Thursday, 24 August 2017

The ego is a spurious entity, but an entity nonetheless, until we investigate it keenly enough to see that it does not actually exist

A friend wrote to me yesterday:
You prefer using ‘ourself’ or ‘oneself’ or ‘I’ instead of ‘the Self’. It is because by using ‘the Self’ we tend to objectify ourself. So this point is clear. But then why do we use ‘the ego’? Are we likewise not objectifying ourself by using ‘the ego’?
The following is adapted from the reply I wrote to him:

There are two levels or dimensions to the problem of using the term ‘the Self’: at a grosser level it tends to objectify ourself (implying that we are an object), but at a subtler level it tends to reify ourself (implying that we are a thing or entity).

Since our real nature (ātma-svarūpa) is neither an object nor an entity (because it is the vastu, the ultimate substance of all entities, and the adhiṣṭhāna or ādhāra, the fundamental ground from which and in which they all appear), we have to guard against such a confusion. However, in the case of our ego the problem is slightly different, because as the ego we are not an object but the subject, but as the subject we are an entity — the first entity and root of all other entities.

Therefore we should not objectify the ego, but until we investigate it keenly enough to see that it does not actually exist, we cannot avoid reifying it (that is, considering it to be an entity), and we must do so in order to distinguish and isolate it from all the objects of which it is aware, including all the adjuncts that it mistakes to be itself. Only when we isolate it from all its adjuncts will it dissolve and disappear forever, and then only will we know that there never was any such entity at all.

As Bhagavan clearly explained, though the ego seems to be both ourself and whatever adjuncts it mistakes to be ourself, it is actually neither ourself nor any adjunct, because it does not actually exist, as we shall discover if we investigate ourself keenly enough. The fact that it is neither ourself, who are sat-cit (being-awareness), nor the body, which is jaḍa (non-conscious or insentient), is explained by him in verse 24 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu:
சடவுடனா னென்னாது சச்சித் துதியா
துடலளவா நானொன் றுதிக்கு — மிடையிலிது
சிச்சடக்கி ரந்திபந்தஞ் சீவனுட்ப மெய்யகந்தை
யிச்சமு சாரமன மெண்.

jaḍavuḍaṉā ṉeṉṉādu saccit tudiyā
duḍalaḷavā nāṉoṉ ḏṟudikku — miḍaiyilitu
ciccaḍakki ranthibandhañ jīvaṉuṭpa meyyahandai
yiccamu sāramaṉa meṇ

பதச்சேதம்: சட உடல் ‘நான்’ என்னாது; சத்சித் உதியாது; உடல் அளவா ‘நான்’ ஒன்று உதிக்கும் இடையில். இது சித்சடக்கிரந்தி, பந்தம், சீவன், நுட்ப மெய், அகந்தை, இச் சமுசாரம், மனம்; எண்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): jaḍa uḍal ‘nāṉ’ eṉṉādu; sat-cit udiyādu; uḍal aḷavā ‘nāṉ’ oṉḏṟu udikkum iḍaiyil. idu cit-jaḍa-giranthi, bandham, jīvaṉ, nuṭpa mey, ahandai, i-c-samusāram, maṉam; eṇ.

அன்வயம்: சட உடல் ‘நான்’ என்னாது; சத்சித் உதியாது; இடையில் உடல் அளவா ‘நான்’ ஒன்று உதிக்கும். இது சித்சடக்கிரந்தி, பந்தம், சீவன், நுட்ப மெய், அகந்தை, இச் சமுசாரம், மனம்; எண்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): jaḍa uḍal ‘nāṉ’ eṉṉādu; sat-cit udiyādu; iḍaiyil uḍal aḷavā ‘nāṉ’ oṉḏṟu udikkum. idu cit-jaḍa-giranthi, bandham, jīvaṉ, nuṭpa mey, ahandai, i-c-samusāram, maṉam; eṇ.

English translation: The jaḍa body does not say ‘I’; sat-cit does not rise; [but] in between [these two] one thing [called] ‘I’ rises as the extent of the body. Know that this [the adjunct-mixed self-awareness that rises as ‘I am this body’] is cit-jaḍa-granthi [the knot formed by the entanglement of awareness with an insentient body, binding them together as if they were one], bandha [bondage], jīva [life or soul], the subtle body, ahandai [the ego], this saṁsāra [wandering, perpetual movement, restless activity, worldly existence or the cycle of birth and death] and manam [the mind].
In this verse ஒன்று (oṉḏṟu) is a noun that means ‘one’ in the sense of ‘one thing’ or ‘something’, so ‘நான் ஒன்று’ (nāṉ oṉḏṟu), ‘one [called] I’, implies something called ‘I’, and then in the next sentence he refers to it as ‘இது’ (idu), which means ‘this’ or ‘it’. Thus in this verse he indicates that the ego is a spurious entity (because it poses both as ourself and as a body, even though it is neither), but it is an entity nevertheless — or rather it seems to be an entity so long as it seems to exist, as it will until we look at it carefully enough to see what we actually are.

The fact that it is a spurious entity that seems to exist only so long as we look at other things instead of looking keenly at ourself alone is also indicated by him in the next verse, verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, in which he refers to it as ‘உருவற்ற பேய்’ (uru-v-aṯṟa pēy), a ‘formless phantom’, which comes into existence, stands and flourishes only by grasping forms (things other than itself), and which will cease to exist if we investigate it keenly enough:
உருப்பற்றி யுண்டா முருப்பற்றி நிற்கு
முருப்பற்றி யுண்டுமிக வோங்கு — முருவிட்
டுருப்பற்றுந் தேடினா லோட்டம் பிடிக்கு
முருவற்ற பேயகந்தை யோர்.

uruppaṯṟi yuṇḍā muruppaṯṟi niṟku
muruppaṯṟi yuṇḍumiha vōṅgu — muruviṭ
ṭuruppaṯṟun tēḍiṉā lōṭṭam piḍikku
muruvaṯṟa pēyahandai yōr

பதச்சேதம்: உரு பற்றி உண்டாம்; உரு பற்றி நிற்கும்; உரு பற்றி உண்டு மிக ஓங்கும்; உரு விட்டு, உரு பற்றும்; தேடினால் ஓட்டம் பிடிக்கும், உரு அற்ற பேய் அகந்தை. ஓர்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): uru paṯṟi uṇḍām; uru paṯṟi niṟkum; uru paṯṟi uṇḍu miha ōṅgum; uru viṭṭu, uru paṯṟum; tēḍiṉāl ōṭṭam piḍikkum, uru aṯṟa pēy ahandai. ōr.

அன்வயம்: உரு அற்ற பேய் அகந்தை உரு பற்றி உண்டாம்; உரு பற்றி நிற்கும்; உரு பற்றி உண்டு மிக ஓங்கும்; உரு விட்டு, உரு பற்றும்; தேடினால் ஓட்டம் பிடிக்கும். ஓர்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): uru aṯṟa pēy ahandai uru paṯṟi uṇḍām; uru paṯṟi niṟkum; uru paṯṟi uṇḍu miha ōṅgum; uru viṭṭu, uru paṯṟum; tēḍiṉāl ōṭṭam piḍikkum. ōr.

English translation: Grasping form, the formless phantom-ego rises into being; grasping form it stands; grasping and feeding on form it grows [spreads, expands, increases, rises high or flourishes] abundantly; leaving [one] form, it grasps [another] form. If sought [examined or investigated], it will take flight. Investigate [or know thus].
By saying all this about the ego, Bhagavan is not objectifying it, because every object is a form, and he says the ego is formless, but he is reifying it, because it seems to be an entity until we investigate it keenly enough to see that it does not exist and has never existed. When we see this, we will also see that nothing else except ourself has ever existed, because everything else (all objects or phenomena) seems to exist only in the view of this ego, so it all comes into seeming existence along with the ego and ceases to exist along with it, as he explains in verse 26 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu:
அகந்தையுண் டாயி னனைத்துமுண் டாகு
மகந்தையின் றேலின் றனைத்து — மகந்தையே
யாவுமா மாதலால் யாதிதென்று நாடலே
யோவுதல் யாவுமென வோர்.

ahandaiyuṇ ḍāyi ṉaṉaittumuṇ ḍāhu
mahandaiyiṉ ḏṟēliṉ ḏṟaṉaittu — mahandaiyē
yāvumā mādalāl yādideṉḏṟu nādalē
yōvudal yāvumeṉa vōr

பதச்சேதம்: அகந்தை உண்டாயின், அனைத்தும் உண்டாகும்; அகந்தை இன்றேல், இன்று அனைத்தும். அகந்தையே யாவும் ஆம். ஆதலால், யாது இது என்று நாடலே ஓவுதல் யாவும் என ஓர்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): ahandai uṇḍāyiṉ, aṉaittum uṇḍāhum; ahandai iṉḏṟēl, iṉḏṟu aṉaittum. ahandai-y-ē yāvum ām. ādalāl, yādu idu eṉḏṟu nādal-ē ōvudal yāvum eṉa ōr.

