Thursday, 8 November 2018

Everything depends for its seeming existence on the seeming existence of ourself as ego

In the comments on one of my recent articles, Like everything else, karma is created solely by ego’s misuse of its will (cittam), so what needs to be rectified is its will, there was a discussion about the nature of ego and whether or not it is antecedent to the appearance of all phenomena, so this article is written in an attempt to clarify what Bhagavan taught us in this regard.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

When Bhagavan says that we must look within, what does he mean by ‘within’?

Last month a friend wrote me an email in which he asked me to clarify certain aspects of Bhagavan’s teachings, including what he means by ‘within’ when he says that we must look within, and whether the source of the individual self can be within that same individual self, so this article is adapted from the reply I wrote to him.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Like everything else, karma is created solely by ego’s misuse of its will (cittam), so what needs to be rectified is its will

In the comments on my previous three articles there was an ongoing discussion about the role of free will and the law of karma in general, and various friends have expressed differing views about this matter, so this article was originally intended to be a reply to some of those views but it has developed into a broad and detailed discussion about the key role of our will and the paramount need for us to rectify or purify it.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

The ego is the sole cause, creator, source, substance and foundation of all other things

In a comment on one of my recent articles, The ego does not actually exist, but it seems to exist, and only so long as it seems to exist do all other things seem to exist, a friend called Salazar wrote, ‘Did anybody on this blog wonder who is perceiving the thoughts which come into awareness? That what is aware of thoughts cannot be the creator of these thoughts, because a thought is an object apart from that “observer”’. This article is written in reply to this comment and another one written by him.

Monday, 30 April 2018

The ego seems to exist only because we have not looked at it carefully enough to see that there is no such thing

For a few days last week I was in a place where I did not have any internet connection except on my phone, but on and off during that time I had a conversation via WhatsApp with a friend called Frank about Bhagavan’s teachings, philosophy, ego and other related matters. The first fifteen sections of this article are compiled from edited extracts of our conversation, and the final section is a reply that I subsequently wrote to him by email (as also are the five paragraphs in earlier sections that I have enclosed in square brackets).

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The ego does not actually exist, but it seems to exist, and only so long as it seems to exist do all other things seem to exist

A friend recently wrote a series of emails expressing his views and asking questions about the ego and other related matters, so this article is adapted from the replies I wrote to him.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

If we investigate the ego closely enough we will see that it is only brahman, but however closely we investigate the world we can never thereby see that it is brahman

After telling me that he is now reading Ramana Maharshi: The Crown Jewel of Advaita by John Grimes, a friend sent me two WhatsApp messages saying:
I am ‘excited’. For the first time I read about or understood the distinction between the illusory nature of the world and that of the individual — John Grimes’ book p. 147 and 148. Seeing the rope as snake and seeing the white conch shell as yellow conch shell due to the unseen or unrecognized yellow glass. Wonderful explanation that struck me.

Brahman manifesting as world, but seeing only the world as real is illusion like seeing the rope as snake. The individual though only brahman, and also felt as I, but due to ego (yellow glass), mistaking I as me or mine.

Thus while both are illusions, the second one is that in aspect or nature of ‘I’, although I is seen or experienced. When the ignorance is removed, it will be known that it is brahman that was being all the while experienced hitherto also as ‘I’ — that is there are not two ‘I’s.
The following is adapted from the reply I wrote to him:

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Our existence is self-evident, because we shine by our own light of pure self-awareness

In a comment on one of my recent articles, Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu: Tamil text, transliteration and translation, a friend called Sanjay wrote:
Michael once wrote to me (in reply to one of my emails):

The mind knows that the chair is a chair, an object of wood, etc., but this is not what the chair actually is. If we analyse a little deeper, both the chair and the wood are ideas in our mind, and we have no way of proving to ourself that any chair or wood actually exists independent of our ideas of them. Hence Bhagavan says that the whole world is nothing but ideas or thoughts, as for example in the fourth and fourteenth paragraphs of Nan Yar?:
Except thoughts [or ideas], there is separately no such thing as ‘world’.

What is called the world is only thought.
Referring to this, another friend using the pseudonym ‘ādhāra’ wrote a comment saying:
However, Bhagavan did not say that we as an ego are excluded from the “world”. On the contrary it is said that we are part of the world in waking and dreaming. So we can conclude that we too are only an idea or a thought or a projection.

We definitely do not even have proof/evidence that we exist independent of our idea of that. Therefore we cannot reasonable/well-founded have to presume that we are more than an idea. There is no evidence to support this thesis.

Nevertheless we can put our trust in Bhagavan Ramana because he inspires confidence and looks trustworthy. To follow Bhagavan’s teaching is even urgently necessary.
The following is my reply to this:

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Why do viṣaya-vāsanās sprout as thoughts, and how to eradicate them?

A friend wrote to me recently:
Through self-inquiry every vasana comes up to the surface. Sometimes I am really lost, sometimes I am cool.

I try to practise self-inquiry with every thought that comes up in my mind, but they are getting more and more.

Is it true that vasanas want to go, when they are on the surface?

The best thing is, I will not give up to practise, but I want to do it in the best way.
The following is adapted from the reply I wrote to him:

Thursday, 4 January 2018

In what sense does Bhagavan generally use the terms பொருள் (poruḷ) and வஸ்து (vastu)?

In my previous article, Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu first maṅgalam verse: what exists is only thought-free awareness, which is called ‘heart’, so being as it is is alone meditating on it, I translated the term ‘உள்ளபொருள்’ (uḷḷa-poruḷ), which Bhagavan uses in the first and third lines of the first maṅgalam verse of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, as ‘the existing substance’, ‘actual substance’ or ‘real substance’, and I explained that உள்ள (uḷḷa) is a relative or adjectival participle that means ‘existing’, ‘actual’ or ‘real’, and பொருள் (poruḷ) is a noun that has a range of meanings, including thing (any thing, but particularly a thing that really exists or a thing of value), meaning, subject-matter, substance, essence, reality or wealth, but in this context means ‘substance’ or ‘reality’.

In a comment on that article a friend called Mouna asked me why I chose to translate பொருள் (poruḷ) as ‘substance’ rather than ‘reality’:

Monday, 1 January 2018

Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu first maṅgalam verse: what exists is only thought-free awareness, which is called ‘heart’, so being as it is is alone meditating on it

As I explained in my previous article, Upadēśa Kaliveṇbā: the extended version of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, over the coming months (or perhaps years, if other work gets in my way) I hope to be able to publish a series of forty-two articles each of which will be a detailed explanation of one of the verses of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu along with its kaliveṇbā extension or extensions, so this article is the first in this series.

No commentary on the verses of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu can be considered complete or entirely comprehensive, because however much one may explain and discuss them there will always be room for further explanations and discussions from different perspectives, so the explanations I will be giving in this series of articles will be far from complete. However my aim is to give at least a basic explanation of each verse, enough to make its profound and rich meaning clear and to enable each reader to do their own reflection (manana) on it.