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Those who understand both speech and silence are in Samadhi. If you speak when you know, your speech is free. If you are silent when you don’t know, your silence is bondage. If your speech is not attached to appearances, it is free. If your silence is attached to appearances, it is bondage. Language by itself is not bondage. Because, language by itself is not attachment. And, attachment has nothing to do with language.

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part 4

Bhagavan would also occasionally get angry with other ashram workers if they deliberately disobeyed him. There was an office worker called Mauni Srinivasa Rao who once incurred Bhagavan's displeasure by trying to override his instructions. One of Mauni Srinivasa Rao's jobs was to draft replies to all the spiritual queries which came to the ashram by post. These first drafts would be shown to Bhagavan, who would then scrutinize them and make all necessary corrections. On one occasion,

Mauni Srinivasa Rao refused to accept that Bhagavan's corrections were definitive. He corrected Bhagavan's alterations and sent the letter back to the hall. Bhagavan went through the letter for the second time, deleting all the corrections which had been added by Mauni Srinivasa Rao. When the letter went back to the office, Mauni

Srinivasa Rao again altered some of Bhagavan's corrections. He brought the new draft to the hall and tried to get Bhagavan to read it, but Bhagavan refused even to look at it.

Instead, he threw the letter at Mauni Srinivasa Rao and said, very angrily, 'You do what you like!'

Sometimes Bhagavan showed his displeasure in more subtle ways. One night, after the evening meal, there was a big quarrel in the dining room which resulted in Subramaniam Swami hitting Krishnaswami in the face. Krishnaswami immediately went and complained to Bhagavan but Bhagavan appeared to take no interest in the matter.

Someone had paid for a big bhiksha for the following day, which meant a lot of work for everyone in the kitchen. Ordinarily, Bhagavan would have come to the kitchen at 3 a.m. to help Subramaniam to cut the vegetables but that morning he remained in the hall and made Subramaniam do all the work by himself. Subramaniam spent the first two hours wondering why Bhagavan was late but eventually he realized that he was being punished for attacking Krishnaswami. Bhagavan confirmed his theory by refusing to talk to him, or even look at him, for the rest of that day. Although Subramaniam worked full-time in the ashram, it was well-known that he had little interest in the spiritual life. Once, while Bhagavan was talking to me in the hall about the unreality of the world; Subramaniam Swami came in and listened for a while. After a few minutes, he interrupted by saying, 'How to make the world disappear from the mind?

Bhagavan, knowing that he had no real interest in spiritual matters, responded to his query by saying, 'Go and swallow a ball of ganja [cannabis]. That will make the world disappear.' And then he carried on talking to me.

Bhagavan always discouraged people from taking ganja but in this case, his flippant reply was rather appropriate. Both Subramaniam and his father were ganja users and neither of them had any serious interest in spiritual matters.

— Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 99

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The body thought is a distraction from the Self. For whom is the body or birth? It is not for the Self, the spirit. It is for the non-self which imagines itself separate.
Just as a miser keeps his treasures always to himself and never parts with them, so the Self safeguards the vasanas in that which is closest to itself, i.e. within the Heart.

The Heart radiates vitality to the brain and thus causes it to function. The vasanas are enclosed in the Heart in their subtlest form and later projected on the brain, which reflects them with high magnification.

This is how the world is made to go on and this is why the world is nothing more than a cinema show.

— Conscious Immortality

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Please, understand that the Guru stands for reality, for truth, for what is. He is a realist in the highest sense of the term. He cannot and shall not come to terms with the mind and its delusions. He comes to take you to the real; don’t expect him to do anything else.

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Господь ищет сердца, преисполненного любовью к Богу и ближнему - вот престол, на котором Он любит восседать и на котором Он является в полноте Своей пренебесной славы.

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Truth is for earnest seekers, not for those of idle curiosity. It is easy to believe when one sees; there is nothing then to deny. Supersensual truth is deserved and discovered by those who overcome their natural materialistic skepticism.

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Who is the Guru, after all? He who knows the state in which there is neither the world nor the thought of it, he is the Supreme Teacher. To find him means to reach the state in which imagination is no longer taken for reality.

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Arnold Ehret

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A radical 'fruit cure' or a 'long fast' without necessary knowledge of when and how to discontinue the fast often cause serious impairment of an already weakened vital energy.

— Tragedy of Nutrition

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Meister Eckhart

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The quickest horse that carries you to perfection is suffering.

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Fyodor Dostoevsky

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It requires something more than intelligence to act intelligently.