அன்வயம்: அகந்தை உண்டாயின், அனைத்தும் உண்டாகும்; அகந்தை இன்றேல், அனைத்தும் இன்று. யாவும் அகந்தையே ஆம். ஆதலால், யாது இது என்று நாடலே யாவும் ஓவுதல் என ஓர்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): ahandai uṇḍāyiṉ, aṉaittum uṇḍāhum; ahandai iṉḏṟēl, aṉaittum iṉḏṟu. yāvum ahandai-y-ē ām. ādalāl, yādu idu eṉḏṟu nādal-ē yāvum ōvudal eṉa ōr.

English translation: If the ego comes into existence, everything comes into existence; if the ego does not exist, everything does not exist. [Hence] the ego itself is everything. Therefore, know that investigating what this [the ego] is alone is giving up everything.
Since the ego will cease to exist if we investigate it keenly enough, and since nothing else (except ourself as we really are) can exist if it does not exist, Bhagavan concludes this verse by saying: ‘ஆதலால், யாது இது என்று நாடலே ஓவுதல் யாவும் என ஓர்’ (ādalāl, yādu idu eṉḏṟu nādal-ē ōvudal yāvum eṉa ōr), ‘Therefore, know that investigating what it is alone is giving up everything’. That is, if we investigate this primal entity keenly enough, it will cease to exist and all other entities will cease to exist along with it.

As Bhagavan says in the first sentence of the seventh paragraph of Nāṉ Yār?, ‘யதார்த்தமா யுள்ளது ஆத்மசொரூப மொன்றே’ (yathārtham-āy uḷḷadu ātma-sorūpam oṉḏṟē), ‘What actually exists is only ātma-svarūpa [the ‘own form’ or real nature of oneself]’, so no entity ever actually exists, but so long as the first entity, the ego, seems to exist, other entities will also seem to exist, because it can never seem to exist without projecting and grasping other entities, some of which (such as a body) it takes to be itself. However if we look at this first entity keenly enough, we will clearly see that what seemed to be this ego is only ātma-svarūpa, the nature of which is just pure, infinite, indivisible and immutable self-awareness, so no such entity as the ego has ever existed as such, and hence no other entity has ever existed either, nor has any entity ever even seemed to exist (because they could seem to exist only in the view of the ego, which itself does not ever seem to exist except in its own non-existent view). To see this, all we need do is look at ourself carefully enough to see what we actually are.


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how is the weather ? said...

you are right in stating that I did not ask somebody's permission to express my opinion. The reason why I felt to write a comment as an expression of disapproval was that I did and do not like somebody's dispensable and unkind way of commenting.
Some people do apparently not notice neither their puffed up stile of writing nor their tendency to be rather talkative. Such people evidently need sometimes a little blow on the head.

Ravi said...

Non-attachment means to be free from lust, anger, greed, delusion, pride and envy.
Ahimsa is to desist from wanton killing and wanton hurting in thought word and deed.
To be a good human being is better than to be a deluded spiritual aspirant.
To have a rational, thinking and sane mind is far better than to be caught up in fanciful grandiose delusions.
To be assertive and affirmative is better than to be in deluded self denial.

ocean of bliss said...

Next morning was the 31st of August 1896, the day of Sri Krishna’s birth, Gokulashtami. Venkataraman resumed his journey and reached the house of Muthukrishna Bhagavatar. The lady of the house gave him a large meal and kept him there until noon. He then asked his hosts for a loan on the pledge of his golden ear-rings. The loan was willingly given along with a parcel of sweets prepared for Sri Krishna. Finding that there was no train until the next morning, he spent the night at the station - in Tirukoilur.

Ravi said...

Ocean Of Bliss,
Thanks very much for recalling the wonderful journey of the boy venkatraman...was wondering why you posted it what you did yesterday -"30 August 1896: Ramana's body reached Tirukoilur and the nearby temple Arayaninallur." Typically that usage is to allude to a dead body...when a person gets admitted to a hospital and if he dies there,the 'body' is brought home.
Happy to see your post today...The temple at Ariyanallur is a wonderful place even today.

Here is an excerpt from Ramana Leela:
Arayaninallur, also known as Sivalankapuri, is a great pilgrim centre. On a small hillock near the village is situated the Atulyanatheswara Temple. The great poet-saint Jnana Sambandar sang in praise of Atulyanatheswar. He also consecrated an image of Arunachaleswara there. When Sambandar sat in meditation, Arunachaleswara appeared first as a column of light and later as an old Brahmin but Sambandar could not recognise him and made enquiries. The visitor replied that he belonged to Arunagiri and that he visited Arayaninallur every day to collect flowers for Arunachaleswara. Sambandar asked the Brahmin to take him also to Arunagiri to which he agreed. On the way, the Brahmin disappeared. A band of robbers surrounded Sambandar and his retinue and robbed them of their belongings. Sambandar was taken aback and prayed to the Lord, who revealed himself and told Sambandar that the robbers were part of His retinue (ganas). He promised to take him across if Sambandar stayed back as his guest for dinner and also offered to return all the articles stolen. Normally, Sambandar never ate without serving some guests but on that occasion, himself became a guest of Easwara. How Sambandar reached Arunachala and sang in praise of Arunachaleswara is a different story.

Tired and exhausted, Venkataraman reached the temple only to find the doors closed, as the priest had not arrived. He waited till the priest came. The priest went in and got involved in the pooja. Venkataraman walked in and settled down in a corridor, shut his eyes, opened his heart and began his mental pooja of Easwara. It was at that very spot that Jnana Sambandar saw the column. Sambandar was also barely sixteen when he had the experience.

All of a sudden, a bright light, from a source unknown to Venkataraman, enveloped him. He opened his eyes and saw nothing but bright light all around. He thought it could be the light of the Deity and walked towards the sanctum sanctorum. But by the time he reached it, the light vanished. The sanctum was dark, the light could not be from there.

But where had it come from? Did his atma-jyoti shine forth from his Heart? Or did Arunachaleswara come to invite him just as he invited Jnana Sambandar? Did Easwara whom Venkataraman always meditated upon, grant him knowledge of the Self?


Sanjay Lohia said...

Anonymous, this is in reference to your comment in which you quote an extract from A Sadhu’s Reminiscences, by Alan Chadwick.

Yes, for the jnani there is no suffering, because he/she is not the body and mind that he/she seems to be. However, the jnani may appear to be in bodily pain, but this is only in our ignorant view. When Bhagavan was suffering due to cancer, his devotees were obviously concerned about him. When they inquired from Bhagavan: ‘Bhagavan, do you feel a lot of pain?’ Bhagavan replied: ‘Yes, there is pain’.

Bhagavan did not say that he had paid, but simply said 'there is pain'. He thereby implied that what others saw as his suffering was there: ‘Yes, there is pain [but only in your view]'. This 'only in your view' was implied. Like at times he seemed to agree with our ignorant view that there is a world, that countless jivas do exist, likewise he also at times conceded that what others saw as his suffering was true.

However, all these, the world, all the jivas therein, all the suffering of this world, are only in our view, because in the jnani’s clear view there is no world, or rather there never was any world.

In this context it would be useful to consider an e-mail which Michael had sent me on 16/1/2014. I had asked him: 'How could Bhagavan have said that he experienced pain and suffering, when there was no body and mind for him?' Michael replied:

Dear Sanjay,

The Bhagavan who had such experiences is the same Bhagavan who recounted them, and that Bhagavan is Bhagavan as he appears to us, namely the ‘person’ we call Bhagavan, who had a body and mind (at least in our ignorant view).

As he really is, Bhagavan does not ever experience anything other than ‘I am’, but we see him as a person who had a body and mind and who therefore experienced all that happened to his body. So long as we see him as a person/body/mind, we cannot adequately comprehend his actual state, so when we talk about his experiences as a person, we should not confuse such experiences as his real state.

In order to experience him as he experienced himself, we have to experience ourself as we really are, because that alone is what he really is.

With love and namaskarams,


Sanjay Lohia said...

Ravi, I totally agree with Albert Einstein when he says, ‘Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of the truth’. I do not know about other places, but we Indians are certainly guilty of this sort of ‘unthinking authority’.

Many of us blindly believe the so-called 'gurus' and 'mahatmas' without even understanding the logic of what they try to teach. Bhagavan was very clear in this regard. He used to say: ‘Don’t believe me. Investigate and verify whatever I am trying to say and only believe thereafter’.

