीठा॥२६॥
Meaning: DIE, O YOGI, DIE! DIE, SWEET IS DYING.

Because in this universe there is nothing sweeter than death. DIE THAT DEATH and die such a death GORAKH DIED AND SAW, die that way in which Gorakh attained enlightenment. In the same way you die and see. One death we are already familiar with: in which the body dies, but our ego and mind go on living. This same ego finds a new womb. This same ego, troubled by new desires, again starts off on the journey. Even before leaving behind one body, it is already eager for another. This death is not the real death. I have heard, one man told Gorakh he was thinking of committing suicide. Gorakh said: ”Go and commit it, but I tell you, afterwards you will be very surprised.” That man said: ”What do you mean? I came to you so that you would tell me ’Don’t do it!’ I went to other sadhus. They all cautioned me: ’Brother, don’t do it, suicide is a great sin.’” Gorakh said: ”Are you mad? No one can commit suicide. No one can even die. Dying is not possible. I warn you, do it and you will be very surprised. After committing suicide you will discover, ’What! The body is left behind, but I am exactly as I was!’... And if you want to commit real suicide, then stay with me. If you want to play nonsense games, then it’s up to you – jump from some mountain, put your neck in a noose. But if you want the real death, then stay by my side. I will give you the art which brings on the great death, then there will be no possibility of returning again.” But that great death seems to us to be nothing but great death, this is why he is calling it sweet.

DIE, O YOGI, DIE! DIE, SWEET IS DYING.
DIE THAT DEATH GORAKH DIED AND SAW.

Gorakh says I teach death, the death I passed through and became awakened. It was the death of sleep, not of me. The ego died, not me. Duality died, not me. Duality died, and non-duality was born. Time died, and I met the eternal. The small constricted life broke, and the drop became the ocean. Yes, certainly when the drop falls into the ocean in one sense it is dying. As a drop it is dying. And in another sense for the first time it attains to the great life – it lives on as the ocean.


So, if at all something has to really die, it is the EGO, the duality, the false 'I', the difference between each other.

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Walk on Samudram Lake with Bhagavan

Regular readers of Arunachala Grace will have noticed how often I write about the Samudram Eri, which is located almost directly south of the reclining aspect of Arunachala. For me this is one of the most beautiful and inspirational places at Arunachala. Below is an evocative narrative of a Ramana devotee describing his visit to the flooded Samudram Eri with Sri Ramana and teachings that were given by the Sage at that time.

"The Samudram Lake at the foot of Arunachalam and near Sri Ramanasramam is a very extensive one, the summer rains nor the winter monsoon in Tiruvannamalai rarely fill up this tank except once in a way when it overflows.

Thus it overflowed once long ago. The sight of it was very grand and the overflow at the outlet was as wide as a river. The tank really seemed a sea (Samudram). Bhagavan told us that it was called “Samudram” because a certain local ruler had this tank constructed as a miniature sea to give an idea to his Queen of what a sea would look like; for she had never seen one and she a carrying queen now desired to.

The overflow of the Samudram Tank in Tiruvannamalai is such a rare event and people thronged to see the sight. Afterwards they came to Bhagavan and talked about it.

One morning after breakfast the devotees in the hall expressed to Bhagavan a desire to visit the Samudram. Bhagavan was human enough to accept the suggestion and all of us went for a stroll to see it. The tank bund is over two miles long and we walked from the Asramam to the tank about a mile and then the whole distance of the bund. The presence of Bhagavan and his words were more interesting to us than the brimming tank and the grand view of the lake at the foot of the holy Arunachalam. Bhagavan talked of many things, of which I remember, at this distance of time, only two topics of interest.

At one place, Bhagavan pointed out a palmyra tree which had decayed at the grip and embrace of a parasite banyan tree. Some bird had dropped the seed of the banyan into the palmyra and as the banyan began its growth the palmyra got stuck, and cloven and stunted in its growth. Drawing our attention to this phenomenon, Bhagavan remarked that is just the effect of the look of Grace of the Jnani. One look into a soul and the whole tree of vasanas gathered through cycles of births is burnt down and decays.

Then the reality of the Atman is experienced. In the analogy, the tree of vasanas is the palmyra and the look of the Guru, (the seed of Grace) is the banyan. Thus Bhagavan explained to us the effect of contact with a Mahapurusha. The Supreme Jnana that is obtained by the touch of the Satpurusha, can never be obtained by the study of any number of scriptures or by any store of punya karma (virtuous deeds) or by other sadhanas. Then when we were actually at the outlet of the overflow at the end of the lake, we all marvelled at the width of it which was as wide as a river. We stayed there for sometime and then returned.

