Friday, 29 September 2017

Upadēśa Undiyār: Tamil text, transliteration and translation

The three main sources that I cite in articles on this blog are Nāṉ Yār?, Upadēśa Undiyār and Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, because these are the three texts in which Bhagavan expressed the fundamental principles of his teachings in the most comprehensive, systematic, clear and coherent manner, but though there is a complete translation of Nāṉ Yār? on my website, I have not till now given a complete translation of all the verses of either Upadēśa Undiyār or Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu in one place, so since friends often write to me asking for such a translation of these texts, I have decided to give a complete translation of each of them here. Therefore in this article I give a translation of all the verses of Upadēśa Undiyār (which Bhagavan composed first in Tamil and later translated into Sanskrit, Telugu and Malayalam under the title Upadēśa Sāram, ‘The Essence of Spiritual Teachings’), and in a subsequent article I will likewise give a translation of all the verses of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu.

In both these texts Bhagavan expressed the fundamental principles of his teachings in the style of sūtras or aphorisms, so though each verse is relatively short, it is packed with deep meaning and is rich in implications, and hence they require explanation in order for us to understand them more deeply and completely. However no explanation of them should be considered complete, because no matter how much we may study and reflect on their meaning, we can always find fresh depth of meaning and wealth of implications in them, and consequently our understanding of them can become more clear, as I often find while answering questions or replying to comments on this blog, because when I cite and apply these verses in different contexts my understanding of them is deepened and enriched.

Therefore in this article, instead of attempting to give any new explanations of these verses, after each one I will give a list of links in reverse chronological order to places in this blog where I have already cited, explained and discussed it. Later I intend to post a copy of this translation on my website, but until I do so I will try to keep the list of links for each verse up to date by adding new links as and when I write any further explanations of any of these verses.
  1. Verse 1: karma is insentient, so it gives fruit only as ordained by God
  2. Verse 2: karma leaves seeds so it does not give liberation
  3. Verse 3: action done for God purifies the mind and shows the way to liberation
  4. Verse 4: actions of body, speech and mind are progressively more purifying
  5. Verse 5: worshipping anything considering it to be God is good worship of God
  6. Verse 6: doing japa mentally is more purifying than otherwise
  7. Verse 7: meditating uninterruptedly is more purifying than otherwise
  8. Verse 8: meditation on nothing other than oneself is most purifying of all
  9. Verse 9: being in one’s real state of being by self-attentiveness is supreme devotion
  10. Verse 10: being in one’s source is karma, bhakti, yōga and jñāna
  11. Verse 11: when breath is restrained mind will subside
  12. Verse 12: the root of mind and breath is one
  13. Verse 13: dissolution of mind is of two kinds, laya and nāśa
  14. Verse 14: only by self-investigation will the mind die
  15. Verse 15: when the mind is dead, there is no action but only one’s real nature
  16. Verse 16: knowing nothing but awareness is real awareness
  17. Verse 17: when one keenly investigates it, there is no mind
  18. Verse 18: mind is essentially just the ego, the root of all other thoughts
  19. Verse 19: when one investigates from what the ego rises, it will die
  20. Verse 20: where the ego dies, the infinite whole will shine forth as ‘I am I’
  21. Verse 21: that infinite whole is always the true import of the word ‘I’
  22. Verse 22: the five sheath are jaḍa and asat, so they are not ‘I’
  23. Verse 23: what exists is awareness, which is what we are
  24. Verse 24: God and soul are just one substance, but only their adjuncts differ
  25. Verse 25: knowing oneself without adjuncts is knowing God, because he is oneself
  26. Verse 26: being oneself alone is knowing oneself, because oneself is not two
  27. Verse 27: there is nothing to know, so real awareness is devoid of knowledge and ignorance
  28. Verse 28: one’s real nature is beginningless, infinite and indivisible sat-cit-ānanda
  29. Verse 29: abiding as supreme bliss devoid of bondage or liberation is serving God
  30. Verse 30: knowing what remains when the ego has ceased is tapas
உபதேச வுந்தியார் (Upadēśa-v-Undiyār): Teachings in an Undiyār Song of Thirty Verses

Verse 1:

கன்மம் பயன்றரல் கர்த்தன தாணையாற்
கன்மங் கடவுளோ வுந்தீபற
      கன்மஞ் சடமதா லுந்தீபற.

kaṉmam payaṉḏṟaral karttaṉa dāṇaiyāl
kaṉmaṅ kaḍavuḷō vundīpaṟa
      kaṉmañ jaḍamadā lundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: கன்மம் பயன் தரல் கர்த்தனது ஆணையால். கன்மம் கடவுளோ? கன்மம் சடம் அதால்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): kaṉmam payaṉ taral karttaṉadu āṇaiyāl. kaṉmam kaḍavuḷ-ō? kaṉmam jaḍam adāl.

அன்வயம்: கன்மம் பயன் தரல் கர்த்தனது ஆணையால். கன்மம் சடம் அதால், கன்மம் கடவுளோ?

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): kaṉmam payaṉ taral karttaṉadu āṇaiyāl. kaṉmam jaḍam adāl, kaṉmam kaḍavuḷ-ō?

English translation: Karma [action] giving fruit is by the ordainment of God [the kartā or ordainer]. Since karma is jaḍa [devoid of consciousness], can karma be God?

Explanations and discussions:
2016-10-12: An explanation of the first ten verses of Upadēśa Undiyār
2016-02-08: Why should we believe what Bhagavan taught us?
2014-09-05: The karma theory as taught by Sri Ramana (in this and the subsequent article, Why did Sri Ramana teach a karma theory?, the meaning and some of the implications of this verse are discussed and explained in depth)
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 2:

வினையின் விளைவு விளிவுற்று வித்தாய்
வினைக்கடல் வீழ்த்திடு முந்தீபற
      வீடு தரலிலை யுந்தீபற.

viṉaiyiṉ viḷaivu viḷivuṯṟu vittāy
viṉaikkaḍal vīṙttiḍu mundīpaṟa
      vīḍu taralilai yundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: வினையின் விளைவு விளிவு உற்று வித்தாய் வினை கடல் வீழ்த்திடும். வீடு தரல் இலை.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): viṉaiyiṉ viḷaivu viḷivu uṯṟu vittāy viṉai-kaḍal vīṙttiḍum. vīḍu taral ilai.

English translation: The fruit of action having perished, as seed it causes to fall in the ocean of action. It is not giving liberation.

Explanatory paraphrase: The fruit of an action having perished, [remaining] as a seed [a karma-vāsanā or propensity to the same kind of action] it causes [one] to fall in the ocean of action. [Therefore] it [action] does not give liberation.

Explanations and discussions:
2017-09-05: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 2: the cause of bondage is not fate but vāsanās, which belong only to the domain of free will
2017-06-20: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 2: being the fruit of our past actions, prārabdha cannot make our mind turn within and hence can never give us liberation
2016-10-12: An explanation of the first ten verses of Upadēśa Undiyār
2016-02-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: liberation is gained not by doing anything but only by just being
2015-07-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 2: no action or karma can give liberation (this section also includes the Sanskrit text of verse 2 of Upadēśa Sāram together with my translation of it)
2014-03-20: Ātma-vicāra is the only means by which we can experience ourself as we really are
2013-12-30: Dhyāna-p-Paṭṭu: The Song on Meditation
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 3:

கருத்தனுக் காக்குநிட் காமிய கன்மங்
கருத்தைத் திருத்தியஃ துந்தீபற
      கதிவழி காண்பிக்கு முந்தீபற.

karuttaṉuk kākkuniṭ kāmiya kaṉmaṅ
karuttait tiruttiyaḵ dundīpaṟa
      gativaṙi kāṇbikku mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: கருத்தனுக்கு ஆக்கும் நிட்காமிய கன்மம் கருத்தை திருத்தி, அஃது கதி வழி காண்பிக்கும்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): karuttaṉukku ākkum niṭkāmiya kaṉmam karuttai tirutti, aḵdu gati vaṙi kāṇbikkum.

English translation: Niṣkāmya karma [action not motivated by desire] done [with love] for God purifies the mind and [thereby] it will show the path to liberation.

Explanations and discussions:
2016-10-12: An explanation of the first ten verses of Upadēśa Undiyār
2016-02-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: liberation is gained not by doing anything but only by just being
2015-07-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 3: niṣkāmya karma done with love for God will show the way to liberation (this section also includes extracts from the Sanskrit and Malayalam texts of verse 3 of Upadēśa Sāram together with my translation of them)
2014-03-20: Ātma-vicāra is the only means by which we can experience ourself as we really are
2013-12-30: Dhyāna-p-Paṭṭu: The Song on Meditation
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 4:

திடமிது பூசை செபமுந் தியான
முடல்வாக் குளத்தொழி லுந்தீபற
     வுயர்வாகு மொன்றிலொன் றுந்தீபற.

diḍamidu pūjai jepamun dhiyāṉa
muḍalvāk kuḷattoṙi lundīpaṟa
     vuyarvāhu moṉḏṟiloṉ ḏṟundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: திடம் இது: பூசை செபமும் தியானம் உடல் வாக்கு உள தொழில். உயர்வு ஆகும் ஒன்றில் ஒன்று.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): diḍam idu: pūjai jepam-um dhiyāṉam uḍal vākku uḷa toṙil. uyarvu āhum oṉḏṟil oṉḏṟu.

அன்வயம்: பூசை செபமும் தியானம் உடல் வாக்கு உள தொழில். ஒன்றில் ஒன்று உயர்வு ஆகும். இது திடம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): pūjai jepam-um dhiyāṉam uḍal vākku uḷa toṙil. oṉḏṟil oṉḏṟu uyarvu āhum. idu diḍam.

English translation: This is certain: pūjā, japa and dhyāna are actions of body, speech and mind. One than one is superior.

Explanatory paraphrase: This is certain: pūjā [worship], japa [repetition of a name of God or a sacred phrase] and dhyāna [meditation] are [respectively] actions of body, speech and mind, [and hence in this order each subsequent] one is superior to [the previous] one.

Explanations and discussions:
2016-10-12: An explanation of the first ten verses of Upadēśa Undiyār
2015-07-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 4: dhyāna is more effective than japa, which is more effective than pūjā
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 5:

எண்ணுரு யாவு மிறையுரு வாமென
வெண்ணி வழிபட லுந்தீபற
     வீசனற் பூசனை யுந்தீபற.

eṇṇuru yāvu miṟaiyuru vāmeṉa
veṇṇi vaṙipaḍa lundīpaṟa
     vīśaṉaṯ pūjaṉai yundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: எண் உரு யாவும் இறை உரு ஆம் என எண்ணி வழிபடல் ஈசன் நல் பூசனை.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): eṇ uru yāvum iṟai uru ām eṉa eṇṇi vaṙipaḍal īśaṉ nal pūjaṉai.

English translation: Worshipping thinking that all eight forms are forms of God is good pūjā of God.

Explanatory paraphrase: Worshipping [anything] thinking that all things [in this or any other world], [which is composed of] eight forms [or thought-forms], are forms of God, is good worship of God.

Explanations and discussions:
2016-10-12: An explanation of the first ten verses of Upadēśa Undiyār
2015-07-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 5: anything can be worshipped as God
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 6:

வழுத்தலில் வாக்குச்ச வாய்க்குட் செபத்தில்
விழுப்பமா மானத முந்தீபற
     விளம்புந் தியானமி துந்தீபற.

vaṙuttalil vākkucca vāykkuṭ jepattil
viṙuppamā māṉata mundīpaṟa
     viḷambun dhiyāṉami dundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: வழுத்தலில், வாக்கு உச்ச, வாய்க்குள் செபத்தில் விழுப்பம் ஆம் மானதம். விளம்பும் தியானம் இது.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): vaṙuttalil, vākku ucca, vāykkuḷ jepattil viṙuppam ām māṉatam. viḷambum dhiyāṉam idu.

அன்வயம்: வழுத்தலில், உச்ச வாக்கு, வாய்க்குள் செபத்தில் மானதம் விழுப்பம் ஆம். இது தியானம் விளம்பும்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): vaṙuttalil, ucca vākku, vāykkuḷ jepattil māṉatam viṙuppam ām. idu dhiyāṉam viḷambum.

English translation: Rather than praising, [japa] in a loud voice, rather than japa within the mouth, mental [japa] is beneficial. This is called dhyāna.

Explanatory paraphrase: Rather than praising [God by chanting hymns], [japa or repetition of his name is beneficial]; [rather than japa done in] a loud voice, [japa whispered faintly within the mouth is beneficial]; [and] rather than japa within the mouth, that which is done by mind is beneficial. This [mental repetition or mānasika japa] is called dhyāna [meditation].

Explanations and discussions:
2016-10-12: An explanation of the first ten verses of Upadēśa Undiyār
2015-07-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 6: the relative efficacy of different modes of japa
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 7:

விட்டுக் கருதலி னாறுநெய் வீழ்ச்சிபோல்
விட்டிடா துன்னலே யுந்தீபற
     விசேடமா முன்னவே யுந்தீபற.

viṭṭuk karudali ṉāṟuney vīṙccipōl
viṭṭiḍā duṉṉalē yundīpaṟa
     viśēḍamā muṉṉavē yundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: விட்டு கருதலின் ஆறு நெய் வீழ்ச்சி போல் விட்டிடாது உன்னலே விசேடம் ஆம் உன்னவே.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): viṭṭu karudaliṉ āṟu ney vīṙcci pōl viṭṭiḍādu uṉṉal-ē viśēḍam ām uṉṉa-v-ē.

அன்வயம்: விட்டு கருதலின் ஆறு நெய் வீழ்ச்சி போல் விட்டிடாது உன்னலே உன்னவே விசேடம் ஆம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): viṭṭu karudaliṉ āṟu ney vīṙcci pōl viṭṭiḍādu uṉṉal-ē uṉṉa-v-ē viśēḍam ām.

English translation: Rather than meditating [but] leaving, meditating without leaving, like a river or the falling of ghee, is indeed superior to meditate.

Explanatory paraphrase: Rather than meditating discontinuously [frequently forgetting to think of God while trying to meditate on him], meditating uninterruptedly [without being distracted by any other thoughts], like a river or the falling of ghee, is indeed a better way to meditate [or is indeed superior, when considered].

Explanations and discussions:
2016-10-12: An explanation of the first ten verses of Upadēśa Undiyār
2015-07-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 7: uninterrupted meditation is superior to interrupted meditation
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 8:

அனியபா வத்தி னவனக மாகு
மனனிய பாவமே யுந்தீபற
     வனைத்தினு முத்தம முந்தீபற.

aṉiyabhā vatti ṉavaṉaha māhu
maṉaṉiya bhāvamē yundīpaṟa
     vaṉaittiṉu muttama mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: அனிய பாவத்தின் அவன் அகம் ஆகும் அனனிய பாவமே அனைத்தினும் உத்தமம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): aṉiya-bhāvattiṉ avaṉ aham āhum aṉaṉiya-bhāvam-ē aṉaittiṉ-um uttamam.

English translation: Rather than anya-bhāva, ananya-bhāva, in which he is I, certainly is the best among all.

Explanatory paraphrase: Rather than anya-bhāva [meditation on anything other than oneself, particularly meditation on God as if he were other than oneself], ananya-bhāva [meditation on nothing other than oneself], in which he is [considered to be] I, is certainly the best among all [practices of bhakti, varieties of meditation and kinds of spiritual practice].

Explanations and discussions:
2017-06-20: Upadēśa Undiyār verses 8 and 9: by the intensity of self-attentiveness we will be in our real state of being, which is beyond thinking
2017-03-19: What is ‘remembering the Lord’ or ‘remembrance of Arunachala’?
2016-10-12: An explanation of the first ten verses of Upadēśa Undiyār
2016-02-08: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 8: love for God as nothing other than oneself is best of all
2015-07-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 8: meditating on nothing other than ourself is ‘the best among all’
2015-03-06: Intensity, frequency and duration of self-attentiveness
2014-05-02: Ātma-vicāra: stress and other related issues
2014-02-24: We should meditate only on ‘I’, not on ideas such as ‘I am brahman
2013-12-30: Dhyāna-p-Paṭṭu: The Song on Meditation
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 9:

பாவ பலத்தினாற் பாவனா தீதசற்
பாவத் திருத்தலே யுந்தீபற
     பரபத்தி தத்துவ முந்தீபற.

bhāva balattiṉāṯ bhāvaṉā tītasaṯ
bhāvat tiruttalē yundīpaṟa
     parabhatti tattuva mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: பாவ பலத்தினால் பாவனாதீத சத் பாவத்து இருத்தலே பரபத்தி தத்துவம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): bhāva balattiṉāl bhāvaṉātīta sat-bhāvattu iruttal-ē para-bhatti tattuvam.

English translation: By the strength of meditation, being in sat-bhāva, which transcends bhāvana, is certainly para-bhakti tattva.

Explanatory paraphrase: By the strength [intensity, firmness or stability] of [such] meditation [ananya-bhāva or self-attentiveness], being in sat-bhāva [the state of being], which transcends [all] bhāvana [thinking, imagination or meditation], certainly [or alone] is para-bhakti tattva [the real essence or true state of supreme devotion].

Explanations and discussions:
2017-06-20: Upadēśa Undiyār verses 8 and 9: by the intensity of self-attentiveness we will be in our real state of being, which is beyond thinking
2017-02-06: How can we see inaction in action?
2016-10-12: An explanation of the first ten verses of Upadēśa Undiyār
2016-02-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: liberation is gained not by doing anything but only by just being
2015-07-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 9: by meditating on ourself we will subside in our real state of being
2015-03-06: Intensity, frequency and duration of self-attentiveness
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 10:

உதித்த விடத்தி லொடுங்கி யிருத்த
லதுகன்மம் பத்தியு முந்தீபற
     வதுயோக ஞானமு முந்தீபற.

uditta viḍatti loḍuṅgi irutta
ladukaṉmam bhattiyu mundīpaṟa
     vaduyōga ñāṉamu mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: உதித்த இடத்தில் ஒடுங்கி இருத்தல்: அது கன்மம் பத்தியும்; அது யோகம் ஞானமும்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): uditta iḍattil oḍuṅgi iruttal: adu kaṉmam bhatti-y-um; adu yōgam ñāṉam-um.

English translation: Subsiding and being in the place from which one rose: that is karma and bhakti; that is yōga and jñāna.

Explanations and discussions:
2017-02-06: How can we see inaction in action?
2016-10-12: An explanation of the first ten verses of Upadēśa Undiyār
2016-02-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: liberation is gained not by doing anything but only by just being
2015-12-10: Is ātma-vicāra an exclusive or inclusive practice?
2015-07-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 10: subsiding and being in our source is karma, bhakti, yōga and jñāna
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 11:

வளியுள் ளடக்க வலைபடு புட்போ
லுளமு மொடுங்குறு முந்தீபற
      வொடுக்க வுபாயமி துந்தீபற.

vaḷiyuḷ ḷaḍakka valaipaḍu puṭpō
luḷamu moḍuṅguṟu mundīpaṟa
      voḍukka vupāyami dundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: வளி உள் அடக்க, வலை படு புள் போல் உளமும் ஒடுங்குறும். ஒடுக்க உபாயம் இது.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): vaḷi uḷ aḍakka, valai paḍu puḷ pōl uḷam-um oḍuṅguṟum. oḍukka upāyam idu.

அன்வயம்: வளி உள் அடக்க, வலை படு புள் போல் உளமும் ஒடுங்குறும். இது ஒடுக்க உபாயம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): vaḷi uḷ aḍakka, valai paḍu puḷ pōl uḷam-um oḍuṅguṟum. idu oḍukka upāyam.

English translation: When one restrains the breath within, like a bird caught in a net the mind will also subside. This [practice of breath-restraint] is a means to restrain [the mind].

Explanations and discussions:
2015-06-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verses 11 and 12: how breath-restraint is a means to restrain the mind
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 12:

உளமு முயிரு முணர்வுஞ் செயலு
முளவாங் கிளையிரண் டுந்தீபற
      வொன்றவற் றின்மூல முந்தீபற.

uḷamu muyiru muṇarvuñ ceyalu
muḷavāṅ kiḷaiyiraṇ ḍundīpaṟa
      voṉḏṟavaṯ ṟiṉmūla mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: உளமும் உயிரும் உணர்வும் செயலும் உளவாம் கிளை இரண்டு. ஒன்று அவற்றின் மூலம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): uḷam-um uyir-um uṇarvu-[u]m ceyal-um uḷavām kiḷai iraṇḍu. oṉḏṟu avaṯṟiṉ mūlam.

அன்வயம்: உளமும் உயிரும் உணர்வும் செயலும் உளவாம் இரண்டு கிளை. அவற்றின் மூலம் ஒன்று.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): uḷam-um uyir-um uṇarvu-[u]m ceyal-um uḷavām iraṇḍu kiḷai. avaṯṟiṉ mūlam oṉḏṟu.

English translation: Mind and breath are two branches which have knowing and doing [as their respective functions]. [However] their mūla [root, base, foundation, origin, source or cause] is one.

Explanations and discussions:
2015-06-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verses 11 and 12: how breath-restraint is a means to restrain the mind
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 13:

இலயமு நாச மிரண்டா மொடுக்க
மிலயித் துளதெழு முந்தீபற
      வெழாதுரு மாய்ந்ததே லுந்தீபற.

ilayamu nāśa miraṇḍā moḍukka
milayit tuḷadeṙu mundīpaṟa
      veṙāduru māyndadē lundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: இலயமும் நாசம் இரண்டு ஆம் ஒடுக்கம். இலயித்து உளது எழும். எழாது உரு மாய்ந்ததேல்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): ilayam-um nāśam iraṇḍu ām oḍukkam. ilayittu uḷadu eṙum. eṙādu uru māyndadēl.

அன்வயம்: ஒடுக்கம் இலயமும் நாசம் இரண்டு ஆம். இலயித்து உளது எழும். உரு மாய்ந்ததேல் எழாது.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): oḍukkam ilayam-um nāśam iraṇḍu ām. ilayittu uḷadu eṙum. uru māyndadēl eṙādu.

English translation: Dissolution [cessation or complete subsidence of mind] is [of] two [kinds]: laya and nāśa. What is lying down [or dissolved in laya] will rise. If [its] form dies [in nāśa], it will not rise.

Explanations and discussions:
2017-07-27: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 13: the only difference between manōlaya and manōnāśa is that the ego will rise from manōlaya but never from manōnāśa
2017-07-07: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 13: from the perspective of the ego in waking or dream the distinction between manōlaya and manōnāśa is in effect real
2015-06-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 13: the two kinds of subsidence of mind
2014-04-11: Ātma-vicāra and nirvikalpa samādhi
2014-02-16: Self-attentiveness and citta-vṛtti nirōdha
2011-10-07: Annihilation of mind (manōnāśa) is permanent, whereas any other subsidence of mind (manōlaya) such as sleep, coma, death or samādhi is only temporary
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 14:

ஒடுக்க வளியை யொடுங்கு முளத்தை
விடுக்கவே யோர்வழி யுந்தீபற
      வீயு மதனுரு வுந்தீபற.

oḍukka vaḷiyai yoḍuṅgu muḷattai
viḍukkavē yōrvaṙi yundīpaṟa
      vīyu madaṉuru vundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: ஒடுக்க வளியை ஒடுங்கும் உளத்தை விடுக்கவே ஓர் வழி, வீயும் அதன் உரு.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): oḍukka vaḷiyai oḍuṅgum uḷattai viḍukka-v-ē ōr vaṙi, vīyum adaṉ uru.