Ravi said...

Sanjay Lohia/Friends,
Interesting response to Anonymous...We may explore it further after going through this excerpt from 'Letters from Sri Ramanasramam'

At the time that Bhagavan was to go out in the morning today, the labourers who had been deputed to gather mangoes from the tree near the steps towards the mountain began beating the tree with sticks to knock down the mangoes instead of climbing the tree and plucking them one by one. In the course of the beating, the mango leaves also were falling down in heaps. Hearing the sound of the beating even while seated on the sofa, Bhagavan sent word through his attendants not to do so and when he went out as usual, saw mango leaves lying in heaps. Unable to bear the cruel sight, he began saying in a harsh tone to the labourers, “Enough of this! Now go! When you are to gather the fruit, do you have to beat the tree so that the leaves fall off? In return for giving us fruit, is the tree to be beaten with sticks? Who gave you this work? Instead of beating the tree, you might as well cut it to the roots. You need not gather the fruit. Go away!” Bhagavan’s voice, which was like thunder, reverberated in the ears of all who were there and made them tremble with fear. The bamboos that were held aloft were brought down and placed on the ground. The labourers stood with folded hands like statues. They had no words to speak. When I saw the personification of kindness towards nature in an angry mood, my heart beat violently and my eyes were full of tears. Can one who is so much moved by the falling of the leaves of a tree, bear pain in the minds of human beings? Bhagavan Ramana is indeed karunapoorna sudhabdhi, the ocean filled with the nectar of compassion.
By the time he returned from the Gosala side, the devotees had gathered the leaves into a heap and begged him to forgive the fault. Bhagavan went into the hall, saying, “How cruel! See how many beatings were showered on the tree! How big is the heap of leaves! Oh!”

In this incident ,the pain inflicted to the tree was felt by Bhagavan whereas others involved were unaware of such a,it cannot be maintained that the Pain that Bhagavan could sense was imagined by them...So,how do we understand this?


santa-vritti said...

Ravi or anyone else,
do you know whether the railway station of Tirukoilur is situated northern of the Thenpennai River and Venkataraman had not to cross over then this river in Tirukoilur in order to reach the Sri Atulya Natheswarar Temple (also called Arayaninallur Temple) at the northern bank of that river.
If the railway station is southern of the river perhaps then the river bed was dry and easy to cross.

Babuji said...

according Google Maps both the railway station and the mentioned Siva temple are situated to the north of the river.

Ravi said...

Good question that set me to look for information on this...I invariably take the road from Chennai via the thindivanam bypass road...and then take the gingee(chengi actually) route to reach Tiruvannamalai...Just some kilometers before entering Tiruvannamalai town,there is a road that goes to tirukoilur...Need to drive past the Jnananadagiri Tapovanam(where the samadhi of the Great Sage Jnananandagiri is there...Poonjaji had met him) to reach Atulyanatheswarar temple atop a rock...The virateswarar temple is across the thenpennai river and Bhagavan had to walk to this temple accompanying the other folks from Atulyanatheswarar temple...may be there was a bridge across the river...The Tirukkovilur station is on the same side of the thenpennai river as the Virateswarar temple...I have not been to virateswarar temple so not in a position to give you firsthand information...Bhagavan took a train from Tirukkovilur to Tiruvannamalai.

There is nice information available in this may like to look up:
There are snaps of the places but nothing at all on the spot(in Atulyanatheswarar temple) from where Sambandar saw arunachala as a column of light...that spot is in the outer precincts of the temple and a snap is possible.


santa-vritti said...

thank you for your information.
But according Google Maps the Tirukoilur railway station is on the north of Thenpennai River whereas the Veerateshwarar Temple is situated on the south bank of it.
Thanks also for the given link to the American Richard A.

ocean of bliss said...

According Home Page of Sri Ramanasramam, Journey Home:
It was the morning of September 1st 1896, three days after leaving home, that Venkataraman arrived at Tiruvannamalai station. With quick steps his heart throbbing with joy, he hastened straight to the great temple. In mute sign of welcome, the gates of the three high compound walls and all the doors, even that of the inner shrine, stood open. There was no one else inside, so he entered the inner shrine alone and stood overcome before His father Arunachala. “I have come at your call, Lord. Accept me and do with me as you will.”

Arunachala itself is Ramana, Ramana Himself is Arunachala.
Therefore, Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Arunachalaramanaya !

Ravi said...

Yes ,you are right that the station and virateshwarar temples are across the river...I remember that some years back there was a pilgrimage organized where devotees traversed the route as journeyed by Bhagavan...If i get hold of the details,i shall share it.

ocean of bliss said...

Ravi, Sri Ramana's Advent Journey/Yatra is recreated/imitated by some devotees every year. I too have sometimes the longing to copy Ramana's journey. But then I feel it is enough and more appropriate to try constantly remaining in the silence of the heart.

Ravi said...

Ocean of Bliss,
We can enjoy it in both the ways...they are not mutually exclusive...silence does not mean that we do not enjoy this...Did not Bhagavan do giripradakshina and invariably recommended it to all devotees?...Devotion cannot be circumscribed by reason and logic...this is its very nature...It is beyond the bounds of reason...if one does not feel like it,it is perfectly okay but that is not the only way.

santa-vritti said...

I too have the desire to sit alone in the inner shrine of the Arunachaleshwarar Temple in front of the swayambu Tejolingam at least for some minutes. Till now I could not get the permission to do it. Therefore I feel it is more beneficial and appropriate to constantly try remaining in the silence of my own heart.

Ravi said...

That is something for Arunachaleswara to bring about...If he pours forth the grace it will happen...I had an elderly guest from Malaysia some years back, a diabetic and a heart patient...he is a lawyer, not religious minded and stayed with us for about 10 days...His wife called up from Malaysia and told him that he must visit Arunachaleswara temple ...she believed that such pilgrimage would help the long departed soul of their deceased son...she also is not a very religious person but was more inclined than her husband...I do not miss any opportunity to visit Tiruvannamalai ,so I drove this elderly person to Tiruvannamalai...We headed straight to the temple and in view of his failing health,took the tickets for darshan and awaited our turn as the long queue moved along...When our turn came,The priest called us in...for a moment I thought he was calling someone else but he persisted and we went in...and spent full 10 minutes there and a little discomfitted by the privilege meted out to us,we came out of the sanctum sanctorum on our own...No one in the crowd protested nor did the priest asked us to move out...similiar incidents have happened and this is not a solitary instance.
Ditto is the case with our inner journey as well...If we put our unconditional trust in him without any personal expectations,the Grace will spontaneously drench us in its welling founts...Our mind need not decide how this would happen or struggle to bring it about.

santa-vrtti said...

thanks for giving hope at my next visit in the garbha griha of Arunachaleswara Temple.

nivṛtti said...

Let us at any moment make the right choice to try returning within following the path of nivṛtti by attending to nothing other than ourself. The path Bhagavan has taught us is the path of nivṛtti.

Ravi said...

On the subject of Bhagavan sensing pain,here is the continuation from 'Letters from Sri Ramanasramam' posted yesterday:
When Bhagavan was in Virupaksha Cave, Echamma, who installed a picture of Bhagavan and a picture of Seshadri Swami in her house, decided to do puja with a lakh of tender leaves, and began it after informing Bhagavan about it. By the time she had finished the puja with fifty thousand leaves, summer had set in, and she could not gather any more leaves even though she wandered all over the mountain. She got tired, and went to Bhagavan to ventilate her grievances. Bhagavan said, “If you cannot get the leaves, why not pinch yourself and do puja?” She said, “Oh, but that will be painful!” Bhagavan said, “If it pains you to pinch your body, is it not painful to the tree when you cut its leaves?” She turned pale and asked, “Why did you not tell me earlier, Swami?” He replied, “When you know that pinching the body is painful, why did you not know that the tree will be equally pained if you rob it of its leaves? Do I have to tell you that?” That tender leaves should not be cut from trees is also stated in the sloka in “Devikalottara Stotra” in Jnanachara Vicharapadalam, given below:
"Roots should not be pulled out. Leaves should not be pinched. Living beings should not be harmed. Flowers should not be plucked."

The Following is clear from the above:
1.Bhagavan expects that the devotee should not expect to be told or spoonfed.
2.They should be sensitive to the pain they may cause even to plants and should avoid that.
These are additional inputs for us to understand the subject of 'Jnani & their sense of Pain' ...Any thoughts/insight on this?

Sanjay Lohia said...