On the return walk, we happened to pass the sluice, at the middle of the bund. Pointing to it Bhagavan remarked, “look at this small outlet as opposed to the big one at the end. But for this small hole through which trickle the stream of water, the huge contents of the lake would not be helpful to the vegetation. If the bund breaks it would be a regular deluge and the entire crops would be destroyed. Only if served, properly regulated through this sluice, are the plants helped to growth. So too, is the Brahmic Consciousness. Unless the Bliss of this consciousness is gifted through the grace of the Guru, in seasoned outlets, the soul cannot be helped to vasanakshaya (the destruction of the tendencies of the mental mode); for in this process, the Atman abiding as such in its oneness with the Brahman, is established in the Astipada (the state of being) of the Guru. Holding on to its aspect of sat-chit the work of vasanakshaya proceeds as and when the thought forms arise to propel the mind into action i.e. in its rajasic nature. This work of vasanakshaya becomes possible only in the proximity of the Guru.

Hence the Guru himself is like the sluice and irrigates the souls with the grace out of His kripasamudram needed for the abidance as the Atman and doing the vasanakshaya. Whereas, if the bund is broken the full force of the whole lake rushes through sweeping everything before it. This resembles a sadhaka receiving the full force of Brahmic Consciousness without the intervening and mitigating grace of the Guru’s sluice and so physically dies without the benefit of effecting the destruction of the vasanas."

[T.K. Sundaresa Iyer--Call Divine April 1, 1958]

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Blessed Guru Purnima Day

What is the significance of Guru Purnima day? It is to be reminded of and be one with the inner guru, the Satguru inside our heart—the true heart of being. The Satguru is formless but appears with form only to remind us of the inner, eternal Satguru, our timeless and unborn Reality.

All that exists is only the Supreme Lord of the Universe; with form, he is known by various names but is ever the unchanging One. For those who contemplate, He is discovered as pure and formless awareness within. The true purpose and opportunity of the human experience is to discover this and find true and lasting freedom. Know that this is possible.

I love you all as my own Self.

I am only a humble servant. Of all forms of serving, the guru is the greatest servant, because it is with great joy that the guru sees and reveals how everything arises from the perfect source, plays as ignorance and diversity, and ultimately returns to the fullness of the heart—the source of all manifestation.

Though the guru is loved and honoured on this ‘special’ day, it must be said that the guru does not consider himself to be special or above anyone. In fact, he is the most normal, simple and humble being, for he is the most natural. He knows that as a person he has no independent reality and that his reality is only the one, true and all-encompassing Self. The true guru or teacher sees all as his own self and being. He encourages and urges his followers to understand, to discover and live this truth as their own reality.

It is a pleasure for me to bless this day and to say Happy Guru Purnima Day to all beings who can hear this.

I love you and love reminding you that you are worth much more than you could ever imagine. We are the ever pure, timeless and blissful awareness existence. It is a delight to love who and what you are and to discard what we are not. Not discard in some cynical way, but simply to turn away from what is seen to be unreal. Satsang exists for this and as this service to mankind. Satsang powerfully reminds and supports authentic self-discovery in every moment.

Turn your face and mind back to what is real—the Heart of pure Awareness—and be free.

My love is That—the timeless One we all are.

Om. Amen

July 24, 2021

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WE WOULD OFTEN FAIL

To serve Bhagavan at mealtimes was a dangerous adventure. Our womanly desire was to fill him to the brim. His rule was to clear his plate no matter what or how much was served. Not a speck of food would be left uneaten. So we had to be watchful and serve much less than we would like to. It was not easy, and we would often fail. He would scold us bitterly or, what was infinitely worse, would fall ill and suffer. I cannot understand how he managed to produce an illness when a lesson was needed, but our life with him was crisis after crisis.

— Subbalakshmi Ammal, The Power of the Presence

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THE BANE OF KNOWLEDGE

Ashtavakra said:
My son, you may recite or listen to countless scriptures, but you will not be established within until you can forget everything.

You may, as a learned man, indulge in wealth, activity, and meditation, but your mind will still long for that which is the cessation of desire, and beyond all goals.
Everyone is in pain because of their striving to achieve something, but no one realises it. By no more than this instruction, the fortunate one attains tranquillity.
Happiness belongs to no one but that supremely lazy man for whom even opening and closing his eyes is a bother.
When the mind is freed from such pairs of opposites as, "I have done this," and "I have not done that," it becomes indifferent to merit, wealth, sensuality and liberation.

