Letter from Sri Ramanasramam

A few days ago an astrologer came here. At about 10 a.m., the day after his arrival, he asked Bhagavan several questions on astrology and obtained suitable replies.

I give below a brief report of their conversation:

Questioner: “Swami! According to astrological science, predictions are made about coming events, taking into account the influence of the stars. Is that true?”

Bhagavan: “So long as you have the feeling of egoism all that is true. When that egoism gets destroyed all that is untrue.”

Questioner: “Does it mean that astrology won’t be true in the case of those whose egoism is destroyed?”

Bhagavan: “Who is there to say it won’t be true? There will be seeing only if there is one who sees. In the case of those whose egoism is destroyed, even if they appear to see they do not really see. The window is open. Even so there must be some one to see. Does the window see anything?”

Questioner: “If that ego were not there how could the body continue to function from day to day?”

Bhagavan: “Yes. That is it. The body is a house for us. This house will be properly maintained only if you are in it. Hence we must realise that we are keeping the house habitable only so long as we are in it and must never give up the knowledge that the house is separate from the Self. The moment that is forgotten the feeling of ego comes in and troubles begin. Everything in the world thus appears realand the destruction of that feeling is the destruction of the ego. When that ego is destroyed nothing (of this world) is real. What is to happen will happen; and what is not to happen will not happen.”

Questioner: “You say that what is to happen will happen and what is not to happen will not happen; if that is so, why should it be said that good deeds must be done?”

Bhagavan: “If something good is done, it results in happiness. Hence people say good deeds must be done.”

Questioner: “Yes. That is why elders say that sorrow is adventitious.”

Bhagavan: “That is so. Sorrow is adventitious. It is only happiness that is natural. Every living being desires happiness because his natural state is the embodiment of happiness. All sadhanas (spiritual efforts) are for overcoming adventitious sorrow. When a headache comes on casually, you have to get rid of it by medicine. If it is a permanent ailment of the body, attached to it from birthto death, why should you try to get rid of it? Just as boils and other diseases of the body are cured by a doctor’s treatment, sorrows which are the result of various difficulties can be overcome by sadhana specially aimed at them. This body itself is a disease. The root cause of it is ignorance. If for that ignorance the medicine called jnana is administered all inherent diseases will disappear at once.”

Questioner: “Is it possible to get immediate results by sadhana?”

Bhagavan: Some yield immediate results and some do not. That depends upon the intensity or otherwise of the sadhana. If good acts or evil acts are done with great intensity the results will manifest themselves immediately; otherwise the results are slow. The results, however, necessarily follow.It cannot be helped.

Remember, your own soul knows the reasons why you were born in this life. It knows what you need to accomplish in this birth. As a soul, you know what obstacles and challenges you need to face and overcome to grow stronger and conquer past karmic patterns through fulfilling your chosen dharma.

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

Chit-Jada Granthi

In the Verse 24 of “Reality in Forty Verses”, Ramana Maharshi says that neither the insentient body says “I”, nor the sentient, self-effulgent, ever-present Consciousness says “I”. Between them, the Ahamkara (ego-self) rises as “I” and ties both of them together and it is known as Chit-Jada Granthi (Sentient-Insentient Knot). This knot needs to be cut using Viveka, the sword of reasoning and discrimination. The non-emergence of the egoistic “I” is the pure state of being. To destroy the ego, the source of its emergence has to be sought by digging deep and turning the mind inwards. Then the Ahamkara (ego-self) subsides and the experience of the Self emerges as the real “I” – “I” – “I”.

Arun Kumar, Author of “Pearls of Vedic Wisdom to Succeed” on Quora

Last poem of Hoshin

Hoshin dictated:

I came from brilliancy.
And return to brilliancy.
What is this?

The poem was one line short of the customary four, so the disciple said: “Master, we are one line short.”

Hoshin, with the roar of a conquering lion, shouted “Kaa!” and was gone.


Before I was born, there was nothing that distinguished me from the galaxy and after I die there will be nothing to distinguish me from it. But now there is something that separates us, but I don’t really know what it is.