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Weaning His Child

Annamalai Swami was born in 1905, November 14th and came to Sri Ramana in 1929 after leaving his family and home. Bhagavan was his god and guru who guided him day after day. Soon he was asked to supervise the constructions of all the main buildings that were started at that time. Besides being a strenuous task in itself – he was allowed to have an umbrella and sandals – Bhagavan used the constellation for a training ground for Annamalai and Bhagavan’s brother Chinnaswami, who was called the ‘sarvadhikari’ which means ‘Ruler over all’. The ashram needed a manager that could assert himself and many were afraid of his strict ways. Throughout his years of service, Bhagavan arranged it in such a way that Chinnaswami’s plans were changed by Annamalai Swami. After instructing him very detailed, Bhagavan always ended: ‘If Chinnaswami comes and argues with you about this plan, don’t tell him that I asked you to work like this. Pretend that you are doing it on your own authority.’ Of course, this led each time to a big clash.

After serving in this challenging way for more than a decade Bhagavan embraced Annamalai seemingly in jest. This triggered a deep experience of the Self and ended the working phase in the ashram for him. He moved to Palakottu, as sadhu-colony close by and began an intensive meditative life that finally culminated in the realization of the Self. The following touching narration tells how Bhagavan severed the outer relationship between them.

‘These nightly visits were a special time for me. Whenever I visited him Bhagavan would always talk to me with a lot of love and affection. Unfortunately, as I was soon to discover, this period of my life was drawing to a close.

A few days later, when I entered the hall, Bhagavan covered his head and face with a dhoti and refused to look at me. This was very unusual. He normally greeted me with a few friendly words whenever I entered the hall. He behaved in exactly the same way on the two nights that followed.

On the third day, I asked him, ‘Why is Bhagavan covering his face like a Muslim woman every time I come into the hall? Does this mean that I should not come anymore?’

Bhagavan replied, rather cynically, ‘I am just behaving like Siva. Why are you talking to me?’

The first sentence of Bhagavan’s answer is a literal translation of a phrase which has the more general meaning, ‘I am sitting here, just minding my own business.’
I took this to be an indication that Bhagavan didn’t want me to come to see him anymore. I walked out of the hall and stood under a tree. After some time Bhagavan called me back into the hall. I noticed that there was no one else there at the time.
‘Are you an atheist who has no belief in God?’ asked Bhagavan.

I was too puzzled to make a reply.

‘If one has no faith in God,’ Bhagavan eventually continued, ‘one will commit a lot of sins and be miserable. But you, you are a mature devotee. When the mind has attained maturity, in that mature state, if one thinks that one is separate from God, one will fall into the same state as an atheist who has no belief in God.

‘You are a mature sadhaka [spiritual seeker]. It is not necessary for you to come here anymore. Stay in Palakottu and do your meditation there. Try to efface the notion that you are different from God.’

I left the ashram and never went back again. Although my room is only about 200 yards from the ashram gate, I have not visited the ashram once since that fateful day in the 1940s.

About twenty days later, as Bhagavan was walking in Palakottu, he came up to me, smiled and said,
‘I have come for your darshan’. I was quite shocked to hear Bhagavan speak like this even though I knew he was joking.

When I asked him for an explanation he said, ‘You have obeyed my words. You are living simply and humbly as I have taught. Is this not great?’

Though Bhagavan had asked me not to come to the ashram any more, I still thought that I had the freedom to talk to him when he visited Palakottu. Bhagavan disabused me of this notion shortly afterwards when I went to see him while he was walking on the hill.

He turned to me and said, ‘You are happier than I. What you had to give you have given. What I had to give I have given. Why are you still coming to see me?’
These were his last words to me. I obeyed his instructions and never approached him again. I still had Bhagavan’s darshan when he came on his daily walk to Palakottu but we never spoke to each other again. If we met accidentally he would walk past me, without acknowledging my presence.

Bhagavan had once told me: ‘Do not cling to the form of the Guru, for this will perish; do not cling to his feet for his attendants will stop you. The true Bhagavan resides in your Heart as your own Self. This is who I truly am.’

By severing the personal link between us, Bhagavan was trying to make me aware of him as he really is. Bhagavan had frequently told me that I should not attach a name and form to the Self or regard it in any way as a personal being.

Bhagavan gave me his grace and then severed the personal relationship between us. The bond of love and devotion was not separated; it was just restricted to the mind and the heart.