அன்வயம்: வளியை ஒடுக்க ஒடுங்கும் உளத்தை ஓர் வழி விடுக்கவே, அதன் உரு வீயும்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): vaḷiyai oḍukka oḍuṅgum uḷattai ōr vaṙi viḍukka-v-ē, adaṉ uru vīyum.

English translation: Only when one sends the mind, which becomes calm when one restrains the breath, on the investigating path will its form perish.

Explanations and discussions:
2015-06-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 14: our mind will die only by self-investigation (in the section following this, Upadēśa Sāram verse 14: the meaning of ēka-cintanā, I give the Sanskrit text and my English translation of verse 14 of Upadēśa Sāram and discuss its meaning)
2014-04-11: Ātma-vicāra and nirvikalpa samādhi
2011-10-07: The mind will be annihilated only when it is sent on the unique path of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra)
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 15:

மனவுரு மாயமெய்ம் மன்னுமா யோகி
தனக்கோர் செயலிலை யுந்தீபற
     தன்னியல் சார்ந்தன னுந்தீபற.

maṉavuru māyameym maṉṉumā yōgi
taṉakkōr seyalilai yundīpaṟa
     taṉṉiyal sārndaṉa ṉundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: மன உரு மாய மெய் மன்னும் மா யோகி தனக்கு ஓர் செயல் இலை. தன் இயல் சார்ந்தனன்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): maṉa uru māya mey maṉṉum mā yōgi taṉakku ōr seyal ilai. taṉ iyal sārndaṉaṉ.

English translation: When the form of the mind is annihilated, for the great yōgi who is [thereby] established as the reality, there is not a single doing [or action], [because] he has attained his [true] nature [which is actionless being].

Explanations and discussions:
2016-12-27: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 15: for the jñāni there is no ego or mind and hence no action
2014-04-11: Ātma-vicāra and nirvikalpa samādhi
2011-10-07: When the mind is annihilated, one is established as the reality, so there is no action (thinking, talking or doing)
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 16:

வெளிவிட யங்களை விட்டு மனந்தன்
னொளியுரு வோர்தலே யுந்தீபற
      வுண்மை யுணர்ச்சியா முந்தீபற.

veḷiviḍa yaṅgaḷai viṭṭu maṉantaṉ
ṉoḷiyuru vōrdalē yundīpaṟa
      vuṇmai yuṇarcciyā mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: வெளி விடயங்களை விட்டு மனம் தன் ஒளி உரு ஓர்தலே உண்மை உணர்ச்சி ஆம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): veḷi viḍayaṅgaḷai viṭṭu maṉam taṉ oḷi-uru ōrdalē uṇmai uṇarcci ām.

அன்வயம்: மனம் வெளி விடயங்களை விட்டு தன் ஒளி உரு ஓர்தலே உண்மை உணர்ச்சி ஆம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): maṉam veḷi viḍayaṅgaḷai viṭṭu taṉ oḷi-uru ōrdalē uṇmai uṇarcci ām.

English translation: Leaving aside external viṣayas [phenomena], the mind knowing its own form of light is alone real awareness [true knowledge or knowledge of reality].

Explanations and discussions:
2017-04-16: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 16: to the extent that our attention is focused on ourself it will thereby be withdrawn from other things
2016-10-19: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 16: we must not just cease attending to other things but must keenly attend to ourself alone
2016-05-17: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 16: we must attend only to ourself and thereby leave aside all phenomena
2016-04-20: Comment discussing verse 16 of Upadēśa Undiyār
2015-10-12: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 16: we must attentively observe our own self-awareness
2015-05-20: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 16: to see what is real we must give up seeing what is seen (dṛśya) (this section also includes the Sanskrit text of verse 16 of Upadēśa Sāram together with my translation of it)
2014-12-13: The teachings of Sri Ramana and Nisargadatta are significantly different
2014-09-09: Comment explaining the meaning of verse 16 of Upadēśa Undiyār
2011-10-07: To be annihilated, the mind must not only cease being aware of any phenomena (viṣayas) but must also attend to ‘its own form of light’ (its fundamental self-awareness)
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 17:

மனத்தி னுருவை மறவா துசாவ
மனமென வொன்றிலை யுந்தீபற
      மார்க்கநே ரார்க்குமி துந்தீபற.

maṉatti ṉuruvai maṟavā dusāva
maṉameṉa voṉḏṟilai yundīpaṟa
      mārgganē rārkkumi dundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: மனத்தின் உருவை மறவாது உசாவ, மனம் என ஒன்று இலை. மார்க்கம் நேர் ஆர்க்கும் இது.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): maṉattiṉ uruvai maṟavādu usāva, maṉam eṉa oṉḏṟu ilai. mārggam nēr ārkkum idu.

அன்வயம்: மறவாது மனத்தின் உருவை உசாவ, மனம் என ஒன்று இலை. இது ஆர்க்கும் நேர் மார்க்கம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): maṟavādu maṉattiṉ uruvai usāva, maṉam eṉa oṉḏṟu ilai. idu ārkkum nēr mārggam.

English translation: When one investigates [examines or scrutinises] the form of the mind without neglecting [forgetting, abandoning, giving up or ceasing], anything called ‘mind’ will not exist. This is the direct [straight or appropriate] path for everyone whomsoever.

Explanations and discussions:
2017-09-24: A series of two comments explaining that the most important of all the fundamental principles of Bhagavan’s teachings is that the ego will cease to cease if and only if we investigate it
2017-07-27: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 17: if we investigate it keenly enough, we will find that there is no such thing as an ego or mind
2017-06-28: There is absolutely no difference between sleep and pure self-awareness (ātma-jñāna)
2017-03-21: Upadēśa Undiyār verses 17 and 18: what we should watch is only the ego, the root thought called ‘I’, and not any other thought
2016-11-21: Since vivarta vāda contends that non-existent things seem to exist only in the view of the non-existent ego, its logical conclusion can only be ajāta
2016-10-19: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 17: if we keenly investigate our ego, we will find that there is actually no such thing at all, and hence no world or anything else other than ourself
2015-12-10: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 17: avoiding self-negligence (pramāda) is the only means to destroy our ego
2015-11-11: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 17: our ego or mind does not actually exist at all, even now
2015-05-20: The essence of the mind is the ego, and the essence of the ego is pure self-awareness
2014-09-28: The perceiver and the perceived are both unreal
2014-09-26: Metaphysical solipsism, idealism and creation theories in the teachings of Sri Ramana
2014-03-20: Ātma-vicāra is the only means by which we can experience ourself as we really are
2014-03-03: Does the practice of ātma-vicāra work?
2014-02-16: Self-attentiveness and citta-vṛtti nirōdha
2008-02-16: Cultivating uninterrupted self-attentiveness
2011-10-07: Annihilation of mind (manōnāśa) is not actually a state in which something that existed has been destroyed, but is just the clear knowledge that nothing other than ourself has ever existed
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 18:

எண்ணங்க ளேமனம் யாவினு நானெனு
மெண்ணமே மூலமா முந்தீபற
      யானா மனமென லுந்தீபற.

eṇṇaṅga ḷēmaṉam yāviṉu nāṉeṉu
meṇṇamē mūlamā mundīpaṟa
      yāṉā maṉameṉa lundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: எண்ணங்களே மனம். யாவினும் நான் எனும் எண்ணமே மூலம் ஆம். யான் ஆம் மனம் எனல்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): eṇṇaṅgaḷ-ē maṉam. yāviṉ-um nāṉ eṉum eṇṇam-ē mūlam ām. yāṉ ām maṉam eṉal.

அன்வயம்: எண்ணங்களே மனம். யாவினும் நான் எனும் எண்ணமே மூலம் ஆம். மனம் எனல் யான் ஆம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): eṇṇaṅgaḷ-ē maṉam. yāviṉ-um nāṉ eṉum eṇṇam-ē mūlam ām. maṉam eṉal yāṉ ām.

English translation: Thoughts alone are mind. Of all, the thought called ‘I’ alone is the root. What is called mind is ‘I’.

Explanatory paraphrase: Thoughts alone are mind [or the mind is only thoughts]. Of all thoughts, the thought called ‘I’ alone is the mūla [the root, base, foundation, origin, source or cause]. [Therefore] what is called mind is [essentially just] ‘I’ [the ego or root-thought called ‘I’].

Explanations and discussions:
2017-09-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 18: though the term ‘mind’ can refer to the totality of all thoughts, what the mind essentially is is just the ego
2017-07-27: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 18: the mind is essentially just the ego, the primal thought and root of all other thoughts
2017-03-21: Upadēśa Undiyār verses 17 and 18: what we should watch is only the ego, the root thought called ‘I’, and not any other thought
2016-10-02: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 18: the mind is essentially ‘I’, the ego or mixed awareness ‘I am this body’
2016-06-19: The first movement of thought is the rising of our ego, so we are completely ‘off the movement of thought’ only in manōlaya or manōnāśa (this section also includes the Sanskrit text of verse 18 of Upadēśa Sāram together with my translation of it)
2016-04-08: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 18: the ego is our first thought, the root of our mind
2015-11-11: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 18: our mind is in essence just our primal thought called ‘I’
2015-07-18: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 18: our ego is the root of all our mental impurities
2015-05-20: Distinguishing the ego from the rest of the mind
2015-04-03: Any experience we can describe is something other than the experience of pure self-attentiveness
2014-12-13: The teachings of Sri Ramana and Nisargadatta are significantly different
2014-09-26: Metaphysical solipsism, idealism and creation theories in the teachings of Sri Ramana
2014-08-15: Establishing that I am and analysing what I am
2014-05-25: The mind’s role in investigating ‘I’
2014-02-16: Self-attentiveness and citta-vṛtti nirōdha
2014-02-05: Spontaneously and wordlessly applying the clue: ‘to whom? to me; who am I?’
2011-10-07: In essence the mind is just the thought called ‘I’, which is the root of all other thoughts
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 19:

நானென் றெழுமிட மேதென நாடவுண்
ணான்றலை சாய்ந்திடு முந்தீபற
     ஞான விசாரமி துந்தீபற.

nāṉeṉ ḏṟeṙumiḍa mēdeṉa nāḍavuṇ
ṇāṉḏṟalai sāyndiḍu mundīpaṟa
     ñāṉa vicārami dundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: நான் என்று எழும் இடம் ஏது என நாட உள், நான் தலைசாய்ந்திடும். ஞான விசாரம் இது.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): nāṉ eṉḏṟu eṙum iḍam ēdu eṉa nāḍa uḷ, nāṉ talai-sāyndiḍum. ñāṉa-vicāram idu.

அன்வயம்: நான் என்று எழும் இடம் ஏது என உள் நாட, நான் தலைசாய்ந்திடும். இது ஞான விசாரம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): nāṉ eṉḏṟu eṙum iḍam ēdu eṉa uḷ nāḍa, nāṉ talai-sāyndiḍum. idu ñāṉa-vicāram.

English translation: When one investigates within [or inwardly investigates] what the place is from which it [the ego or mind] rises as ‘I’, ‘I’ will die. This is jñāna-vicāra [investigation of awareness].

Explanations and discussions:
2016-10-02: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 19: if we investigate ourself, the source from which we rose as this ego, it will die
2015-07-31: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 19: we should investigate the source of our ego, which is what we actually are
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 20:

நானொன்று தானத்து நானானென் றொன்றது
தானாகத் தோன்றுமே யுந்தீபற
     தானது பூன்றமா முந்தீபற.

nāṉoṉḏṟu thāṉattu nāṉāṉeṉ ḏṟoṉḏṟadu
tāṉāhat tōṉḏṟumē yundīpaṟa
     āṉadu pūṉḏṟamā mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: ‘நான்’ ஒன்று தானத்து ‘நான் நான்’ என்று ஒன்று அது தானாக தோன்றுமே. தான் அது பூன்றம் ஆம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): ‘nāṉ’ oṉḏṟu thāṉattu ‘nāṉ nāṉ’ eṉḏṟu oṉḏṟu adu tāṉāha tōṉḏṟumē. tāṉ adu pūṉḏṟam ām.

அன்வயம்: ‘நான்’ ஒன்று தானத்து ‘நான் நான்’ என்று ஒன்று அது தானாக தோன்றுமே. அது தான் பூன்றம் ஆம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): ‘nāṉ’ oṉḏṟu thāṉattu ‘nāṉ nāṉ’ eṉḏṟu oṉḏṟu adu tāṉāha tōṉḏṟumē. adu tāṉ pūṉḏṟam ām.

English translation: In the place where ‘I’ [the ego] merges, that, the one, appears spontaneously [or as oneself] as ‘I am I’. That itself is pūṉḏṟam [the infinite whole or pūrṇa].

Explanations and discussions:
2016-10-02: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 20: where ‘I am this’ merges, what remains shining is ‘I am I’ (this section also includes the Sanskrit text of verse 20 of Upadēśa Sāram together with my translation of it)
2015-09-22: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 20: what remains as ‘I am I’ after the ego dissolves is infinite fullness
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 21:

நானெனுஞ் சொற்பொரு ளாமது நாளுமே
நானற்ற தூக்கத்து முந்தீபற
     நமதின்மை நீக்கத்தா லுந்தீபற.

nāṉeṉuñ coṯporu ḷāmadu nāḷumē
nāṉaṯṟa tūkkattu mundīpaṟa
     namadiṉmai nīkkattā lundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: நான் எனும் சொல் பொருள் ஆம் அது நாளுமே, நான் அற்ற தூக்கத்தும் நமது இன்மை நீக்கத்தால்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): nāṉ eṉum sol poruḷ ām adu nāḷumē, nāṉ aṯṟa tūkkattum namadu iṉmai nīkkattāl.

அன்வயம்: நான் அற்ற தூக்கத்தும் நமது இன்மை நீக்கத்தால், நான் எனும் சொல் பொருள் நாளுமே அது ஆம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): nāṉ aṯṟa tūkkattum namadu iṉmai nīkkattāl, nāṉ eṉum sol poruḷ nāḷumē adu ām.

English translation: That [the one infinite whole that appears spontaneously as ‘I am I’ where the ego merges] is at all times the substance [or true import] of the word called ‘I’, because of the exclusion of our non-existence even in sleep, which is devoid of ‘I’ [the ego].

Explanations and discussions:
2017-04-12: Comment explaining that when we cease to be aware of ourself as ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’, we will instead be aware of ourself only as ‘I am I’, which is our real identity, because we cannot be anything other than ourself
2016-10-02: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 21: what shines as ‘I am I’ is the real import of the word ‘I’
2015-07-31: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 21: our infinite self is always the true import of the word ‘I’
2015-07-19: Comment explaining that the term ‘I’ refers only to ourself, whether we experience ourself as we actually are or as this ego, but its real import is the awareness ‘I am I’, which is what we always actually are
2015-02-04: The terms ‘I’ or ‘we’ refer only to ourself, whether we experience ourself as we actually are or as the ego that we now seem to be
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 22:

உடல்பொறி யுள்ள முயிரிரு ளெல்லாஞ்
சடமசத் தானதா லுந்தீபற
     சத்தான நானல்ல வுந்தீபற.

uḍalpoṟi yuḷḷa muyiriru ḷellāñ
jaḍamasat tāṉadā lundīpaṟa
     sattāṉa nāṉalla vundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: உடல் பொறி உள்ளம் உயிர் இருள் எல்லாம் சடம் அசத்து ஆனதால், சத்து ஆன நான் அல்ல.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): uḍal poṟi uḷḷam uyir iruḷ ellām jaḍam asattu āṉadāl, sattu āṉa nāṉ alla.

English translation: Since body, mind, intellect, life and darkness [consisting of self-ignorance and consequently viṣaya-vāsanās, inclinations or desires to be aware of things other than oneself] are all jaḍa [non-aware] and asat [unreal or non-existent], [they are] not ‘I’, which is [cit, what is aware, and] sat [what actually exists].

Explanations and discussions:
2016-10-02: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 22: the body and other adjuncts are not real and not aware, so they are not ‘I’
2016-05-05: The person we seem to be is a form composed of five sheaths
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 23:

உள்ள துணர வுணர்வுவே றின்மையி
னுள்ள துணர்வாகு முந்தீபற
      வுணர்வேநா மாயுள முந்தீபற.

uḷḷa duṇara vuṇarvuvē ṟiṉmaiyi
ṉuḷḷa duṇarvāhu mundīpaṟa
      vuṇarvēnā māyuḷa mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: உள்ளது உணர உணர்வு வேறு இன்மையின், உள்ளது உணர்வு ஆகும். உணர்வே நாமாய் உளம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): uḷḷadu uṇara uṇarvu vēṟu iṉmaiyiṉ, uḷḷadu uṇarvu āhum. uṇarv[u]-ē nām-āy uḷam.

அன்வயம்: உள்ளது உணர வேறு உணர்வு இன்மையின், உள்ளது உணர்வு ஆகும். உணர்வே நாமாய் உளம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): uḷḷadu uṇara vēṟu uṇarvu iṉmaiyiṉ, uḷḷadu uṇarvu āhum. uṇarvē nām-āy uḷam.

English translation: Because of the non-existence of [any] awareness other [than what exists] to be aware of what exists, what exists (uḷḷadu) is awareness (uṇarvu). Awareness alone exists as we.

Explanations and discussions:
2017-07-06: What we actually are is just pure self-awareness: awareness that is aware of nothing other than itself
2016-10-02: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 23: we are the one existence-awareness that always shines as ‘I am’
2016-06-19: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 23: we are awareness, and awareness alone is what actually exists
2016-06-02: Comment explaining that what actually exists is aware, so its existence and awareness are one and the same thing
2016-03-16: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 23: we are both what exists and what is aware that we exist
2015-09-22: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 23: what exists (uḷḷadu) is what is aware (uṇarvu)
2015-06-25: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 23: what exists is what is aware
2014-08-08: We must experience what is, not what merely seems to be
2014-01-24: Only ‘I am’ is certain and self-evident
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 24:

இருக்கு மியற்கையா லீசசீ வர்க
ளொருபொரு ளேயாவ ருந்தீபற
      வுபாதி யுணர்வேவே றுந்தீபற.

irukku miyaṟkaiyā līśajī varga
ḷoruporu ḷēyāva rundīpaṟa
      vupādhi yuṇarvēvē ṟundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: இருக்கும் இயற்கையால் ஈச சீவர்கள் ஒரு பொருளே ஆவர். உபாதி உணர்வே வேறு.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): irukkum iyaṟkaiyāl īśa jīvargaḷ oru poruḷē āvar. upādhi-uṇarvē vēṟu.

English translation: By [their] existing nature, God and souls are only one substance. Only [their] awareness of adjuncts is different.

Explanations and discussions:
2017-02-19: What is the difference between God and the ego?
2016-10-02: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 24: what seemingly separates us from the reality that we actually are is only our awareness of adjuncts
2015-11-17: Upadēśa Undiyār verses 24 and 25: experiencing ourself without adjuncts is experiencing what we actually are
2015-07-31: Upadēśa Undiyār verses 24 and 25: the essential oneness of our ego and our real self
2015-06-25: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 24: our ego and God are only one substance
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 25:

தன்னை யுபாதிவிட் டோர்வது தானீசன்
றன்னை யுணர்வதா முந்தீபற
      தானா யொளிர்வதா லுந்தீபற.

taṉṉai yupādhiviṭ ṭōrvadu tāṉīśaṉ
ḏṟaṉṉai yuṇarvadā mundīpaṟa
      tāṉā yoḷirvadā lundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: தன்னை உபாதி விட்டு ஓர்வது தான் ஈசன் தன்னை உணர்வது ஆம், தானாய் ஒளிர்வதால்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): taṉṉai upādhi viṭṭu ōrvadu tāṉ īśaṉ taṉṉai uṇarvadu ām, tāṉ-āy oḷirvadāl.

அன்வயம்: தானாய் ஒளிர்வதால், தன்னை உபாதி விட்டு ஓர்வது தான் ஈசன் தன்னை உணர்வது ஆம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): tāṉ-āy oḷirvadāl, taṉṉai upādhi viṭṭu ōrvadu tāṉ īśaṉ taṉṉai uṇarvadu ām.

English translation: Knowing [or being aware of] oneself leaving aside adjuncts is itself knowing God, because [he] shines as oneself.

Explanations and discussions:
2017-02-19: What is the difference between God and the ego?
2016-10-02: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 25: being aware of ‘I am’ without adjuncts is being aware of the reality
2015-11-17: Upadēśa Undiyār verses 24 and 25: experiencing ourself without adjuncts is experiencing what we actually are
2015-07-31: Upadēśa Undiyār verses 24 and 25: the essential oneness of our ego and our real self
2015-06-25: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 25: knowing ourself without adjuncts is knowing God
2014-08-01: Self-awareness is the very nature of ‘I’
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 26:

தானா யிருத்தலே தன்னை யறிதலாந்
தானிரண் டற்றதா லுந்தீபற
     தன்மய நிட்டையீ துந்தீபற.

tāṉā yiruttalē taṉṉai yaṟidalān
tāṉiraṇ ḍaṯṟadā lundīpaṟa
     taṉmaya niṭṭhaiyī dundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: தானாய் இருத்தலே தன்னை அறிதல் ஆம், தான் இரண்டு அற்றதால். தன்மய நிட்டை ஈது.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): tāṉ-āy iruttal-ē taṉṉai aṟidal ām, tāṉ iraṇḍu aṯṟadāl. taṉmaya niṭṭhai īdu.

அன்வயம்: தான் இரண்டு அற்றதால், தானாய் இருத்தலே தன்னை அறிதல் ஆம். ஈது தன்மய நிட்டை.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): tāṉ iraṇḍu aṯṟadāl, tāṉ-āy iruttal-ē taṉṉai aṟidal ām. īdu taṉmaya niṭṭhai.

English translation: Being oneself alone is knowing oneself, because oneself is not two. This is tanmaya-niṣṭha [the state of being firmly established as tat, ‘it’ or ‘that’, the one absolute reality called brahman].

Explanations and discussions:
2017-01-15: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 26: being oneself is knowing oneself
2016-03-16: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 26: being aware what we are is not transitive awareness but just being the intransitive awareness that we actually are
2014-11-09: Why should we believe that ‘the Self’ is as we believe it to be?
2014-08-01: Self-awareness is the very nature of ‘I’
2014-04-11: Ātma-vicāra and nirvikalpa samādhi
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 27:

அறிவறி யாமையு மற்ற வறிவே
யறிவாகு முண்மையீ துந்தீபற
     வறிவதற் கொன்றிலை யுந்தீபற.

aṟivaṟi yāmaiyu maṯṟa vaṟivē
yaṟivāhu muṇmaiyī dundīpaṟa
     vaṟivadaṟ koṉḏṟilai yundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: அறிவு அறியாமையும் அற்ற அறிவே அறிவு ஆகும். உண்மை ஈது. அறிவதற்கு ஒன்று இலை.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): aṟivu aṟiyāmai-y-um aṯṟa aṟivē aṟivu āhum. uṇmai īdu. aṟivadaṟku oṉḏṟu ilai.