Stephen Damon, a Soto Zen priest who leads a small Zen group in San Francisco writes:

“After settling into a daily home practice and attending monthly one-day sittings for a while I began to sense that the great question of life and death was my question. The question became my “center of gravity” around which the rest of my life—in the Zendo and out in the streets—revolved. Most important, I felt an urgency, not to find an answer but to become more intimate with question, until I became the question. In a very deep sense, I was no longer “Stephen” or “Korin” or a Buddhist, I was the question of what is life and death. Over the years this question has deepened and broadened to include everything. And every time I take my seat at home or in a zendo and every time I pick up a sutra or any book on Zen I am that question.

If a book does not offer a response to the question I file it away, but if it does offer something, or if it does open me up to a place in myself that can respond to the question I keep it close by to come back to often. I will keep Hoshin’s poem in my mind and heart always. While the three lines are powerful, what is even more powerful is the emptiness of the fourth line. Every Buddhist teaching is incomplete and must be completed in oneself. Hoshin’s poem, while eloquent in its succinctness was incomplete until he yelled “KAA!” Perhaps, a death poem should be only three lines to be completed by an expression of a person’s last moment. Some may yell out something, and some may gently and peacefully breathe out one last breath and watch it blend with the air around him or her—into the Great Silence behind everything.”

“As Terence McKenna observed, “Modern science is based on the principle: ‘Give us one free miracle and we’ll explain the rest.’ The one free miracle is the appearance of all the mass and energy in the universe and all the laws that govern it in a single instant from nothing.”

Rupert Sheldrake, Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation

सतसंगत्वे , निसंगत्वे ।
निसंगत्वे , निरमोहत्वे।।
निरमोहत्वे , निश्चलतत्वम ।
निश्चलतत्वे ,जिवनमुक्ति ।।

सत् के सगंत मे हो तो, बुराइयां आप का साथ छोड़ देगी।
बुराई का साथ छुटेगा तो,मोह माय़ा से मुक्त हो जाओगे ।।
मोह माया छुटने पर ,समभाव की भावना आती है ।
समभाव की भावना से, जिवन की मुक्ति होती है।।

य़ोग रतोवा, भोग रतोवा  ।
सगं रतोवा,सगं विहीनह् ।।
यसय बार्ह्मणी, रमते चित्हः ।
ननंदति ननंदति ननंदतेवा् ।।

चाहे आप य़ोग में हो या भोग में हो
किसी के संग मे हो, य़ा किसी के संग के बिना हो वह प्राणी जो ब्रह्माण के रचयीता को ध्यान मे रखता है,या फिऱ ब्रहम को चित्त में रखता है वह व्य़क्ति हमेंशा आनंद आनंद आनंदमय़ रहता है ।।

Sadhana

Sadhana is a practice; it is a discipline; it is a manner of streamlining one’s life – conducting oneself in daily life in a specifically ordered and scientific way. Doing anything that one thinks, going anywhere one likes – that is not a disciplined life. Even if it is necessary for you to do varieties of things in a particular day, those varieties have to be beautifully blended into the pattern of a unity, which is the day for you. The whole day is a unity of purpose. In every act of ours, every day, we are expected to take a further step of advance towards the realisation of Truth, an advance in the direction of Reality, which means to say an effort in the direction of imbibing in one’s own personal life those characteristics which are to be found in Reality Itself.

Swami Krishnananda

If I don’t care for myself, who else will?
If I don’t invest in myself, who else will?
If I don’t create a life I want to live, who else will?
If I don’t pause and reflect on my current state, who else will?
If I don’t develop patience, stillness, and peace in myself, who else will?

Dipanshu Rawal, Quora user

Inwardly be free of all hopes and desires, but outwardly do what needs to be done. Without hopes in your heart, live as if you were full of hopes. Live your heart now cool and now warm, just like every one else. Inwardly give up the idea ‘I am the doer’, yet outwardly engage in all activities. This is how to live in the world, completely free from the least trace of ego.

-Maharamayana

A poor devotee points to the sky and says, ‘God is up there’. An average devotee says, ‘God dwells in the heart as the Inner Master’. The best devotee says, ‘God alone is and everything I perceive is a form of God’.

– Ramakrishna

Dr. Paul Brunton on Ramana Maharishi

Text below is reproduced from “A Search in Secret India” published from London in 1934 by Dr. Paul Brunton where in he describes Ramana Maharishi.