Ravi, this in response to your question, ‘In this incident ,the pain inflicted to the tree was felt by Bhagavan whereas others involved were unaware of such a,it cannot be maintained that the Pain that Bhagavan could sense was imagined by them...So,how do we understand this?’ Bhagavan says in the eighteenth paragraph of Nan Yar?:

Except that waking is dīrgha [long lasting] and dream is kṣaṇika [momentary or lasting for only a short while], there is no other difference [between these two mind-created states]. To the extent to which all the vyavahāras [doings, activities, affairs or occurrences] that happen in waking seem [at this present moment] to be real, to that [same] extent even the vyavahāras that happen in dream seem at that time to be real. In dream the mind takes another body [to be itself]. In both waking and dream thoughts and names-and-forms [the objects of the seemingly external world] occur in one time [that is, simultaneously]

Do you agree with the proposition that this waking state could just be another dream, as Bhagavan states it is. Of course, we have no direct means to verify this now, but we can take it as a working hypothesis. If this waking state is just another dream, then there must be only one ego experiencing this dream, like it is in all other dreams. Do you agree?

Therefore, if there is only one ego experiencing this 'waking-dream', then you must be that one ego, because you surely experience a world now, outside of you (with other persons, objects and endless drama) like you do in your 'night-dream'. If this could be true, whatever you experience (other than yourself) has to be your imagination. Therefore, the name and form of Bhagavan, and all the incidents in his bodily life could also be part of your imagination. Do you agree with this possibility?

Bhagavan says that a guru is like an elephant that appears in an elephant’s dream? The fear of this lion wakes up the elephant. Though the lion is unreal, it does wake up the lion, and this waking is real. Likewise, Bhagavan said, the name and form of the guru is unreal, is merely our imagination, but the waking that the guru brings about is real. Does this sound possible?

I hope you would not mind my asking you all these questions, because these questions are important to fully understand and reflect on the questions raised by you. Once I receive your answers to the questions raised by me, I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Ravi, there was a typo in my second last paragraph. Please read it as: Bhagavan says that a guru is like a lion that appears in an elephant’s dream? The fear of this lion wakes up the elephant. Though the lion is unreal, it does wake up the lion, and this waking is real. Likewise, Bhagavan said, the name and form of the guru is unreal, is merely our imagination, but the waking that the guru brings about is real. Does this sound possible?

Ravi said...

Sanjay Lohia,
No,certainly I do not mind responding to any question...Please feel free to interact the way that is natural to you.
If you enlist your questions,it would facilitate me to make sure that I do not miss answering any of them...I shall however attempt to do so.

1.Do you agree with the proposition that this waking state could just be another dream, as Bhagavan states it is?
Yes,I can sense that the Dream and Waking states are no different.
2.Therefore, the name and form of Bhagavan, and all the incidents in his bodily life could also be part of your imagination. Do you agree with this possibility?
No...It is perception (in the dream)...Imagination is interpretation of that perception(in the dream).
3." Likewise, Bhagavan said, the name and form of the guru is unreal, is merely our imagination, but the waking that the guru brings about is real. Does this sound possible?"
Yes,the name and form of the Guru is 'unreal' and the waking that the guru brings about is equally 'unreal'(You have said that it is Real)...For the Real is ever the Real...The Guru is unreal and the Disciple was also unreal.

Now,just one question from my side:Why should I not dream a dream where I keep on hurting others and the Guru in the dream exhort me to keep hurting others?...How does it matter as once I wake up,it hardly matters what I did in that dream?


comment supervisor said...

Sanjay Lohia,
you twice wrote in your recent comments" ... Though the lion is unreal, it does wake up the lion, and this waking is real."
Did you not want to write "..., it does wake up the elephant... (instead of the lion)... ? It makes no sense to write that a merely fictitious lion wake up an other lion.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Ravi, Bhagavan teaches us in the seventh paragraph of Nan Yar?:

What actually exists is only ātma-svarūpa [our own essential self]. The world, soul and God are kalpanaigaḷ [imaginations, fabrications, mental creations or illusory superimpositions] in it, like [the imaginary] silver [seen] in a shell. These three appear simultaneously and disappear simultaneously. Svarūpa [our ‘own form’ or actual self] alone is the world; svarūpa alone is ‘I’ [our ego, soul or individual self]; svarūpa alone is God; everything is śiva-svarūpa [our actual self, which is śiva, the absolute and only truly existing reality].

Bhagavan also explains in verse 28 of Upadesa Undiyar:

If [we] ourself know [ourself by scrutinizing] thus ‘what is the [real] nature of myself?’ then [we will discover ourself to be] beginningless, endless [and] unbroken sat-cit-ananda [being-consciousness-bliss].

Therefore Bhagavan clearly teaches us that what is real, permanent and unchanging is only atma-svarupa, and the nature of atma-svarupa is infinite and unbroken sat-cit-ananda. If this is true, then everything other than atma-svarupa is an imagination, a mental creation or an illusory superimposition.

Therefore I don’t agree when you say, ‘No...It is perception (in the dream)...Imagination is interpretation of that perception(in the dream)’. Any perception of phenomena and its interpretation are all part of our imagination. You seem to imply that our perceptions are real, but its interpretations are imagination, but Bhagavan says that everything other than atma-svarupa (absolute sat-chit-ananda) doesn’t really exist, although they may seem to exist in the view of our ego. However, our ego itself is our primary imagination, so how can an imagination perceive anything which is real or true?

Yes, the name and form of both the guru and his disciple are unreal, but the guru’s teachings, if followed with all sincerity, will destroy the ego of the disciple, and as a result enable him to experience himself as he really is. Thus the guru brings about an awaking in the disciple, and this awakening (atma-jnana) is a fact, and not a fiction like the name and form of the guru.

Yes, it hardly matters what we experience in our dream, but this is only after we wake up from our dream. As long as we are dreaming all the dream persons and all the dream events seem to be real, and they do matter. If in our dream a shark is about to devour us, we will surely be extremely petrified, won’t we?

You had asked in one of your earlier comments: ‘In this incident ,the pain inflicted to the tree was felt by Bhagavan whereas others involved were unaware of such a,it cannot be maintained that the Pain that Bhagavan could sense was imagined by them...So,how do we understand this?’ When we wake to our real nature, in which nothing exists other than ourself, we will come to know that our every objective experience was utterly unreal, and hence these happened only in our deluded outlook. Therefore, in reality all these, that is, the body of Bhagavan, the pain inflicted on trees, the trees, other onlookers, and so on never existed in the first place.

As you imply, we should be sensitive to the pain we may cause to plants and other sentient beings, and should avoid that. As long as we experience ourself as this person called Ravi or Sanjay, we would not like to experience any pain. Likewise the plants and other sentient creatures are as real as Ravi or Sanjay, and therefore we should try and treat them as we would like others to treat us. However, when we do not experience ourself as Ravi or Sanjay we need not have concern even for others (because others come into existence only when we as this ego come into existence).

Sanjay Lohia said...

comment supervisor, thank you for your ever vigilant supervision. Yes, the second 'lion' should have 'elephant'.

Ravi said...

Sanjay Lohia,
Where did I say that Perception is Real?...that does not mean Perception is not valid...For instance there may be perception of 'water' may be a mirage and the water is an appearance only...this appearance is perceived but it is not imagination.

Here are two talks:
Talk 1. A wandering monk (sannyasi) was trying to clear his doubt: “How to realise that all the world is God?” Maharshi: If you make your outlook that of wisdom, you will find the world to be God. Without knowing the Supreme Spirit (Brahman), how will you find His all-pervasiveness?
Talk 2. Someone enquired about the nature of perception. M.: Whatever state one is in, the perceptions partake of that state. The explanation is that in the waking state (jagrat) the gross body perceives gross names and forms; in swapna (the dream state) the mental body perceives the mental creations in their manifold forms and names; in the sushupti (deep dreamless sleep), the identification with the body being lost, there are no perceptions; similarly in the Transcendental state identity with Brahman places the man in harmony with everything, and there is nothing apart from his Self.

I have also emphasized that the Real is ever the Real...It is the only thing that is...Guru and disciple are not real in this sense...It is not that the Body of the Guru is unreal but the Guru is Real...No...the Guru is valid only when the Disciple is valid...inasmuch as the 'husband' is valid only when the 'wife' is valid.

As long as the pain sensed by the disciple is valid,the pain sensed by the guru is equally valid...and we are only discussing about the validity and not the 'real' nature of anything whatever.

So,the question would reduce to examination of the sense of it possible for us to
realize the unreal nature of pain?...Is it possible to perceive the world and its beings as the Self?

If we can do this,we need not resort to any convoluted way to reconcile " we should be sensitive to the pain we may cause to plants and other sentient beings, and should avoid that" with "Therefore, in reality all these, that is, the body of Bhagavan, the pain inflicted on trees, the trees, other onlookers, and so on never existed in the first place."