அன்வயம்: அறிவு அறியாமையும் அற்ற அறிவே அறிவு ஆகும். ஈது உண்மை. அறிவதற்கு ஒன்று இலை.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): aṟivu aṟiyāmai-y-um aṯṟa aṟivē aṟivu āhum. īdu uṇmai. aṟivadaṟku oṉḏṟu ilai.

English translation: Only knowledge that is devoid of knowledge and ignorance is [real] knowledge [or awareness]. This is real, [because] there is not anything for knowing.

Explanations and discussions:
2017-05-28: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 27: what is real is only awareness devoid of knowledge and ignorance, because nothing at all exists for it to know
2015-09-22: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 27: we are devoid of knowledge and ignorance
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 28:

தனாதியல் யாதெனத் தான்றெரி கிற்பின்
னனாதி யனந்தசத் துந்தீபற
      வகண்ட சிதானந்த முந்தீபற.

taṉādiyal yādeṉat tāṉḏṟeri hiṟpiṉ
ṉaṉādi yaṉantasat tundīpaṟa
      vakhaṇḍa cidāṉanda mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: தனாது இயல் யாது என தான் தெரிகில், பின் அனாதி அனந்த சத்து அகண்ட சித் ஆனந்தம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): taṉādu iyal yādu eṉa tāṉ terihil, piṉ aṉādi aṉanta sattu akhaṇḍa cit āṉandam.

அன்வயம்: தான் தனாது இயல் யாது என தெரிகில், பின் அனாதி அனந்த அகண்ட சத்து சித் ஆனந்தம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): tāṉ taṉādu iyal yādu eṉa terihil, piṉ aṉādi aṉanta akhaṇḍa sattu cit āṉandam.

English translation: If one knows what the nature of oneself is, then [what will exist and shine is only] anādi [beginningless], ananta [endless, limitless or infinite] and akhaṇḍa [unbroken, undivided or unfragmented] sat-cit-ānanda [being-awareness-bliss].

Explanations and discussions:
2017-07-27: Liberation is eternal: beginningless, endless and unbroken
2017-06-27: Māyā is nothing but our own mind, so it seems to exist only when we seem to be this mind
2017-03-24: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 28: our real nature is infinite and undivided, so nothing else exists to know it
2017-03-08: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 28: when everything else ceases to exist, what remains is only beginningless, infinite and undivided sat-cit-ānanda
2016-12-14: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 28: the nature of ‘the Self’ is diametrically opposite to the nature of phenomena
2016-10-19: As we actually are, we do nothing and are aware of nothing other than ourself
2016-10-02: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 28: the pure self-awareness ‘I am I’ is beginningless, endless and indivisible
2016-07-13: Ātma-jñāna is the only real state and is immutable and indivisible, so there are no stages of it or states other than it
2015-09-22: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 28: the real nature of ourself
2015-06-25: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 28: sat-cit-ānanda is eternal, infinite and indivisible
2014-11-20: Is there any such thing as a ‘self-realised’ person?
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 29:

பந்தவீ டற்ற பரசுக முற்றவா
றிந்த நிலைநிற்ற லுந்தீபற
     விறைபணி நிற்றலா முந்தீபற.

bandhavī ḍaṯṟa parasukha muṯṟavā
ṟinda nilainiṯṟa lundīpaṟa
     viṟaipaṇi niṯṟalā mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: பந்த வீடு அற்ற பரசுகம் உற்றவாறு இந்த நிலை நிற்றல் இறை பணி நிற்றல் ஆம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): bandha vīḍu aṯṟa para-sukham uṯṟa-v-āṟu inda nilai niṯṟal iṟai-paṇi niṯṟal ām.

English translation: Abiding in this state [of infinite and indivisible sat-cit-ānanda], thereby experiencing supreme bliss devoid of [the duality of] bondage or liberation, is abiding in the service of God.

Explanations and discussions:
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

Verse 30:

யானற் றியல்வது தேரி னெதுவது
தானற் றவமென்றா னுந்தீபற
     தானாம் ரமணேச னுந்தீபற.

yāṉaṯ ṟiyalvadu tēri ṉeduvadu
dāṉaṯ ṟavameṉḏṟā ṉundīpaṟa
     tāṉām ramaṇēśa ṉundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: ‘யான் அற்று இயல்வது தேரின் எது, அது தான் நல் தவம்’ என்றான் தான் ஆம் ரமணேசன்

Padacchēdam (word-separation): ‘yāṉ aṯṟu iyalvadu tēriṉ edu, adu-dāṉ nal tavam’ eṉḏṟāṉ tāṉ ām ramaṇēśaṉ.

English translation: ‘What [state of egolessness is experienced] if one knows what remains after ‘I’ has ceased to exist, that alone is good tapas’: thus said Lord Ramana, who is oneself.

Explanations and discussions:
2015-08-22: Upadēśa Undiyār verse 30: experiencing what remains when the ego dissolves is tapas
2009-06-08: Upadēśa Undiyār: an explanatory paraphrase

262 comments:

1 – 200 of 262   Newer›   Newest»
Sanjay Lohia said...

Sir, I thank you for this article: Upadesa Undiyar: Tamil text, transliteration and translation. This will be very helpful. With regards.

Anonymous said...

This is a superb article and deeply enlightening for the sincere student who does not know the language.

Noob said...

I do not know if this can be helpful, but we need to develop the readiness to abandon this all, including what we are taught by the sages.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Sir, when I was randomly scrolling down and looking at some of the links you have provided in this article, I found the following sentence at one place:

Being self-attentive is not an action (karma) or doing (kriya) but is simply a state of just being (summā iruppadu), because to the extent that we are being self-attentive we are just being the pure self-awareness that we always actually are.

Is there any difference between an ‘action’ (karma) and ‘doing’ (kriya)? If yes, how exactly do they differ? Regards.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Noob, referring to this article you write, ‘I do not know if this can be helpful, but we need to develop the readiness to abandon this all, including what we are taught by the sages’.

Yes, we do need to be ready to abandon this all, but as long as we retain our ego, it would be wise if we keep company with the words of sages – in our context with the words of our sadguru Bhagavan Ramana. His teachings are like the guide map. If we start on a road trip and are not sure of our route, we may carry a guide with us. I am sure we would keep this guide until we reach our destination. Likewise, we do need to constantly refer to Bhagavan’s teachings to check whether or not we are on the right track (in our spiritual journey). We can discard these only when we are able to discard our ego.

For example, we know that the essence or gist or the entire thrust of Bhagavan’s teachings is pointing us back to ourself. Whatever teachings he has given, its aim is to turn our attention back towards ourself. All our problems have arisen because we have risen as this ego, and therefore to dissolve all our problems we need to destroy the ego, and we can do so only by self-investigation.

However, yesterday in our discussion, Salazar quoted Annamalai Swami as having said that we should watch our thoughts to keep them under check, or something to that effect. How will we know whether what Annamalai Swami is supposed to have said is in accord with Bhagavan’s teachings or not? Obviously, we have to refer to Bhagavan’s teachings (especially his three main texts) to find out whether Bhagavan ever taught us that we should watch our thoughts.

If we do not refer to Bhagavan’s teachings, it is likely that we may believe Annamalai Swami (since he lived with Bhagavan for a long time), and therefore may start watching our thoughts with an attitude of a witness (sakshi-bhava, thinking that this will make our mind subside. Bhagavan never said that we should watch or observe our thoughts.

Therefore, it would be wise if we constantly read and reflect on Bhagavan’s teachings, because such support in invaluable to our sadhana. Can we ever claim to have understood Bhagavan’s teachings with all its different shades of meanings, with all its subtle nuances? It is almost impossible to do as long as we experience ourself as an ego.

As Michael explains, ‘[…] because no matter how much we may study and reflect on their [Bhagavan’s teachings] meaning, we can always find fresh depth of meaning and wealth of implications in them, and consequently our understanding of them can become more clear, as I often find […]’.

Anonymous said...

Sanjay Lohia,

"As Michael explains, ‘[…] because no matter how much we may study and reflect on their [Bhagavan’s teachings] meaning, we can always find fresh depth of meaning and wealth of implications in them, and consequently our understanding of them can become more clear, as I often find […]’."

This implies that there is no end to this sort of a thing...and the clarity that can be improved upon is no clarity at all.

How is this different from being attached to thoughts?...attached to the 'words' and 'thoughts' .

Anonymous said...

Bhagavan once told a story about a man who wanted to bury his own shadow in a deep pit. He dug the pit and stood in such a position that his shadow was on the bottom of it. The man then tried to bury it by covering it with earth. Each time he threw some soil in the hole the shadow appeared on top of it. Of course, he never succeeded in burying the shadow.
Many people behave like this when they meditate. They take the mind to be real, try to fight it and kill it, and always fail. These fights against the mind are all mental activities which strengthen the mind instead of weakening it.
If you want to get rid of the mind, all you have to do is understand that it is 'not me?. Cultivate the awareness 'I am the immanent consciousness?.
When that understanding becomes firm, the non-existent mind will not trouble you.
- Living by the words of Bhagavan, p. 266

Annamalai swami lived by the words of bhagavan and not just 'with bhagavan'...and this is different than 'Living with the words of Bhagavan' .

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan Ramana appeared before us only to teach us the practice of self-investigation (atma-vichara)

There should be no doubt about this. Bhagavan’s advent was only and only to teach us the practice of self-investigation. What was the first question that Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai asked Bhagavan? It was ‘who am I?’

It the supreme and all-loving power of grace which prompted Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai to ask this question - who am I? - and it was same grace (Bhagavan) which provided us its answer by explaining us what our true nature is, and how we can attain it.

There are 42 verses in Ulladu Narpadu (40 + 2 mangalam), 30 verses in Upadesa Undiyar and 20 paragraphs in Nan Yar?. So the total of 42 + 30 + 20 makes it 92. Let us say, he gave us the essence or core of his teachings in these 92 units of his teachings.

I have just found out that out of these 92 units, Bhagavan directly talks about the need or the actual practice of self-investigation in at least 46 units. He may have directly spoken more than once about self-investigation in a single paragraph of Nan Yar?, but I have taken it as only 1 (one) for my calculation purpose.

In the other 46 units he may not have so directly talked about self-investigation. However, even in all these units he is only preparing the ground work to explain the paramount need of self-investigation. Incidentally, he doesn’t even talk once about observing one's thoughts as a means to mind-control in all of these 92 units.

The verses or passages where Bhagavan directly talks about self-investigation are:

(a) Ulladu Narpadu: mangalam verses 1 and 2; main text: verse 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 34, 35, 38, and 39.

(b) Upadesa Undiyar: verses 8, 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28 and 29.

(c) Nan Yar?: paragraphs 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16 and 17.

Therefore, there can be no doubt that Bhagavan’s mission, if we can call it such, was just to teach us the practice of self-investigation (atma-vichara).





Michael James said...

Anonymous, what Annamalai Swami said in the passage you quoted from Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 266, namely “If you want to get rid of the mind, all you have to do is understand that it is ‘not me’. Cultivate the awareness ‘I am the immanent consciousness’”, is quite contrary to the fundamental principles of what Bhagavan taught us in advanced texts such as Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu. He or others may justify what he said by claiming that Bhagavan recommended the chanting of texts such as Ribhu Gīta, which may seem to support such ideas, but they are preliminary texts that may be useful for those who cannot grasp the clear and simple yet radical principles that Bhagavan taught us in Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu and elsewhere, so they do not represent his actual teachings.

How can we get rid of the mind merely by understanding that it is ‘not me’? By intellectual analysis we can understand that the mind is ‘not me’, because it appears in waking and dream but disappears in sleep, whereas I exist and am aware of my existence in all three states. Since I am aware of myself in sleep when the mind is not present, how can the mind be what I actually am? However by understanding this I have not got rid of the mind, because what understands this is only myself as this mind.

And what does Annamalai Swami mean by saying, “Cultivate the awareness ‘I am the immanent consciousness’”? How can we cultivate such an awareness? Is it merely by thinking ‘I am the immanent consciousness’? Is he suggesting that we can get rid of the mind by thinking ‘The mind is not me. I am the immanent consciousness’? That cannot be an effective means to get rid of it, because what thinks ‘The mind is not me’ or ‘I am the immanent consciousness’ is only the mind itself, so how can it get rid of itself by thinking thus?

According to Bhagavan what is aware of itself as ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’ is only the ego, so if we think ‘I am the immanent consciousness’ or ‘I am brahman’ we are thereby sustaining the ego. Pure self-awareness, which is brahman and which I assume is what Annamalai Swami means by ‘the immanent consciousness’, is not aware of itself as ‘I am this’, ‘I am that’, ‘I am brahman’ or ‘I am the immanent consciousness’ but only as ‘I am I’, because being aware of ourself as anything other than ‘I’ entails duality.

Is there any brahman or immanent consciousness other than ‘I’? Obviously not, so surely it is sufficiently for us to meditate only on ‘I’, ourself. If we meditate only on ourself, we are meditating upon both brahman and the immanent consciousness, because they are nothing but ourself, whereas ideas such as ‘The mind is not me’ or ‘I am the immanent consciousness’ are other than ourself, so if we meditate on these or any other ideas we are not actually meditating on ourself, brahman or immanent consciousness, but only on ideas about them.

(I will continue this reply in my next three comments.)

Michael James said...

In continuation of my previous comment in reply to Anonymous:

Thinking ‘The mind is not me’ is what is called nēti nēti (not such, not such), and thinking ‘I am the immanent consciousness’ is what is called sōham bhāvana (the imagination ‘I am he’), so it seems that Annamalai Swami was in effect recommending these two practices as a means to destroy the mind, even though Bhagavan taught us explicitly that they are at best just aids (Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verses 29 and 36) and are practised only ‘due to deficiency of strength’(Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 32). In verse 29 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu he wrote:

நானென்று வாயா னவிலாதுள் ளாழ்மனத்தா
னானென்றெங் குந்துமென நாடுதலே — ஞானநெறி
யாமன்றி யன்றிதுநா னாமதுவென் றுன்னறுணை
யாமதுவி சாரமா மா.

nāṉeṉḏṟu vāyā ṉavilāduḷ ḷāṙmaṉattā
ṉāṉeṉḏṟeṅ gundumeṉa nāḍudalē — ñāṉaneṟi
yāmaṉḏṟi yaṉḏṟidunā ṉāmaduveṉ ḏṟuṉṉaṟuṇai
yāmaduvi cāramā mā
.

பதச்சேதம்: ‘நான்’ என்று வாயால் நவிலாது, உள் ஆழ் மனத்தால் ‘நான்’ என்று எங்கு உந்தும் என நாடுதலே ஞான நெறி ஆம். அன்றி, ‘அன்று இது, நான் ஆம் அது’ என்று உன்னல் துணை ஆம்; அது விசாரம் ஆமா?

Padacchēdam (word-separation): ‘nāṉ’ eṉḏṟu vāyāl navilādu, uḷ āṙ maṉattāl ‘nāṉ’ eṉḏṟu eṅgu undum eṉa nāḍudal-ē ñāṉa-neṟi ām. aṉḏṟi, ‘aṉḏṟu idu, nāṉ ām adu’ eṉḏṟu uṉṉal tuṇai ām; adu vicāram āmā?

அன்வயம்: .‘நான்’ என்று வாயால் நவிலாது, உள் ஆழ் மனத்தால் ‘நான்’ என்று எங்கு உந்தும் என நாடுதலே ஞான நெறி ஆம்; அன்றி, ‘நான் இது அன்று, [நான்] அது ஆம்’ என்று உன்னல் துணை ஆம்; அது விசாரம் ஆமா?

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): ‘nāṉ’ eṉḏṟu vāyāl navilādu, uḷ āṙ maṉattāl ‘nāṉ’ eṉḏṟu eṅgu undum eṉa nāḍudal-ē ñāṉa neṟi ām; aṉḏṟi, ‘nāṉ idu aṉḏṟu, [nāṉ] adu ām’ eṉḏṟu uṉṉal tuṇai ām; adu vicāram āmā?

English translation: Without saying ‘I’ by mouth, investigating by an inward sinking mind where one rises as ‘I’ alone is the path of jñāna [the means to experience real knowledge]. Instead, thinking ‘[I am] not this [body or mind], I am that [brahman]’ is an aid, [but] is it vicāra [self-investigation]?

(I will continue this reply in my next two comments.)

Michael James said...

In continuation of my previous comment in reply to Anonymous:

In verse 36 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu he wrote:

நாமுடலென் றெண்ணினல நாமதுவென் றெண்ணுமது
நாமதுவா நிற்பதற்கு நற்றுணையே — யாமென்று
நாமதுவென் றெண்ணுவதே னான்மனித னென்றெணுமோ
நாமதுவா நிற்குமத னால்.

nāmuḍaleṉ ḏṟeṇṇiṉala nāmaduveṉ ḏṟeṇṇumadu
nāmaduvā niṟpadaṟku naṯṟuṇaiyē — yāmeṉḏṟu
nāmaduveṉ ḏṟeṇṇuvadē ṉāṉmaṉida ṉeṉḏṟeṇumō
nāmaduvā niṟkumada ṉāl
.

பதச்சேதம்: நாம் உடல் என்று எண்ணின், ‘அலம், நாம் அது’ என்று எண்ணும் அது நாம் அதுவா நிற்பதற்கு நல் துணையே ஆம். என்றும் ‘நாம் அது’ என்று எண்ணுவது ஏன்? ‘நான் மனிதன்’ என்று எணுமோ? நாம் அதுவா நிற்கும் அதனால்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): nām uḍal eṉḏṟu eṇṇiṉ, ‘alam, nām adu’ eṉḏṟu eṇṇum adu nām adu-v-ā niṟpadaṟku nal tuṇai-y-ē ām. eṉḏṟum ‘nām adu’ eṉḏṟu eṇṇuvadu ēṉ? ‘nāṉ maṉidaṉ’ eṉḏṟu eṇumō? nām adu-v-ā niṟkum adaṉāl.

அன்வயம்: நாம் உடல் என்று எண்ணின், ‘அலம், நாம் அது’ என்று எண்ணும் அது நாம் அதுவா நிற்பதற்கு நல் துணையே ஆம். நாம் அதுவா நிற்கும் அதனால், என்றும் ‘நாம் அது’ என்று எண்ணுவது ஏன்? ‘நான் மனிதன்’ என்று எணுமோ?

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): nām uḍal eṉḏṟu eṇṇiṉ, ‘alam, nām adu’ eṉḏṟu eṇṇum adu nām adu-v-ā niṟpadaṟku nal tuṇai-y-ē ām. nām adu-v-ā niṟkum adaṉāl, eṉḏṟum ‘nām adu’ eṉḏṟu eṇṇuvadu ēṉ? ‘nāṉ maṉidaṉ’ eṉḏṟu eṇumō?

English translation: If we think that we are a body, thinking ‘No [we are not this body], we are that [brahman]’, will be just a good aid for [reminding and encouraging] us to abide as that. [However] since we abide [or constantly exist] as that, why [should we be] always thinking ‘we are that’? Does one think ‘I am a man’ [that is, does one need to always think ‘I am a man’ in order to experience oneself as a man]?

(I will continue this reply in my next comment.)

Michael James said...

In continuation of my previous comment in reply to Anonymous:

And in verse 32 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu he wrote:

அதுநீயென் றம்மறைக ளார்த்திடவுந் தன்னை
யெதுவென்று தான்றேர்ந் திராஅ — ததுநா
னிதுவன்றென் றெண்ணலுர னின்மையினா லென்று
மதுவேதா னாயமர்வ தால்.

adunīyeṉ ḏṟammaṟaiga ḷārttiḍavun taṉṉai
yeduveṉḏṟu tāṉḏṟērn dirāa — dadunā
ṉiduvaṉḏṟeṉ ḏṟeṇṇalura ṉiṉmaiyiṉā leṉḏṟu
maduvētā ṉāyamarva dāl
.

பதச்சேதம்: ‘அது நீ’ என்று அம் மறைகள் ஆர்த்திடவும், தன்னை எது என்று தான் தேர்ந்து இராது, ‘அது நான், இது அன்று’ என்று எண்ணல் உரன் இன்மையினால், என்றும் அதுவே தான் ஆய் அமர்வதால்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): ‘adu nī’ eṉḏṟu a-m-maṟaigaḷ ārttiḍavum, taṉṉai edu eṉḏṟu tāṉ tērndu irādu, ‘adu nāṉ, idu aṉḏṟu’ eṉḏṟu eṇṇal uraṉ iṉmaiyiṉāl, eṉḏṟum aduvē tāṉ-āy amarvadāl.

அன்வயம்: ‘அது நீ’ என்று அம் மறைகள் ஆர்த்திடவும், அதுவே தான் ஆய் என்றும் அமர்வதால், தன்னை எது என்று தான் தேர்ந்து இராது, ‘அது நான், இது அன்று’ என்று எண்ணல் உரன் இன்மையினால்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): ‘adu nī’ eṉḏṟu a-m-maṟaigaḷ ārttiḍavum, adu-v-ē tāṉ-āy eṉḏṟum amarvadāl, taṉṉai edu eṉḏṟu tāṉ tērndu irādu, ‘adu nāṉ, idu aṉḏṟu’ eṉḏṟu eṇṇal uraṉ iṉmaiyiṉāl.

English translation: When the Vēdas declare ‘that is you’, instead of oneself knowing oneself and being [as one is] [by investigating] what [am I], thinking ‘I am that [brahman], not this [body or mind]’ is due to deficiency of strength [lack of clarity of understanding], because that itself always exists as oneself.

Meditating that the mind is not me or that I am the immanent consciousness are both mental activities, and as Annamalai Swami rightly said in the same passage that you quoted, all mental activities strengthen the mind instead of weakening it, so Bhagavan used to compare such practices to trying to bury one’s own shadow in a deep pit. What Bhagavan said in this context applies to all types of meditation other than self-investigation, because meditating on anything other than oneself, including ideas such as ‘The mind is not me’ or ‘I am the immanent consciousness’, is a mental activity, because it entails a movement of our mind or attention away from ourself towards something else.

The only meditation that is not a mental activity is meditation on oneself (svarūpa-dhyāna), which is the practice of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra), because it entails no movement of our mind away from ourself, and this is why Bhagavan said that this is the only means by which we can eradicate the mind along with its root, the ego. Because the mind or ego is a false awareness of ourself — an awareness of ourself as something other than the pure self-awareness that we actually are — it can be destroyed only by awareness of ourself as we actually are, and in order to be aware of ourself as we actually are we must attend only to ourself and not to anything else whatsoever, not even ideas such as ‘The mind is not me’ or ‘I am the immanent consciousness’.

Michael James said...

Sanjay, regarding your question, ‘Is there any difference between an ‘action’ (karma) and ‘doing’ (kriya)?’, they essentially mean the same, but they are both used as technical terms, so in some technical contexts they are not interchangeable. For example, āgāmya, sañcita and prārabdha are called the three karmas, but it would not be appropriate to call them the three kriyās. However in the context you referred to (namely when I wrote somewhere, ‘Being self-attentive is not an action (karma) or doing (kriyā) but is simply a state of just being (summā iruppadu), because to the extent that we are being self-attentive we are just being the pure self-awareness that we always actually are’) I was using them in a more general sense, in which there is no difference between them.

Michael James said...