When Bhagavan became very sick at the end of the 1940s I was sorely tempted to visit him. I never succumbed because I knew that Bhagavan had instructed to stay away from his outer presence. Some people who were not aware of what Bhagavan had had told me (criticized this):

‘Annamalai Swami served Bhagavan for a long time’, they said, ‘but he is not coming to see Bhagavan now that Bhagavan is seriously ill.’

Bhagavan remarked, ‘He is the one who is not causing any trouble.’

Then he added, ‘You people are here but your minds are elsewhere. He is elsewhere but his mind is here. ‘

In the years that followed I tried to remain in contact with the real Bhagavan, the Bhagavan who exists eternally in the heart.’

- Living by the words of Bhagavan

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Красота заключена не в формах и очертаниях, а в том, что вы излучаете.

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Nothing can 'get in the way' of the true, for Truth is not to be found in any direction. It is always present as the core of your being.

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If you do not uncover the inner sources of joy, the outer sources of joy will become the cause of your misery.

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Если не создадите внутренних источников счастья, внешние станут причиной страдания.

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К чему слова, когда сердце говорит с сердцем?

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Что от сердца исходит, то до сердца и доходит.

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Ashram Animals, part 8

Bhagavan's compassion towards animals did not extend to all the members of the insect kingdom, for he seemed quite happy to permit insects to be killed if they were causing a nuisance.

One morning, for example, shortly before lunch, Bhagavan noticed that a large number of black ants were entering the hall through the drainage hole.
Indian stone or cement floors are regularly washed with water. In such rooms, there will be a small drainage hole, about an inch in diameter, at the junction of one of the walls and the floor. Many floors are slightly tilted so that water naturally drains towards this hole.

Turning to me Bhagavan said, 'Find out where these ants are coming from. If there is a nest in there, block up the exit so that the ants cannot come into the hall. You must do this work quickly because all the devotees will be coming back at 3 p.m.'

I prized out the flagstone that the drainage hole was on. As I pulled the stone out of the wall (a few inches of it were embedded there) I saw a large colony of black ants living in a hole behind it. The ants reacted to their discovery by pouring out into the hall.

Some of them even started to swarm over Bhagavan's sofa. There were so many on the floor around my feet that I couldn't have taken a step without killing some of them. Bhagavan noticed that I had been immobilized by my fear of unnecessarily killing any ants.

'Why are you just standing there and looking at them?' asked
Bhagavan. 'You must clop ip the hole before the devotees come back. Tell me what you need to finish the job properly. Whatever you need—mud, water, bricks—tell me and I shall bring it for you.'

As I was much too worried about killing some of the ants to give Bhagavan an answer, Bhagavan repeated his offer: Tell me what you want and I shall go and fetch it for you. Shall I bring some broken bricks and a little cement?'

This time I managed to explain my inactivity.

'There are ants everywhere, Bhagavan. I cannot move or do any work without killing some of them.'

Bhagavan dismissed my excuse. 'What is sin?' he asked. 'Is it you who are doing this? You are doing something that is for the good of everyone. If you give up the idea "I am doing this," then you will not have any trouble. This is not something that you have decided to do yourself. You are only doing this because I am asking you to do it.'

Bhagavan could sense that I was still reluctant to tread on any of the ants so he tried a different approach.

'In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna asked Arjuna to kill his enemies. When Arjuna hesitated Krishna explained that he had already decided that these people were to die. Arjuna would be merely the tool which would carry out the divine will. Likewise, because I am telling you to do this work, no papam [the karmic consequences of performing immoral acts] will come to you.'

When Bhagavan had given me this assurance I filled in the hole with bricks and cement. Many ants died in the process.

I discovered later that Bhagavan generally discouraged devotees from killing insects unless they were causing, or about to cause, injury or suffering to people or animals. However, if they were causing a problem, he had no compunction about killing them. I once saw Bhagavan take unni [blood-sucking insects] off one of the ashram dogs and kill them by throwing them into the burning charcoal in his kumutti.

A devotee who was watching asked, 'Is it not a sin to kill insects like this?'
Ramaswami Pillai, who used to take insects off dogs and kill them in the same way, justified the activity by telling a story about Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
'It seems,' he said, 'that one of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's devotees was wondering whether it was as a sin to kill bedbugs. He went to ask Sri Ramakrishna about this. When he got there he found Sri Ramakrishna killing the bedbugs in his own bed. The devotee's question was thus answered by a direct demonstration.'

Bhagavan did not answer the questioner himself, but when Ramaswami Pillai had completed his story he nodded his head and said 'Yes'.