In other words,to put it it possible to go into this without trying to put it on stilts by quoting bhagavan?

nivṛtti said...

Sanjay Lohia,
regarding your statement "As you imply, we should be sensitive to the pain we may cause to plants and other sentient beings, and should avoid that. As long as we experience ourself as this person called Ravi or Sanjay, we would not like to experience any pain. Likewise the plants and other sentient creatures are as real as Ravi or Sanjay, and therefore we should try and treat them as we would like others to treat us. "
I would like to add that we should treat also our whole planet as a sentient being.
Therefore we should handle all our environment with extreme care. That begins aready with avoiding of pollution of nature. When I first came to India/Tamil Nadu in January 2000 I could not believe how careless was the dealing with rubbish and plastic garbage even on Arunachala Hill let alone along the girivalam road/pradakshina/circumbalation.

Ravi said...

"I would like to add that we should treat also our whole planet as a sentient being"
Wonderful point...It would be extremely useful to go into it as a separate discussion...Not that it is unrelated to what we are discussing at the moment...Thanks for bringing it out.

Sanjay Lohia said...

nivrtti, yes, public hygiene is not our forte in India, and therefore you may find rubbish and garbage at the wrong places. We Indians are rich in spiritual heritage, but poor in maintaining our public places. Obviously, the westerners know more about the things of this world, and they are also much more organized, and therefore they keep their public places in a much more orderly manner.

Yes, we should take care for our environment, but we should not spend too much attention on these issues. Our paramount duty in to know who we actually are, and we can do so only by frequent self-investigation.

Even if so solve all our environmental issues, many other issues are always awaiting our urgent attention. So we will never be able to mould this world to our liking. However, we can destroy this world by destroying our ego, because this world is nothing but the projection of our ego. This way we will cut at the root of all our worldly problems.

Ravi said...

sanjay Lohia/Friends,
"However, we can destroy this world by destroying our ego, because this world is nothing but the projection of our ego."
All the sages who have vanquished their ego have been the greatest benefactors of the world...Bhagavan has said that by his very presence the jnani benefits the,this needs to be investigated carefully.
Just to put things in perspective...a sadhaka who works 10 hours in an office for his livelihood,does not consider that a needless preoccupation which eats up his sadhana time or as a diversion...the very same person would consider even spending 10 minutes of time towards taking care of environment or other related matters as a needless diversion from spiritual orientation...this seems to be the mindset of the present day times.

The other thing is that although in general the East-West mindsets have oriented themselves along different lines,it is also true that the Indians of today have little knowledge of their cultural,social,political,commercial,historical aspects and how everything revolved around the spiritual...and the modern educational system imported from the west has only served the bread-winning part of and survival, more than education has become the standard norm and in this fast paced world,even spiritual objectives are considered in similiar is the job of 'others' to attend to such secular matters and the 'sadhaka' who is dependent on the services of 'others' for his own living, does not consider it his outlook to pay attention and contribute!

The Fundamental reason is that we do not realize the fact that there is ONE LIFE undivided...that we are the world and it is not apart from it...our well-being is inextricably linked with it...It is the 'ego' sense that is the cause of isolation...We may explore this dimension as it is very very important for Sadhana...In fact as devotees of Bhagavan,it is time that we take a look at the lives of the 63 saivaite saints...Bhagavan used to visit the meenakshi temple at Madurai and pray before the images of the 63 Saints that he too should be blessed with such devotion.

What sort of a life that these 63 saints lead?Did they insulate themselves from social activities?NO...some of them performed the service of cleaning up temple premises,Nandanar dug a pond so that it would be beneficial for the devotees,others prepared food and invited devotees and served them,etc...So,it is clear that such activities are not inimical to spiritual purposes;to the contrary,if done with the right spirit,they would put the sadhana into top gear.
The only caution is to do these things for superficial reasons-as a 'nice' thing to do and getting caught up in such activities forgetting the main purpose.
We may go into the aspect of 'We are the world' aspect and all other things that Nivritti had raised also would be viewed in their proper perspective.


Ravi said...

"Please read this as "The only caution is 'NOT' to do these things for superficial reasons-as a 'nice' thing to do and getting caught up in such activities forgetting the main purpose".
The 'NOT' was inadvertently omitted...sorry.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Ravi, I thank you for your various comments. These exchange of comments has two fold benefit: One, its main benefit is that it encourages us to practise Bhagavan’s teaching of self-attentiveness, and two, it purifies our mind: that is, it reduces our attachments to other things, because we start getting attached to Bhagavan’s teachings.

Now I will try and respond to a few of the points raised by in you. You quoted Bhagavan in where he says (in Talk 2): ‘the identification with the body being lost, there are no perceptions’.. It is true, because when our ego is destroyed, we lose identification with our body, and without a body we cannot perceive any world. Bhagavan teaches us this truth in verse 5 of Ulladu Narpadu:

If we scrutinise, the body is a form composed of five sheaths. Therefore, the five sheaths are all included in the term ‘body’. Does the world exist apart from the body? Say, is there anyone who without a body has seen a world?

You say, ‘...the Guru is valid only when the Disciple is valid’. Yes, it is true. Guru is considered to the guru only in relation to a disciple. Why? Because a real guru does not consider himself to be guru, because in his non-dual view there are no others, hence there are no disciples. Yes, as you imply, as long as we consider ourself to be a person, we cannot avoid looking at our guru as a body. But the question is he the body/person we take him to be? Bhagavan has repeatedly asserted that he is not the body. He is our real self.

You ask: ‘?...Is it possible to perceive the world and its beings as the Self?'. No, it is not possible. Either we experience ourself as we really are (real self), or we experience a world. We cannot experience both together. Bhagavan makes this clear in the third paragraph of Nan Yar?:

If the mind, which is the cause of all [objective] knowledge and of all activity, subsides, jagad-dṛṣṭi [perception of the world] will cease. Just as knowledge of the rope, which is the base [that underlies and supports the imaginary appearance of a snake], will not arise unless knowledge of the imaginary snake ceases, svarūpa-darśana [true experiential knowledge of our own actual nature or real self], which is the base [that underlies and supports the imaginary appearance of this world], will not arise unless perception of the world, which is an imagination [or fabrication], ceases.

(I will continue this in my next comment)

Sanjay Lohia said...

In continuation of my previous comment addressed to Ravi:

You ask: ‘In other words,to put it it possible to go into this without trying to put it on stilts by quoting bhagavan?’ You imply, if I am not wrong, that we should discuss Bhagavan’s teachings without quoting Bhagavan. I am not sure why you feel this way. How can we discuss Bhagavan’s teachings without quoting Bhagavan? His teachings are like our law-books. A lawyer or a judge has to repeatedly refer to these law-books in order to correctly interpret the law, likewise we need to constantly refer to Bhagavan’s teachings to correctly interpret his teachings.

As you say, Bhagavan did say in GVK that ‘by his very presence the jnani benefits the world’. Yes, as long as we consider this world to be real, we will also mistake the jnani to be a person, and the seeming presence of that person benefits the seeming world by its mere presence. These things are beyond the grasp of our intellect.

You also say, ‘So,it is clear that such activities [of sadhakas] are not inimical to spiritual purposes;to the contrary,if done with the right spirit,they would put the sadhana into top gear’. Our body, speech and mind will be made to act in various ways in accordance with our prarabdha, as Bhagavan’s teaches us through his note to his mother.

However, our task is to remain quiet even in the midst of such bodily activities. Let the activities of the body go on, it will not affect us as long as we do not try to attend to those activities. In other words as long as we keep our attention on ourself, we will not create agamya, nor will we experience prarabdha.

Ravi said...

Sanjay Lohia,
My objective in proposing to discuss 'the sensing of pain' and 'We are the world' based on our own observations,experiences and validations...and to set aside all the teachings that we have borrowed from whatever is not that we are going to discard those teachings or that we are disrespectful to the Guru,etc.
The reason that I am proposing this is that it may perhaps help us to get a better grasp of those teachings...If it is okay with you,we may go ahead...if not,we need not...either way is fine with me.

nivṛtti said...