Anonymous, regarding your comment ‘there is no end to this sort of a thing [studying and reflecting on the meaning of Bhagavan’s teachings]’, it will all come to an end when the ego comes to an end, which is its sole purpose. We should always keep this purpose in mind.

Why do we study and reflect on his teachings? Because our aim is to destroy our ego, and studying and reflecting on his teachings supports and guides us in our practice of ātma-vicāra, which is the only means by which we can destroy it.

Regarding your question about being attached, attachment is the very nature of the ego, because the ego cannot rise, stand or nourish itself without attaching itself to things other than itself, so we cannot get rid of all attachment until we get rid of the ego. Therefore until we are ready to let go of the ego along with all its other attachments, attachment to Bhagavan’s teachings is like a thorn that we use to remove another deeply embedded thorn from our foot.

When we discard our ego, we must discard Bhagavan’s words along with it, but until then we should not be too hasty to discard them. Once we reach our destination the map we used to get there will be of no further use to us, but let us not throw it away before we reach our destination, lest we take any wrong turnings on the way.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Sir, I thank you for clarifying the meaning of the terms karma and kriya. Regards.

Mouna said...

Dear Sanjay, greetings
To complement Michael's answer about your question "Is there any difference between an ‘action’ (karma) and ‘doing’ (kriya)?", it seems that the difference is a semantic one according to the context as Michael pointed out.
At least in English parlance, as I understand it, action is the fact of doing, which usually is associated (doing) with the idea of a person "doing" (an action). Actions don't do, while doing "does" actions (apologies for the strange use of language here!) ergo associated with the "doer" (ego) and so creating more actions in turn (karma as in agamia, sanchita and prarabdha)
I kindly ask Michael to correct me if I am wrong, because I am not an English speaking person.
Be well,
m

Anonymous said...

Per the transliteration from Tamil.

According to their-their prārabdha, he who is for that being there-there will cause to dance [that is, according to the destiny (prārabdha) of each person, he who is for that (namely God or guru, who ordains their destiny) being in the heart of each of them will make them act]. What is never to happen will not happen whatever effort one makes [to make it happen]; what is to happen will not stop whatever obstruction [or resistance] one does [to prevent it happening]. This indeed is certain. Therefore silently being [or being silent] is good.

I know this is considered to be one of the most significant things that Maharishi Ramana said and I would like to understand why. He says that what is destined to happen will happen but at what level? Is he separating the mind from the body and saying that “God being in the heart of each of them will make them act” physically without any mental participation?!! That seems absurd.

For example, if it is destined that his mother should feel emotional distress that must mean that she is also destined to struggle against “what” is destined to happen. How else would she feel sorrowful?

It seems to me that his main aim was to console his mother and nothing else.

I find the last sentence very important in that he is suggesting to his mother that she should remain unperturbed in the face of the trials of life, which is something that all teachers worth the name have insisted upon.

toshi thomas said...

Sir, meditation on the I thought, is this enough?

Anonymous said...

Michael,
"Anonymous, regarding your comment ‘there is no end to this sort of a thing [studying and reflecting on the meaning of Bhagavan’s teachings]’, it will all come to an end when the ego comes to an end, which is its sole purpose. We should always keep this purpose in mind."

When the ego does not even have a locus standi,how would it come to an end?...It will only seek better and better understanding and revel in it's improved understanding.

What Annamalai Swami has pointed out is straight forward... “If you want to get rid of the mind, all you have to do is understand that it is ‘not me’. Cultivate the awareness ‘I am the immanent consciousness’"

Bhagavan has indeed said that mere reading of Ribhu Gita would grant Samadhi...so,there is indeed substance to this approach.

To get rid of the mind,it is enough to understand that it is 'not me'...this does not promote further thinking 'it is not me' and repeating it like a parrot as that will not yield anything... which is what Bhagavan has referred to in that verse of ulladhu narpadhu quoted by you.

It means that one has nothing to do with thoughts and no interest in thought...all then happens in the 'immanent consciousness' which does not even say 'I am'.

It is like a market place arrayed with things that one encounters...nothing interests one and passes by without becoming a 'buyer'...no need to remove the market place or the things in order to cease to be a 'buyer'...it is enough to cease interest in them.

jacques franck said...

toshi thomas

from the blog : How to attend to ‘I’? Friday, 16 May 2014

Meditation on anything other than ‘I’ is relatively gross, because it entails attending to some object: a word, an image, a thought, a feeling, a place in the body, or whatever. In comparison, meditation on ‘I’ is very subtle, because it entails not attending to any object but only attending to the subject: to the ‘I’ that experiences all objects (and that experiences not only the presence of objects, as in waking and dream, but also their absence, as in deep sleep).
Meditating on or attending to ‘I’ is subtly different to meditating on or attending to any object, because ‘I’ is not only featureless but also has no exact location. To give a crude and rather inadequate analogy, attending to ‘I’ is similar to observing the screen instead of observing any of the pictures that appear on the screen, because ‘I’ is the background awareness in which all other experiences appear and disappear. Therefore rather than describing it as meditating on or attending to ‘I’, you may find it easier to think of it as simply being aware of ‘I’, because that is all that meditating on or attending to ‘I’ actually means or entails.
We are always aware of ‘I’, but our awareness of ‘I’ is usually mixed with awareness of other things, so our aim should be to be aware only of ‘I’. This is why the practice is sometimes described as focussing attention exclusively on ‘I’. This is not meant to imply that ‘I’ is an object that we attend to, but only that we should be so keenly aware of ‘I’ that everything else is excluded from our awareness.
Sri Ramana described this subtle practice of meditating only on ‘I’ (or being aware only of ‘I’) as ātma-vicāra, which means self-investigation or self-examination, because though we clearly experience ‘I’, our power of attention has been rendered relatively gross by our long-ingrained habit of attending to objects, so it is not easy for us to clearly distinguish ‘I’ from the objects that we habitually mistake to be ‘I’, namely our body and mind. Therefore our attempt to attend only to ‘I’ is a process of vicāra or investigation: trying to investigate exactly what this ‘I’ is in order to clearly distinguish it from all other things - or in other words, to experience it in complete isolation from everything else.

...

in order to attend only to ‘I’ (or to be aware only of ‘I’) our mind must be clear, calm and unagitated. However, in order to make our mind clear, calm and unagitated, it is not necessary for us to practise any other type of meditation, because the most effective means to make our mind clear, calm and unagitated is to try to attend only to ‘I’. Even if rajas or tamas impedes our efforts, the most effective way to overcome them is to persevere in trying to attend only to ‘I’.
Though our efforts to experience only ‘I’ may often be obstructed by the distracting influence of rajas (which manifests as thoughts) or the dulling influence of tamas (which manifests as sleepiness or lethargy), if we persevere in our efforts, we will gradually be able to experience ‘I’ with greater and greater clarity.
Therefore the only way to understand how to attend to or experience ‘I’ alone is to try to do so. The more you try, the more clear it will become to you what the terms ātma-vicāra, self-investigation, self-attentiveness or meditation upon ‘I’ actually mean. Just as one cannot learn how to ride a bicycle except by trying to ride one, we cannot learn how to attend to ‘I’ except by trying to do so.

Michael James said...

Toshi Thomas, in reply to your question, ‘meditation on the I thought, is this enough?’, we should first understand clearly what the term ‘I-thought’ actually means, because people often imagine it to be some kind of object (something other than ourself), whereas in fact it is not an object but the subject, which is what we now seem to be.

What Bhagavan calls ‘நான் என்னும் நினைவு’ (nāṉ eṉṉum niṉaivu) in Nāṉ Yār? (paragraphs 5, 6 and 8) and ‘நான் எனும் எண்ணம்’ (nāṉ eṉum eṇṇam) in verse 18 of Upadēśa Undiyār, both of which mean ‘the thought called I’, and ‘अहं वृत्ति’ (ahaṁ-vṛtti) in verse 18 of Upadēśa Sāram (his Sanskrit translation of Upadēśa Undiyār), which means ‘the I-thought’, is the ego, which is the root, origin and base of all other thoughts, being the subject that thinks and is aware of them. Therefore what we experience as ‘I’ (ourself) so long as we are aware of any other thoughts (that is, anything other than the pure self-awareness that we actually are, since according to Bhagavan everything else is just a thought) is only this original thought called ‘I’, the ego.

As Bhagavan explains in verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, the nature of this ego is to rise, stand, feed itself and flourish only by ‘grasping form’ (which means by attending to anything other than itself, since he says it is just a ‘formless phantom’), and hence if it tries to grasp itself (that is to be aware of itself alone) it will dissolve and disappear, as he implies in that verse by saying ‘தேடினால் ஓட்டம் பிடிக்கும்’ (tēḍiṉāl ōṭṭam piḍikkum), which means ‘If it seeks [investigates or examines] [itself], it will take flight’.

Therefore if we attend to anything other than ourself, we are thereby nourishing and sustaining our ego, whereas if we attend only to ourself, who now seem to be this ego or thought called ‘I’, it will cease to exist. Hence the answer to your question is yes, meditation on this thought called ‘I’ is enough, and not only is it enough, but it is also necessary, because this is the only means by which we can eradicate it.

Michael James said...

Anonymous, if you are satisfied with the approach you describe in your reply to my previous reply to you, that is fine, because we are each free to choose what we want, but so long as you are aware of ‘the market place or the things’ (namely the world, thoughts or phenomena) you have not got rid of the mind, because the mind or ego alone is what is aware of all such things, as Bhagavan makes clear, for example, in the third and fourth paragraphs of Nāṉ Yār?.

Regarding your question, ‘When the ego does not even have a locus standi, how would it come to an end?’, this has been very clearly explained by Bhagavan, particularly in Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, Upadēśa Undiyār and Nāṉ Yār?. Though the ego does not actually exist, in its own view it seems to exist, but it seems to exist only so long as it attends to or is aware of anything other than itself, so if it investigates itself it will take flight (as he says in verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu), or in other words, it will be found to be non-existent (as he says in verse 17 of Upadēśa Undiyār).

What is necessary is self-investigation (ātma-vicāra), because if we do not investigate what we actually are, we cannot get rid of the ego or mind, even if we tell ourself that it is ‘not me’, that it has no locus standi or that it does not actually exist (because what thinks or says all such things is only the ego).

Bhagavan has clearly shown us that self-investigation is the only means by which we can eradicate the ego or mind, and in the twelfth paragraph of Nāṉ Yār? he says, ‘குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி தவறாது நடக்க வேண்டும்’ (guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi tavaṟādu naḍakka vēṇḍum), which means ‘it is necessary to walk unfailingly along the path that guru has shown’, but it is up to each one of us to decide for ourself whether or not we want to follow this simple path that he has shown us.

Michael James said...

In reply to a friend who wrote to me about verses 17 and 19 of the Sanskrit version of Upadēśa Sāram (which is Bhagavan’s own translation of Upadēśa Undiyār), asking questions such what is the mind we should investigate, where does this ‘I’ rise from, and how to investigate from where it rises, I wrote:

As Bhagavan explains in verse 18, though the term ‘mind’ is often used to refer to all thoughts collectively, what the mind essentially is is just the ego, the primal thought called ‘I’, which is the root of all other thoughts. Therefore in verse 17 what he means by ‘the form of the mind’, which he says we should investigate without neglecting, is the ego, and we can investigate it only by being keenly self-attentive.

Since we rise, stand and flourish as this ego only by ‘grasping form’ (that is, by attending to anything other than ourself), as he explains in verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, and since the ego will cease to exist if we attend to it keenly enough, so long as we mistake ourself to be this ego we will be reluctant to let go of everything else and cling only to ourself. Therefore when we try to be self-attentive it is natural for our mind to jump outwards to attend to other things, but whenever our mind does so it is necessary for us to turn it back to attend to ourself alone.

Where the ego rises from is only ourself. In sleep we alone exist, and since we are not then aware of anything other than ourself, our real nature is just pure self-awareness (prajñānam), so this is the source from which we rise as this ego in waking and dream. Therefore investigating where the ego rises means investigating ourself, which we can do only by being keenly self-attentive. Therefore what Bhagavan describes in both verse 17 and verse 19 of Upadēśa Undiyār, albeit in somewhat different terms, is just the practice of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra).

For more detailed explanations of these two verses, you can follow the links that I give after each of them in my recent article: Upadēśa Undiyār: Tamil text, transliteration and translation.

Anonymous said...

Michael,
"Anonymous, if you are satisfied with the approach you describe in your reply to my previous reply to you, that is fine, because we are each free to choose what we want, but so long as you are aware of ‘the market place or the things’ (namely the world, thoughts or phenomena) you have not got rid of the mind, because the mind or ego alone is what is aware of all such things, as Bhagavan makes clear, for example, in the third and fourth paragraphs of Nāṉ Yār?."

It is not a matter of what we 'want' but a matter of being free from wants...It is enough to understand that the 'mirage' water that is seen is not 'Real water' ...but seeing the 'mirage' does not tantamount to believing that it is 'Real'...the seeing of the 'mirage' would continue as before...only we would not take it as 'Real'...the world can continue to be perceived through the senses and the mind but all that is not 'Real' and the only Reality is the Self which is the substratum...there is no need to make anything 'disappear'...In the context of everyday living ,'the Body' and 'the Mind' can continue to perform their core function but without the sense of 'I' and 'mine'...This is the state of 'Jivanmukti'...when the 'Body along with the Mind' drops off ,the functions cease but the Self is ever free in either case although in the later case,it is termed as 'Videhamukti'...Fundamentally there is no difference between Jivanmukti and Videhamukti.

Sanjay Lohia said...

According to Bhagavan human beings are worse than swine

The following extract (which is not verbatim) is taken from the latest video uploaded by Michael on his YouTube channel: 2017-09-16 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: discussion with Michael James on Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 8 (1:05 to 1:12):

A lady devotee: All that you talk reminds me of the saying in Bible or somewhere: ‘It is like throwing pearls before a swine’.

Michael: I plead not guilty! You are blaming me for throwing pearls before a swine. It is not me who did that. It was Bhagavan who threw pearls before all of us, swine.

Devotee: I wish I hadn’t known all these - that I am not this body, I am pure-consciousness. I would have been better off. At least I would have enjoyed my life, but I now know I am not all this, so it makes restless . . .

Michael: Are you satisfied with your present life? Being born, growing up, getting married, having children, old age, dying, this happens to all of us again and again and again. But are we satisfied?

Devotee: I mean the birds, bees, all seem happy.

Michael: No, they have their desires, they have their fears. Show me any embodied creature that is content. No creature is content. Because as long we take the body to be ‘I’, we have to struggle for the survival of the body, we have to encounter dangers, we have to feed the body, we have to clothe the body. So many problems are there. Embodied life is imperfect, and in spite of knowing all that we continue wallowing in this.

So you said, ‘throwing pearls before a swine’. Worst that that is throwing pearls before human beings, because according to Bhagavan human beings are worse than swine. In one verse Bhagavan says:

Those who take the body to be ‘I’ are worse than pigs, because this body eats pure food and turns it into filth. The pig eats filth, but at least they are not guilty of turning pure food into filth.

Bhagavan has done this - given us these pearls – for a purpose. He knows that he is planting the seed in us now. Whether we like it or not we have been caught in the jaws of a tiger. We can’t escape. We may try to escape, but we will never succeed.

Devotee: That’s good to know.

Michael: So we may as well give up, sooner rather than later. But we aren’t ready to give up, are we? That’s the problem. So who isn’t ready to give up? We need to investigate that. Who isn’t ready to surrender?









Mouna said...

The "snake" vs the "mirage" analogies.

Mirage (world) continues to appear after self-realization -> vedanta position -> awakening "to" the dream -> lucid dreaming, still dream.
Snake (world) disappears after self-realization -> ajata -> awakening "from" the dream -> no more dreaming, no dream.

Both analogies and everything else -> ego.

Anonymous said...

Stephen Hawking in Black Holes and Baby Universes (14 essays)

Is everything determined?


I want to suggest that the concepts of free will and moral responsibility for our actions are really an effective theory in the sense of fluid mechanics. It may be that everything we do is determined by some grand unified theory. If that theory has determined that we shall die by hanging, then we shall not drown. But you would have to be awfully sure that you were destined for the gallows to put to sea in a small boat during a storm. I have noticed that even people who claim that everything is predestined and that we can do nothing to change it look before they cross the road. Maybe it's just that those who don't look don't survive to tell the tale.

One cannot base one's conduct on the idea that every-thing is determined, because one does not know what has been determined. Instead, one has to adopt the effective theory that one has free will and that one is responsible for one's actions. This theory is not very good at predicting human behaviour, but we adopt it because there is no chance of solving the equations arising from the fun-damental laws. There is also a Darwinian reason that we believe in free will: a society in which the individual feels responsible for his or her actions is more likely to work together and survive to spread its values. Of course, ants work well together. But such a society is static. It cannot respond to unfamiliar challenges or develop new opportunities. A collection of free individuals who share certain mutual aims, however, can collaborate on their common objectives and yet have the flexibility to make innovations. Thus, such a society is more likely to prosper and to spread its system of values.

In summary, the title of this essay was a question: is everything determined? The answer is yes, it is. But it might as well not be, because we can never know what is determined.…

Sanjay Lohia said...

If we are wise, we will seek only to return to our home

The following transcript of an extract, which is not verbatim, is taken from the video: 2017-09-16 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: discussion with Michael James on Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 8:

If our goal is to see God in name and form, then there is no need to do atma-vichara. We can worship God in name and form and if we develop enough love, we will eventually see God in name and form. But is that our aim? Even if we see God as a name and form we will still remain as a name and form, so there will still be discontent and dissatisfaction. We can never be perfectly satisfied as long as we remain separate from God.

Seeing God in name and form is not the goal that Bhagavan recommends us to seek. If we are able to see God in name and form, what should we do next? It’s not the end, because we are still there seeing God, there is still a separation between God and us. If we have pure, all-consuming love for God, why should we want to remain as a separate entity? So long as we retain a separate entity, we are retaining some love for ourself. Our ultimate goal is to lose ourself in God.

Bhagavan is very-very consistent. He says: ‘if you want to see God in name and form, you can see God in name and form, and such sadhana will also purify your mind’. However, if we want to see God as it really is we have to see ourself as we actually are, since there is nothing other than ourself. This means we have to give up our name and form.

Bhagavan doesn’t force anything on anyone. If people want to have other goals, he isn’t going to stop them. But if we are wise we will seek only to return to our home, which is where we merge in God or merge in the place from which we arose. To see God as something other than ourself is, Bhagavan says, manomayam am katci (a mental vision). Our aim is not to see a mental vision of God. Our aim is to destroy the mind that sees God as other than ourself.


Noob said...

I feel that what Bhagavan has told us/me is the truth...Hopefully I m falling in the jaws of the tiger and regardless of what happens I will experience the truth sooner or later. Arguments are for the ego, they may soften it, but I hope this is all irreversible.

pūrṇatva said...

Sanjay Lohia,
the problem is that most of us do not with certainty know if Bhagavan says the truth - even when we easily tend to put our trust in him because his fundamental teachings appear to us so convincingly correct. Of course I too want to find and experience God as not other than myself. Admittedly I am still in a state of uncertainty to have complete 100% confidence, that is without the slightest trace of doubt, in him - although on my bedside table there are stood up several Arunachala stones gathered by me from the slopes of nearly all main directions of Arunachala Hill since the year 2000. Obviously even the purifying power of that most holy stones could not destroy the seemingly armoured structure of the vishaya-vasanas of my/this ego.

Sanjay Lohia said...

purnatva, once somebody sent a letter to Bhagavan requesting Bhagavan to send him the most holy stone of Arunachala. Bhagavan said to the devotees present something to the effect: ‘How can I send him a holy part of Arunchala? Perhaps he doesn’t know that this hill is Siva itself, and therefore every inch of the hill is equally holy’.

However, just by keeping the stones from Arunachala by your bedside will not destroy your ego, although it may have some benefit. However, we need to walk the path that Bhagavan has so loving shown us, because only self-investigation can destroy our ego. Of course, since you appear to be attracted to the name and form of Arunachala, you can silently pray to it in whatever way suits you. Such bhakti if done with nishkamya bhava (without any worldly desire) will certainly clarify and purify your mind.

You say, 'Admittedly I am still in a state of uncertainty to have complete 100% confidence, that is without the slightest trace of doubt, in him'. To the extent we practise Bhagavan’s path, to that extent our confidence in his path would increase. A time will come when our confidence in his path will become unshakable, like a solid rock.

Therefore we should try to practise self-investigation as much as possible. This is the simplest, easiest and the most direct path of all.


Salazar said...

Yes, we cannot escape the jaw of the tiger, Robert Adams said that the inner guru knows exactly the "time" of awakening, that is all set.

The inner guru knows how much "effort" (or no effort at all as we already have done for countless incarnations) the jiva is and will spend "towards" enlightenment and therefore it is already determined "when" the head is bitten off.

So relax guys, stop whining and despairing, that is a waste of time.

pūrṇatva said...

Sanjay Lohia,
venerating/revering and worshipping "every inch of the hill as equally holy" is completely natural for me . That is why I feel attracted by Arunachala Hill itself and carry also the most part during the day a little Arunachala-stone in my trouser pocket. When I leave my room and it rarely happens that I miss to put that stone into my pocket I feel the whole day that there is something wrong with me and that I am not entirely allright. Of course in such case I try to tide me over that period by remembering that Arunachala itself is my innermost self-awareness.
But I must own up in all honesty that I as the ego sometimes do not shrink from pursuing and satisfying simply egoistic aims - even in presence of Arunachala-stones and what's more without the slightest shame.
Evidently my rucksack of visaya-vasanas seems to be even for Arunachala a heavy burden. So contrary to my expectation the process of purification of the mind along with the entire collection of various "spiritual obstacles" takes more time than I wish.
As you say I have to try to intensify my attempts to overcome my dogged dislike for making separate or special attempts to practise self-investigation by sitting for long periods. Yes, I have to concede the possibility that the fact that my consciousness most of the time is lacking profound and bottomless/fathomless depth is immediate consequence of that reluctance. However, that my unwillingness is inversely the result of my lack of great success in trying to practise self-investigation in a sitting body-position .

Anonymous said...

This is a very moving and honest confession and I sincerely hope you find the peace you are looking for...

My admiration for Maharshi Ramana is unbounded but shocking as it may seem, the notion of Jivan Mukti does not make sense to me; I believe only in Videha Mukti.

Ecclesiastes 4.1-4.2

So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

Wherefore I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.

Sri Ramana also spoke about mourning on one's birthday so I think he would have not dismissed this lightly.

Sanjay Lohia said...

If I am wearing red glasses, the whole world will appear to be red

The following extract is taken from the video: 2017-09-16 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: discussion with Michael James on Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 8. As usual the transcript is not verbatim:

We are not actually aware of time. What we are actually aware of is change, and time is the framework in which change takes place. So time and change are very closely related.

However, is the change actually real? To whom does the change appear? To whom does the time appear? We have to again and again turn our attention back on ourself. This is the only way to solve all the mysteries and puzzles of life.

Philosophy is very good for asking questions, by identifying what questions should be asked. But philosophy can never give us answers. To get the answers we need to investigate ourself – investigate the one who has all these puzzling questions.

Philosophers have been debating for thousands of years whether time is real or not, whether space is real or not, whether the world exists independent of our perception of it or not. These are ancient philosophical questions which have debated in East, West and everywhere.