On another occasion, when a visitor maintained that one should not kill any kind of insect life, Bhagavan replied, 'If you cook and cut vegetables, you cannot avoid killing a few insects. If you think that killing worms is a sin, then you cannot eat vegetables.'
If Bhagavan saw people deliberately killing harmless insects he would usually show some sign of disapproval. One day, for example a small brahmin boy came to the hall and began to catch and kill flies just to amuse himself. He would clap his hands together and squash the flies between his palms.

Bhagavan told him, 'Don't attack the flies like this. It is a sin.' Unperturbed, the boy replied with what he thought was a teIling counter-argument: 'You have killed a six-feet-long tiger and you are sitting on the skin. Is this not also a sin?'

Bhagavan laughed and let the matter drop.

Other people occasionally asked Bhagavan why he chose to sit on a tiger skin. Most of them felt that he was condoning the killing of tigers by sitting on their skins.

Bhagavan would usually reply that the skins had come to the ashram us unsolicited gifts and that he had not asked that any tigers be killed on his behalf.

Bhagavan strongly opposed the killing of all the higher lifeforms. He gave orders that even snakes and scorpions should not be killed in the ashram. The general rule seemed to be: insects could be killed if they were causing pain or were potentially harmful, but all higher forms of life, including dangerous and poisonous animals, were sacrosanct.

— Living by the words of Bhagavan, p. 93 ff.

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Your very nature has the infinite capacity to enjoy. It is full of zest and affection. It sheds its radiance on all that comes within its focus of awareness and nothing is excluded. It does not know evil nor ugliness, it hopes, it trusts, it loves.

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Q: What is existence?

M: It is subject to birth and decay in order to remind us that it is not our true state.
The universe exists within the Self. Therefore it is real, but only because it obtains its reality from the Self. We call it unreal, however, to indicate its changing appearance and transient form, whereas we call the Self real because it is changeless.
After realization, the body and all else does not appear different from the Self.

— Conscious Immortality

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A hundred years of education is nothing compared to one moment spent with God.

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Annamalai Swami

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Q: Is the relationship between the Guru and the disciple a real relationship or a maya relationship? If it is a maya relationship, how can it help us to transcend maya?
AS: Bhagavan used to give, as an example, the story of an elephant which dreamed that it was being attacked by a lion. The shock of seeing the lion in the dream was sufficient to wake the elephant up.

The Guru, according to Bhagavan, is the roaring lion who appears in our maya dream and shocks us so much that we wake up into jnana. While the dream is in progress the lion is very real for us, but when we wake up there is no lion and no dream.
In the state of jnana, we become aware that there was no Guru and no disciple; there is only the Self.

But we should not have that attitude prior to realization. While we are still trapped by maya we must accept the Guru-disciple relationship as being real because this relationship provides the only way of transcending all the wrong ideas we have about ourselves.

Even though we may know intellectually that all is one, we should revere the form of the Guru because it is only through his grace that our ignorance can be dissolved. We should respect the Guru and his teachings at all times. We cannot do this if we start treating him as an ordinary person who is no different from any other manifestation of the Self.

Respect for the Guru and faith in his teachings are essential for all those who want to make progress.

— Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 359

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The company you keep is important. If you leave your coat in a room where people are smoking, pretty soon it will smell of smoke. If you leave it outside in the garden, later on, when you bring it indoors, it will carry with it the fragrance of fresh air and flowers.

Such is the case with the mind. Your garment of thoughts absorbs the vibrations of those with whom you mix. If you mingle with pessimists, in time you will become a pessimist. And if you mingle with cheerful, happy people, you yourself will develop a cheerful, happy nature.

Environment is stronger than will power. To mix with worldly people without absorbing at least some of their worldliness requires great spiritual strength.

Beginners on the spiritual path, especially, should be very careful in the company they keep. They should mix with other devotees, and try not to mingle with ego-saturated, worldly people. They should especially avoid people who are negative, even if those people are devotees.

Whether one becomes a saint or a sinner is to a great extent determined by the company he keeps.

— The Essence of Self-Realization

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Robert Adams

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There is something else that is very important for you to understand in order to become self-realized, and that is faith.

You have to have faith in something that you yet do not understand. Faith is a powerful tool you use to climb the ladder to self-realization.

You have to have faith in yourself,
faith in the teaching,
faith in the teacher,
faith that something wonderful is about to happen to you.

Yet I meet so many people that are so dogmatic, opinionated in their views. They have doubts, suspicions, all kinds of negative symptoms going through them, and they want to become self-realized. It is true you can go a long way with all of your bad habits. But I say to you, you can never awaken fully until you give them up, and faith helps you to give them up.