Sanjay ,
yes it is of prime importance to come to know who we actually are.
According to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi only persistent and frequent self-investigation will lead to the destruction of the spurious ego and thus reveal our real nature.
However, self-investigation as taught by Bhagavan does not need to be carried out (only) by sitting in a meditation room. Rather it should and can be done incessantly under all conditions.
So practising self-investigation does not come into conflict with keeping clean rivers, lakes, watering places, fields, forests and mountains and so on.
The amount of cleanness in our natural environment is a direct reflection of the loving dealing of people with the nature in their immediate surrounding vicinity.
Love for our environmental issues stands in direct context with purity and peace in our mind as well the inside of the people and their outside influence each other in mutual interconnection or interaction.
For an example : Can one actually endure that a beautiful pool/tank of clear spring water or rainwater embedded in the natural and peaceful valley of an even holy mountain is badly polluted with all kinds of plastic refuse ? No, of course we will pick it up and take it to the next dustbin/garbage can.
Doing such cleaning work cleans not only the outside nature but also our inner health.
I am sure that Bhagavan would not tolerate for instance the total pollution of the banks of the adjoining Agastya Tirtham in Palakothu with rubbish if he were still in the body. (Seen by me in February /March 2017).
We should not overlook that keeping the unspoilt nature of our earth clean, unpolluted and unadulterated will produce the effect of necessary education to be inwardly clean and tidy.
Are not the most dirty/filthy areas of our cities (with lacking refuse disposal) often the most crisis-prone spheres and thus scene of high crime or criminality ?

Ravi said...

Warmly recommend this talk By J Krishnamurti...will help all those interested in Vichara ...
"Is it possible ever to be free of self-centred activity? Is there a real self? - J. Krishnamurti"

Ravi said...

How does observation reduce the strength and power of emotions and attachments? - J. Krishnamurti
Wonderful talk ....Clarity...warmly recommended

Ravi said...

Is there one thing or one quality that will end my seeking and my confusion? - J. Krishnamurti
Must watch...Warmly recommended.

Ravi said...

How can the idea that 'you are the world' be justified? - J. Krishnamurti
Warmly Recommended.

nivṛtti said...

we should investigate who is the questioner of all the questions put by J. Krishnamurti whom I consider as an earnest and ardent seeker.

Ravi said...

"we should investigate who is the questioner"
That is what JK is asking one to DO...see it as a Fact what the 'Ego' is...not to say it is there and is spurious and elusive,etc...and see that attachment is what has given rise to that...and if we see it as FACT and not verbally,the attachments drop away.
What We consider JK is immaterial...Who is the 'one' who 'considers'?Where did this opinion that JK is an 'earnest and ardent seeker' originate?....Are they not thoughts based on knowledge stored in one's memory with which we compare what is said?...where there is this sort of a comparison,there is no listening...and listening is key to understand what is said.

Ravi said...

If we truly understand what Bhagavan has said regarding self enquiry,We will understand that what JK is saying is no,listening to JK is a way to see whether we have understood Bhagavan....or have we only bought into the scaffolding of words and ideas of the philosophical premise,leaving aside the core essence of enquiry?...If we understand the essence,we would not miss it irrespective of the way it gets if we know a person we recognize him whether he is dressed in a suit or whether sports shorts.

Ravi said...

The Essence is here.Excerpt from Bhagavan's 'nAn yAr':

"அன்னியத்தை நாடாதிருத்தல் வைராக்கியம் அல்லது நிராசை; தன்னை விடாதிருத்தல் ஞானம். உண்மையி லிரண்டு மொன்றே."

"Not to seek anything other than self is Vairagya or nirasa;Not to let go of self is jnana.In Truth both are one"
This is the essence of self enquiry...What JK is pointing out so clearly is that the 'ego' is just put together by 'seeking things' and attaching to such things...The 'Things' may be material or psychological-like name,Fame,security,etc...He is pointing out that it is the attachment that has isolated us (the ego sense) and if we can clearly observe nakedly that this is ACTUALLY so,then this very seeing it as a FACT would free us from attachment.

What we do is to toy with the IDEA that attachment is indeed binding and that we should do something about it sometime or other...and then we look for a method or means to get rid of it...and justify that it should necessarily take time and that a minute,an hour,a day or a year may not be sufficient...and we hope one day we would be free of attachment and the SELF will be realized...and that there would then be no world to bother about and only the Self...Until such a time arrives,we need to live a double life...we need to attend to the world (minimize it as much as possible...meaning do not bother if anyone else suffers for after all it is his prarabdha) and PRACTISE(not live) atma vichara...we become votaries of Atma vichara.


Anonymous said...

Shantammal, Ramana Smriti,
A visitor while taking leave of Bhagavan expressed a wish that Bhagavan should keep him in mind as he was going very far away and would probably not come back to the Ashram. Bhagavan replied:

A jnani [?] has no mind. How can one without a mind remember or even think? This man goes somewhere and I have to go there and look after him? Can I keep on remembering all these prayers? Well, I shall transmit your prayer to the Lord of the Universe. He will look after you. It is his business.

nivṛtti said...

you might listen to your heart and do not hesitate to apply the recommendation given to me also and primarily to you.
If one has truly understood Bhagavan's teaching there is no need to additional studies.
Of course all suffering is our prarabdha. But to say "do not bother if anyone else suffers for after all it is his prarabdha" is the greatest insolent remark I ever heard from India. Presumably that is the reason why untold suffering experienced in India today did not come to an end.

Ravi said...

" do not hesitate to apply the recommendation given to me also and primarily to you."
Quite correct.

"do not bother if anyone else suffers for after all it is his prarabdha" is the greatest insolent remark I ever heard from India. Presumably that is the reason why untold suffering experienced in India today did not come to an end."

Yes ,I have only pointed out that this is what happens when we do not understand the teachings and live it...I do not subscribe to this erroneous view...Infact the Vedic Teachings as well as the teachings of all the masters till date expect us to view the world as not apart from us.
It is not that this sort of 'isolation' is prevalent ony in India,it is prevalent in a more aggressive and violent form in the rest of the world...It is what has resulted in Terrorism and wars.
We shall see how the teachings of the Vedas is to promote complete harmony with all beings and environment...I intend sharing some of it here...All these are not for 'comparing' and 'contrasting' but to gain better clarity and conviction is whatever we are after.


Ravi said...

"I tell you one thing—if you want peace, do not find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own."-Sri Sarada Devi’s last words, spoken before passing away on July 20, 1920.

nivṛtti said...

we are all brothers and sisters, is it not true ?
So let us strive to give our best contribution to that truth. Let's make our best endeavours to eliminate our fiercest enemy i.e. ignorance and blindness - each to the best of one's ability. Fortune smiles on us because we can take all great jnanis and sages as a model.

Ravi said...

Thanks very much ...I totally appreciate what you have said.

Ravi said...

What is myself and what is its relation to the cosmos? - J. Krishnamurti

Ravi said...

In Total Silence The Mind Comes Upon The Eternal-J Krishnamurti
This is a longish talk and the speaker takes time going over the mechanics of thought and how it is always limited,how it brings about division-the controller and the controlled and perpetuates conflict,how Observation of this helps end this conflict...and goes on to distinguish Silence-The outer silence,the inner one brought about by thought and finally the Silence that is not put together by thought and is like a rock...I am posting these links as I consider these would be helpful for anyone who has been doing vichara for sometime...there is no doctrine in these talks and they are completely rational... Please give it a try.

Anonymous said...

From Ramana Smriti, The Bhagavan I knew.
A widow arrived one day, entered the Hall and bowed to Bhagavan. He looked at her closely and started laughing. "Oh, it is you.'' he said. The woman got confused, covered her face with her white widow's sari and hid herself in a corner. Bhagavan continued with a broad smile: "When I was a boy her people were our neighbours and she was their little girl. It was agreed between our parents that she would be my wife in due course. I was very fond of helping my mother in the kitchen and her mother used to grumble that she would never marry her daughter to a fellow who likes to spend his day near the stove, like a woman. Anyhow I was not fated to marry. But had I married her, what would have been my fate!" Everybody had a good laugh at Bhagavan's narrow escape.

Cleopatra said...

it would not have been to my disadvantage if I had married Bhagavan Ramana.
He would have liked to stay with me - of course only for some time only.
Then I would have had to share him for the benefit of all mankind. Ha, what a crazy idea !

Namo Ramanaya said...

before you recommend to study further talks of J.Krishnamurti you may read Michael's article of Monday, 11 May 2015
"Observation without the observer and choiceless awareness: Why the teachings of J. Krishnamurti are diametrically opposed to those of Sri Ramana".

Ravi said...

Namo Ramanaya,
Thanks...Yes...I have seen that article as also other articles ...these comparisons and contrasts arise on account of 'thought' that tends to differentiate what it holds onto from other things...and 'thought' can never grasp the root of,we may take it all with a pinch of salt.
Here is one conversation with JK with Dr Allan W.Anderson that would give a taste of what JK is trying to point...and it is absolutely no different than what Sri Bhagavan has pointed out...Just give it a try and listen to the conversation setting aside all knowledge that one is holding onto...Just this one conversation would suffice...I would summarize it as 'The Art of Dying':
Death & Rebirth-Dr Allan W Anderson in conversation with J Krishnamurti

If you ask me,I will say that there is absolutely no difference between what JK and Bhagavan or any other sage has taught...those differences exist only in the 'me' and not actually.