One man is abstemious and averse to the senses, another is greedy and attached to them, but he who is free from both taking and rejecting is neither abstemious nor greedy.

So long as desire,
the state of lack of discrimination,
remains,
the sense of revulsion and attraction will remain,
which is the root and branch of samsara.
Desire springs from usage,
and aversion from abstension,
but the wise man is free from the pairs of opposites like a child, and becomes established.

The passionate man wants to eliminate samsara so as to avoid pain,
but the dispassionate man is free from pain and feels no distress even in it.
He who is proud about even liberation or his own body, and feels them his own, is neither a seer nor a yogi. He is still just a sufferer.
If even Shiva, Vishnu, or the lotus-born Brahma were your instructor, until you have forgotten everything you cannot be established within.

— Ashtavakra Gita. Chapter XVI
Translated by John Richards

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ANNAMALAI SWAMI REMEMBERED

CHEETAS AND A NEW NAME

When I first came to the ashram there were still some leopards in the area. They rarely came into the ashram but at night they often frequented the place where Bhagavan used to urinate. I remember him meeting one on one of his nocturnal trips. He was not the least bit afraid. He just looked at the leopard and said, 'Poda! [Go away!]'. And the leopard just walked away.
Soon after I came I was given a new name by Bhagavan. My original name had been Sellaperumal. One day Bhagavan casually mentioned that I reminded him of a man called Annamalai Swami who had been his attendant at Skandashram. He started to use this name as a nickname for me. When the devotees heard this they all followed suit and within a few days, my new identity was firmly established.
Bhagavan lived at Skandashram, on the eastern slopes of Arunachala, from 1916-22. Annamalai Swami died there during a plague outbreak in 1922.

— Living by the words of Bhagavan

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MOTHER PARVATI INTERFERES

Coffee is a must in South India. Everybody used to bring coffee to the ashram and try to make Bhagavan drink it. If he refused to drink, others would feel too guilty to take it themselves. For their sake, Bhagavan would sometimes taste their coffee.
Very few people found out that he didn't like coffee at all. Using one pretext or another, Bhagavan would manage to avoid coffee for weeks until, once again, he was compelled to take it by some misguided devotee. One day Appu Sastri's wife came with a big pot of excellent coffee, but Bhagavan refused to have any.
'Don't you know that I don't like coffee?' he asked.
She fought back by asking, 'What am I to do? I had a dream last night in which I saw a very stately lady at the gate of the temple. I knew at once that she was Parvati herself. She told me, "My son is not taking coffee. Please prepare some good coffee and make him drink." There you are, Swami. It's your mother's orders!'
Bhagavan got indignant. 'She [Parvati] is always like this, interfering with my ways of living and frustrating my tapas. She did the same when I was living on the hill.'

— Subbalakshmi Ammal

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True Brahmins

Only he who, through firm jnana, is freed from the ‘I am the body’ ego is a true Brahmin and a true sannyasin. However, the ego borne on their heads by Brahmins who are proud of their caste and by sannyasins who are proud of their asrama is extremely difficult indeed to get rid of completely.
Guru Vachaka Kovai v. 162

The asramas are the four stages of life: brahmacharya (celibate student), grihastha (householder) vanaprastha (one who has retired with his wife to the forest to lead a meditative life) and sannyasa (renunciate monk). Bhagavan often pointed out that those who choose to be sannyasins carry in their mind the idea ‘I am a sannyasin’. True sannyasa, he said, can be compared to a ripe fruit dropping from a tree. It is something that happens when one is ready for it, not when one makes a conscious choice to follow that particular lifestyle.

Bhagavan: Only those who, as enquirers, have realized their true nature shining within their hearts, are Brahmins, possessors of jnana.
A Brahmin is one who has a heart that possesses the true jnana experience and cool compassion in his mind.

[Padamalai p 136, vv. 55, 56.]

One does not become a Brahmin merely by the comprehensive mastery of chanting the four Vedas so long as one continues to perceive objects as separate from oneself. Only he who has known the destruction of the ego that has learned the Vedas is, in truth, a Brahmin who has known the purport of the Vedas. He who has not seen this destruction will fall from his Self-state, as a hair falls from the head; he will be censured by others and swelter mentally.

Guru Vachaka Kovai v. 163

Question: Are not the Brahmins considered to be the priests or intermediaries between God and others?
Bhagavan: Yes. But who is a Brahmin? A Brahmin is one who has realized Brahman. Such a one has no sense of individuality in him. He cannot think that he acts as an intermediary.

[Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 594.]

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