The most useful philosophy is the philosophy given to us by Bhagavan, because Bhagavan’s philosophy is constantly pointing us back to ourself. In order to know anything, we first have to know the knower. Without knowing the knower we can’t know anything.

How can we be sure that our knowledge of anything is true knowledge, when we don’t even know what we ourself are? If I am wearing red glasses, the whole world will appear to be red. So without knowing the colour of the glasses I am wearing, I can’t judge the colour of the world. So also to know the truth of the world, we need to know the truth of ourself, the seer of the world.


Anonymous said...

pūrṇatva4 October 2017 at 15:38

This is a very moving and honest confession and I sincerely hope you find the peace you are looking for...

My admiration for Maharshi Ramana is unbounded but shocking as it may seem, the notion of Jivan Mukti does not make sense to me; I believe only in Videha Mukti.

Ecclesiastes 4.1-4.2

So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

Wherefore I praised the dead who are already dead more than the living who are yet alive.

---------------
Sri Ramana also spoke about mourning on one's birthday so I think he would have not dismissed this lightly.

Sanjay Lohia said...

purnavata, Bhagavan has clearly indicated that mental worship is better (that is, it is more efficacious in purifying our mind) than physical worship. Therefore if you forget to carry the Arunachala-stones with you, you can easily worship Arunachala in your mind. We can reflect on verse 4 of Upadesa Undiyar to understand this better:

This is certain: pūjā, japa and dhyāna are [respectively] actions of body, speech and mind, [and hence in this order each successive] one is superior to [the preceding] one.

However, self-attentiveness is the most effective way to remember Arunachala, because Aruchanala in its essential nature is nothing but ourself, ‘I’.

The following extract taken from an article The Power of Arunachala by Michael James, would add material to this discussion. It was first published in The Mountain Path, (1982, pp. 75-84). It is now also available on David Godman’s website:

In his writings Sri Bhagavan has repeatedly confirmed the mysterious power that the thought of Arunachala has over the mind. In his Tamil Collected Works, under the picture of Arunachala, there is a verse that can be considered as his dhyana sloka (verse of contemplation) upon his Sadguru, Arunachala Siva.

In this verse he sings, 'This is Arunachala-Siva, the ocean of grace that bestows liberation when thought of'.

In the first verse of Sri Arunachala Aksharamanamalai (The Marital Garland of Letters) he sings, 'O Arunachala, you root out the ego of those who think of you in the heart as Arunachala'.

(I will continue this in my next comment)

Sanjay Lohia said...

In continuation of my previous comment in reply to purnavata:

In the 102nd verse of Aksharamanamalai, he sings, 'O Arunachala, the moment I thought of Arunai [the holy town of Arunachala] I was caught in the trap of your grace. Can the net of your grace ever fail?'

And in the last line of the second verse of Sri Arunachala Navamanimalai (The Necklet of Nine Gems) he sings, 'Mukti Ninaikka varul Arunachalam,' meaning, 'Arunachala, the mere thought of which bestows liberation'.

But only in the tenth verse of Sri Arunachala Patikam does Sri Bhagavan actually reveal how the thought of Arunachala works in the mind to root out the ego. In this verse he sings:

I have seen a wonder, a magnetic hill that forcibly attracts the soul. Arresting the activities of the soul who thinks of it even once, drawing it to face itself, the One, making it thus motionless like itself, it feeds upon that sweet [pure and ripened] soul. What a wonder is this! O souls, be saved by thinking of this great Arunagiri, which shines in the mind as the destroyer of the soul [the ego].

Therefore the only task of Arunachala is to root our ego, and we can assist him in this task by trying to turn within as often as possible.

If we are practicing self-investigation, we need not necessarily be in a sitting posture. We can practise it in any posture – sitting, standing, lying down, while engaged in worldly duties and even in toilet. In short we not need any fixed posture or any fixed time or any fixed place to practise this. Whenever we can remember to turn within, we should try to do so.

Also we do necessarily have to practise it for a long stretch of time in one sitting. A few minutes here, a few minutes there will also do. Of course whenever possible we can sit for exclusive self-attentiveness for as long as possible. However, we should not overexert ourself.






jeremy lennon said...

Thank you so so much Michael for kindly making the translation of Upadesa Undiyar available together with all the links to your commentaries. It's a great resource to have on this inner journey.

Sanjay Lohia said...

purnavata, there were two typos in my last comment:

Second last paragraph: In short we do not need any fixed posture or any fixed time or any fixed place to practise this. Whenever we can remember to turn within, we should try to do so.

Last paragraph: Also we do not necessarily have to practise it for a long stretch of time in one sitting.

The words typed in bold were not there earlier.

Anonymous said...

22-11-45 Morning
Bhagavan explained how it is said in books that the
highest possible happiness, which a human being can attain
or which the ten grades of beings higher than man, ending
with gods like Brahma can attain, is like foam in the deluging
flood of the bliss of the Self.
Imagine a man in robust health; of vigorous adult age,
endowed with unsurpassed wealth and power, with intellect
and all other resources, and married to a fair and faithful wife,
and conceive of his happiness.
Each higher grade of being above man is capable of a
hundred-fold greater happiness than that of the grade below.
But the highest happiness of all the eleven grades of being is
only the foam in the flooding ocean of divine bliss.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anonymous, Bhavagan teaches us in verse 28 of Upadesa Undiyar:

If one knows what the nature of oneself is, then [what will exist and shine is only] anādi [beginningless], ananta [endless, limitless or infinite] and akhaṇḍa [unbroken, undivided or unfragmented] sat-cit-ānanda [being-awareness-bliss].

As Bhagavan says our true nature is infinite and unbroken happiness. In this state there is nothing other than ourself to cause us any misery or trouble. This is the supreme happiness in which no desire, attachment and fear can raise its head even in the least, and therefore nothing exists in such a state to cause us any discontentment.

In other words, since all other types of worldly happiness we experience are mixed with unhappiness and misery, such happiness is like foam in the deluging flood of the bliss of self.

Such regular reminders should motivate us to focus all our interest on investigating ourself alone, because there is no real or enduring happiness in any of the things or experiences of this world.



Noob said...

Just a question for discussion:
If we accept that everything we are to experience in this world has been already predetermined, and the world is nothing but a collection of our thoughts as in a dream, does this mean that all the thoughts that we as the subject are experiencing are also predetermined? I.E we are destined to think the way we think at the moment and each thought is occurring to us because it was destined to and there is no way to change that except to stop experiencing the thoughts altogether including the primal thought "I", which is our final goal.

Anonymous said...


Noob, here is what Einstein thought..

Human beings, in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free agents but are as causally bound as the stars in their motion.

Albert Einstein

one space said...

Noob,
in daily life we have to act according our seeming free will as if nothing would be predetermined - albeit having the idea of full predermination in the background.
Yes, it will be always much consolation to us to believe that there is a final goal which we are determined to reach. Nevertheless let us appeal to the predetermining creator that he should not spoil our fun enjoying the ego, the primal thought 'I'.
Whether we are willing to accept predetermination or not - as ignorant idiots we have to bow our dizzy head we have to give way to the wisdom of real sages and not to the oafish waffle of crazy jumping jacks.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, one space... Here is Einstein again.

---------
wish, but we can only wish what we must. Practically, I am, nevertheless, compelled to act as if freedom of the will existed. If I wish to live in a civilized community, I must act as if man is a responsible being. I know that philosophically a murderer is not responsible for his crime; nevertheless, I must protect myself from unpleasant contacts. I may consider him guiltless, but I prefer not to take tea with him.
------------
My own career was undoubtedly determined, not by my own will but by various factors over which I have no control—primarily those mysterious glands in which Nature prepares the very essence of life, our internal secretions.

----- Albert Einstein

Salazar said...

Noob, I concur 100% with what you've said and I like all the following comments about it.

one space said "we have to act according our seeming free will as if nothing would be predetermined" ....

Yes it seems that way, however the idea that there is an actor who has to act is the reason why we think we are bound. There is no actor/ego/mind, there is no me or we, the body and actions are animated entirely by the Absolute.

"We think" we do or decide things but that's just a thought. I've read about a scientific experiment where it was measured when the thought 'I am going to lift my arm' occurs (or any other action by the body) and the interesting thing is that the arm started to rise milliseconds BEFORE the thought appeared to raise that arm.

Mouna said...

”...does this mean that all the thoughts that we as the subject are experiencing are also predetermined?”

Yes and/or no, but who cares?...

Salazar said...

Who experiences a thought? The subject who seems to "experience" [grasps, believes in, is distracted by] a thought is the ego/mind, the subject which does not grasp or is not distracted by a thought is the Absolute. [In simplified concepts]

Mouna said...

”...the subject which does not grasp or is not distracted by a thought is the Absolute.”

“Absolute” is not subject.

Salazar said...

Mouna, it depends to what it is referring to. Bhagavan i.e. used occasionally the term subject for Self.

Since our communication is happening with in duality, nothing can sufficiently describe the Absolute, nobody can or will do that. Even Bhagavan could and did not describe the Absolute but in form of pointers and concepts.

Or we can use the pseudo language of some who try to avoid duality but cannot really do that.

Anyway Mouna, let's not split hairs here or be too finicky. The Absolute can only be found in your moniker :-)

Salazar said...

Since people are here so focused on "wording" (because of lack of experience?) ..... when the seeming "subject" is not distracted by thoughts it is not a "subject" anymore.

But that all transpires in the realm of imagination of mind anyway .....

Sanjay Lohia said...

Michael says in his video 2017-09-16 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: discussion with Michael James on Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 8:

1) Being with Bhagavan’s teachings is being with Bhagavan. Bhagavan is with us in the form of his teachings. So by talking about his teachings, we are having satsanga with Bhagavan. We are thinking about what Bhagavan wanted us to learn from him. So more than Bhagavan’s physical satsanga, his mental satsanga is more efficacious.

Therefore, thinking about Bhagavan’s teachings is the best form of mental satsanga with him. Of course we have to go beyond mental satsanga to atma-sanga, which is turning our attention within. That is beyond the mind.

2) Sri Krishna taught in Bhagavad Gita exactly what Bhagavan taught. There are two verses in Bhagavad Gita which are exactly what Bhagavan taught us. These verses are 6.25 and 6.26:

Gradually-gradually turn the mind within and fix the mind in oneself. Do not think of anything else whatsoever.

We should fix the mind only on ourself and think of nothing else whatsoever. Krishna did teach what Bhagavan taught, but because Bhagavad Gita is meant for a variety of people, with a variety of beliefs, understanding and aspirations, Krishna gave something for everyone in Gita.

3) The world is imperfect and will remain imperfect. If we want perfection, we have to seek that within ourself. So let us first see who we are, then we will know the truth about the world and God. So first things first.

Bhagavan used to say, ‘change your outlook that of jnana, and see the whole world as brahman’. So the whole world is perfect if we are able to see it as it really is, which is brahman. It is because we see it as name and form that it seems imperfect.

(I will continue this in my next comment)

Sanjay Lohia said...

In continuation of my previous comment:

4) So long as we take the material or physical world as the primary thing, we are looking in the wrong direction. To whom does this material world seem to exist? When did the material world seem to exist? Only when we see it. So what comes first, the material world or consciousness that is aware of the materiel world?

According to Bhagavan they rise and subside simultaneously, but it only by the mind that the world shines. Neither the mind nor the world is real. That from which they appear, and that into which disappear is porul, and that is the reality. Bhagavan wants us to see that, and to see that we have to be that, and we can be that only by turning within.

Seer comes along with the seen. What exists in all the three states is only porul. In dream and waking it exists with ego and world, and in sleep it exists without ego and world.

5) There are some people who remain all their life in the physical presence of the jnana-guru, but the darkness of their ego is not thereby dispelled. That is like the darkness at the foot of the lamp. In old fashioned lamp posts, the lamps will be on the top of the post, and there will be darkness around the foot of the lamp.

So, mere presence of Bhagavan will not destroy our ego. If we are already following what Bhagavan has taught us - that is, trying to turn our attention within – then being in Bhagavan’s presence will be an aid.



Mouna said...

"Anyway Mouna, let's not split hairs here or be too finicky.”

Concepts are mind produced phenomena, but as pointers we need to be clear where are they pointing at and the content where they were produced, otherwise we might end up at the wrong destination thinking that we already arrived where we wanted to go.
The intellect gets on the way when confused about the meaning of words, i.e. enlightenment, ego, mind, absolute, jnani, etc… otherwise when the pointers (or the “wordings”…) are well understood and applied (at least in the light of Bhagavan’s teachings for example) they are a help instead of a hindrance.

Mouna said...

I recently watched a lecture of an ex-christian monk at the London Ramana Center talking about his experience and about Bhagavan’s teachings (his understanding of them) and about all these words like self-realization, ego, mind, etc… Under the light of Bhagavan’s teachings he was clearly confused, since he gave ego a life/survival after realization, which clearly contradicts the most profound teachings of Bhagavan (ajata).
And the proof of the confusion is that the talk started very well and emotional (even tears) and we are one and we are alll manifestations of god/absolute, etc, etc… and when at the end his understanding was slightly challenged, he went into “defensive mode” even a little bit agresive at times, a very noticeable shift in energy from the beginning of the talk, interesting and fun to watch. This person thinks he is enlightened because I heard other interviews and apparently he had this “realization” that never “left” him…

If I post a comment like this is not by any means to denigrate anyone, but just to point out that a not very clear understanding of Bhagavan’s (or other “sages”) pointers and the context in which they are made can mislead and confuse many honest and fervent seekers in their quest.

Salazar said...

Mouna, true knowledge comes from silence and manifest as thoughts from that silence.

There will never be a "well" understood meaning by the mind. The attempts for understanding concepts with the mind in the extend as it is done on this blog has become a hindrance for quite a few here. At least that is my observation.

Mouna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mouna said...

"The attempts for understanding concepts with the mind in the extend as it is done on this blog has become a hindrance for quite a few here."

and quite a blessing for others...

justice? no... divine lila at play.

Mouna said...

"true knowledge comes from silence and manifest as thoughts from that silence."

beautiful!

Salazar said...

Mouna, the story from the ex-christian monk who you say believed that the ego has a life/survival after realization is not so uncommon.

The guy who gave Bhagavan the name "Ramana Maharshi", Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni, also believed that one retains individuality after realization. He asked Bhagavan many questions but stayed ignorant about that very fact. He actually wrote a few confused texts where he mixed Bhagavan's concepts with his own. I suppose he had the image of a great scholar and one might marvel why someone like that would go astray so far?

Of course it doesn't matter, just a story of many to entertain the mind.

Mouna said...

s,
agree in all counts.

m

anma sorupam said...

Salazar,
when you write "Since people are here so focused on "wording" (because of lack of experience?) ..... when the seeming "subject" is not distracted by thoughts it is not a "subject" anymore.
But that all transpires in the realm of imagination of mind anyway ....."
you pretend to draw real knowledge from the limitless treasure of your "experience".
But somehow I am overcome with a feeling that your experience does not at all exceed the horizont of the most commentators here.
Am I mistaken or only filled with envy ?

Salazar said...

anma sorupam, do I draw “real knowledge” from the “limitless treasure of experience”?

In short - no. And I note the sarcasm in the choice of words and I guess that was to be expected :-)

Do my experiences ‘exceed’ the experiences of others? I do not know nor can it be known. I do not consider anybody here more and less advanced, including Michael. To kotow to Michael as observed with Sanjay Lohia (and a few others) is not a sign of humility. It is a game of the ego. I guess that could be another topic for arguments :-)

I know that many egos here get annoyed by my “confident” comments but it appears it is not my nature to pretend humility as some others do here. Take it or leave it. Ignore my comments or do not. It doesn’t matter for me.

Maybe it will dawn to anybody who got irritated by my comments that this is their very own ego who cannot stand that someone perhaps claims or appears to claim to “know better”.

Noob said...

Comparison is the tool of the ego.

Noob said...

For the Subject there is no one to compare to

baby_steps said...

Thanks for this Michael. It's a great gift.

Anonymous said...

Ojai, California
11th Public Talk 30th June, 1934

Question: To what extent can a person control his own actions? If we are, at any one time, the sum of our previous experience, and there is no spiritual self, is it possible for a person to act in any other way than that which is determined by his original inheritance, the sum of his past training, and the stimuli which play upon him at the time? If so, what causes the changes in the physical processes, and how?

Krishnamurti: "To what extent can a person control his own actions?" A person does not control his own actions if he has not understood environment. Then he is only acting under the compulsion, the influence of environment; such an action is not action at all, but is merely reaction or self-protectiveness. But when a person begins to understand environment, sees its full significance and worth, then he is master of his own actions, then he is intelligent; and therefore no matter what the condition he will function intelligently.
"If we are, at any one time, the sum of our previous experience, and there is no spiritual self, is it possible for a person to act in any other way than that which is determined by his original inheritance, the sum of his past training, and the stimuli which play upon him at the time?"
Again, what I have said applies to this. That is, if he is merely acting from the burden of the past, whether it be his individual or racial inheritance, such action is merely the reaction of fear; but if he understands the subconscious, that is, his past accumulations, then he is free of the past, and therefore he is free of the compulsion of the environment.
After all, environment is of the present as well as of the past. One does not understand the present because of the clouding of the mind by the past; and to free the mind from the subconscious, the unconscious hindrances of the past, is not to roll memory back into the past, but to be fully conscious in the present. In that consciousness, in that full consciousness of the present, all the past hindrances come into activity, surge forward, and in that surging forward, if you are aware, you will see the full significance of the past, and therefore understand the present. "If so, what causes the changes in the physical processes, and how?" As far as I understand the questioner, he wants to know what produces this action, this action which is forced upon him by environment. He acts in a particular manner, compelled by environment, but if he understood environment intelligently, there would be no compulsion whatever; there would be understanding, which is action itself.

anma sorupam said...

Is not honest, forthright and natural humility the greatest gift which (alone) gives us the cognition of one's permanent pretending and self-deception ?
It seems a likely supposition that knowing the truth does not become accessible to us without having (developed) such humility.
Or am I in error ?

Salazar said...

anma sorupam, or is it you again Ravi?

What is natural humility? Do you think you have that? If so you are delusional. You are also delusional, like Ravi who made the same pointless argument weeks ago, when you believe you could "develop" humility.

The only way to "attain" natural humility is enlightenment. Everything else is a game of the ego and you Ravi (or anma sorupam) play that game very well.

What about your obsessions and hypocrisy and deception? I'd worry more about that than to lecture about humility :-)

Sanjay Lohia said...

anma sorupam, yes, we need to cultivate the quality of humility. How can an arrogant and proud person expect to go far in spirituality? Has Bhagavan given us lessons on moral science? Yes, his life itself was a lesson in humility. However, in his text Nan Yar? he did give us some direct and pertinent advice:

In paragraph 19 he says: However bad other people may appear to be, disliking them is not proper [or appropriate]. Likes and dislikes are both fit [for one] to dislike [or renounce] […] All that one gives to others one is giving only to oneself. If [everyone] knew this truth, who indeed would refrain from giving.

In paragraph 20 he says: If oneself [the ego or mind] rises, everything rises; if oneself subsides [or ceases], everything subsides [or ceases]. To whatever extent being subsided [or humble] we behave, to that extent there is goodness [or virtue]

So Bhagavan is clearly telling us what is expected of us as spiritual aspirants. We need to be (or at least try to be) humble in all situations; we should not dislike even our worst antagonists; and we should give freely to others in whatever way we can. At least we are capable of behaving with normal courtesy with others. So Bhagavan did give us some basic moral principles.

However, he did not often repeat this verbally. He main teaching was to direct us to turn within so that we know who we are.

What is the best way to keep our ego in check? It is by constantly watching it, because this is only effective way to keep it in real check, to not let it raise its head. However, even when we are facing outwards, we should try to behave as humbly as possible.

anma sorupam said...

Salazar,
your pigheaded prejudice closely resembles a zombie operated by remote control.
You tend to be rather talkative. At any rate I hardly stand your boastful bragging which can come only from a conceited so-and-so.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Michael says in his video: 2017-09-16 Sri Ramana Center, Houston: discussion with Michael James on Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 8

Supposing we have got great love for Bhagavan’s name and form, so we want to meditate just on his name and form. Whenever any thought comes to disturb us, because we have so much love for Bhagavan’s name and form, we cling to his name and form and our other thoughts go away.

So we are weakening all our other vasanas, but are strengthening this vasana to cling to Bhagavan. But we are still clinging to something other than ourself. So long as we are clinging to Bhagavan’s name and form, we are also clinging to our name and form. By thinking about Bhagavan we are subduing our mind from branching out in many directions, so that way it is beneficial.

When we turn our attention within, our attachment to our name and form begins to dissolve. This is the most purifying of all forms of practice. When we lose all connection with our name and form, we will also lose all connection with the name and form of Bhagavan. However, when we experience ourself as we really are, we simultaneously also experience Bhagavan as he really is, because Bhagavan and ourself are not different in our essential nature.

Sanjay Lohia said...

The precise present moment is the immeasurably fine boundary or interface between the past and future

Michael says in his book HAB:

The precise present moment is the immeasurably fine boundary or interface between the past and the future. Where the past ends, the future begins, so the interface between them is an infinitely fine point that has no measurement or extent. Similarly the precise present place is the immeasurably fine point that exists in the very centre of our perception of space.

Michael has elaborated on this in his latest video:

In vipassana meditation they are always trying to be aware of what is happening in the present moment. That is not the present moment, because happening can only take place in the flow or movement of time. Everything happens in the present, but not in the exact present moment. It happens in the relative present – the flow from past to future.

And if we analyze time, what exactly is the present moment? If we take a second, a second has certain duration. But the whole of the second is not the present moment. A split second earlier is past; a split second ahead is future. So if we analyze or look very closely at the present moment, it is just an infinitesimally small interface between the past and the future.

In the precise present moment there is no room for any thought, any movement, because movement can only happen in the flow of time from past to future. In the exact present moment there is perfect stillness. This is our true nature. So to know what the exact present moment is we have to look at ourself. What is present in the present moment is only ourself.

Thoughts arise and subside, all phenomena rise and subside in the flow of time from past to future. When we are able to focus all our attention on the exact present moment, we will find that the past and future are both unreal. In fact time is unreal.

So our mind has to extremely sharp to see what we actually are. In Arunachala Panchratnam Bhagavan says that we need a blemishless mind. So mind has to be very much purified, refined, sharpened and made pure, and we can cultivate such a sharp and pure mind by atma-vichara.


purnatva said...

Sanjay Lohia,
"So mind has to be very much purified, refined, sharpened and made pure, and we can cultivate such a sharp and pure mind by atma-vichara."
What you say is quite plausible.

Salazar said...

anma sorupam, how much did you grasp of Bhagavan's teaching? Apparently not much as many here on this blog. Instead of that constant palaver here quoting certain texts why not putting some things into practice? Like your denial about your own arrogance?

Bhagavan taught that the world is a projection of your mind. When your mind cannot stand something or is judgmental about "others" being talkative or whatever then that is only noticed because it is a projection of your very own [and same] attributes your are in denial with. If you'd be in peace with arrogance or boasting it never could irritate you. That is kindergarten spirituality, however it is apparent how many here have not even grasped that (or prefer to ignore it). You guys jumped elementary school and signed up for some college classes, no wonder about the rampant confusion.