Ravi said...

"Water is water whether it is calm or full of waves and bubbles. The Absolute alone is the Primordial Energy, which creates, preserves, and destroys"-Sri Ramakrishna

What JK points toward the end in that conversation'Death & Reincarnation'-that Death,Life and Love are one movement and not different from each other-It is the same as what Sri Ramakrishna has said.

Those interested may also listen to this talk of JK:
Is there any survival after death? - J. Krishnamurti

atma-vrtti said...

I simply feel that the philosopher J Krishnamurti has not at all experienced the same depth of awareness as the sage Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. Therefore I do not feel any reason to listen to him.

Ravi said...

A short excerpt of the video talk already posted ...those who are curious even if not seriously interested may like to go through this 16 minutes excerpt:
"I am not talking for my benefit...I have talked for 52 years...I am not interested in talking...but I am interested in finding out if you can also discover the same that your own life will be totally different"...and he goes on to the discovery of silence.

It does not matter whether JK was just an ordinary philosopher or may be not even that...if he has something to share that may be beneficial to me,that is all that matters to me.
It is said that the great sage Dattatreya had 24 upagurus...Earth,Sky,wind,Water,Fire,sun,moon,pigeon,python,ocean,moth,Bee,elephant,deer,fish,honey gatherer,Hawk,the courtesan pingala,the Child,The hunter,The spider and The caterpillar...He learnt something from each of his upagurus.
In the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna ,the master says:" The Mother reveals to me that She Herself has become everything. One day I was coming from the pine-grove toward the Panchavati. A dog followed me. I stood still for a while near the Panchavati. The thought came to my mind that the Mother might say something to me through that dog. "
The vedas also say:'Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah': Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions.

Salazar said...

"Let noble thoughts come to me from every direction".

Bad thoughts, good thoughts, noble thoughts, no matter the judgment, they still keep one in samsara.

"Friends", don't get fooled by the pundit of the Michael James blog.

He certainly like to hear himself talk ;-)

Ravi said...

"Friends", don't get fooled by the pundit of the Michael James blog.
He certainly like to hear himself talk ;-)

Good to hear from you after a brief interval..I quite agree with you...that is what Jk is pointing out in that discover the Truth in oneself.

atma-vrtti said...

where else if not in oneself could the truth be discovered ?

Salazar said...

Ravi, you keep sharing the obvious. Your infatuation with JK is strange but suit yourself. Bhagavan provided everything what is needed, no need to divert from him.

All of your comments will not bring anybody any closer to Self. Only atma-vichara will do so. I suppose you even have mentioned that somewhere. Nonetheless you keep talking about improving the world etc. That is not what Bhagavan taught. He taught to keep one's nose out of the business of others and to not be concerned about politics and what not.

JK however was interested about "right" education and concern for man and environment. Bhagavan suggested in lieu of having "concerns" to look rather for the one who IS concerned.

Bhagavan cut straight through the BS of reforms and concerns and went to that what only matters. Anybody who is not accepting and adhering to that has just fallen prey to one's ego and is playing postponement.

Following JK's philosophy is postponing enlightenment.

Ravi said...

I have shared what i found beneficial...may be it was all elementary for you...thanks for putting up.

Anonymous said...

Talk 285.
D.: If the Self be itself aware, why am I not aware of the same, even
M.: There is no duality. Your present knowledge is due to the ego and only
relating. Relative knowledge requires a subject and an object. Whereas
the awareness of the Self is absolute and requires no object.
Remembrance also is similarly relative, requiring an object to be
remembered and a subject to remember. When there is no duality,
who is to remember whom?
D.: What happens to the created ego when the body dies?
M.: Ego is ‘I-thought’. In its subtle form it remains a thought, whereas
in its gross aspect it embraces the mind, the senses and the body.
They disappear in deep slumber along with the ego. Still the Self
is there; similarly it will be in death.
Ego is not an entity independent of the Self in order that it must be
created or destroyed by itself. It functions as an instrument of the
Self and periodically ceases to function. That is to say, it appears
and disappears; this might be considered to be birth and death.

Relative knowledge pertains to the mind and not to the Self. It is
therefore illusory and not permanent. Take a scientist for instance.
He formulates a theory that the Earth is round and goes on to prove
it and establish it on an incontrovertible basis. When he falls asleep
the whole idea vanishes; his mind is left a blank; what does it matter
if the world remains round or flat when he is asleep? So you see
the futility of all such relative knowledge.
One should go beyond such relative knowledge and abide in the Self. Real
knowledge is such experience and not apprehension by the mind.

Michael James said...

In response to the discussion between Salazar, Sanjay, Ravi and others in these comments about whether we should consider choosing to eat meat to be determined only by prārabdha (fate or destiny) or whether free will has any role in it, I have written an article: If we choose to do any harmful actions, should we consider them to be done according to destiny (prārabdha)?

Roger Isaacs said...

Regarding Namo's suggestion to read the blog entry from 2015:"... Why the teachings of J. Krishnamurti are diametrically opposed to those of Sri Ramana".

I have never heard Sri Ramana critique the teaching of Krishnamurti or Nisargadatta not even once. This regular criticism against K and N and others is NOT Sri Ramana's teaching. Comparing and defending against other teachings is solely the work of Michael James. This outward competition distracts from inward practice. Find a guru that resonates with you... and stop wasting time in criticism of those who are different. All real jnanis come from the same source but they speak somewhat differently. Why become competitive about the differences?

The last paragraph of the 2015 blog: "The choice we are faced with is therefore very simple: do we want to follow the teachings of Sri Ramana by trying to attend to ourself alone, or do we want to follow any other teachings that direct us to attend to anything else?"

This places Michael James' interpretations in competition with other teachings and invites the reader to make allegiance to Michael James. But the only true authority is within and insistence on this outward rigid authority blocks inward discovery.

This issue is especially heinous considering "Talks" where Bhagavan repeatedly and widely accepts many other teachings.

Why are teachings of "K" and "N" "diametrically opposed to those of Sri Ramana?" It is very important to note that this conflict is with the interpretations of Michael James and not Bhagavan's actual teachings.

The 3 works that Michael translates suggest the following:
We must place attention on Self alone and exclude all else. The world, body and thoughts must be excluded from attention leaving Self alone in total isolation. And... this is the ONLY way.

The only error I see in this is the statement is: "this is the ONLY way". In fact this is the basic flaw in Michael's teaching: constant reliance on "this is the ONLY way". We should have faith and confidence in our practice... but outward competition with other teachings suggests a lack of confidence, it suggests insecurity.

Krishnamurti and Nisargadatta (as well as Bhagavan in other works and many many other jnanis) go into detail about how to isolate Self with some aspect of the world remaining in awareness. This complements the approach of finding Self in total isolation and the individual may choose one approach or the other or both.

If you find Self in total isolation... but then while eating or talking the attention on Self is lost... then deeper attention on Self is possible. How to maintain attention on Self while eating your meal may be useful. Savikalpa Samadhi is the lesson on Samadhi with "changes", or Samadhi with the presence of "objects" in awareness.

Michael's teaching is solely about excluding the world totally, in fact, when this is successful, the world is said to be "dead" and ceases to exist. This approach is appropriate for those who want to pursue life as a total recluse. But even for the recluse there will be various activities in the world that cannot be avoided... therefore, it is useful to hear about the approach for finding Self in activity.

"K" and "N" should be welcomed or at least respected.

Salazar said...

Hi Roger, if it makes you happy, there is not only one way but many ways. It is a matter of preference. Even though I do not resonate with JK at all, I respect him and I respect N as well. I like N much more than JK, however Bhagavan resonates the most with me, thus I chose his teachings.

Now before I switched to atma-vichara I practiced shikantaza for a very long time what was very beneficiary, and looking back I can see that it was Bhagavan’s way of preparing me for atma-vichara.

You say that “Michael’s” teaching is solely about excluding the world…. However I don’t see it that way at all; it is not about exclusion; it is about transcending the phenomenal world. You can do vichara at any time, even when you are working. The funny thing is that you’ll see that your work happens by itself and you are not doing that work at all. When you [actually] experience that you’ll never believe again (with the same strength) that you do anything. The actions of your body simply happen by itself.
You question how to maintain attention to Self while eating (could be also working) is from the perspective of the doer, that doer will never succeed in that. The secret is to let go of any “goals” and musings of “how”, because exactly that is preventing you from being attentive to Self while working or eating ;-)

You still are subtly maintaining a subject-object relationship, atma-vichara is subject only but I am afraid that 90+% of the people interested in vichara have not grasped what that entails. Otherwise you would not have questions about “how”.