There's a story about Makunda, one of the rishis, sages, of old. For some reason he decided to get married. He wanted to have a child. But no matter how he tried, his wife couldn't conceive. Two years passed, and he said “I'm going to pray to Shiva," one of the Gods.

He prayed to Shiva and he said
“Lord, your will is my will.
I don't really know what's good for me, or what I really want. But you know what I want in my heart, and if it's right for me it will happen. If it isn't, it won't. But I have total faith in you that whatever happens is your will and it's good."

He prayed like this for many years.

Finally Shiva appeared to him and said “My son, never have I seen such faith. You forgot all about yourself, about your family, and you just wanted me. So I have appeared to you. Your desire will come to pass. You will have a child, but you must make a choice. You may have a child who is a half idiot and will live a long life, or a child with a fine intellect who will live a short life. You have to choose."

Makunda said "I will choose the latter, the one with the sharp intellect.” And Shiva said “He will live to be sixteen years old. Then he will drop his body.” Makunda accepted and the time came to have the baby, they did.

And at a very young age the intellect of the child was astounding. He was able to memorize all the Vedas when he was five years old. He was able to speak five languages. He was an astounding poet, writer. As he grew older his father became sadder and sadder. Finally he asked his father “Father, what's wrong? Why do you become so sad every time I have a birthday?" And Makunda explained to him the deal he made with Shiva.

"You've only to live to be sixteen, and then you must go.
The youth said “Shiva listened to you. Perhaps he'll listen to me," and he started to pray to Shiva every day. "Lord, I am yours, and do with me what you want. I have no desire. I know only that you brought me here, and when you're ready you will take me back. Do with me as you will. Your will, not mine, be done. I am yours." And again he said that prayer every day for a year.
Finally Shiva appeared to him also and said “My son, you have the faith of your father. When someone prays to me thus, I have no option but to help him. So because of your faith, when you reach the age of sixteen, you will stay at that age forever."

Now the moral of that story is the faith. Remember, Makunda was very advanced spiritually, and yet he had faith in a power, a presence, that he didn't see or feel. He surrendered to that power and that presence. That's what it takes for us to awaken.

This is why people like Ramana Maharshi always said that devotion, faith and self-inquiry are the same thing. You can't just have dry self-inquiry. You have to feel love. You have to feel devotion. You have to put God first. Unless you put God first you're going to just have dry words, and the words will give you a sharp intellect. You will be able to recite all sorts of things, memorize books, hear lectures and remember them, yet you will never really awaken.

This is why sometimes Advaita Vedanta can be dangerous to some people. Yet if they really read the books on Advaita Vedanta, they'll understand that they have to develop a tremendous faith.

Think of some of the teachers that you know or heard about. Nisargadatta, he always prayed. He realized that he was consciousness. He was self-realized, but at the same time he chanted, he prayed, he had devotion. It sounds like a contradiction. For you may say “If someone is self-realized and he knows himself or herself to be all there is, to whom do they pray?" Try to remember that all spiritual life is a contradiction. It's a contradiction because words cannot explain it.

Even when you are the self, you can pray to the self, which is you.

Ramana Maharshi always had chanting at the ashram, prayers, devotional hymns. These things are very important.

Many westerners, who profess to be atheists, come to listen to lectures on Advaita Vedanta, and yet nothing ever happens in their lives. As long as you do not have devotion, faith, love, discrimination, dispassion, it will be very difficult to awaken.

Therefore those of you who become bored with practicing self-inquiry may become very devotional. Surrender everything. Give up your body, your thoughts, all the things that bind you, whatever problems you may believe you have. Surrender them to your favorite deity. You are emptying yourself out as you do this. Do a lot of it. Become humble. Have a tremendous humility. If you can just do that you will become a favorite of God and you’ll not have to search any longer.

But of course the choice is always yours. What are you chasing in life?

What are you going after?

What are the things that interest you?

Whatever you put first in your life, that's where your heart is. All of the things that have transpired in your life up to now, forget them. Be aware all of the time that there are no mistakes. There is nothing from the past that can interfere with your life if you become devotional and have faith in God. You'll be automatically protected from anything. And if you have enough faith, you can totally remove all karmic aspects of your life. You can transcend all of karma.
You can make life easier for yourself, if you have faith.

— The Collected Works of Robert Adams Volume 1

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The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts.

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A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it, is committing another mistake.

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