If you cannot stand somebody boasting that means that you have unresolved issues with your own boasting or arrogance. The stronger your irritation the stronger the extend of your denial. To make things worse, your denial makes your ego pointing the finger and yelling at others instead to look at yourself. A specialty of Ravi, something in urgent need for attention.

So much talk about humility, but I don't see any humility on this blog. Just some conceited egos playing games and being in denial.







venkat said...

Mouna my friend, you wrote:

"Concepts are mind produced phenomena, but as pointers we need to be clear where are they pointing at and the content where they were produced, otherwise we might end up at the wrong destination"

In that spirit, I think you are mistaken in asserting that Bhagavan's ajata position meant that on self-realisation, there is not even the appearance of the world.

GVK62: The world appearance is an association that comprises the five sense perceptions. He who has known it to be wholly Self, the consciousness that is the supreme, knows and experiences the same swarupa through his five senses as well.

Murugunar's comment: This verse explains the little known truth that the sahaja state is experienced even in external perceptions. For him who truly knows sense perceptions to be his own Self, the world is not an obstacle. he experiences and enjoys his own Self in all perceptions and rejoices identically both internally and externally without even a trace of the thought of bondage.

GVK1119: Though the mind that has been captivated and held under the sway of shining of pure being may move away to sense objects that are seen, heard, eaten, smelt and touched, as in the past, its knot has definitely been severed through perfect, firm, vichara.

Murugunar's comment: There is no rule that the mind whose knot has been cut should not operate among the sense objects. Through strength of practice, it can remain without kartrutva (sense of doing), the suttarivu (the false consciousness that divides itself into someone who sees and objects that are seen), and it can operate among them [the sense objects] wholly as the Self, but it will not in the least become bound by them.


Also, from Robert Butler's translation of Murugunar's "Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam":

250: As soon as I experienced the wondrous illumination of mauna, shining within my mind as the grace of supreme consciousness, the train of knower, known and knowledge appearing before me became merely a series of images projected upon a screen.

251: The glorious reality of the Self, consciousness, is the unmoving screen upon which the interplay of the triad of knower, known and knowledge takes place, I have found my proper place, coming to abide as the shining witness that illuminates them with the light of 'I'.

293: When the movement of the mind merges through grace with the experience of jnana in the non-dual state of mauna, it does not become separate from Sivam, but rather its nature becomes pure Sivam, through the dying away and disappearance of the arrogant ego, deluded by desire. In me activity in the world is no more than an appearance.

611: Those who have clearly realised the truth that the reality of the Self underlies all ideas of "I" and 'mine' will never lose their grip on that Self whose form is immutable consciousness, even in the midst of the world with its multifarious activities.


In similar vein, Lakshmana Sarma, in his Sri Ramanaparavidyopanishad writes a series of verses on the unreality of the world, including:

428: Just as one that has become wise to the truth of the mirage without being deluded, so too the Sage, seeing this world, does not think of it as real, as does the ignorant one.

Best wishes.

anma sorupam said...

Salazar,
after exchanging our ignorant views in form of "kindnesses of all sorts" I try to use this afternoon with careful study of Bhagavan's teaching.
With best wishes.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Bhagavan Ramana meant that world actually disappears on Realization. I mean, he walked around objects in his path and not into walls, embraced his favorite cow, leaned on his walking stick, etc, etc, etc. Really bizarre to interpret what he said/wrote as meaning dematerialization of world!?

Sanjay Lohia said...

Anonymous, yes, when we experience ourself as we actually are, the world-appearance doesn’t get dematerialized, but rather we come to know that the world never existed in the first place. Bhagavan said in paragraph 18 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.

We experience a world in our dream, but when we wake up we realize that there was actually no world there. Whatever we saw in our dream was nothing but our own imagination. Therefore, our dream-world doesn’t become dematerialized when we wake us, but we realize that the dream world never existed in the first place.

In our dream we may see Bhagavan walk around objects in his path and not into walls, embrace his favorite cow and lean on his walking stick, but when we wake we will realize that that Bhagavan and his actions were just part of our dream, and therefore it never really existed in the place first place.

Bhagavan is like a lion that appears in an elephant’s dream. The lion is unreal, but the fright of seeing the lion wakes up the elephant, and this waking up is real. Similarly the name and form of Bhagavan is unreal, our own imagination, but it will bring about our awakening to our real state (porul), and such waking up will be real. It will end all our imaginations once and for all.

Salazar said...

venkat, you are correctly pointing out Mouna's mistake. I noticed that too but didn't mention it because from what I've read from Mouna so far it seems he got the gist of it (realization), so why being so finicky (a favorite on this blog) about certain concepts?

It must be instant karma for Mouna since he insisted to me that "exact wording" is a must and then he made that ajata comment.

Guys, this whole ajata thing is something the mind can get crazy about but what does the conceptual knowledge of ajata really yield in terms of realization - NOTHING!

There are so many vasanas which are lurking in our sub-consciousness, those are the ones who direct and rule the jiva without him even being aware of it. These vasanas impact on realization is far greater than the correct understanding of conceptual knowledge. Atma-vichara will bring those vasanas to the surface in form of thoughts and unpleasant emotional discharges.

That's why it is so laughable that certain jivas believe they could change anything, "cultivate" anything by other means than atma-vichara. "Purifying the mind" - Bhagavan used that term but it was not meant in the way many seem to believe, as an instruction to deliberately outwardly change "habits" - because that would lead back to samsara and not realization. Too bad that this is not clear at all.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Salazar wrote to anma sorupam, ‘When your mind cannot stand something or is judgmental about "others" being talkative or whatever then that is only noticed because it is a projection of your very own [and same] attributes you are in denial with’.

I agree with Salazar’s point of view. We see many egos outside, but they are all projection of the one ego which actually exists (till it is destroyed). Likewise all the good or bad qualities we see in others are just a reflection of these very qualities in us.

If we see arrogance in others, it is because there is still arrogance in us. If we see greediness in others, it is because there is still greediness in us. So if we see such qualities in others, we still have a long way to go in sadhana, and therefore we need to redouble our efforts.

Only when we are able to destroy our ego by looking carefully at it, we will be able to destroy all our inherent good and bad qualities. Once our ego is destroyed we will see no egos outside, and therefore we will also not see any good or bad qualities in ‘others’.

As times we are abused by others for no apparent fault of ours. Michael once said that we should not take personally whatever abuse is thrown at us, because any abuse is just a reflection of the abuser’s character and a symptom of their ego.




venkat said...

My understanding of Michael's position is along the lines that Mouna has written. See:

http://happinessofbeing.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/the-difference-between-vivarta-vada-and.html

where he writes:

"when this ego is annihilated by self-investigation, our experience will not be that there was once an ego that has now ceased to exist, but that there was never any ego at all, and that there was accordingly never any illusory appearance of anything whatsoever. This is the experience of ajāta.
Therefore ajāta is not like a random night of sleep in which we happened not to dream, in contrast of other nights when we happened to dream, but is the experience that there never was any dreamer and hence no dream has ever occurred or ever could occur."

Michael takes a literal interpretation of UN v26, where Bhagavan writes:
"If the ego which is the embryo comes into existence, everything will come into existence. If the ego does not exist, everything will not exist . . ."

But I think Murugunar makes it clear that it is the suttarivu - the false idea of separation - that goes on realisation.

Sanjay Lohia said...

When we seem to move from one place to another, that other place becomes ‘here’

Introduction: We feel that we move about in space, but actually space moves about in us. Likewise we feel that we move forward in time, but actually time moves about in us. Michael has explained this in his book HAB. He says:

Because we identify ourself with a particular body, we feel that we move about in space, whereas in fact space moves about in us. That is, because we are not this material body but only consciousness, all space exists only within us, and hence all movement in space occurs only within us. Wherever we appear to go, the present place ‘here’ goes with us. When we seem to move from one place to another, that other place becomes ‘here’, that is, it moves into and becomes the central place in our consciousness.

My note: Likewise times moves about in us. Whenever we experience ourself as a body, we feel that we are in the present time. Therefore, the sense of 'now' moves about with us.

This world, all the persons in it, time, apace, everything seems to exist only in our mind, and our mind seems to exist within us, who are pure consciousness. However, everything that seems to exist within us is merely our ego’s imagination, and therefore when our ego is annihilated everything else will also disappear along with it, never to appear again.

Mouna said...

Dear Venkat, greetings

Really appreciated the meticulous and instructive list of quotes you provided from many sources to sustain your point, really.
A lot of digital ink (??!!) had been spilled in this blog and in many other discussions lists about this controversial topic, so although I do appreciate the effort in demonstrating that side of the argument, after all this time I don’t think I still have the desire nor the energy to counter argument that point or start another “war of quotes” as we usually do under the spell of this topic. And let me explain you why.

First of all I don’t think the issue lies in an either-or proposition (after self realization the world disappears or the world does not disappear), as strange as it may sound, I believe is both, with the difference that I am absolutely convinced that is ego who says that... so then, did ego completely died yet?... or how come it doesn’t exist in the first place?!!... well again, yes and no! (go figure!)

The vedantic/tantric/saivist position declares that it doesn’t disappear, the “mirage” analogy; the pure advaitic/ajata position says it does (at least the ajata I understand, non-created/born) using the snake analogy.
These days I base my view on “experience”. In waking and dream there is world perception because there is a perceiver and vice versa, duality. Both seemingly arise at the same time. In deep sleep there is no perceiver nor perceived, no time so no born. As a simple minded individual I am, that for me is the answer to all questions.
Deep sleep is the ground whereupon apparently arises “me” (ego/maya), but this very thought is thought by ego, not by the ground...

To summarize in a simplistic way, if the world, in the end, does not disappear after self-realization but “I”, starting seeing the world as Brahman does not believe “that is it”, where is the problem? There is self-realization anyways!
The problem would be if indeed the world disappears after self-realization but “I” believes the world doesn’t disappear, and thinks that seeing the world as Brahman “is it”!

In the end, if it disappears or not, who cares?!!

Be well my friend and thanks again for you commentary.
m

Mouna said...

Sanjay,

”Therefore, our dream-world doesn’t become dematerialized when we wake up...”

It doesn’t?... where does it go then? :)

Sanjay Lohia said...

Mouna, something can become dematerialized only if was a material earlier. When we wake us from our dream, we do not think that there was a material world there, but now it has become dematerialized. We realize that there was never any world in the first place.

Of course, metaphorically we can say that the material world that we experienced in our dream has become dematerialized.

Mouna said...

Sanjay,
For the dreamer’s body the dream was quite material, base yourself on your own experience. Once we wake up FROM that dream it dematerializes, is not metaphorical.
You can’t say from the waking state point of view that it never took place.
Either you say I didn’t dream anything last night or you say I had a dream, but the dream as a dream did take place and it was all imagination, granted, or to be more precise, another ego projection, but on waking up it dematerialized, otherwise you’ll still be in it!

venkat said...

You too Mouna.

Mouna said...

Salazar,
”but what does the conceptual knowledge of ajata really yield in terms of realization - NOTHING!”

You finally got the meaning and practical importance of ajata my friend!!! NOTHING!

atma-sukha said...

Hey all you super-grasper:
we all make sometimes mistakes.
Or shall we now finally celebrate your realization ?

The only good message is:
If the ego is destroyed its does not exist anymore.
And then everything will not exist.

atma-sukha said...

"That's why it is so laughable that certain jivas believe they could change anything, "cultivate" anything by other means than atma-vichara. "Purifying the mind" - Bhagavan used that term but it was not meant in the way many seem to believe, as an instruction to deliberately outwardly change "habits" - because that would lead back to samsara and not realization. Too bad that this is not clear at all."

Is it really advisable to consider Salazar's explanations as relevant and applicable ?

atma-sukha said...

Evidently we would profit greatly from translating in reality what we recommend to others.

atma-sukha said...

Sanjay Lohia,
good points which you wrote on 3 October 2017 at 07:17:

1. We can never be perfectly satisfied as long as we remain separate from God.

2. Our ultimate goal is to lose ourself in God.

3. Our aim is not to see a mental vision of God. Our aim is to destroy the mind that sees God as other than ourself.

atma-sukha said...

Sanjay Lohia,
very good point:
" How can we be sure that our knowledge of anything is true knowledge, when we don’t even know what we ourself are ? If I am wearing red glasses, the whole world will appear to be red. So without knowing the colour of the glasses I am wearing, I can’t judge the colour of the world. So also to know the truth of the world, we need to know the truth of ourself, the seer of the world. "
very good point, v g p...

purnatva said...

Sanjay Lohia,
thank you for your reply and also correcting two typos in your first reply to me.
Besides my name is purnatva not purnavata. No matter.
Presumably "Aruchanala" is nothing other than Arunachala.
Having much love for Arunachala-stones kept in my bedroom and in my trouser pocket does not exclude the mentioned "mental worship" of Arunachala.
Even when I physically stay at Arunachala Hill I always keep a stone of it with me.
As you say the most crucial influence has thinking of Arunachala in the heart.
Because I am often lost in other thoughts than Arunachala, thinking permanently and uninterruptedly of Arunachala I regrettably did not bring together even when strolling over the thorny and almost impassable slopes of the beloved Arunagiri.
At present it is too much for me to turn within more than what is within my power and ability.
May Arunachala not be angry with me because of the inadequacy of my efforts.
Sonadrisa, do not even consider to stop to shine in my mind as the destroyer of the ego.

anma sorupam said...

Sanjay Lohia,
when you are in agreement about Salazar's statement written to me
"‘When your mind cannot stand something or is judgmental about "others" being talkative or whatever then that is only noticed because it is a projection of your very own [and same] attributes you are in denial with’.....
Likewise all the good or bad qualities we see in others are just a reflection of these very qualities in us. "
you should also take into consideration that it results in the further consequence that the very noticer of that attributes or qualities (reproached me with) would suffer from the same bad qualities.
As you say the best way to see not any bad quality in "others" is to lose the ego itself. I also accede to your remark what Michael once said: "that we should not take personally whatever abuse is thrown at us, because any abuse is just a reflection of the abuser’s character and a symptom of their ego."

Anonymous said...

The Urgency of Change - J Krishnamurti
Dependence, p. 95
Questioner: What do you mean, the observer?

Krishnamurti: Are you looking at it from a centre with all its conclusions of like
and dislike, opinion, judgement, the desire to be free of this emptiness and so on
- are you looking at this aridness with the eyes of conclusion - or are you looking
with eyes that are completely free? When you look at it with completely free eyes
there is no observer. If there is no observer, is there the thing observed as
loneliness, emptiness, wretchedness?
Questioner: Do you mean to say that that tree doesn't exist if I look at it
without conclusions, without a centre which is the observer?

Krishnamurti: Of course the tree exists.

Questioner: Why does loneliness disappear but not the tree when I look
without the observer?

Krishnamurti: Because the tree is not created by the centre, by the mind of the
"me". But the mind of the "me', in all its self-centred activity has created this
emptiness, this isolation. And when that mind, without the centre, looks, the self-
centred activity ends. So the loneliness is not. Then the mind functions in freedom. Looking at the whole structure of attachment and detachment, and the
movement of pain and pleasure, we see how the mind of the "me" builds its own
desert and its own escapes. When the mind of the "me" is still, then there is no
desert and there is no escape.

Anonymous said...

I think Sri Ramana's statements are epistemological, not ontological.

About ontology the only answer he gave was silence.

Anonymous said...

Sanjay Lohia, Thanks for the explanation. I am unable to appreciate your point of view, but if it "works" for you, great.

Mouna said...

Slightly connected commentary with the topic at hand...

I always wondered about Talk 315 in “Talks with Ramana Maharshi” where Bhagavan apparently quotes Shankara with his statement: “(1) Brahman is real; (2) the universe is a myth; (3) Brahman is the universe.” And I wondered because Shankara actually didn’t say that or at least not completely (as per his recorded writings).
I think, my subjective feeling, is that is one of those cases where the scribe of Talks “glossed” over what Bhagavan said with his own understanding… but of course I can’t be sure about it.
Many of the seekers that sustain that the universe is real from the point of view of Brahman quote this passage in Talks, which actually is very dubious because it will mean that Bhagavan misquoted Shankara…

In any case, there are two instances in Shankara’s literature where something similar is pronounced (but not as recorded in Talks).
One of them is in Viveka Chudamani Verse 20:
brahma satyaM jaganmithyetyevaMruupo vinishchayaH .
so.ayaM nityaanityavastuvivekaH samudaahR^itaH”
(Trans) The firm understanding that reality is Brahman and that the material world (jagat) is mithyaa is spoken of as discrimination between the eternal and the transcient (nityaanityavastuviveka) or A firm conviction that Brahman alone is Real and the phenomenal world is unreal is known as discrimination between the Real and the unreal.

The other case is the actual famous phrase:
Brahma satyam jagat mithya, jivo brahmaiva naparah
And it happens in a work attributed to Shanaracharya: Brahma Jnanavali Mala (also Verse 20)
brahma satyam jaganmithyA jIvo brahmaiva nAparah
anena vedyam sacchAstram iti vedAntaDiNDimah--20
(Trans) Brahman is real, the universe is mithya. The jiva is Brahman itself and not different.
This should be understood as the correct SAstra. This is proclaimed by Vedanta.

As we can see, the ultimate meaning of “(1)Brahman is real, (2) the universe is mithya. (3)The jiva is Brahman itself and not different.” is a little bit different from: “(1) Brahman is real; (2) the universe is a myth; (3) Brahman is the universe.” Subtle difference, but I won’t go into that right now…

Food for thought.
Blessings,
m

Sanjay Lohia said...

purnatva, sorry, I misspelled Arunachala and your name.

Arunachala can never be angry with us, because it is love itself. It doesn’t know what anger is. As Bhagavan sings in verse 101 of Sri Arunachala Aksaramanamalai:

Arunachala, like ice in water, lovingly melt me as love in you, the form of love.

So Bhagavan has himself said that Arunachala is the form of love. We are not able to experience this pure love because of our insufficient love for it. Our love for Arunachala at present is like ice – that is, it is cold and frozen. The more we remember Arunachala, the more this frozen ice will start melting, and eventually we will merge in Arunachala, the form of love.

Our practice of self-investigation is another very powerful way of melting our cold and hardened ego. The more we practise self-investigation, the more we will start to disappear in absolute love, which is ourself as we really are.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Mouna, This is an oft repeated saying:

(1) Brahman is real
(2) The universe is a myth
(3) The universe is brahman itself

Suppose if we are walking with Bhagavan, and we see a snake lying on our way. Bhagavan doesn't see any snake there, but sees only a rope. Therefore, he could instruct us as follows:

(1) Rope [brahman] alone is real
(2) The snake [universe] is a myth
(3) The snake [universe] is nothing but a rope [brahman] (because what we see as a snake is not a snake but only a rope)

Does it make the original statement clear?

Mouna said...

Sanjay,
With all due respect, know your sources well before comment.
First of all the “oft repeated saying” is often repeated by whom? (as far as I remember, Michael only explained it once in a talk on video)
Second, you misquoted, the saying as recorded in Talks IS NOT: “The universe is brahman itself”, but “Brahman
is the universe”. A subtle difference, for those who take the time to think about these things.

If you had quoted Shankara that (apparently) said “the jiva is not different from Brahman” (jivo brahmaiva naparah) you would have made more sense, but reaction usually comes faster than reflection on what is presented as evidence.

So what you said didn’t make the meaning of the misquote (what you call the “original statement”) more clear, on the contrary.
The snake is the rope all right (for the awakened one maybe), but the rope can never be the snake.
The ego is Brahman under the filter of maya, but for Brahman there isn’t and there wasn’t any ego ever.

By the way, I appreciate the effort to instruct us, but my point wasn’t that I was confused by the statement or that I didn’t understand it, it was simply to point out an error that reveals one more time that Talks cannot be trusted at face value when it comes to present Bhagavan’s words as he really uttered them and people get confused by many confused statements in that book.

Mouna said...

And As an addendum to my last commentary, that same passage in Talks we were discussing about, the second statement that reads: “the universe is a myth” denotes the complete lack of understanding of the actual word that is used in the shastras: “mithya”, which is not “myth” (or maybe in a very convoluted sense) but rather phenomena that seems real but it isn’t, illusory. A very difficult word to translate.
I strongly doubt Bhagavan used the word “myth” or its equivalent in Tamil or Sanskrit but since I wasn’t there, I cannot say for sure.

taṉmai said...

Sanjay Lohia and Mouna,
keep a sense of proportion.
How can the ego/mind have even an intuitive grasp of brahman never mind mentally/ rationally or intellectually ?

Sanjay Lohia said...

Silence is a sermon

Bhagavan’s main teaching was silence. What does it mean? It means that he wanted us to aim for not only mental silence, but to go beyond mental silence. He wanted us to destroy our mind, so that we become established in real silence, which can only come once our ego and all its thoughts are destroyed. In fact, as Michael often reminds us, our ego is the first noise, and is the root of all other noise.

What exists is only silence, and therefore silence can be known only by silence. Bhagavan once said that guru’s silence is the greatest upadesa, and the disciple’s silence is his greatest lesson.

Bhagavan unusually sat in silence. He answered the questions which were put to him by the devotees, but he never went out into the world to teach people. The following incident gives us an awe-inspiring sample of his teaching through silence. This is taken from an article called The Hymn to Sri Dakshinamurti (pp. 8-9) which has appeared in the latest Mountain Path (Vol. 54 NO. 4):

T. K. Sundaresa Iyer, an ardent devotee who first met Bhagavan in 1908, relates in his moving reminiscences an incident:

It was Sivaratri Day. The evening worship at the Mother’s shrine was over. The devotees had their dinner with Sri Bhagavan, who was now on His seat. At 8 p.m. one of the sadhus stood up, did pranam (offered obeisance), and with folded hands prayed: ‘Today is the Sivaratri Day; we should be highly blessed by Sri Bhagavan expounding to us the meaning of the Hymn to Dakshinamurti (stotra)’. Bhagavan said, ‘Yes, sit down’.

The sadhu sat, and all eagerly looked at Sri Bhagavan and Sri Bhagavan looked at them. Sri Bhagavan sat and sat in his usual pose, no, poise. No words, no movement, and all was stillness! He sat still, and all sat still, waiting. The clock went on striking, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, one, two and three. Sri Bhagavan sat and they sat. Stillness, calmness, motionlessness – not conscious of the body, of space or time.

Thus eight hours were passed in peace, in Silence, in Being, as it is. Thus was the Divine Reality taught through the speech of Silence by Bhagavan Sri Ramana-Dakshinamurti. At the stroke of 4 a.m. Sri Bhagavan quietly said: ‘And now have you known the essence of the Dakshinamurti Hymn’. All the devotees stood and made pranam to the holy Form of the Guru in the ecstasy of their Being.

taṉmai said...

Sanjay Lohia,
could you please explain the meaning of "ecstasy of their Being" ?

D Samarender Reddy said...