Quote

There is something in this man which holds my attention as steel filings are held by a magnet. I cannot turn my gaze away from him. I become aware of a silent, resistless change, which is taking place within my mind. One by one, the questions which I prepared with such meticulous accuracy drop away. I know only that a steady river of quietness seems to be flowing near me; that a great peace is penetrating the inner reaches of my being, and that my thought-tortured brain is beginning to arrive at some rest. I perceive with sudden clarity that intellect creates its own problems and then makes itself miserable trying to solve them. This is indeed a novel concept to enter the mind of one who has hitherto placed such high value upon intellect.

I surrender myself to the steadily deepening sense of restfulness. The passage of time now provokes no irritation, because the chains of mind-made problems are being broken and thrown away. And then, little by little, a question takes the field of consciousness. Does this man, the Maharshi, emanate the perfume of spiritual peace as the flower emanates fragrance from its petals? I begin to wonder whether by some radioactivity of the soul, some unknown telepathic process, the stillness which invades the troubled water of my soul really comes from him.The peace overwhelms me.

The Maharshi turns and looks down into my face; I, in turn, gaze expectantly up at him. I become aware of a mysterious change taking place with great rapidity in my heart and mind. The old motives which have lured me on begin to desert me. The urgent desires which have sent my feet hither and thither vanish with incredible swiftness. The dislikes, misunderstandings, coldness and selfishness which have marked my dealings with many of my fellows collapse into the abyss of nothingness. An untellable peace falls upon me and I know that there is nothing further that I shall ask from life.

The Sage seems to carry something of great moment to me, yet I cannot easily determine its precise nature. It is intangible, imponderable, perhaps spiritual. Each time I think of him a peculiar sensation pierces me and causes my heart to throb with vague but lofty expectations.

I look at the Sage. He sits there on Olympian heights and watches the panorama of life as one apart. There is a mysterious property in this man which differentiates him from all others I have met.

He remains mysteriously aloof even when surrounded by his own devotees, men who have loved him and lived near him for years. Sometimes I catch myself wishing that he would be a little more human, a little more susceptible to what seems so normal to us.

Why is it that under his strange glance I invariably experience a peculiar expectancy, as though some stupendous revelation will soon be made to me? This man has freed himself from all problems, and no woe can touch him.

The Sage seems to speak not as a philosopher, not as a pandit trying to explain his own doctrine, but rather out of the depth of his own heart.

I am not religious but I can no more resist the feeling of increasing awe which begins to grip my mind than a bee can resist a flower in all its luscious bloom. The [Maharshi’s] hall is becoming pervaded with a subtle, intangible and indefinable power which affects me deeply. I feel, without doubt and without hesitation, that the centre of this mysterious power is no other than the Maharshi himself.

His eyes shine with astonishing brilliance. Strange sensation begins to arise in me. Those lustrous orbs seem to be peering into the inmost recesses of my soul. In a peculiar way, I feel aware of everything he can see in my heart. His mysterious glance penetrates my thoughts, my emotions and my desires; I am helpless before it.

At first, his disconcerting gaze troubles me; I become vaguely uneasy. I feel he has perceived pages that belong to a past, which I have forgotten. He knows it all, I am certain. I am powerless to escape; somehow, I do not want to, either.

I become aware that he is definitely linking my own mind with his, that he is provoking my heart into that state of starry calm, which he seems perpetually to enjoy. In this extraordinary peace, I find a sense of exaltation and lightness. Time seems to stand still. My heart is released from its burden of care. Never again, I feel, shall the bitterness of anger and the melancholy of unsatisfied desire afflict me. My mind is submerged in that of the Maharshi and wisdom is now at its perihelion. What is this man’s gaze but a thaumaturgic wand, which evokes a hidden world of unexpected splendour before my profane eyes?

Unquote

What if you didn’t have to do anything about anything at all?

So my challenge to you is what if you didn’t have to do anything about anything, at all? Nothing at all to do, nothing at all to do about anything. Yes, make a cup of tea, because that doesn’t give you any trouble; whatever it is you have to do…, but it’s not accompanied by this idea that ‘There is something I need to do to be stable in the Awareness’ …because I tell you, that is a trap! Forget about it. If you touch this idea, you believe it instantly into existence; and then you have to believe another idea to remove it. So why not drop both ideas in the first place, and stay where You Are? You are simply Here in which all that arises for You, including the sense of spirituality…, forget about spirituality then. Forget about enlightenment. And forget about ‘you’ also. And what remains here? That which cannot be gotten rid of remains. It’s just that. Simpler than simple.

Mooji