From my experience talks like that really don’t help or improve one’s situation, clarity will come by itself in being quiet (and I am talking about the mind). Thinking is an obstacle, always; insights will only come when the mind is quiet. And these insights are not thoughts but glimpses of Self. Whatever comes up in form of a thought deserves to be discarded.

Babuji said...

Roger Isaacs,
does any world seem to exist when the mind has sunk down ?
Does not a world appear (to exist) only when the ego-mind has arisen/sprung up ?

Salazar said...

Roger, I said in my previous comment "I chose" Bhagavan's teaching but I really didn't make that choice. Although back then I really believed that I made that choice.

According to Bhagavan, before a new birth, Lord Ishwara looks at the vast amount of karma we have and then picks a portion of that karma for the upcoming new life. But he does not pick randomly, he uses that karma which is most beneficiary for spiritual growth. So any event, any little thing, is destined for our benefit.

Robert Adams made it very clear that we have not the power to choose. And frankly if I have to choose between Michael (whom I respect very much) and Robert I choose Robert within a heart beat.

Here is a dialog between Robert and his students (I already posted at on a different article but people seemed to be in denial about it):

Dialogs between Robert Adams [R] and students [S]:

S: If everything is predetermined as you said, that would leave no room for spontaneity, something just happening on its own freely.
R: Exactly. Nothing happens on its own.
S: But everything happens?
R: Sure, but not on its own.
S: There's no such thing as spontaneous action, right?
R: No. It appears that way but there's not. When I speak of being spontaneous, I'm referring to, just doing everything in the moment, living in the moment, rather than planning for the future.
S: It feels like it's spontaneous.
R: Of course it does. The world also feels real.
S: There's nobody making it happen? It's just happening?
R: That's how it appears. But nothing is really happening.
S: It's all just appearances dancing, playing.
R: It's called false imagination. There is absolutely nothing going on.
S: Well that's nice to know. (laughs) Are you sure of that?
R: I 'm positive.

S: Is there even a choice for a seeker to be a disciple, or a disciple to be a devotee? Or is choice an illusion?
R: No, not really, there is no choice. You're right.
S: It's just their tendency for it?
R: Yes. You're going to do whatever you came here to do. But the only choice you have in life is not to identify with the body. So when you do not identify with the body, you will actually gravitate to where you are supposed to be, and everything will happen. But you're right, we have no choice.
S: There is no me?
R: Exactly. This is why I say those of us who have come here, it is not by choice, it is no accident. You're here because that's where you're supposed to be, that's the way it is, and I'm here because it's where I'm supposed to be. I never chose to be a teacher. I never chose to be anything. But I'm here and you're here. So what are we going to do about it? Why complain?
S: If there is no choice, then you also cannot choose whether or not to identify with the body?
R: That's the only freedom you've got.
S: Do you have that freedom?
R: You have that freedom.
S: But that's plain out and out choice.
R: That is the only choice you have.
S: I was under the impression that there was no choice whatsoever, period!
R: There is no choice whatsoever, period, except not to react to conditions and not to identify with the body. If it weren't for that we would be automatons, but we're not automatons. But the awareness in us, the reality, makes us have that choice, to not identify with the body and not to react to any condition. Everything else is predetermined.

Babuji said...

Robert's above explanation does not convince me completely because in my perception it does not radiate full lucid clarity to which I lay claim.

Salazar said...

Babuji, I do not understand your comment, the last part, "it does not radiate full lucid clarity to which I lay claim".

What is I laying claim?

Anyway, Robert is a Jnani and therefore what is spoken by him is by Self directly. In fact, there is no difference between him and Bhagavan. The difference which is perceived is only with the body and with different concepts, but otherwise Bhagavan and Robert is Self.

Salazar said...

Babuji, does it mean that you lay claim for full lucid clarity and that Robert did not deliver to your full satisfaction? ;-)

Well, that's why we feel attracted to certain teachers, but even though it does not have full clarity for you it is nonetheless the truth.

Robert had the great skill to convey the truth without the distraction of Sanskrit and Tamil terms and said it in straight English. He made many things for me clearer than Bhagavan at first. Only after listening to Robert certain things by Bhagavan made sense for me.

Babuji said...

I wanted to express that I set great store on greatest possible clarity.
I do not shrink from the declaration that I consider Bhagavan's grandeur as unique and beyond compare. May I out of deep gratitude never fail to recognize that.

Roger Isaacs said...

Hi Babuji,

>> does any world seem to exist when the mind has sunk down ?

Rather than "exist", I would say "seen":
The world is no longer seen when attention is turned away from it. Attention may be turned away either in sleep or temporary nirvikalpa samadhi (or after I eat a large dessert of cake and ice cream this can also cause manolaya). Nirvikalpa Samadhi is the same as atma vichara according to MJ in the blog "atma vichara and nirvikalpla samadhi".Nirvikalpa Samadhi is "no world, no body" in awareness, exclusive attention on Self with no objects present in awareness.

But as long as one is alive in a body... the world appearance will return, even after enlightenment, otherwise, how could the enlightened interact in the world? When the world temporarily ceases to be seen, we can infer that the world continues when our attention is turned away from it as various processes continue (clocks advance etc).

The world and/or body has multiple levels: just one example, the hindus describe "three bodies", the buddhists "trikaya" (three bodies). Us a-jnanis know the world as the physical layer. With more refined knowledge, the other more subtle layers may be realized. You say the world is "ego-mind", does that mean all the subtler layers are ego too?

After enlightenment, surely the world continues in awareness in some way.
Bhagavan MUST have had the world in his awareness, or knew the world as "Self" (he says "world is Self" in Talks), otherwise he would have been unable to be in the world as he did. It seems to me that Bhagavan must have known all the subtler layers of the body and world, his awareness was no longer confined exclusively in the physical. In that regard, we could say that the physical layer ceased to exist in some sense because the subtler layers had priority for him?

>> Does not a world appear (to exist) only when the ego-mind has arisen/sprung up ?

As with most questions, the answer could be: yes, no, or maybe etc... just depending on the perspective. This is way it is,right? No words can ever describe the ultimate state, not even all the words from all the gurus together would be sufficient. Better just to be aware of different descriptions and not be attached to any of them.

From the perspective of a style of meditation seeking nirvikalpa samadhi (samadhi without changes) or atma vichara alone, because this state is "no body, no world" in awareness, from this perspective, yes, if the world arises in awareness this might be called "ego".

But from the perspective of savikalpa samadhi (samadhi "with changes") Self is known WITH the presence of the world in some way. So in this regard the world appearance is not necessarily ego. Because Bhagavan has some type of awareness of those he talked with in the world... would we say that he had an ego? Absolutely not, no ego ever for Bhagavan. So from this perspective the world is NOT ego. Bhagavan said that when he was interacting with others in the world it was Savikalpa Samadhi.

So I am just saying "not this" alone to your statements, the situation could be described in other ways.

Krishnamurti and Nisargadatta devote themselves to locating Self with world still present in awareness, and Michael James prefers Self alone with no objects present. All maybe useful.

Salazar said...

Babuji, well said and my best wishes for you.

Roger Isaacs said...

Hi Salazar,
thanks for sharing Robert, he is good.

Regarding "if it makes you happy...": real happiness is not dependent on any object. I like the teaching that we should strive for "no unhappiness" as happiness from objects is transitory.

I have read a lot of JK. Sometimes during some periods I like him, and other times I have difficulty understanding him. I never really got the "observer is the observed" till I read Osho who said "what Krishnamurti is trying to say is: the double arrow of attention: one arrow outward and another inward simultaneously". Then I understood.

You say "it is about transcending the phenomenal world": there is a teaching: "transcend... and include", thus: transcend the body... and include although on a subtler level.

You say: "You question how to maintain attention to Self while eating (could be also working) is from the perspective of the doer, that doer will never succeed in that."

When you find a style that resonates with you, the doer is able to assert increasingly refined Self Attention till the doer and any effort disappear leaving simple pure Self Attention. "Who Am I?" may involve a doer initially, a doer is asking the question, but if it is successful the doer melts away and simple effortless Self Attention remains. This is the same for many approaches: if you use a mantra successfully, the mantra will disappear leaving Self Attention, if you use "not this" negating thoughts and emotions when it is successful... pure Self Attention remains. And so with all of life, all of life in activity has the potential to be pure Self Attention without a doer... or more specifically in the case of eating... without a "chewer".

you say: "what ever comes up in the form of a thought deserves to be discarded"

yes, exactly. You and I seem to have a strong affinity to "discard" also known as "not this". But even "not this" must be discarded. Then there is simple pure Self Attention.

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