Hi Michael and Anyone Else Inclined to Answer,

Bhagavan in the note to his mother says that whatever is to happen will happen and what is not to happen will not happen despite your efforts to the contrary; therefore, the best course is to remain silent. Now, I was wondering how one goes about remaining silent. By being silent, I would assume it means that your mind is not engaged in thought. But, if so, it is not possible to remain silent all the time because to perform the predetermined actions, you will be forced to engage in thinking and thus not being silent. Practically speaking, this means that anyone engaged in an 8-hr job, as most people are, they cannot remain silent for those 8 hours because the demand for action at work will necessitate thinking. When they return home, assuming they have a family of their own, as most people tend to have, they will be forced (or choose) to engage in conversations, which entails thinking and hence cannot remain silent. The only time they will have a chance to be silent is perhaps if they can carve out an hour or two from this busy life to stay silent when there are no demands on their time and they can be alone. Apart from those 1 or 2 hours, I do not see how one can remain silent. Isn't that so? So, is Bhagavan's prescription of being silent more easily implementable by bachelors (spinsters) who are not working for a living?

jacques franck said...

D Samarender Reddy you can have some answer here :

http://happinessofbeing.blogspot.fr/2016/02/why-should-we-believe-what-bhagavan.html#benefit

here :

http://happinessofbeing.blogspot.fr/2017/05/how-to-avoid-following-or-completing.html#dec98note

here :

http://happinessofbeing.blogspot.fr/2017/06/concern-about-fate-and-free-will-arises.html#thinking

and here :

http://happinessofbeing.blogspot.fr/2017/09/if-we-choose-to-do-any-harmful-actions.html#dec98note

D Samarender Reddy said...

Thanks, Jacques Franck, for the links. But they do not answer my main doubt as to how one can be silent when one is at work in a 9-to-5 job because at that time one is forced to keep thinking, which is far from being silent.

Agnostic said...

Just a trial.

taṉmai said...

Sanjay Lohia,
I would like to have been one of the devotees who where gathered sitting around Bhagavan then in the old dining room. Even the dishwashers and the kitchen staff in the neighbouring kitchen would have benefitted by the eight hours silence of the then Sivaratri night.
What could/would be more conducive to real knowledge than knowing the essence of the Hymn to Sri Dakshinamurti ?

Sanjay Srivastava said...

@D Samarender Reddy:

Sir, my experience is that when you totally accept that whatever is to happen will happen and what is not to happen will not happen despite your efforts to the contrary, a different kind of silence results naturally. It persists even when you are engaged in work. No other effort is required to achieve this silence other than total faith in what bhagavan wrote to his mother.

D Samarender Reddy said...

Thanks, Sanjay Srivastava. What you wrote rings true for me. Thanks once again for the insight.

taṉmai said...

D Samarender Reddy,
it is not at all necessary to be outwardly completely silent during working time.
But without any doubt keeping inwardly highly attentive or vigilant to one's inner pure/real awareness at least to some degree is possible even during carrying out any work. And that is certainly promoting one's efforts to follow Bhagavan's teaching.

Mouna said...

D Samarender Reddy, greetings

There is silence in acceptance and surrender to what is, that kind of silence doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of words or thoughts.
I understand that being one of the facets of meaning when Bhagavan wrote that phrase to his mother.
Acceptance and surrender don’t necessarily mean “lack of action” but rather an unobstructed view of what is happening based on the understanding that is beyond our control.
In some verses of Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham (26-27) Bhagavan quotes Vasista instructing Rama (I am paraphrasing) as to how to play one’s role to the best of our abilities but trying as much as one can to have our mind and our heart fixed inwards on the, and I think is appropriate to use this term here, silence that underlies and permeates all phenomena.

D Samarender Reddy said...

Thanks Tanmai for your observations.

Greetings, Mouna. I can very much see what you are saying. Here is to Silence, then.

Anonymous said...

Samarender Reddy, continuing the gentle kidding in your final query - "So, is Bhagavan's prescription of being silent more easily implementable by bachelors (spinsters) who are not working for a living?" .

It seems to me that you are predetermined to ponder this question without arriving at a definite answer. Bhagavan's reply to his mother is of no use when you look ahead to the future because one can never know what is determined.

But it a source of consolation when you look back at the past because what happened was indeed determined so regret is a useless emotion.

Sanjay Lohia said...

tanmai, our being (what we really are) is pure happiness. The devotees were in the presence of their guru and that too silting for eight hours in an atmosphere surcharged with Bhagavan’s silence. Thus they felt extreme joy, which must have had a spill over effect even after they got up. Thus it could be said that they were in the ‘ecstasy of their being’.

Sanjay Lohia said...

D. Samarender, Bhagavan’s path is for all – bachelors, spinsters, married, sanyasis, householders, retired persons, or whoever. Bhagavan himself says that it is the direct path for all. He teaches us in verse 17 of Upadesa Undiyar:

When one investigates [examines or scrutinises] the form of the mind without neglecting [forgetting, abandoning, giving up or ceasing], anything called ‘mind’ will not exist. This is the direct [straight or appropriate] path for everyone whomsoever.

You say. ‘By being silent, I would assume it means that your mind is not engaged in thought’. No, we can be inwardly silent – attentively self-aware – but outwardly our body, mind and speech may be engaged in various actions according to our destiny. If we are sufficiently in-drawn, we may not even realize what our body, speech and mind are up to. In other words, we can remain ahamukham (‘I’-facing or in self-attentiveness) even in the midst of our activities, and this is what Bhagavan wants us to aim for. He says in paragraph 11 of Nan Yar?:

If one clings fast to uninterrupted svarūpa-smaraṇa[self-remembrance] until one attains svarūpa [one’s own actual self], that alone [will be] sufficient.

This sentence has many implications:

1) If we are practicing self-investigation, we need not practise any other sadhana. This practice itself is enough to take us to our goal.

2) We are capable of uninterrupted srarupa-smarana. If we were not, Bhagavan wouldn’t have asked us to try it.

3) We should try to practice self-investigation even in the midst of our other activities, because we do need to act as long as we experience ourself as an ego.

4) While we are antarmukham in the midst of our other activities, our self-attentiveness may not be very deep, but we can certainly remain in-drawn to some extent. It is to stress this point that Bhagavan describes it as svarupa-smarana (self-remembrance). This world itself suggests a tenuous self-attentiveness.

Anonymous said...

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D Samarender Reddy said...

Anonymous, I did not mean to kid, but that's how it reads I guess.

Thanks, Sanjay Lohia, for your pertinent comments.

Sanjay Lohia said...

D. Samarender, in my first comment I had discussed the most effective way to keep silent (or relatively silent) even while we are engaged in our activities – that is, we should try to be attentively self-aware, to the extent possible, even while acting.

We can supplement this practice by totally trusting paramesvara sakti, by surrendering all our worldly burdens to him. We should have an attitude, even when we are bahirmukham (outward facing), that whatever has happened, whatever is happening or whatever will happen in our live is for our ultimate spiritual good. Bhagavan explains this in paragraph 13 of Nan Yar?:

Even though we place whatever amount of burden upon God, that entire amount he will bear. Since one paramēśvara śakti [supreme ruling power or power of God] is driving all activities [everything that happens in this world], instead of yielding to it why should we always think, ‘it is necessary to act in this way; it is necessary to act in that way’? Though we know that the train is going bearing all the burdens, why should we who go travelling in it suffer bearing our small luggage on our head instead of remaining happily leaving it placed on that [train].

The more we trust the supreme ruling power to take care of burdens, the more we will keep quiet or silent. To the extent we trust Bhagavan, to that extent we will react less to outside events, by realising that everything is Bhagavan’s will, so why should ‘I’ (ego) rise and try to change outside events.

Bhagavan is all-knowing, all-powerful and all–loving, and therefore whatever he has ordained as our prarabdha has to be in our best interest. His love is taking perfect care of us in all ways. If we are following the path shown to us by Bhagavan, we should be doubly confident that Bhagavan is fully in charge. Without such faith and trust in Bhagavan we may not be able to devote our entire attention on practising the path of self-investigation.

As Bhagavan implies, since we are travelling on a train whose driver is Bhagavan himself, we should not only place our luggage (all our worldly responsibilities) on the luggage rack of the train, but also trust the driver (Bhagavan) to carry us safely to our destination.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how disappointing, Samarender Reddy, I thought I'd found someone with a sense of humor on this blog.

Anyway, I think Sri Ramana's reply to his mother was mainly intended to console her and nothing more because it doesn't contain any information other than to remain mouna.

Now, it depends how you interpret that word mouna - if you want to take it at face value he is advising her to stop talking.

If you use the deepest interpretation, he is advising her to become enlightened.

But as a guide to practical action in the world it contains no information. If you know with certainty what is going to happen, why/how would/could you go against it?

Unfortunately, no one, including Bhagavan Ramana, is privy to that knowledge.

D Samarender Reddy said...

Hi Anonymous, sorry to disappoint you. I guess I do have a sense of humour but I feel it may be irreverent to display it on this rather serious blog. But, I think Bhagavan did have a good laugh now and then, so perhaps some levity is called for even on this blog.

You say, "If you know with certainty what is going to happen, why/how would/could you go against it?" For instance, say, I know with certainty that next day I am going to fracture my leg. Now, knowing that today can I be silent, or will I go on worrying about it with anxiety is the question. Since you cannot prevent it with your worrying and anxiety, Bhagavan is saying the best alternative is to accept your destiny and not worry about it and be silent. Like Sanjay Srivastava said above, certain silence descends naturally on you when you know you cannot do anything to prevent what is to happen.

But, I agree that it is not easy to know your future, except perhaps such knowledge as you can divine by visiting a good palmist or astrologer, but even then they will only give you the broad contours of your life and not any nitty-gritty details.

Sanjay Srivastava said above that it is a matter of faith to believe in Bhagavan's note to his mother. I wonder if there is any intellectual rational reason to say everything is predetermined. I think the fact that God is omniscient would tend to preclude your ability to surprise him by not acting according to His plan but according your whim and fancy of the moment. Also, consider this. If karma theory is correct, then most of my actions (maybe all even) must be predetermined to be able to reap my karma and also through my actions to affect or play the role of allotment of others' karma who are impinged by my actions. Also, there are several scientific studies, such as by Benjamin Libet and others, which show that our conscious decision to act is preceded several milliseconds by the readiness potential in the brain to carry out that very task, thereby debunking free will.

But, if everything is predetermined, then one's self-realization date and time must also be predetermined because the actions done by the body-mind before and after self-realization are drastically different. The way I would react to say your verbal provocation will be drastically different depending on whether I am enlightened or not, and so, if all my actions are predetermined at the time of my birth, then the date and time of my self-realization must also be predetermined. Something to think about and chew on, eh?

Mouna said...

D Samarender Reddy, a little glossing on your thought if you allow me to do so

"But, if everything is predetermined, then one's self-realization date and time must also be predetermined because the actions done by the body-mind before and after self-realization are drastically different.”

Self-realization whipes everything out, body-mind and me, time, space and all types of karma, including self-realization itself.
Self doesn’t do nor creates. No action in self-realization.
What is now for us/me, is not, only appears to be from the point of view of the one dreaming to be some-one.
From that point of view self-realization cannot be determined because it never happened, is not happening and will never happen to me or any-one else.

Agnostic said...

Samarender Reddy, will henceforth use the handle Agnostic

Your comment is very interesting, especially this -

"Also, consider this. If karma theory is correct, then most of my actions (maybe all even) must be predetermined to be able to reap my karma and also through my actions to affect or play the role of allotment of others' karma who are impinged by my actions..."

As you have pointed out, one is part of a karmic Web and that is often overlooked. A trivial act on one's part could lead to major consequences for some one else. So it seems to me that even the most trivial of one's actions, mental AND physical may be necessary in some one else's frame of reference.

I will say more about your comment later on, it is very interesting.

But self-realization is one phenomenon I don't usually discuss because it is beyond me and is anyway said to be literally out of one's mind!

power of grace said...

Mouna, greetings
you say "From that point of view self-realization cannot be determined because it never happened, is not happening and will never happen to me or any-one else."

Who is the viewer in the above case of "that point of view" ?

svatma-bhakti said...

Agnostic,
you say "But self-realization is one phenomenon I don't usually discuss because it is beyond me and is anyway said to be literally out of one's mind!"

Is there nobody at home in the land of "out of one's mind" ?

one space said...

D Samarender Reddy,
"Also, there are several scientific studies, such as by Benjamin Libet and others, which show that our conscious decision to act is preceded several milliseconds by the readiness potential in the brain to carry out that very task, thereby debunking free will."
Does the result of that study (readiness potential ...) really debunk free will ?

D Samarender Reddy said...

Mouna, I am wary of entering that discussion because it can be a slippery slope of confusing concepts and ideas. Nevertheless, I have to point out that Bhagavan did say that his moment of self-realization was when he had the death experience. Now, at this point you will say Bhagavan is the Self and not the body speaking so. That line of argumentation will lead us nowhere except the silencing of all possible discussion around the topic on hand. One could of course say that since Bhagavan is the Self, it also includes the body of Bhagavan.

Agnostic, I look forward to your further comments on the topic.

One Space, what is the reason for your skepticism about the scientific studies "debunking" free will?

karu said...

Anonymous,
three remarks:
a.) "... because it doesn't contain any information other than to remain mouna."

Where is there any lack of information in Ramana's statement ?
Is not on the contrary his recommendation of keeping silence just the fullness of information and teaching ?

b.) " If you know with certainty what is going to happen, why/how would/could you go against it? "
"What is going to happen" or what will happen is just unknown.

c.) "Unfortunately, no one, including Bhagavan Ramana, is privy to that knowledge."

Bhagavan never claimed to be clairvoyant. Why should he have the need for such kind of "knowledge" ?

one space said...

D Samarender Reddy,
I only wanted to examine whether (the discovery of) the fact of the existence of the mentioned readiness potential in the brain preceding the conscious decision to act does debunk free will and if yes in which way ?

karu said...

D Samarender Reddy,
you seem to imply that all what exists is included in the infinite "Self".
But if we would consider all matter and even the gross body of someone as enclosed in "the Self" there would be no need of any "self-realization".

Agnostic said...

Svatma-bhakti,


'Is there nobody at home in the land of "out of one's mind" ?'

I am very happy to discover another commenter with a sense of humor.

svatma-bhakti said...

Agnostic,
who or which phenomeneon are you to think that anything could beyond you ?

D Samarender Reddy said...

One Space, you write "I only wanted to examine whether (the discovery of) the fact of the existence of the mentioned readiness potential in the brain preceding the conscious decision to act does debunk free will and if yes in which way ?"

Well, the investigators were able to predict with a percentage of accuracy greater than would be the case due to merely chance, what the subject was going to do even before the subject himself was conscious that that is what he wanted to do.

Karu, you write, "you seem to imply that all what exists is included in the infinite "Self". But if we would consider all matter and even the gross body of someone as enclosed in "the Self" there would be no need of any "self-realization"."

It is true that the Self is everything just like all the waves are part of the ocean, but due to ignorance our minds consider the body to be a separate entity composed of matter only, and hence the need for self-realization, which is merely the removal of the ignorance that one is a separate self independent of the Self.

one space said...

D Samarender Reddy,
you say "If karma theory is correct, then most of my actions (maybe all even) must be predetermined to be able to reap my karma and also through my actions to affect or play the role of allotment of others' karma who are impinged by my actions."

I would reply more accurate that the role of allotment of others' karma...is played not by your actions as such but by God's ruling power.

D Samarender Reddy said...

One Space, yes it is by God's ruling power but that power does not act magically but by controlling and directing our actions, which in turn affects others as per their karma or God's will.

karu said...

D Samarender Reddy,
is it not also true that the self does not even see waves or an ocean ?
The mind/ego considers not only its adjunct (the body) as separated but also itself as a separate entity.
Likewise the need for self-realization exists only in the view of the deluded ego which itself does not really exist. Therefore we should not lose sight of the fact that there is actually nothing but the self. All other views make us bewildered.

Coming back to your statement in reply to Mouna that "one could of course say that since Bhagavan is the Self, it also includes the body of Bhagavan."
In that context we should rather have the good sense to consider Bhagavan's mortal body as not the self.

mango breeder said...

If we say that nothing ever happened may or shall we then also correctly derive that nothing has ever been ?

Mouna said...

power of grace, greetings back

”From that point of view self-realization cannot be determined because it never happened, is not happening and will never happen to me or any-one else.

Who is the viewer in the above case of "that point of view"?”


Good point! I always wondered that myself too!

D Samarender Reddy said...

Karu,

You seem to be arguing from the Ajata Vada point of view. Fine, have it your way because my mind cannot fathom Ajata Vada as it is presented from one interpretation of it, as presented by Michael on this blog.

karu said...

D Samarender Reddy,
no matter, because as you say you are not the mind.
The mind is said to be the embodiment of self-ignorance.
The main thing is that Arunachala shines in your heart as 'I'.

Agnostic said...

Samarender Reddy (would Sam be OK?)

One of Einstein's best quotes

I do not at all believe in human freedom in the philosophical sense... Schopenhauer’s saying, ‘A man can do what he wants, but not will what he wants,’ has been a very real inspiration to me since my youth; it has been a continual consolation in the face of life’s hardships, my own and others’, and an unfailing wellspring of tolerance. This realization mercifully mitigates the easily paralyzing sense of responsibility and prevents us from taking ourselves and other people too seriously; it is conducive to a view of life which, in part, gives humour its due.

Agnostic said...

“I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer's words: 'Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper.”
— Albert Einstein (1932), “My Credo”,

D Samarender Reddy said...

Agnostic, yes, you can call me Sam. Good to see Einstein agreeing with Bhagavan. Check out Sam Harris' YouTube videos on Free Will - there are several of them.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan says that self-investigation is the best of all practices, but should we assert this to others?

Introduction: Many of us are firmly convinced that self-investigation is the best of all practices. Does such a belief entail that we look down upon other practices? Does it entail that we are proud of the fact that we are practising the best of all practices? I had some similar doubts, and so I wrote an email to Michael asking for his views on the matter. This is what he wrote to me (sometime in October 2015):

We cannot develop pride by practising self-investigation, because by trying to practise even a little self-investigation we are beginning to chop away at the root of all pride, namely our ego. However, we can develop pride by imagining that we are in any way superior to others merely because we try to practise self-investigation.

Even believing that self-investigation is the best of all practices (because it alone can directly destroy our ego and because it is the most effective and reliable means to purify our mind) will not create pride in us, if we merely treasure this belief in our heart and discuss it only with those who want to know about it, but it can create pride if we try to force the idea on others or argue about it with anyone who is not yet ready to understand why Bhagavan said it is the best practice.

(I will continue this in my next comment)

one ignorant said...

Agnostic,
would you please tell me what world-picture you have as an agnostic - if any at all ?

Sanjay Lohia said...

In continuation of my previous comment:

My note: Therefore, if we share our views about self-investigation on this blog, it should not create pride in us, because this blog is meant to discuss Bhagavan’s teachings. However, if we go into the world, mount a platform and try to give a discourse on the method and benefits of self-investigation, it is highly likely that it will create pride in us. In other words, as Michael says, we should not try to force our views on others. Bhagavan never did it, so why should we not emulate Bhagavan?

Even on this blog we find a few who are not willing to concede that self-investigation is the only path which can enable us to experience ourself as we really are. Should we argue with them or try to convince them with our explanations? We can do it to some extent, because after all this blog is meant for such discussions. However, if they are not able to appreciate our point of view, we should not continue such arguments. Such arguments should have a limit, because if we stretch it too far it may create unnecessary mental disturbance in us.

After all, people can come to Bhagavan’s real teachings only when they are ready for it. Bhagavan knows when we are ready for his teachings, and he will expose it to us at the right time. I believe most of us (except a few) on this blog are ready to understand and follow his teachings, otherwise we wouldn’t have been here.

turiya swarupa said...

Agnostic,
Schopenhauer's statement that "A man can do what he wants, but not will what he wants"
is not at all true.
Certainly one can want what one wants.
Perhaps Schopenhauer was wrongly quoted or translated.

Agnostic said...

Ich glaube nicht an die Freiheit des Willens. Schopenhauers Wort: 'Der Mensch kann wohl tun, was er will, aber er kann nicht wollen, was er will', begleitet mich in allen Lebenslagen und versöhnt mich mit den Handlungen der Menschen, auch wenn sie mir recht schmerzlich sind.

http://www.einstein-website.de/z_biography/credo.html

turiya swarupa said...

Agnostic,
thanks for providing the German original version of Schopenhauer's statement.
His assertion is to all appearances based on the assumption that even one's wanting is predetermined or at least depending from a preconceived (mental) attitude or preset/preshaped/premoulded personality or character. But there is still enough place for free wanting. Kind regards.(Liebe Grüße).

Agnostic said...

Commenter One ignorant, my handle Agnostic is just that, a handle for this blog.

As for my world view, I believe what Maharshi Ramana said. (inexact wording?)

“All the activities that the body is to do and all the experiences it is to pass through were determined when it first came into existence.”

Unfortunately, he also added a sentence that I do not agree with -

"The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inwards and renounce activities there."

Of course, are many historical figures who have had such a conviction.

Agnostic said...

Should be - There are many historical...

I also agree with Bernard Shaw -

Death is for many of us the gate of hell; but we are inside on the way out, not outside on the way in.

The world is Dukkha.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Agnostic, Bernard Shaw says, ‘Death is for many of us the gate of hell; but we are inside on the way out, not outside on the way in’. However, he doesn’t reflect the teachings of Bhagavan Ramana when he says so. On death we are not inside on the way out, but inside on the way to another round of dream.

As long as our ego is alive death means ending of just one dream, and therefore very soon we will start dreaming another dream – by taking another body as ourself. We are on our way out of this mess called ‘world’ only when we begin to sincerely practise self-investigation. It is the only real sign that we are on our way to freedom – freedom from all dukkha (uncomfortableness).

one ignorant said...

Agnostic,
of course, we are free to doubt even Ramana Maharshi's asseverations and to disagree with some of his teachings. Our mind naturally cannot grasp all key teachings of this manifestation of Siva in a human form all at once.
But if we intend to experience the undivided Sivam, pure consciousness, I would recommend to wisely and finally come back to the unique wisdom and charisma of the diamondlike Bhagavan Ramana.

Agnostic said...

Thank you for your sincere and well meant advice.

Agnostic said...

Devaraja Mudaliar, My Recollections of Bhagavan Sri Ramana 4ed 2009

Page 92.

"Whatever this body is to do and whatever experiences it is to pass through was already already decided when it came into existence."

Agnostic said...

Sam,

Maharshi Ramana has said all there is to say and said it wonderfully well in part of Talk 28.

D.: What is the relation between my free-will and the overwhelming might of the Omnipotent?

(a) Is omniscience of God consistent with ego’s freewill?
(b) Is omnipotence of God consistent with ego’s freewill?
(c) Are the natural laws consistent with God’s free-will?

M.: Yes. Free-will is the present appearing to a limited faculty of sight and will. The same ego sees its past activity as falling into a course of ‘law’ or rules - its own free-will being one of the links in that course of law.

Omnipotence and omniscience of God are then seen by the ego to have acted through the appearance of his own free-will. So he comes
to the conclusion that the ego must go by appearances.

Natural laws are manifestations of God’s will and they have been laid down.
-----------
I am part of the causal chain whatever happens so can I lose my deep sense of agency? I think a superficial sense of agency is still needed but like the "burnt rope", etc, etc.

one ignorant said...

Agnostic,
Devaraja Mudaliar, p.92,
why repeating "already" ?

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan has saved us from the complex maze of various long-drawn-out spiritual and religious practices

Sometime in March 2016 I wrote the following comment on this blog:

Bhagavan’s teachings are so simple – that is, if we investigate our ego for a prolonged period of time it will eventually be destroyed. We are fortunate that Bhagavan has saved us from [the] complex maze of various long-drawn-out spiritual and religious practices.

Michael agreed with me and replied:

In comparison to atma-vicara, other practices are at best only circuitous and less effective means to purify our mind [...] Atma-vicara alone is the direct path to liberation. […]

Since annihilation of the ego is not the sole aim or even the principle aim of most other spiritual and religious practices, and since none of them lead to it directly, if we do not know what our aim should be or how best we can achieve it, all those various other spiritual and religious practices will collectively appear to be complex maze.

Therefore by clearly showing us that annihilation of our ego should be our sole aim and that atma vicara is the simplest and the only direct means to achieve it, Bhagavan has certainly saved us from this complex maze of other spiritual and religious practices. However, we will be able to appreciate this only if we have clearly understood the fundamental premises and simple logic of his teachings, in which case we will understand that we need not proselytise his teachings and should not be intolerant of others who have not yet been given to understand their unique value.

Mouna said...

I came to Bhagavan first through music and art, then traveling the world, then Gurdjieff-Ouspensky, then Buddhism, then western Advaita, then traditional Vedanta and finally hit home with Bhagavan.
There wasn’t any travels through complex mazes, or complicated initiations, actually I understood quite well each of those roads.
They were, at least for me, stepping stones that brought me here with Him, and in turn He showed me the way. So I am completely grateful for each and every “teaching” I encountered and feel very happy for the ones that find what works for them.
In this vast dreaming experience, the elephant’s tiger shows in many ways.
It is futile to proselytize one way or another, and sometimes doing so denotes a little bit of insecurity behind...
Anyhow why bother for other ways when one found one’s true direction?
But no worries, it will all end soon.

Back to silence then.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Yes, Mouna could be right in one sense when he says, ‘It is futile to proselytize one way or another, and sometimes doing so denotes a little bit of insecurity behind... Anyhow why bother for other ways when one found one’s true direction?’ However, it could be our love for Bhagavan and his teaching which makes us talk so passionately about his teachings.

We are definitely grateful to the various spiritual practices which we have done in the past. We have had many previous influences, and it is such practices and influences which have helped us purify our mind, and such purity has helped us to finally come to Bhagavan.

However, once we have come to Bhagavan we realise that we have now taken a great quantum leap, as far as our spiritual journey is concerned. Probably earlier we were progressing at a snail’s pace, but after having come to Bhagavan’s path of self-investigation we can be sure that we are now travelling at jet speed.

Therefore, we cherish and love Bhagavan’s teachings more than anything else. It is only from the perceptive of our practice of self-investigation that other practices seem like a complex maze. Why? It is because as long as we were following those other paths, we were not aware of our goal or the path which could lead us to our goal. Everything was hazy and unclear, because probably we were trying do one thing one day and trying something else the next day - there was no real focus.

Only Bhagavan has shown us the goal we should aim for; only Bhagavan has given us a simple and direct path which can take us to this goal; and only Bhagavan has told us why attaining this goal should be the only purpose of our live. I am grateful to other paths which I had practiced in the past, but I am a thousand times more grateful now, because Bhagavan has exposed me to this path of self-investigation.

Hector said...

Hi Mouna

You said:

[They were, at least for me, stepping stones that brought me here with Him, and in turn He showed me the way. So I am completely grateful for each and every “teaching” I encountered and feel very happy for the ones that find what works for them.
In this vast dreaming experience, the elephant’s tiger shows in many ways.]

I agree whole heartedly.
I am grateful for all the teachings and teachers I have encountered on the way to Bhagavan. But I believe Bhagavan was all those teachers / teachings.

Cheers
H

atma-sukha said...

Sanjay Lohia,
so what is our goal ?
Regarding "we are now travelling at jet speed":
the speed of our journey for the most part depends on the intensity and greatness of carefulness, truthfulness (uprightness) and vigilance with which we are practising self-investigation.

Anonymous said...

"Probably earlier we were progressing at a snail’s pace, but after having come to Bhagavan’s path of self-investigation we can be sure that we are now travelling at jet speed."

This is one of the funniest comments I have read on this blog. Ha,ha.

mango breeder said...

Anonymous,
do you poke at Sanjay Lohia ?
Sanjay Lohia is always ready for a laugh. Otherwise he will certainly allay your doubts which possibly/obviously arise.

mango breeder said...

Sanjay Lohia,
you write " It is only from the perceptive of our practice ...".
Presumably you wanted to write "perspective".

Sanjay Lohia said...

atma-sukha, yes, our speed of progress depends on the intensity and earnestness of our practice. We have a choice at each moment - either we attend to the things of this illusory world or we attend to ourself as much as possible. We can be sure that we are progressing (at least one step) towards our goal, whenever we choose to be attentively self-aware.

Sanjay Lohia said...

mango breeder, yes, it should have been 'perspective'. Thank you.

D Samarender Reddy said...

Agnostic, thank you for sharing Bhagavan's comments on free will.

Also, check out www.naturalism.org/philosophy/free-will/luck-swallows-everything

chintamani said...

I am.
Am I happy in my being ?
Possibly in the depth of my heart might I feel that happiness of being ?
Or can I only be happy when I do not feel anything ?
Let's ask Bhagavan Annamalai to wake up Siva in my heart.

Agnostic said...

Sam, thanks for the link.

I have followed both Galen Strawson and Tom Clark for a long time and find them very interesting.

I am sure you must have run into something by Joachim Krueger, he also writes quite a lot about free will.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/one-among-many

Free will is all that stands between me and Nirvana!

Mouna said...

Let us not forget that the maze and the confusion one goes through are not the different teachings that through their different teachers in essence point to oneself, but the mechanism of ego.
Because who is Bhagavan, Jesus, Buddha, Shankara but oneself? And where do ultimately ajata, sufism, mysticism, saivism, buddhism, kabbalah or even “neo-advaita” point to (when properly taught) if not oneself?

The complex maze which was spoken of before is the ego... not necessarily it’s projection. Both are equally illusory, that’s the real confusion.

Mouna said...

Hector,
”But I believe Bhagavan was all those teachers / teachings.”

Beautifully put...

Sanjay Lohia said...

Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagavan Ramana

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948) and Bhagavan (1879 – 1950) were contemporaries. However, they had very different missions to fulfill. Gandhi was all about unceasing action, whereas Bhagavan’s teaching was silence. In spite of such contrasting philosophies in life, they had very high regard for each other. David Godman speaks about their unique relationship in his video David Godman – 2nd Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview (44 minutes onwards) – it is not verbatim:

Ramana often read things that Gandhi had written. Gandhi was a prolific writer of articles. Occasionally Bhagavan would read out something which Gandhi had said, and he invariably approved Gandhi’s views. Bhagavan had high regards for Gandhi’s spiritual state.

Once Congress [a political party in India] people came to Bhagavan seeking his advice about how they could attain India’s independence? Bhagavan said something the effect, ‘be like Gandhi – have no expectations, no desires to accomplish anything. Surrender to the will of God and work. Be in that inner state where you get moved by grace within, rather than by your desire for any personal goal. Even if the goal is a laudable one, even if it is something that should happen, don’t work with the idea that I must accomplish this, this needs to be done’.

Gandhi once came to Tiruvannamalai, and everybody was very excited. They thought he might come into Ramanasramam. He was going to give a political speech about 5 minutes from the ashram. He had to drive past the ashram main gate. The man who was organizing the trip was Rajagopalachari, a Congress politician. He waved the driver on, indicating to him that he should not stop and should go past the gate as soon as possible. Gandhi wanted to come to meet Bhagavan, but Rajagopalachari somehow prevented him from doing so. He convinced Gandhi that they were very late, and therefore they should proceed to their next halt.

So everyone was very disappointed, because everyone was looking forward to the meeting between Gandhi and Bhagavan. Annamalai asked Bhagavan, ‘Bhagavan, why wouldn’t they let him in? What was the problem?’ Bhagavan said, ‘they are probably afraid that if he comes here, he would go into samadhi and forget all about politics. They want an active front man for their organisation’.


Hector said...

Hi Mouna,

You said;

[Because who is Bhagavan, Jesus, Buddha, Shankara but oneself? And where do ultimately ajata, sufism, mysticism, saivism, buddhism, kabbalah or even “neo-advaita” point to (when properly taught) if not oneself?]

I could not agree more Mouna.
That is why I believe that criticizing, degrading and looking down on religions, teachers and other spiritual aspirants is funny when you think about it!

As Bhagavan said the ego is everything and investigating it will result in giving up everything.

This is not a path for the faint hearted.
Cheers
H

mango breeder said...

Hector,
yes, having beliefs is funny. But are they of any use to us ?

Agnostic said...

Question: Is there no Dehatma Buddhi (I-am-the-body idea) for the jnani? If, for instance, Sri Bhagavan is bitten by an insect, is there no sensation?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: There is the sensation and there is also the dehatma buddhi. The latter is common to both jnani and ajnani with this difference, that the ajnani thinks only the body is myself, whereas the jnani knows all is of the Self, or all this is Brahman. If there be pain let it be. It is also part of the Self. The Self is Poorna (perfect).

After transcending dehatma buddhi one becomes a jnani. In the absence of that idea there cannot be either Kartritva (doership) or Karta (doer). So a jnani has no karma (that is, a jnani performs no actions). That is his experience. Otherwise he is not a jnani. However, the ajnani identifies the jnani with his body, which the jnani does not do.

Question: I see you doing things. How can you say that you never perform actions?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: The radio sings and speaks, but if you open it you will find no one inside. Similarly, my existence is like the space; though this body speaks like the radio, there is no one inside as a doer.

Question: I find this hard to understand. Could you please elaborate on this?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Various illustrations are given in books to enable us to understand how the jnani can live and act without the mind, although living and acting require the use of the mind. The potter’s wheel goes on turning round even after the potter has ceased to turn it because the pot is finished. In the same way, the electric fan goes on revolving for some minutes after we switch off the current. Prarabdha (predestined Karma) which created the body will make it go through whatever activities it was meant for. But the jnani goes through all these activities without the notion that he is the doer of them. It is hard to understand how this is possible. The illustration generally given is that the jnani performs actions in some such way as a child that is roused from sleep to eat eats but does not remember next morning that it ate. It has to be remembered that all these explanations are not for the jnani. He knows and has no doubts. He knows that he is not the body and he knows that he is not doing anything even though his body may be engaged in some activity. These explanations are for the onlookers who think of the jnani as one with a body and cannot help identifying him with his body

Agnostic said...

Tradition and Revolution.Dialogue 8 New Delhi 26th December 1970

P: Do you see yourself as a person?

Krishnamurti: If you mean the body - yes. As an ego, as a person talking on the platform, walking, climbing the hill - no.

P: The sense of existence, the sense of ``I am; does it operate in you?

Krishnamurti: One of the things I have never had is the sense of the ``I''. Never.

P: ``I exist'' is the central core in all of us. It is the very fabric of our existence.

Krishnamurti: The peripheral expressions of Krishnamurti appear to be a person.

But at the centre there is no person. I really do not know what it means. You are asking, is there in you a centre, the ``I am'', the sense of ``I am''. No. The feeling of ``I am'' is not true.

P: It is not as obvious as that. But the sense of existence, the core of the ego within us, is unexplored. There is something which holds it together and as long as it remains, what you are saying - the no centre - has no validity for us.

D Samarender Reddy said...

Ramana Maharshi on Watching the Mind and Searching for the Mind

(from Talks, Talk 328)

Ramana Maharshi: If the mind is watched thoughts cease. Peace results and it is your true nature. King Janaka said: “I have now found the robber (namely the mind) who has been robbing me of my ‘I’-ness. I will instantly kill this thief.” The perturbation owing to thoughts appears to rob the Self of its peace. The perturbation is the mind. When that ceases the mind is said to take flight. The Self remains as the undisturbed substratum.

Another person interposed: The mind must kill the mind.

Ramana Maharshi: Yes, if there be the mind. A search for it discloses its non-existence. How can anything that does not exist be killed?

onlooker said...

Agnostic,
in view of your first comment regarding Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi:
therefore let us without delay endeavour to take off the clothes of an ajnani or mere "onlooker".

D Samarender Reddy said...

How Do You Search for the Mind?

Bhagavan says in Talk 328 (as quoted above) that "A search for it [the mind] discloses its non-existence." I wonder how you search for the mind. Can anyone enlighten me on that?

Also, note that Bhagavan does not say how long you should search for the mind nor how many times you should search for the mind, so I wonder if Bhagavan means that if we search for the mind correctly, doing so once is enough because to see the absence of something you need to look only once carefully, right? So, Bhagavan seems to be indicating instantaneous liberation, the only thing blocking us being our lack of knowledge about how to search for the mind, right?

Papaji also said that self-enquiry need be done only once.

onlooker said...

D Samarender Reddy,
yes, what we most need is disclosure of truth, reality, 'I'-ness, peace, the self as the undisturbed substratum or one's actual nature.
Perturbation has to cease.
Disclosure, disclosure...
King Janaka, would you graciously help me to make the same discovery ?
Indeed absurd: How can anything that does not exist be killed ?
Can there exist a bigger inconsistency at all ?

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan: The ultimate Truth is so simple. It is nothing more than being in the pristine state. That is all that need be said.

Still, it is a wonder that to teach this simple Truth there should come into being so many religions, creeds, methods and disputes among them and so on! Oh the pity! Oh the pity! (Talk no. 96)

My note: As Bhagavan says we just need to be in our pristine state or as he often used to say, ‘be as you are’. We can achieve this by ceasing to act and by turning our entire attention on ourself alone.

However, so many religions, creeds and methods have been invented by human minds, but ultimately we have to give up all these in order to be as we actually are. So from this perspective all methods other than self-investigation look like a complex maze.

We can easily bypass other spiritual methods and come directly to self-investigation, if we want to. As Michael once said, ‘Thus the easiest — and indeed the only — means by which we can experience ourself as we really are is just to be as we really are by inwardly scrutinising ourself and thereby excluding all other thoughts, and Bhagavan also emphasises that we can experience this state of ‘just being as we are’ only if we have all-consuming love for it'.

We are pure being, but we foolishly rise as this ego and as a result engage in all sorts of actions. Not only that, we very soon add various religious and other spiritual practices to our already unending worldly actions.

However, do we need to act in the first place? No, because all our actions will only keep us entangled in a complex web. To get out of this seemingly unending web, all we need to do is to give up all our actions - whether they are worldly, religious or spiritual – and remain as we actually are.

Agnostic said...


Sam, here is Robert Sapolsky, very good.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mbqwjx/you-have-no-free-will

If I can deeply absorb and internalize the fact that my feeling of free will is false, it would advance my quest greatly.

That is what I take from Bhagavan Ramana's teaching. Self enquiry doesn't seem to work for me.

Mouna said...

D. Samarender Reddy, greetings
”I wonder how you search for the mind.”

In a way, there is no need to search for the mind because everything “you” (D S Reddy) experience is mind.
What Bhagavan is pointing at is to question and investigate its reality, its root, if there is such a thing. We can only do that turning our attention away from the content of mind (everything) to where we assume its source will be (inwards).
Since we won’t be able to find any “real” source for it, in this way we might find out not only the illusory and impermanent nature of mind but also the essential nature of our real selves, the only “thing” permanent, self-evident and limitless, existence/awareness.


D Samarender Reddy said...

Agnostic,

You are so right when you say, "If I can deeply absorb and internalize the fact that my feeling of free will is false, it would advance my quest greatly." In fact, that is my feeling, too, these days. What that will do is, it leads to acceptance and surrender, surrender being the second of 2 paths Bhagavan pointed out as leading to self-realization, the first path, of course, being self-enquiry.

Perhaps, you can ponder on this: are you choosing your thoughts at any given moment of time or are your thoughts choosing you. If you answer that the thoughts are choosing you then you are not freely choosing your actions. See Sam Harris' Youtube videos on free will as they make a very good case for no free will. But, as you rightly point out, no matter what the intellectual arguments are for free will, at the end of them we still feel very much like we have free will. Try reading this article to see if it helps you a bit more that free will is an illusion - http://cogsci.ucd.ie/introtocogsci/docs/Agency-1999.pdf

Thanks for the Sapolsky article link. I will read it soon.

I look forward to carrying this discussion forward with you and other readers as and when we go through our recommendations and as and when any fresh thoughts arise on this issue. Also, consider this fact: when can we say will is "free"? Only if it was "free" to do B in a given situation when it chose A among the two options. But, such freedom has to be based on some foundation. In other words, there must have been a reason why I chose A over B, the reason being that I estimated based on my reading of the situation, which in turn depended on my knowledge at that moment and my mood etc., that choosing A was better for me than choosing B. In that case it would seem that to have the freedom to have chosen B over A at that moment in time would have been to go against my own judgement and not in my best interest as I could rationally calculate at that time. So, that kind of free will I would not want and would not actually be free because I would have to force myself to choose B over A when my mind is telling me that A is better. Would deciding by tossing a coin be free will? no, because the toss of a coin is random. Now, how does it transpire that I "thought" or "felt" that A was the better option in that given moment. Obviously based on my knowledge, hormone levels, my tastes and inclinations, my childhood upbringing, etc., all of which are influenced by what has happened in the past to me, so in a way I am not "free" to choose A but for5ced to choose A given my past. As a matter of fact, I think that is why J. Krishnaumrti says that it is only the confused mind which chooses, whereas the clear mind knows what is the right course of action in every situation and there is no choice (or you could say freedom) for it.

D Samarender Reddy said...

Greetings, Mouna. Thanks for your reply. What you say makes sense. Since Bhagavan equates mind with "I-thought" or "I-sense", searching for the mind is I guess searching for the root of I-sense, which search as you point out ends up taking us to the Self, and thus revealing the non-existence of the mind as only the Self is found to be existing.

D Samarender Reddy said...

Agnostic,

By the way, even if you had said above that you are choosing your thoughts, we would have to ask what is that "you" which is choosing the thoughts. The "you" has to be necessarily the sum total of your past, and so, the choice of thoughts is also based on or dictated by your past, so you are not choosing your thoughts freely but guided to do so by your past being what it is. If you say, no, no, I will choose randomly at times, then there must be some explanation for why you have some proclivity towards randomness and that explanation has to take into account "your past" and so even randomness is not so random. I hope that makes sense.

D Samarender Reddy said...

A Reflection on Free Will or the Lack Thereof: Every time I drive on to the road, I change the flow of traffic, be it ever so subtly or slightly, and thus change or determine what accidents can and do occur. And, pray, what made me drive on to the road at that point in time and not at some other time - a constellation of a whole lot of events on which I had little or no say.

D Samarender Reddy said...

If "Everything is Predetermined" Then Self-Realisation Also Must be Predetermined, Right?

Ramana Maharshi says that whatever actions and motions that the body has to go through are predetermined at the time of one's birth. So, when Venkataraman Iyer (later to be known as Ramana Maharshi) was born, all the motions that Venkataraman's body had to go through in the course of his entire life must have been predetermined at the time of his birth, as indeed the fact that he would spend all of his adult life on or on the foothills of Arunachala, including his sitting motionless for a few years in the beginning of his stay near Arunachala without so much as taking even a morsel of food for days together. Now, if Venkataraman Iyer did not have the death experience at Madurai and consequently the self-realisation (ignoring for the moment the standard argument that there is no one who realises the self and therefore there is no such thing as self-realisation, which can be argued about this way and that in terms of dry logic) it would be inexplicable why he would have gone and spent all his adult life on, near and around Arunachala, much less how he could have spoken all those words of wisdom on which we all are hanging on in this blog, as countless others who do not visit this blog? The only thing that can explain the anomaly is if his death experience and consequent self-realisation also must have been predetermined at the time of his birth so that the post-realisation movements of and words spoken by the body of Venkatraman Iyer in his adult life, which were predetermined at the time of his birth, could come to pass. If Venkatraman's self-realisation was not predetermined, and so for argument sake let us say that the moment of self-realisation bypassed him in Madurai at the age of 16, left to his own sweet will and self-exertions, then one can legitimately ask the question that since it was predetermined at the time of birth of Venkatraman Iyer that he would compose the book Nan Yar? (Who Am I?), how could Venkatraman Iyer have done so if the self-realisation did not happen in Madurai at the age of 16 because if that did not happen then Venkatraman Iyer would have been ignorant of the Self and he could not have answered so wisely the questions put to him by Sivaprakasam Pillai and consequently we would not be having the exact copy of Nan Yar? that we have now on our hands. I think, by now, you can see where I am going with this. And yet, Bhagavan says in Day by Day with Bhagavan that we have the freedom to identify or not with the body and its actions, and what is disidentification with the body but self-realisation, so the implication of Bhagavan's words is that self-realisation is not predetermined. But if it is not predetermined, then how to account for the anomalies that arise thereby as mentioned above. Any thoughts on or response to this conundrum?

onlooker said...

D Samarender Reddy,
so what is your question ?
Is there any practical benefit from thinking about the concept of predestination ?
The mind will never be satisfied with explanations whatever given.
Why should we allow to get paralyzed with anything what is said to be preordained by God or foreordained by fate ?

Anonymous said...

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/robert-sapolsky-on-free-will/#comments

D Samarender Reddy said...

Agnostic,

Check out these two transcripts of Ramesh Balsekar's (disciple of Nisargadataa Maharaj) dialogues:

www.advaita.org/transcripts/rameshTranscripts.pdf

Agnostic said...


Sam, from your earlier reply -

"You are so right when you say, "If I can deeply absorb and internalize the fact that my feeling of free will is false, it would advance my quest greatly." In fact, that is my feeling, too, these days. What that will do is, it leads to acceptance and surrender, surrender being the second of 2 paths Bhagavan pointed out as leading to self-realization, the first path, of course, being self-enquiry."

On this topic of free will, I prefer to get my information from science and from Sri Ramana's intuition and insight. I am firmly convinced that the evolution of the universe is predetermined in the minutest detail.

But does it really lead to path 2, the path of bhakti?

Would that not depend on the temperament of the aspirant?

The path of bhakti depends on faith in the guru and there is no deeper source of religious discord than the "bhakta" who does not realize that he is turned outwards, not inwards, and is constantly hyping his/her own guru.

Razor's edge indeed...

D Samarender Reddy said...

Agnostic,

You yourself said above that "Self enquiry doesn't seem to work for me." And Bhagavan said that there are only 2 paths available for self-realisation: (1) Self-enquiry, and (2) Surrender. If self-enquiry is not working for you, and as you say you are not temperamentally suited for surrender, as you do not fancy being a bhakta, then what is the other 3rd path that you want to follow for self-realisation. Would merely being intellectually convinced that you have no free will and everything is predetermined bestow upon you self-realisation? I do not quite see how that is possible. You can enlighten me on how you see that happening.

D Samarender Reddy said...

Agnostic,

Since you said you want to turn to science to debunk free will, here are some links that you will find useful to go through:

www.wired.com/2008/04/mind-decision/

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/yet-another-experiment-eroding-free-will/

You may also want to read the following books:
(1) Free Will by Sam Harris
(2) The Illusion of Conscious Will by Daniel Wegner

Both the above books are available for FREE DOWNLOAD here - http://libgen.io/

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